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Hello All,


Like a lot of people, I think I’m ready to make the transition from Blog entry to dedicated thread for showing and telling what I’ve been doing modelling wise, hopefully this will lend itself to more short and frequent updates than the long prose that have I’ve been writing previously.


Firstly, I’ll begin with a short recap, to get everyone up to speed.


I’ve been trying to build a model of Callington Station, on fringes of East Cornwall for around 10(!) years now. I know, yet another Cornish BLT… However, staying away from the holiday destinations on the coast, I think I’ve avoided the worst of a cliché.



Callington Station Yard © Tony Callaghan, Reproduced here with permission.


The history of this little line is quite fascinating. It started out life in 1872 as the 3’6” East Cornwall Mineral Railway serving the mines between Kelly Bray and Drakewells with the quay on the river Tamar at Calstock, though within 30 years most of the mines served by this line had been closed. In 1890 it was bought by the PDSWJR – more famed of their railway running from Lydford through to Plymouth. Colonel Stevens was engaged to build the Calstock viaduct, with its distinctive wagon lift down to the quay, and connect the branch to the main line at Beer (Bere) Alston, which was completed in 1908. Whilst the main line was operated by the LSWR, the branch line remained independently worked right up to grouping, where it came under control of the southern railway and subsequently southern region. The Beeching report led to the closure of the section of the line from Callington through to Gunnislake, the remainder of the railway through to Plymouth being kept open due to the poor nature of the roads and bridging of the Tamar. Interestingly, over a century after the Kelly Bray mine closed, there is talk of a new mine, Redmoor, opening in the area.


Hawthorn Leslie tanks ruled the rails during independent days, the southern brought 02’s to the branch up to the 1950’s which the southern region then replaced with Ivatt 2MT’s and subsequently DMU’s. The variety of stock was restricted by steep gradients and tight curves built to climb out of the Tamar valley between Calstock and Gunnislake. Traffic once the mines had gone turned distinctly agricultural, the railhead serving a good slice of the east of Bodmin moor up to North Hill and the market gardens of the valley. Stone traffic was still handled from the Kit Hill quarry up to the 1950’s and Hingston Down quarry up to closure. Interestingly, the station doesn’t seem to have been particularly well placed for the town of Callington itself – the mile or so between the town and the station oft quoted as being the slowest part of the journey between Callington and China. Methinks the inhabitants of the town probably preferred to take the GWR omnibus service to mainline at Saltash, rather than using their namesake station. As a side note - FGW once did this to me too, the branch train wasn't running so a taxi was put on for my bike and I to Gunnislake, most disappointing.


Back to Callington, the track plan here is quite restrained, with being one of the good colonel’s light railways (I hate to say, cheap and nasty,) and being crammed between the foothills of Kit Hill and what is now the A388. The loop is somewhat unusual in that stock needs to be pushed back out of the platform in order to run the loco around. I’d summarise the bits of the station that I’ve chosen to keep, as Callington Road, as being more or less an inglenook, but with the addition of a carriage siding.




You’ll have noticed here that the layout is a bit longer than the challenge dimensions of 600x239mm (green on the plan above), this is to make the layout more balanced, after the competition is held next year. The trackwork uses Laurie’s chairplates, having used templot beforehand to produce the plans for the curved points. A temporary backscene has been installed to block the scene to the challenge scene at present. The lighting rig holds up three RGBWWW strips, controlled by an Arduino, which together produce enough light to rival the sun.




The layout is wired for DC and points are operated by servo’s, controlled from another Arduino installed below the baseboard.




So that's more or less where I had got to in the last blog entry in January, which now seems so long ago...   


Best Regards,



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Originally, I’d planned to use a train-table style fiddle-yard, however an in-field adjustment when transferring the track plan to the boards meant that there wasn’t then enough room to get both tracks to be perpendicular to the radius of the deck at the same time anymore. The lack of space that I had left myself to put in alignment bolts over the gap was also going to mean an overly complicated arrangement for this as well.




The foundations of this design had been a wide thrust bearing, which meant the deck was specked up for 500rpm. I was going to use strips of brass on the deck to make railing stock easier, which meant trying to curve these as per Copenhagen fields fiddeyard tracks. Not wanting to make a mangle, I opted to get these laser cut in 2mm brass sheet by the good people of Argyll.




So, with time running out before the deadline In June, I opted to revert back to brass cassettes, and park rebuilding the train table baseboard for a later project. Now these have had their own baseboard made, incorporating a holder for the control panel and reserved space for a coffee mug.




And to round off the rest of the carpentry needed for the layout, I’ve knocked together a couple of Rice trestle legs to sit on a table, to bring the layout up to eye height. These still need some leveling feet to be attached when I can get access to an pillar drill.




Best Regards,



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