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Hatfield : Part the Second

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When this site was in it's previous incarnation I started a thread called Hatfield : Part the First where I was talking about building a large layout in my loft space based around Hatfield station and set in the early 60's.


I've been asking some questiosn about DCC in other threads and it seemed time to post up the finished trackplan. See the attached.


The general gist is Hatfield on the ECML at the end of steam but with the artistic licence of allowing the three branch lines also terminating at the station to not only still be in existence but actually thriving to the extent that the loco stabling facilities have grown somewhat.


Any comments welcome.


The status right now is :


- loft space boarded

- loft space 80% lined

- early order of track on it's way from the UK for experimentation purposes

- investigating a modular approach to construction to speed things up (eg some baseboards using internal doors, fully pre-assembled points/motors enabling drop-in on layout, spacing templates to speed up track-laying)

- investigating DCC options


Early days still. Much work remains..............


Hatfield Junction storage.pdf

Hatfield Junction main.pdf

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WOW that looks an ambition plan. I dont think I could get my head around modelling anything like that but it certainly looks impressive. Good luck and I hope to see regular updates on this one. A nice mix of Loco's and rolling stock should be available for your chosen period so I would imagine there will never be a dull moment!

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I will post up a few bits and pieces on the progress as things move along. Some pictures of the lft space in due course.


You are right about the rolling stock - just lately a whole series of items have become due that will all be very relevant. Specifically the Craven DMUs, L1 and Baby Deltic.



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B..... H...! Good luck! Can I raise two points?

1. Is the up bay platform still in place?

2. At the North end, I THINK (although I may be wrong) that the line to St.Albans curved off before Wrestler's Bridge and then the six-line arrangement continued to Welwyn Garden City wher the Luton and Hertford lines peeled off.

We moved to WGC in 1960 and the Luton line was still fully open-we travelled on it in loco-hauled stock which ISTR was quad-art. The WGC end of the Hertford line was still open for freight and quite busy. It was worked by the 08 which lived in WGC goods yard.

Please keep us posted on this one.



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Sure raise as many points as you want, that's the idea :-)


Yes I've retained one up bay platform.


I think the line to St A went under the first bridge to the north and then turned away between there and Wrestlers Bridge. On my version there will be no Wrestlers Bridge (!!) so a non issue. I've also economised on the tracks running North and currently have "only" five such that the Down Slow is also the Luton and Dunstable line. I might think about changing this if space allows but really it's crazy already ...........


I do have the Hertford line running separately to form up the five lines in total and this will allow both the Hertford branch and the Welwyn Shunt to operate without affecting the main lines



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Hi Kallaroonian.


As a product of Hatfield (Hurts), I am looking forward to seeing this project grow. I have never delved into the history of Hatfield station even though I lived there until I was 25.


It depends on your timescale but the Wrestlers bridge collapsed in 1966 if this site is to be believed.



It was replaced by a footbridge which is still there.

The St Albans line did curve off before the Wrestlers bridge, just after passing under what I´ve always called the Red Lion bridge.

There are a couple of pictures of the North end of the station during the sixties in the Middleton book, Branchline from Dunstable to Hatfield.

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Hi McGomez. I see you are another expat ! I grew up in Potters Bar, went to Hatfield Poly as it then was and then lived in Brookmans Park.


I can't say I was ever a big fan of some parts of Hatfield - particularly the pedestrianised town centre - and it was always a huge pain how far the station is located away from both the town centre but more especially the Poly/Uni. However old Hatfield has a wealth of character and the station is just a great candidate for a model. The other key elements that will exist in the model - if it sees the light of day - will be the photo opportunity spot just Nth of Potters Bar station opposite the golf course, the bridge before Brookmans Park, the mutli track to the Welwyn area and the Digswell viaduct.


Hence the desire for modular construction !!!


I have the Dunstable-Hatfield book and there are a couple of useful photos there. I've also been pointed at the HMRS which it appears may have a number of prints available.


I'll keep posting stuff here periodically





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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Mark.


Yep. Another ex-pat. There seem to be a hell of a lot of us on here.


I´m with you on your thoughts of Hatfield. Things haven´t improved with age either. I used to live over towards the De Havilland site so I can simpathise with you when you say the Poly was a long way from the station. You could still hear the Deltics roaring through the station even from where I lived at night though! Maybe the sound carried along the old Hatfield – St. Albans line which ran parallel to our road?

According to my sister the Town Centre revamp is being looked at once again after the last plan fell through! I was back home last week coincidently and saw on the front of the local newspaper that it was the 10th anniversary of the Hatfield crash.


Back on RM3 I replied to your previous thread. I used to work at a place by the railway at Welham Green called Davall Gears. There used to be a siding worked by a private shunter called “London John†before the station was built. The siding was there when I worked there (1982-87) but it was out of use. I think somebody mentioned that you can still see the siding curving into the distribucion warehouse if you zoom in on Google Earth.


The key elements sound good to me. You could maybe incorporate the Lone Star factory as a backdrop on the multi track section between Hatfield and WGC. The place in Potters Bar adjacent to the golf course is more or less from where the photo was taken that Bachmann used of their class 105 before they had made their pre-production model I believe?


I can still remember the sidings in place at Hatfield goods yard with one continuing under the Red Lion bridge and somewhere I have a picture of me as a toddler with the lattice footbridge in the background.

If I find it I´ll send it to you.


Looking forward to your updates.


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  • 8 months later...

Things are finally starting to move slowly forward.


The loft space is ready - boarded, partly lined and lit. I have also been experimenting with baseboard construction options and have just built - in the last week or so - a couple of prototype styrofoam baseboards.Assuming all is good when I rig these up then I will have established the easiest method by which to build heat-proof, damp-proof and lightweight boards and I'll be able to really get stuck into it.


It was always going to be a long time coming........ and it will be a long time before it is anywhere near complete.


The current plan is to build the section from the storage area south of the station and most of the station itself. Then at least some trains can run providing extra motivation and some variety in terms of the work - for example there could then be anything from new baseboards to scenery underway on different sections.


I'm also contemplating whether I can build the viaduct out of styrofoam...!

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;) I've amended the trackplan a little bit since and there are now six tracks running to the North. The original I based the plan on was a 1948 copy or something so hence the complexity


I'll post some more the next time there is some progress to tell. It shouldn't be too long.........

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Just thought I would jump in and add another expat “wowâ€! This has certainly caught my attention and I will be adding it to the (now longish) list of layout topics which I regularly visit.


I guess there are a lot of expats on RMWeb because it is often hard to find like minded souls locally (assuming you are modeling the UK) and contact through the site is particularly helpful therefore.


Best of luck with the project, a lot of people will be cheering you on I am sure.





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As another Hatfield ex-pat (but only to Chesterfield via Harpenden) I'm looking forward to waht you make of this. Lived in Hatfield from 77 to 83,, when I was 7, so don't really remember it in its glory days. I did play on the ex St Albans Abbey line behing Crawford Road, where I lived, before it was prettied up as a footpath. I also said my first sentence on the footbridge at the south end 'one train gone, two trains come'!

Interesting to learn the name and history of the Wrestlers bridge, I used to cross this frequently as my mum had a firend who lived in the Ryde.

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Hi, just seen this for the first time. Another ECML location - brilliant! Are you aware of Peter Coster's new books about the ECML? Part 1, Kings Cross to Welwyn might I think have some useful information and plans for your project. Irwell Press are the publishers. I did consider Hatfield myself, along with about half the stations South of Doncaster before I settled on Peterborough North, but I didn't get down that far South much in the 50's on a 14 year old's pocket money, so in the end I stuck with what I remembered best.


Have you corresponded with "34 the letter bewteen A and D" on this forum. He has lived in and around Hatfield all his life, and is a rich source of information. He is also modelling Hatfield I believe. I have a large library relating to all things ECML, and I know how difficult it must be to get information when you live so far away from the prototype, so please feel free to PM me if there is anything you need to know, and I will happily look it up for you. In the meantime, the best of luck with the project, which I shall now follow with much interest.



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I think I saw an advert for these new books in RM ?


I might seek them out. I already have :

KX to Potters Bar Middleton Press

PB to Cambridge Middleton Press

The Harpenden to Hemel Hempstead Rly Oakwood Press not really relevant

The Hatfield Luton and Dunstable Rly Oakwood Press

Welwyn Railways Castlemead Publications


and the one that started it all off :


Great Northern Rly Engine Sheds Southern Area Irwell Press


Plus a copy of some pages from Oakwood Press #168 The Hatfield and St Albans Branch of the GNR


I never have managed to find a publication relevant to the Hertford Branch


More information is always useful though. Snippets of things sneak up on you- in the last RM letters page there was someone listing the records of a loco type count taken at Brookmans Park (where we used to live in the UK !!) in 1961 or something. Great info to consider when you are building up rolling stock



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Hi Kallaroonian.


Good to see your thread up and running again.

I found a couple of pictures from 1981 which I know is not your time period but you never know.

They aren´t great. The timing of pushing the camera button has shown up time and time again on my old pictures.


This view must be familiar to TallTim. It is taken from the western entrance of the Wrestlers bridge looking towards the Red Lion Bridge. Hatfield station is beyond the bridge.

The note on the back of the photo says that it is 55015 heading north on the 8th December 1981 at 14:03h. I have my doubts as it would have had white window surrounds at that time?

and 40168 from the same spot, obviously.






Interesting to note is the building nearest the bridge in the background. It is the offices of ADDO. I seem to remember a video of Tinsley hump yard and it was mentioned that the hole punching machinery was made by them?

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  • 1 month later...

There has been some progress with the initial baseboards – see here http://www.rmweb.co....__gopid__471183


I have also been running some gradient tests and it was a slightly sorry outcome. The tests were run with two of the boards providing a 3.7m running length and propped up to achieve different inclines. I then ran some traction tests using various available locos and a varying number of coaches.


Here's the little bloke with the old H&M Duette helping out :




The original layout plan called for a 15cm rise over about 8.5m which is a 1.8% gradient. I’ve now decided I need to revisit that because the results from the steam locos were fairly poor.


The following results show the number of carriages that the loco could pull up gradients of 1.8%, 1.5% and 1%. A small amount of wheel slip was allowable given that it depended how you drove the train but anything above minimal was considered a fail


30yr old Flying Scotsman : 5, 5, 6-

Bachmann 9F : 9-, X, X

Bachmann 08 : 6, 6, 8-

Hornby A3 White Knight : 6, 7-, 8-

Bachmann Cl20 : 9, X, X

Bachmann Deltic : 9+, X, X

Heljan Lion : 9+, X, X

Bachmann V2 : not tested, 6, 7-

30 yr old Airfix 31 : not tested, not tested, 9



A result like 7- indicates it just managed 7 coaches but the wheel slip was not really acceptable.


The goal was 8 coaches so the conclusion is that really the steam locos other than 9F can’t meet the goal. I thought White Knight was a distinct let-down.


So I am now expecting to design to a 1% gradient and make other arrangements regarding the reduced hand of God access for the storage areas


The other thing I will want to look at is weighting the steam locos. Has anyone tried this?

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  • 2 months later...

I thought it was time to post a couple of pictures of the limited progress to date. Well, it looks a little limited but there is actually a lot more work involved than appearances suggest.


This one is a view from the London end of the station :




And this one is a view from the North end looking back over where the station will be :




The above photo is also the location of the operators position. I'm quite pleased about that because I hadn't realised what a great view there would be down the length of the station.


The plan was to have something running by Christmas. I'm not sure how that will go at this point



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  • 3 months later...

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