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Modern Image Highburgh Central


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Modern Image Highburgh Central

Hi to everyone. Im keith and im new to the RMweb forums. A few months ago we moved house & I got a huge attic all to myself, which is the home to my new modern image 00 layout “Highburgh Central” and I decided to post on here how Im getting on.

As a bit of back ground I had a small layout when I was a kid & then grew out of it for about 25 yrs. Then after watching BBC Great British railway journeys with Michael Portillo i decided to dig out my old trains & track. My original 6x3 layout was made by my dad which i dismantled & a couple of years ago made into another baseboard layout 8x5 “Winterhope Junction”  which was modern image twin track but really too small for what I wanted. Last November we moved into a bigger house with boarded out attic which is to be its new home. I dismantled Winterhope junction which is now Highburgh Central. Hope I havnt bored you all too much so far lol.


Highburgh  Central will probably be a ongoing project for years to come as all layouts are . I have a lot of it done now but first had to wire sockets and lights into the attic, insulate it, then board the rafters before doing anything, As it stands now all the baseboards are constructed & most of the tracks laid, so all below is a bit of a catch up


Some info on the layout

It is modern image locos & rolling stock mostly newly bought, but i have a couple older locos from my early days – a Hornby class 37 with BR mk1 coaches and an BR intercity 225 DVT despite their age they both run great. Other locos to run will be DMU class 153 & 158 in Northern Rail and Scotrail liveries as i live in North England also a Bachmann Virgin Super Voyager. Class 08,37,58,66 in EWS and DRS liveries pulling various loads and the Hornby Orient Express.


I used to run trains in DC but now all apart from 2 are DCC which is so much easier. Some of the above locos have sound decoders fitted either manufacturer or after market, all sound great!!


The layout is 18 foot by 11 foot which runs around the edge of the attic. It will have 4 main lines running through the main large station Highburgh Central which is supposed to be a busy London type through/terminus station but with NR and SR DMUs lol.

From leaving the station throat the tracks split up to 2 higher level tracks & 2 ground level tracks. There are also be 2 other smaller stations Highburgh West and Winterhope East, there is a TMD & storage sidings which are all on the ground level lines. Also I am building a large town area which is set like a London suburb which will be raised up to the same level as the upper tracks but all the lines will run underneath it. At the other end there is are two viaducts over a valley which leads to a large hill & village & Winterhope station will be beside this. All of which are to be built. The layout will be easier to understand from the plan & numerous progress photos. 


As of now i have 2 ground level tracks built & running & partially built the high level tracks & inclines. There is so much to write but will leave it there for now. Lots of pics below & more updates to follow and in more detail as i get on with it. There are so many amazing inspirational layouts looking through the forum that i hope to live upto them.

Please feel free to comment either good or bad

Cheers Keith 











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Thanks guys. Took a long time to decide on the layout the one I've posted is the 4th revision. I've now completed one of the high level tracks. Looks good with long trains on it. Hope to get some photos uploaded over the weekend

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Looks good!

I like your 2 158s amd they are 2 models that I do really want and aim to purchase at some point in future but sods law is whenever I see one I'm skint! The Scotrail one is the AMRSS limited edition isn't it?


Will be following with interest as this layout looks promising!!

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Thanks for the comments guys. I like class 158s too, I couldn't decide on either the scotrail or northern rail so got both. Yes Th SR one is AMRSS. I've modified the NR One to include internal strip lights in each coach & installed DCC sound decoder from south west digital & sounds great. The last photo with them laying across the tracks the station in the photo will be home for both of them. There is so much to do but I think I might finish off the highburgh east station in the photo & leave off doing the 4th track for now


Cheers Keith

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Hi to all, another update today. Had decent weekend in loft 1st of all had a good tidy up of the layout sick of stuff lying everywhere. As i said in one of my previous posts ive completed the 1st of the 2 high level tracks. I finished the outer inclines which all trains climb easily apart from the INTERCITY 225 which struggles a bit. I think l ll modify it to give it a better motor. Has anyone done this before?

I have built the basic structure of the viaduct over the valley which is a timber frame with Metcalfe models red brick viaduct PVA glued to it. There is quite a lot to do with these before they are finished so i can remove them to work on them. The viaduct behind the wagon storage yard is chipboard with a couple of supports on it just for now. This will eventually be made with scalescenes viaduct kit glued onto hardboard with the arches cut out. 

i have changed the storage yard area slightly to include 2 extra sidings these will be underneath the viaduct but will have a tunnel entrance so it looks as though the tracks vanish off somewhere.

i next is the rail over road bridge & HIghburgh East station. I was going to buy the Hornby bridge but is only single track so i decide to build one. Again its chipboard frame with scalescenes dark random ashlar brick pattern paper stuck to it but in not sure i like it, looks so dark & purplely bricks?

The station building in the photo is the metcalfe large station building but as you can see this cuts across the track. So i will buy another one but cut it down so there are no building wings attached to fit the station. Im still undecided wether to build the 4th track or start on the Highburgh West station area detailing. It would be nice to start detailing at least one area. Then give you updates on this area as i procede.

Thats all for this post. comments as always welcome

cheers Keith



the 2 viaducts over the valley with winterhope east station 



another view of the viaduct with DRS class 66 out for a run



view of EWS TMD the lower main lines, storage sidings & EWS 66200 with HTA coal hoppers making a run



Highburgh West station area



Highburgh West station area



Highburgh West station area

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi to all another update on my progress, which has been a bit slow over the past few weeks. Ive been doing DIY at home putting up cornice in the hall and landing then painting all of the hall and landing walls and ceilings. A job i hate doing which i hope to get finished this weekend, plus as been like a sauna in the loft even with fans running. I might install a velux window next year to help with light and cooling.

I have decided to start work on a bit of scenery & detailing on the Highburgh West station area. but ive not got very far with it, as seen in the photos, using Scalescenes sheets ive glued down the road from the level crossing to the rail bridge and the car park in front of the station then to finish the area of. I then glued Scalescenes pavement sheets onto hardboard which is perfect height above the road for pavements. The station building i was going to use was going to be a modified Metcalfe Models main station building but i was in my local model shop on Friday getting a few detailing bits and the Bachmann station buffet, when i saw one of the Skaledale new station buildings- Butterley Station with waiting room. I had a look at it and is lovely detailed model so I bought it to use instead of the Metcalfe one. However its too big to sit where I wanted it to be. I tried it in a couple of different rotations as shown in the photos I don’t want to take it back so have altered the raised area slightly by cutting part of it away to accommodate the station. Unfortunately there is now no room to fit the two terraced houses in on the embankment. I am pleased with how its sitting so am gonna have to alter the car park a bit. Am not to keen on the station entrance facing onto the embankment wall but will get used to it.  Hopefully will have another update soon with platforms installed

Cheers keith




Station area with roads glued down




And pavements with metcalfe station in place




1st Position of Butterley station too big sitting across track 




2nd position of butterley station




Final position with part of embankment altered









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Just thought id just do another quick update. I had a good day in the loft yesterday and this morning. Since my last post ive fixed 3 of the retaining walls back to the raised area and made the 3 platform bases. They are just 15mm chipboard shaped and cut to follow the track. Ive also done a bit of track alteration to the station too. Originally the area beside the main through line was to be just an embankment leading down to the track. I then changed my mind and decided to have a disused platform at the end of the embankment which was to be fenced off and overgrown but still have the rails there but heavily rusted or possibly removed. Then i changed my mind again and decided to install an operational platform but one which has been added much later than the original station. So it will have a more modern feel- glass waiting area, red brick and tar platform instead of the ashlar brick and paved platforms of the main station area. I lifted part of the track to install a Peco medium point and flex track to follow the curve of the main line. I think adding this platform makes the station seem much bigger,  as a Northern Rail/ Scotrail terminus for smaller DMUs class 153, 156 158 etc. And leave Highburgh Central for the longer multi carriage trains. Next I’ll be shaping and cutting the platform tops and then covering platform bases and tops with Scalescenes kits.

Just to finish off today’s session i painted the area around the station with brown paint just cos i was sick of looking at bare baseboard, again which i think improves the area.

More updates soon


Cheers for now Keith   



platform bases in position



platform bases in position



station area with buildings in place and foreground painted


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  • 2 weeks later...

Its been a couple of weeks since my last update to the layout and I’ve done a bit of an alteration to Highburgh West station area. I covered the platform bases edge with Scalescenes ashlar paper which looked good but once I sat the station building on top of it it didn’t look right at all plus the dark ashlar for the retaining walls. So I’ve decided to change the brickwork. I found Scalescenes cream brick which I thought was a good match for the station building when I saw it, but printing it off it looks excellent. Just to break up the walls a bit I’ve added buttresses to the walls. However there is a section of retaining wall not completed behind the station building. This is because  i have to extend the wires for the high level area level crossing. I have altered the standard Hornby crossing so it has flashing led lights. So i need to extend the wires to each then push them through a hole in the ground level baseboard and to do this the retaining wall must be out.

 I’ve redone all the platform bases and the retaining walls in the cream brick and it makes the station look totally different, I’m very happy with the result. Ive finished and fitted most of the platform tops. The ones still yet to do are platform 4 (new platform) and where the station sits. It took ages to get each curve right, once done they were then covered in Scalescenes prints, again I’m pleased with the finished result.  I’ve done a bit of detailing work on platform 1, fitting advert boards, station name, and a bit of moss/ivy growing up the walls. There will be much more detail and scenery to add to the station which will probably take another couple of weeks.

At present there is no access from the station building to platforms 2 & 3 (island) and 4 (modern) this will be provided by footbridges. Either at the far end of the platforms or using Terry from Glebe Road Junction’s ideas of having the footbridge beside the road bridge which will pass over the top of the station. I really like that idea it looks so good, there is as a gap in the retailing wall for the bridge to slot into once complete.

More updates to follow soon

Cheers keith



platform area with new retaining wall



new retaining wall



station building with car park and retaining wall

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Thanks for the comments. I can't remember the site I got the station name boards from but will find them for you. They are great look really authentic. There is a topic about the same station boards on here somewhere.

I'll b finishing off Highburgh West station complete including the scenery although there isn't much in that area. A couple of embankments and ballasting and that's about it. Once that's complete I will have to finish off the viaducts and 4th track before scenery. So hopefully in a few months. I'm just not getting anytime in the loft due to doing other stuff which is frustrating. But will just keep plodding on

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just another small update today. ive still been working on Highburgh West station area and feel as though Im getting somewhere now with it. Since last update ive extended the wires for the raised level crossing so i could then complete the retaining wall as shown in the photos. Ive also finished off the platform top where the station building sits and finally started doing a small bit of scenery, which im chuffed to start doing. its only a bit of embankment next to the wall. ive used plaster to build it as i had a half bag left from plastering the hall. Then painted it brown for now ready for scatter, bushes and trees etc. and finish off the carpark. lm really pleased with how it looks so far. As we all know it takes ages to produce not a great deal lol.

Next update will probably be when its pretty much finished and detailed.




retaining wall and platform completed with embankment



retaining wall and platform completed with embankment and station in place



overview of Highburgh West station progress to date and CLASS 158 waiting to depart




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