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"Somewhere in east Dorset"


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Although I've lived in Poole since I was 18 months old in 1935, I've never fancied doing a layout of Poole, I've done Bournemouth West 1950s in a loft layout, N gauge, almost to scale, just pruned the carriage sidings, then got made redundant and had to move house. I also made a start on Broadstone, but had to move it out to the garage when the spare bedroom was commandeered.  It lay there for some time then got dismantled further. I'm still working in N gauge, now back to mid 1930s, (pre Bulleid) and a terminus under construction in a bay window, (now that I'm a widower I can build what and where I want!)


I started N gauge in 1974, wouldn't go back to 0rribly 0versize now. The bay window layout is "somewhere in east Dorset";  just to whet the appetite, a few locos not normally found in N gauge, Nelsons, H15, A12, K10 and various kit bashed S15s and N15s.


Why 1930s you may ask: I did a lot of spotting in the 1940s from the class rooms of the original Poole Grammar school, which was where Seldown Bridge is now. So I knew most of the ex LSWR and SR locos that frequented the area, I never liked Malachite, and wartime black and grime didn't appeal so hence 1930s and Maunsell olive. I wanted a terminus, Bomo west needed more space than I had, plus at 79 I'd probably not be able to work on it as much as in former years.


I've been working on it since September 2010, as with any layout, it has developed from the original plan and quite a few major changes made. The original plan was a sort of folded terminus to fiddle, starting from the fiddle low level right followed a semicircle at that level then started to climb ("the back straight") passed over the exit from the fiddle into initially a 2 road terminus with a third road in the centre for a runround from either platform, that got extended by two more roads and a line came off the back straight before it started to climb and completed a circle joining back near the fiddle exit (just for test running and running in you understand!) :whistle:


Pics to follow, bed calls!

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Main construction engineers  Bodgem & Fudgit,  Loco and carriage works by Hackem and Scratchit, Financial advisers Yubin, Dunne & Co

In September 2010 I was left with one spare bedroom stacked with unwanted furniture, so after rearranging it I managed to clear space by the bay window; some cheap kitchen units from B&Q  a 1000 twin cupboard a 300 drawer unit and a 300 cupboard fitted in nicely (and provided somewhere for the tools and other bits and pieces needed for a layout. over the top of these units one of those pieces of furniture, a wardrobe, was dismantled and fitted over the units and to the walls.



melamine faced chipboard is not a common item in layout building, however it provides good support for 4'x2'x 2" thick insulation  sheets



Dimensions: across the centre window 4', width of main part 40"  (determined by how far I can comfortably reach)  At both ends I have angled out as can be seen in the above pic.

The basic "plan of action" is to have the best of both worlds, a terminus to fiddle yard and a roundy roundy. The roundy is on the base level roughly marked out in the pic; the fiddle yard is also on the base level at the right hand end; coming out of the fiddle yard ne can either go roundy or take the single line which runs outside the oval and climbs to cross the end of the fiddle yard on its way to the terminus at "high" level on the left.


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The setting is "somewhere in the Isle of Purbeck peninsular" in the mid 1930s (pre Bulleid, so no spam cans nor malachite green)  Mostly Southern Railway stock but some LMS via the Somerset and Dorset. Typical of SR practice trains of 12 coaches or so would leave Waterloo and split off portions en route, example trains from W'loo to Bournemouth, Swanage and Weymouth would split first at Bournemouth Central, 6 coaches to Bournemouth West the remaining 6 continue to Wareham where 2 coaches detach for Swanage, the remaining 4 going to Dorchester and Weymouth. This means that a 6 coach express into or out of a terminus is prototypical, at some point it will join with other portions. The Atlantic coast Express was the ultimate example of this multiple destinations, it could split into portions for Plymouth, Padstow, Bude Torrington and Ilfracombe.

First track plan, track laid on cork cut from flooring tiles, & held by double sided tape and pins, all Peco code 55.




The fiddle yard has 3 roads plus a cassette with a turntable at the end; scenario being train arrives, loco goes to TT, and from there to storage roads or if required  can run round its train and rejoin ready to depart; the cassette is used for once a day trains, e.g the Purbeck Belle, or a portion of the Pines Express. The cassettes are metre lengths of plastic trunking, just wide enough for loco and train.


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 A few track changes in October 2010, two more platform roads after extending the high level outwards a bit, tracks from Right to left; two new plarform roads for local traffic, will take 3 coaches, 1 van and loco, next 3 are the main platforms with a central run round/loco release,  will take 6 coaches plus van plus loco, the centre road has a 3 way point the inner end of the road is for parking a gas tanker for replenishing catering vehicles or any vehicles retaining gas lighting   point control by wire in tube, the hands on end of the wire being connected to a slide switch which can be used for switching frog etc.




Note the control for the crossover in the locla platforms, both points operate from one control, by means of cranks, this is now hidden under the platform The slide switches are mounted on 25mm plastic angle (8' lengths from DIY stores)


A view I don't usually see much of, the entrance to the fiddle yard, the scissors crossover is also operated by wire in tube, two controls burrow down from the upper level through the 2" foam  for the 4 points, same for the two further points.the lines going under the bridge the right hand one goes to the cassette, the other 3  normal fiddle lines.


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On now to April 2011, back scene appears, had to put it up early on in the work, otherwise other things might get knocked about if left till more scenery appeared.



Next thought was "how do they get to the station? Into construction mode, Bodgem and Fudgit to the fore, we needs a bridge.




Using some 12mm angle this time as support and also side walls, bed from thick card, could just as easily use ply or plastic sheet

Tarmac? belt sander roll of finest grit, less joins, use it for roads, platform surfaces,






Bridge and retaining walls covered in downloaded stone texture printed onto A4 self adhesive label stock, road surface painted, grey emulsion match pot from Homebase, pavement Scalescenes paving also printed to label stock.


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September 2011 now, and Station buildings plonked down, part Scalescene, part scratch




Back walls and canopy made from 25mm angle



Score as shown then open out the angle to get a sloping canopy, add stone, brick or timber texture printed on label stock, sprinkle with adverts printed on - you guessed it - label stock again! finally add etched brass valance.




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  Mostly Southern Railway stock but some LMS via the Somerset and Dorset. 



You do know that LMS 2P 4-4-0's, and 'Armstrong' 0-6-0's worked thro' to Swanage ( and Weymouth) off the S&D on occasions between WW1 & WW2.

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You do know that LMS 2P 4-4-0's, and 'Armstrong' 0-6-0's worked thro' to Swanage ( and Weymouth) off the S&D on occasions between WW1 & WW2.


Yep, one of the reasons I've chosen this end of Dorset for most of my layouts over the years, with the lack of RTR or kit SR outline stock the ability to Justify some LMS stock is a big help, although in recent years SR stock availabilty has increased a bit..


I have the Union Mills 2P, 3F, and the Farish 4F, I note from reading some S&D history that they did try Midland Compounds too, so a Farish 4P is a possible (after a bit of attention, maybe a Union Mills tender drive to improve haulage capacity) The other S&D loco will be a 7F, the N gauge kit is being rereleased in September at TINGS.  My "cut off date" is end of 1937 to avoid Bulleid's work, so that precludes use of a Black 5.

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Missed a few pics, got a bit out of step, wind back the clock to April 2011, some scenery started to appear at the other end
Fiddle yard got concealed, some chinese trees and a Peco fence, the hedge is unravelled and cut up tree, added scatter on both the trees and the hedge, put some scatter in a plastic freezer bag, spray tree with adhesive drop in bag and shake well!


Access to fiddle yard, lift away portion, join hidden by hedge


Then planted a cottage in May


Cottage is one of those cast plaster ones, repainted, more bits of tree cut up for garden plants, peco fencing and belt sander driveway




The long view, new bit of road turning off from the bridge, detachable to give access to point controls



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Just to prove I do have some locos and stock icon_rolleyes.gif

Ex LSWR class 700 0-6-0 (Union Mills) with a trip freight (or pick up goods if you prefer)


Ex LSWR Adams A12 class 0-4-2 (scratch built, Union Mills tender drive) on a van train



Ex LSWR class M7 0-4-4T (Dapol) on push-pull local (2 Farish suburbans shortened to 50 footers with driving cab.


Ex LSWR T9 (hacked Union Mills, cab sides and splashers milled 1mm off each side coupling rod splashers added to give narrow cab version Langley S15  watercart tender body on Fleischmann 7161 drive)  with a van and 3 coach local



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A  bit of detail if needed to clarify some bits.

The switches used with the wire in tube, Sw on left has one wire, that on right has 2 wires for points to be operated together, the tube is plain plastic, the wire is piano wire, can be a pig to cut and bend!



The early layout plan since extended




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Not much happened on the layout in 2012, but a considerable amount of time at the work bench and the computer; the work bench saw some hacking and kit bashing, the computer saw time spent on downloaded buildings and textures and also artwork for printing vinyl Maunsell coach sides.

I do tend to work in spells, a few weeks fairly concentrated on the work bench, then a few weeks on the layout, the computer probably gets the majority of my time,  5 Railway forums (3 model, 2 full size), 2 photo forums, a music forum and a gardening forum and a few other regular daily items. 

I spend time taking and processing photos, I also play around with a virtual pipe organ app.

The workbench projects last year will get a separate thread, when I get one of them round tewitts.

Back to the January 2013  layout changes, partly brought about by  problems trying to figure how to mount motors to drive Peco turntables set in 2" of insulation foam, also the likely problems sorting how to index the movements to get correct line up, so the TT on the high level got ripped out, the high level area slightly increased to allow the track to be relaid with a triangle for turning, at the same time the goods yard shrank as did the number of shed roads, however a second shed appeared for the S&D traffic, and ramp to a coaling facility. Some of the buildings made on the bench were also scattered about to decide eventual positioning.

So Jan 25th it looked like this, maybe a bit cramped, road bridge partly realigned




From a different angle, to see the amount of extension, compare to the pics on posts 4 & 6 of this thread; the B4 tank brings 2 empty coal wagons down from the coaling ramp



This may give a better idea of how cramped it is: note Adams A12 class 0-4-2 with milk tanks, and T9 120 pulling out a bogie luggage van, a 700 on shed, an M7 and a K10 in what's left of the yard, and Camelot an N15 in the background. The 2 road shed is Metcalfe, the single road is Peco with a Metcalfe office  on the side almost covering a point motor



A better view of the B4, another 700 awaiting coaling and an 0395 on the triangle



Another view Feb 1st without the loco population and with a couple more buildings hiding point motors


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Bringing it up to April, not much change, buildings still plonked not planted, with one exception, but some ballast and painting done, so not much bare cork or plaster now.

Overall view,

Closer view of  shed and station area; Metcalfe row of cottages and sheds positioned, need a wall between them and the railway property. Main road needs footpaths in front of the small shops on right of pic and off down the hill behind them, wall or fence down nearside of the same bit of road, maybe paint or otherwise disguise the concrete sleepers, looks odd to me.


One new cottage planted, still need to blend in the scatter, else erect a "garden fence". I often curse photos, the camera always sees the errors and faults, this pic shows up two patches of white behind the cottages where the hill side meets the backscene.



An H15on the Purbeck Belle tops the gradient (OK so I missed getting the front bogie on the rails)



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In May, the Atlas turntable I ordered back in March was still on order, found out later that Atlas seem to be having a problem; so as there had been a few changes in the furniture, I had an old double bed to dispose of, bin men wouldn't take it - they now have cameras in the wagon so can't get away with things like they used to- so I dismantled the bed took parts of it down to the tip, but decided to keep the drawers and used some of the salvaged timber to house them in the "railway room". This led to the decision to extend the layout along the side wall of the room, as a result - this




became this




which led to this








The Peco T/T is plonked where the Atlas will go, I finally won one on that auction site


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No sooner had I got that laid and tested, the thought came why not modify the little bit of roundy roundy and bring it across to make a much bigger roundy roundy summat like this



Proposed new track in black, redundant track to be removed in red.


Work in progress




repairing (some of) the ravages of Bodgem & Fudgeit,





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On to June and some more buildings starting to appear, the School buildings (ebay)  more or less in their original position but the council offices have relocated and the space now occupied by a factory (slightly hacked Metcalfe) a part finished Metcalfe corner shop and hacked pub and a pair of Metcalfe semis




From the other side!




The shop and pub completed






The semis being "sceniced" on the bench, it's a lift out section to give access to the track under it, plus I couldn't work on it so easily in situ - oh me back!





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Another great demonstration of how much railway you get using 2mm scale.  I am again tempted to abandon 4 mm but I fear I have too much time and resources invested in it to make the break.  Keep up the good work.


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