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Utterley Old Works - industrial micro plan


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After a return to the hobby in my 20s and a few years of building 7mm narrow gauge, the standard gauge bug has bitten.  Since I don't have the time, space, or money for a great big layout it's going to be a @JimRead style micro - not quite the Arendtian four square feet but I'm setting myself a hard limit of 1500×600mm so I can move it up and down stairs and fit it in my car in one piece.


I've decided on a South Lancashire urban setting in the early to mid 1930s and have been asking questions on the standard gauge industrial forum here.

My proposed track plan is closely based on the sidings on Gould Street, Oldham, which served Platt Brothers' Hartford Old Works.  In operational terms it's a minimal Inglenook with the additions of a kickback siding and traversers allowing a run round.


The numbered scale is in metres and the green grid is in feet for the traditionalists.

The idea is that the viewing side is the lower edge, which will be part of a machine factory yard.  The two traversers at the back, each two position with three tracks, will be hidden behind the factory wall and buildings, and the double-track section is set into the street.  Backscene will be the front of another mill, possibly with its own loading dock.

Points are Lima and the minimum radius is 700mm (27½") for a scale 30.5m or 1½ chains, which is admittedly very tight, but manageable for small stock and not unrealistic for an industrial setting as long as you don't look too closely at the points - and by modifying those I can also ease the worst of the reverse curves on the drawing.  All visible track will be inset in cobbles.

Rolling stock will be small 4-wheel wagons carrying coal and raw materials in, machinery out, and the like, hauled by small 4-wheel locos.  I'm considering 3D printing a Black Hawthorn inside cylinder 0-4-0, perhaps later to be joined by a Simplex, Peckett "Yorktown", or Hunslet "Courage".


As this is inspired by a real place rather than an exact model I'm changing the location to a fictional town itself inspired by the real South Lancashire: Utterley, Swarfdale, made famous by the old TV show "Brass".  As you well know.


Please let me know your thoughts, advice, and dire warnings :D

Edited by Nyeti
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If I'm going to have a layout I'll need track and things to run on it.  The former is already mostly here, and I'm now starting on the latter.



This peculiar contraption is a Lima shunter with a (continental?) steam outline body bolted on top.  It's basic to say the least but it runs, it'll handle 700mm curves, and it was cheap!

Although the wheelbase is a scale 18" too long, I think I can turn this into a passable Andrew Barclay with skirts (along the lines of Aberdeen Gas Works' Mr Therm).  Drawings and 3D printer at the ready.

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Here it is pared down to the motor unit and built back up with 3D printed frames, boiler, and tank.


These are just test prints so they're a bit rough, but I'm pleased with the overall effect.

Also in view is a 4½-plank open wagon acquired from eBay.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Baseboard construction has begun!  Please excuse the low contrast - all the better lit parts of my house are already occupied.



The top...



... and the bottom.  Jim Read's influence will be clear to anyone who follows his modelling.


There's still a bit more to do on the traverser ends, but it already holds together pretty well.  And it's so light!  5mm foamboard weighs next to nothing and the pine framing doesn't add much.

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