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Newton Parcels

Mike W

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Hi all,


I've been looking forward to starting my own layout topic on RMWeb for a long time; my last layout was designed before I decided to exhibit (and before I knew what I really wanted in terms of operation) and consequently never made an appearance on here. It was very much a snazzy 'train set' sort of design, not that there is anything wrong with that, of course.


My new layout is designed for exhibitions and I feel a small amount of back story may help here. Having been inspired by the brilliant designs (and one OO layout in particular) of Hugh Flynn, I realised that I could design a layout that could realistically run nearly all of my stock on in a small space. My predominant interest is the 1980s, as that is what I travelled on as a child with my Dad and therefore HSTs and other longer expresses are a must for me.


Thanks to Hugh, I realised that you can very easily only have a power car and a coach or 2 'on scene' and then run them off again. Obvious in retrospect, but there we are....


Having designed a new layout I contact several professional baseboard/layout builders to make the board and possibly lay the track for me. My excuse, and I'm sticking to it, is that I tend to work very long days and I much prefer tinkering with stock than I do building layouts in my spare time.


However, after considering the financial aspect of such a purchase, I put in a cheeky bid and won the layout seen below on a well known internet based auction site:






Now, this isn't exactly what I was after, obviously. I was aiming for this, in code 55:




Still, hey ho, I couldn't pass up the price of the layout I have bought. I'm going to expand it into this:




The track as it stands is in code 80 electrofrog, so isn't quite setrack (which I wanted to get away from). The expanded sidings will be in code 55.


In order to run what I want, the theory is going to be that this is a small parcels depot which lies alongside a major station & BR maintenance depot (I like to think of it as being squeezed into Doncaster Yard West, except not location specific!). It has a small maintenance shed (Scenecraft, although I'm going to scratch build some of the other structures) which houses a shunter and is occasionally used for smaller exams when the main (off scene) depot is full. The depot quite happily uses the parcels station for storing stock, when needed. The extra 2 roads to be added will see HSTs and other trains being stabled outside the station, allowing me to give the illusion of longer trains.


Now the tricky bit! I'm going to try and make the main depot sign (the building of which will be low relief on the back scene) and any other signage detachable. Also, I'm hoping to come up with a system for detachable catenary and possibly third rail.


This will allow me to run the layout as any sector (NSE, Scotrail etc). Also, as well as my 80s stock, I have a small amount of late 60s hydraulic stock, which I want the layout to also cater for.


The name is something I've come up with, although Aberdeen Kirkhill may have put this into my head! I kind of think 'Kirkham' is a fairly generic name and could be anywhere in the UK? It sounds like it to me, at any rate. Any other generic name suggestions much appreciated and I reserve the right to change the name before the layout is exhibited!


Lastly, the layout is booked into 2 exhibitions next year, so I've only got a few months in which to build this! I've done another layout in less time but as with all layouts (?), you always hope this one will be better than the last.


Thanks for looking. Updates to follow, I have a busy winter ahead!


Edited 12/12/12 to change topic name

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I was immediately drawn to your topic as Kirkham is 2 miles from me situated on the Blackpool branch line. I had visions of long gone Speedlink and Enterprise workings to Salwick and ICI flows to Thornton.Even Mr B had a HST to Euston only a few years back- not worth the look in now apart from the odd ADEX to Blackpool. Have a Bing or a Google and you will find that there is only the one in the UK.Not that it matters for your layout.



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Hi Ian (Redgate),


Thanks again for the kind invitation for March. Work shall commence shortly, hopefully with some better quality pictures!


Hi Ian (CR),


Thanks for the info re Kirkham and apologies for drawing you to the thread unnecessarily; I thought of the name myself and then failed to search for it in Google, so will have a rethink. Coming up with generic sounding names is tricky!

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No problem no need for apologies - I am watching developments with interest...!


Long gave up calling layouts after "Street" "Lane" "Road" etc as it sent me daft thinking them up that sounded right - tend to call them after the subject matter if possible before they usually end up in the bin.



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  • 1 month later...

Right, some progress on the layout, at last!


After a hectic couple of months, I've laid the track & extra docking ports. This will be wired up and Mercontrol wire in tube added for point control this weekend, all being well. The delay was not unexpected; I've got plenty of time off work over Xmas so I'm hoping to get much of the layout done then (or at least the ballasting, track weathering & main depot building).






The above pictures give an example of what I'm trying to achieve with the new roads.


Lastly, the layout has been renamed 'Newton Parcels'; an N gauge layout called Kirkham already exists, my last layout was called 'Long Newton' and I figure that Newton (New Town) is pretty generic and will allow me to portray most regions.


More updates soon!

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  • 3 weeks later...

The new track has now been ballasted, ready for weathering. I wanted the 2 tracks to have different coloured ballast, to denote the work I have done to the layout. I'm going to have some serious weathering work to do to make the whole thing look cohesive but that's fine.




The main backscene building is going well;



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  • 3 weeks later...

The legs for the layout have now been picked up, and the baseboard given a better base coat for the scene I'm trying to represent.




The old code 80 track has now been weathered (although it needs a bit more work) and a few bits and bobs done, such as dummy point motor, cable trough, lever frame and depot floor. These do need a bit more work but I'm getting there.






The main layout building is also coming on. It is based on Bricklayers Arms parcels depot, in order to keep the parcels connection. It isn't a slavish recreation but I'm very happy with it. Since this picture was taken, it has had the vertical & horizontal concrete strips added and is nearly complete. I'll post more pictures when it is on the layout.  It is double the length shown in the picture below.




To show what this is based on, fellow RMWeb member bigherb has kindly allowed me to re-post his pictures of Bricklayers Arms on here and also to print them out for use on the layout, so many thanks to him for that, it is much appreciated. These pictures are what inspired me to go for this building.





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  • 2 weeks later...

More updates; all point motors are now done & working, with just the surface mounted one to put into place. This has to be surface mounted as the layout came without a hole drilled for this; it'll be hidden by the platform, mostly. Catenary has been added, the masts are on magnets so this can be removed easily to suit the stock, location & year being ran. The backscene has been added and the end board with low relief bridge to hide the fiddle entry is underway.




The backscene building of Bricklayers Arms is also nearly complete:




The last major job now is to get the platform built. Everything else is fairly small, thankfully, although there is still plenty to do. It'll be a busy 3 weeks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for the kind comments, much appreciated.


Another couple of photos, although these are from last week - much more has been done since then. I am hoping to have the layout scenically complete by next weekend, at which point I will take some better photos, I'd just prefer to spend my time working on the layout at this point!





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The layout is pretty much complete! There are a few finishing touches to do but most of the work is now done, after a very hectic few months. I'm very much looking forward to the Mansfield show this weekend, where it'll make it's exhibition debut. Please drop by and say hello!





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Nice to meet you today at Mansfield, layout looked brilliant. Thanks for chatting to myself and Iain at length about the ins and outs of it all, those cassettes are brilliant, very clever concept and execution!


It was nice to see both green stock on the layout in the morning and then blue stock in the afternoon, though I have to confess I do have a soft spot for blue era diesels! :)

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Hi Daniel,


No problem, it was nice to meet you and have a chat about the layout, I'm glad you liked it.


A very enjoyable weekend was had and the layout worked pretty well, considering it was it's first exhibition. The docking ports which I installed need a bit of fettling but apart from that, the layout ran brilliantly.


Thanks to all who stopped by and had a chat. It was great to meet some members from the forum as well.




Saturday was ran as 1988:




Sunday was split, so that my co-operator could run some of his green diesels in the morning (pictured), followed by my hydraulic stock as pictured in a previous post. It also gave us a chance to show how the layout changes for the era (by removing catenary & changing signage etc).



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I've only just stumbled across this layout - what a great use of space, and a great way of salvaging a "pre-owned" layout! 


I particularly like the LNER green class 47 thats visible in some of the pictures - is it a repaint of the large logo blue Farish release?

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Thanks for the kind comments!


The 47 was done using a large logo Farish 47535 as a base, then I sanded off the bodyside doors and used Electra vinyls and Shawplan plates to finish. It's a nice loco but I don't tend to run it often; I was running the layout in 1988 at Mansfield and didn't even take it with me! Funny you should mention it as I put it up for sale last night.


I'm hoping to start a workbench thread shortly, as this sort of stock modification work is what I get most enjoyment from, not building layouts.

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  • 7 months later...

A small update; the layout is out at our club exhibition at Retford in November so I've done some more work to it. The depot area in front of the backscene has had a Scalescenes concrete covering, a Scenecraft disused signal box (repainted & weathered) has been put on and some Ten Commandments low relief warehouse type buildings stuck behind the engine shed.


The next (last?) job is lighting.


Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures, I think I need a photography course!





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  • 1 month later...
  • 9 months later...
Just to prove it still exists! The layout went out to a charity event on Sunday and ran very well, which was good as it has been out of commission for about a year.


It is currently booked at Sheffield (October 2014), Barnsley (November 2014) & Scunthorpe Modern Image (May 2015), after which point I may well sell it and build something new.



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  • 4 months later...
Rightio, it's about time I brought things to a close as the layout has now sold.
It attended Barnsley & Sheffield shows in 2014 and had a booking for Scunthorpe Modern Image show this year (2015). However, I'm moving to Manchester for a new job, so I offered the layout for sale to Scunthorpe Modern Image Group and they have bought it. I'm hoping to go and see it at their show in May, although only for 1 day!
Here are 2 last pictures of it:






Am hoping to build a new layout in a year or 2, so watch this space!

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