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Well chaps, finally Dr Gerbil-Fritters has prised himself out of his armchair, and embarked on an actual physical model railroad.  This project is slightly delayed, by four months since the shed was erected on the wettest day in history culminating in the interior having to be stripped out and rebuilt, or by more than a decade, if you count the time from the axe falling on my previous railroad and the subsequent delay caused by fatherhood, career, building works, and so on.  Our house was falling down and had to be rebuilt.  Apparently that took precedent over building a model railroad....


So, welcome to my little slice of the American south-west in rainy olde Englande.  Any similarities between the colour of the shed and a certain much lamented fallen-flag are entirely intentional.  I drew the line at painting one end with scarlet speed whiskers though...


attachicon.gifshed 04.jpg


Since the shed in question is to be somewhere I spend a lot of time (avoiding gardening, allotment etc etc) I've been spending the past few days getting the inside trim and ready for the benchwork and baseboards to go in.


attachicon.gifshed 05.jpg


attachicon.gifshed 06.jpg


As the walls are to be the backscene, I've spent some time getting them smooth and well finished to provide a decent surface for a neutral sky background.  There will be a workbench across the end opposite the door, and the layout will be mounted high for a standing while operating viewpoint.  It's insulated, heated and well lit although I will add task lights where necessary.


The current plan is this one, kindly titivated from my lacklustre efforts by Chris Gilbert of this Parish.


attachicon.gifshed 07.jpg


So gentlemen, you can chortle along with me as I make mistake after cock up in my adventures in layout building.  I aim to get the benchwork in over Easter.


That's your first cheap laugh, right there.

Nice looking shed.  I'm currently sourcing one and your looks very nice.  I bet there's a few readers that will be green with envy.

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I bet there's a few readers that will be green with envy.


Ummm....yes. Perlman Green that is.


Doctor G-F,


I'd like to do the same thing one day. I look forward to seeing the progress. Can I inquire about what the shed sits on? Have you elevated it or weather-proofed it in some way to prevent standing water from getting under there?


Also, could I ask what are the specifics of the electrical side of your project. What did you put in? Did you seek professional help, etc?





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Hi Bill,


the shed sits on paving slabs on a bed of hardcore.  It also sits on bearers to elevate the floor off the ground. Theoretically water shouldn't get underneath, as it's properly drained but with the monsoons we've been having lately, anything is possible.


It's fairly sheltered by trees and I've got guttering up to take water away from the base.  


The electrics were put in by a professional. The installation is slightly complicated (and more expensive) by being almost 150 feet from the main fuse box in the garage.  I had to have a new fuse board, a couple of hundred feet of 15mm armoured cable, and a standard consumer unit actually in the shed. The size of cable was dictated by the potential power drop over the distance plus the likely combination of tools, trains and heating that might occur.  I have built in ample surplus for my potential needs.  It drives four double sockets, lighting is four daylight fluorescent tubes.  I may need more for photography, but it's surprisingly bright and clean for normal viewing.


I'm about halfway through painting the walls and roof white, and sealing all the panel lines and flaws.  Easier to do that now before the layout goes in, and my old railroad in the garage had no backdrop as I built the layou in a hurry, and couldn't install one later!


I may put down a laminate floor for a cleaner environment although the current floor is ok while the main fitting out continues.  

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As the space isn't big enough for what I really want to do in HO, I thought I might go O scale industrial instead :)

If I change it will be to O gauge.  Not industrial but a short line interchange with a main line.  A line running from the shed into the garden is on the cards so O would be good. 



I think I need to give myself a good talking to....................

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As the space isn't big enough for what I really want to do in HO


I did wonder how you were going to fit 100-car stackers into that! Looking forward to watching the progress.

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As the space isn't big enough for what I really want to do in HO, I thought I might go O scale industrial instead :)

And here I was thinking that you might go P:87 instead!!! :jester: :jester: :jester:

Seriously matey, I'm glad you've got your haven of railway delights ready to go and I'll be sure to watch your progress.

All the best,

John E.

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Thanks for all the encouraging words, chaps.  I hope I don't keep you all waiting too long, and that my efforts don't disappoint.


It's certainly going to be 'a journey', to paraphrase garbage tv.  My problem is I have so many conflicting desires for a model railroad, and I've never resolved them satisfactorily in the past.  In fact, in the last days of my former garage based-layout I could have given a certain Mr Coachmann of this parish a run for his money in the laying and relaying stakes!


The short term aim is to build the shelf-switcher above, in Peco code 83 to get something running relatively quickly, to have a go at prototypical ops, and then see what develops.  


I have an interest in a Scottish BLT like Ben Alder's Far North Line, an O scale colliery/sand/something heavy industrial layout like PGH's and a OO scale banger blue mineral line based on Wirksworth.


They won't all fit, that's for sure.  So I will build first what I have the stock and track for.


It's been a long time since I turned the rotary knob on my old H&M Duette... I bet it still works, built to last those things.

Edited by Dr Gerbil-Fritters
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Dear Dr,


Is now the time to mention you literally just missed an already-P48-converted Atlas SW9/1200 on eBay.com, ended up going for around US$250 IIRC...???


Happy Modelling,
Aim to Improve,
Prof Klyzlr


PS OMG, there's another one just popped up!?!?!?!?!


(check the seller's other items too!)

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Hi Dr G-F,

There's a great bunch of US 2-rail 0 scalers in the NW UK, centred on Morecambe, Preston & Llanbedr, I'm sure there's some around Birmingham and around the SW UK too and probably more that I don't know of. Plus of course, F-unit (Jordan) & Jason Dickie on here!

I dipped my toe in the water too but find that I can't chop & change in 0 scale, like I tend to in H0!


John E.

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