Jump to content


Moggs Eye

Recommended Posts

After many false starts I have finally started making some substantial progress on my new layout, Emsworth.

It's about time too, it's promised at Spalding in 2015 - no pressure.

Emsworth is going to work out at about 16' long and 46" wide (based on the spare wardrobe door that forms the main scenic board). There is a fiddle yard at each end and a station in the middle with a small EWS servicing point running alongside. Track is C&L Finescale with Peco code 75 points, don't tut, it will look okay once it's ballested and painted, while the power will come from my trusty Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance system.

Emsworth is a largeish town in former Midland Railway territory somewhere around the boundary between South and West Yorkshire. The station has three platforms, an island and a bay off to one side. The station buildings sit on an overbridge. The up and down main lines are rationalised into a single line just past the station while a similarly reduced branch line trundles southwards, probably in the Sheffield direction.

The single road servicing point, Bachmann, has a fuelling point to one side and can be accessed from either end. There will be a single road wagon servicing shed on the second scenic board.

Emsworth will have a mix of modern and steam age buildings which should give a flavour of the Midland Railway heritage while Northern Trains units and EWS locos provide the movement.


This is looking across the station throat. The unit is on the Up Main and passing under the old Midland signal box which has been recently fitted with UPVC windows and had its lever frame replaced by a panel.

The track behind the signal box will be the bay platform and the island platform fits between the track with the unit on and the one behind the servicing shed.

Don't be fooled by the modified Metcalf building on the bridge, the station building sitting up there will be a modern structure formed from a modified Peco office buildings kit.


This is looking along the station site. From left to right the tracks are: Platform 3(bay), Platform 2, Platform 1, servicing road and fuelling road. The pair of 66s are sitting in a siding and the access to the servciing point is alongside that siding. The scenic break at that end will be a single line railway bridge that may be a modern tram line or a freight branch.

Electrically, the layout is fully operational and the scenic work will progress once I've finsihed building the paltforms and other civil engineering so it all looks properly bedded in to the ballast/clutter.

Woodworking experts will spot that the board is an old wardrobe door. Anybody who knows me will understand that this represents the limit of my carpentry skills. It looks rough, but my current layout, Cottleston, is built on similar foundations and has survived many exhibtions and too much rough handling with no problems.

More pictures and updates will follow as I get on with construction.





  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Will be following your project as it looks interesting with it's nice combination of old "retro" steam age buildings and new DMU's seen together as you would still find at many places to this day.



Edited by sammyboy
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I know a November 2015 deadline will seem an ice age away to some of you prolific modellers, but spurred on by the thought of not letting Mr Dickerson at Spalding down Emsworth has become priority for any spare time I can free up.

The main effort over the last few weeks has been the platforms - sheet styrene structures faced with Slaters stone. That was the easy bit, sorting out the surface was much harder as I've never built curved platforms before and my limited cutting ut skills prefer straight lines. Initially I'd intended to use fine wet and dry paper painted a faded tarmac colour. I started with the main island platform, but it looked pants and after the trouble I'd spent weathering the stonework I decided to rip it up and start again. Happily this left a distressed surface which after painting and weathering looks more like faded, worn tarmac that the wet and dry. I used Slaters roof tiles as the bay platform surface, forming the curves was awakward and needed filler in places, but now painted and weathered it looks like bedded in block paving.

The edging stones are formed from more strips of styrene, I thought about cutting each slab individually, but bottled that and scored the strips instead. The textured strip, to warn blind or partially sighted people that they're approching the platform edge I made from Evergreen styrene sheeting embossed with rivets. It's overscale, but looks the part.

Completion of the platforms meant I could attach the bay platform buildings.


This is inspired the up side building still standing at Bakewell on the long closed Midand Route from Matlock to Chinley. The boarded up apertures are the old Waiting Room on the left and gents' toilet on the right. Looking at pictures of the structure I was impressed by the deeper, darker weathering above where the saw tooth canopies, I think that's what they called them, would have been.

Progress means that these facilities have been replaced by a Scaledale bus shelter.


While discussing the backscene with Ms A, she (rather seasonally) suggested the one shown in the picture below. It does have a certain something, I suppose!



The concrete apron around the servicing point is under construction, 2mm mounting card, along with a safe walking route to the signal box. I haven't come up with a name for the box yet, but St Vincent Junction is looking good at the moment - named after the last ship Ms A served on in her previous life in the Navy. That means the Scalescenes low relief flats in the background in the picture below will probably become St VIncent House. It's the first of their kits I've tried I have to say it went together well, makes a very sturdy structure and looks much better than I'd expected. I have some Ten Commandments sattelite dishes and some figures to add a little life to it.


The signal box itself is inspired by the one that once stood at Matlock and is a cut and shut of two Ratio kits on a strip wood chassis. It's a little too tall I think, clearly the Midland Railway engineers were looking forward to OHLE. As I bottled making the poit rodding and signal wire runs that should have run down the front of the box's supports there is a panel instead of a lever frame and the charming Midland Railway windows have been replaced with ugly UPVc.

The three signals are all Traintronics 2 aspect colour lights. A third aspect isn't needed as they all control access into a single line section and the notional next signal in advance is some distance away.


The latest work is constructing the bridges that form the scenic breaks, but I've started wasting time by posing varius bits of rolling stock around the station.



  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I like your station building, It's very reminiscent of Bakewell up platform.


You might recognise these...






Looking forward to seeing your progress.



Thanks Al,

Bakewell was indeed the inspiration and I got the measurements from "Through Limestone Hills", which I'm sure you'll have a copy of. I'm a former Rowsley boy and while I currently live in deepest GNR territory I still have a fondness for the Midland.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Progress is steady, if a little slow, and has been concentrating on the station bridge and station buildings themselves. I thought that picking out the steelwork in crimson and cream would add a nice Midland Railway touch, but painting it drove me mad over a succession of evenings.

Having spoken to the enthusiastic salesteam from Online Models and had a good look at the new range of Berko square top coour light signals at the recent Lincoln exhibition, I think I'm going to replace my current signals with them. They have a more propotionate look and less light bleed from the LEDs. More expense!



This is a shot of the populated platform 3. Most of the people are waiting for a local train to Wakefield, though there may be some delay. Majority of the figures are from the excellent Dart Castings range.



This is a view of the ongoing work on the station bridge. The next job is to start work on weathering the road surface and pavements with some signs to add to the station building to finish it off. You may be pleased to know that there is still a staffed ticket office at Emsworth (the left set of double doors) while the red door leads to a science fiction specialist bookshop and the double doors to the right are where you can buy a coffee to compliment your new book while you're bouncing along on that Pacer to Wakefield.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

After the number of skinned knuckles I got digging rock hard ballast out during various additions and alterations to my last layout I am determined that once the ballast goes down on Emsworth there should be no need to dig any of it up to add scenery or detail. The list of things to add to the baseboard seemed endless; cable trunking, bases for relay boxes and point motors, safe walking routes, the signalbox toilet, not to mention substantial structures like the station road bridge and piers for the western scenic break.

I am pleased to report that I am almost ready to start the ballasting.


This should be the last view of the bare boards.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites


The new Berko signals have been painted and installed. They do look better than the Traintronics products and there is less light bleed around the LEDs, and while they do cost more I think they are worth it. At the moment they are missing their identification plates, but that can wait awhile.


Looking along the approach road to the servicing shed, the class 60 is sitting on the fuelling point. It was the first loco to move around Emsworth under its own power for a considerable time and I'm pleased to report that there were no problems. Then I tried an 08 which didn't like the inlaid track leading to the servicing shed. After a lot of fettling it's all good now, but the paint on the concrete apron needs touching up. I probably should have thought about that ages ago.


Finally for now a view along the station bridge to show the fun I've been having with the road markings. Horrible job - the council are welcome to it. Once the station building and Belisha beacons are glued down and wired in the bridge can be fixed to he board and the ballasting can begin. Thanks to all the pictures of Knottingly Depot that are appearing elsewhere on this forum I have an idea of how I want the shed area to look.

Then I keep remembering there is another scenic board, and the back scenes, and the lighting, the fascias and a big Emsworth sign!

Hey ho, back to work.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

One last thing...

I'm giving so idle thought time over to operating the layout.

Cottleston runs to a sequence at exhibitions, very successfully, and I'm of a mind to have one for Emsworth. However, while this will be oaky for the main line I'm not sure that it will be much good for the servicing point. The two parts of the layout are not physically connected so I think I can get away with two operating systems.

I don't just want to have one of the operators shuttling locos backwards and forwards when it suits them, they'll enjoy a bit more of a challenge than that so I was thinking of some kind of audience participation where something random, like the roll of a dice, generates the movements around the servicing point. I think that has the potential for some conundrums to keep them and the audience amused.

If anyone has any thoughts, or experiences (painful or otherwise) let me know.



Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Progress is good at the moment, but there hasn't been time for much in the way of pictures - apologies for these, they were taken on my mobile phone this evening in the garage.










I'm looking forward to getting the thing set up at Spalding next month, I may have even learnt how to work my new Kadee couplers by then.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

The controllers were connected up this evening and the first trains ran under their own power for some time. Some fettling was needed across some of the points, but overall it's positive - all lines and sidings worked. I'm working with Kadee couplers now, thanks to P and H Models for their excellent service and Mr Graham Morfoot for his advice, to keep shunting in the wagon works hands free. Thanks to Graham letting my youngest lad operate his Peat railway at the Boston show the weekend before last he knows more about it than I do. 

The problem now is that with the track being live the temptation to run trains rather than actually building the thing is almost overwhelming - not to mention the urge to pose them for more pictures so tomorrow the locos will get packed away again so I can get on.

The main jobs left are to wire up all the building lights, finish glueing the buildings down and then the last of the ballasting and weeding - planting and not pulling them! Then there is the main back scene to attach before my Head Operator and timetable comes over for his route learning session. We'll be organising an operating sequence ready for the show.

Here are some more pictures from this evening - apologies again for the mobile phone quality.



A first view from the bridge towards the wagon repair depot. The newly installed back scene represents the Sebastian Beach Shopping Centre which has been extended across Emsworth Station to conceal the Down Fiddle Yard. If I keep the surface mounted magnets for the Kadees they'll be disguised with some bridgeworks to suggest a stream running underneath.



Looking back towards the main board there is the other side of the road bridge.



At the other end of the layout this bridge is the scenic break to the Up Fiddle Yard. It's a single line railway bridge which is awaiting ballast at the moment. 




Looking towards the station 60040 is sitting at the refuelling point while 08847 is inside the shed and a Northern class 142 is drawing into platform 2 under St Vincent Junction signalbox.



Finally looking away from the buffer stops of platform 3, the platform 2 starter is off and showing a feather meaning the road is set for the branch for that Pacer.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...