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Furnace Way Sidings


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The idea for my new layout came along after reading an article in the June 2013 Rail Express which featured small wagon repair depots.


The lead photo showed such a small C&W facility at Blyth Cambois. Although I'd visited the small TMD at Cambois, I wasn't aware of the facility which consisted of some hard-standing next to a siding along with a few wagon storage sidings.


The article also showed a modern compact WRD, including loco fueling, at Tees Yard, built by EWS in 2013. This looked good for a small layout.


When trying to come up with a suitable track plan, I also remembered a great layout - Duncreivie Sidings, which featured EWS coal trains in a small space

by displaying only a couple of HTA coal hoppers.


After some time I came up with this plan which combines the Duncreivie Sidings idea with a couple of sidings at the front for wagon repair or short ballast trains.


A lot to ask in 9ft x 15ins (including fiddle yard)!





I'll post some progress pics later.



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Building the layout has followed my tried and tested methods using 3x1 timber topped with 12mm MDF. 3mm cork tiles are glued on top of the MDF.


The main reason for the cork is to allow track to be temporarily pinned, re-positioned, then it will be finally glued down.


With all the track now cut and pinned this is how it looks. I may make a few minor adjustments.


For the first time ever on one of my small layouts I have had the luxury of using 2 large radius points. The other 2 points in the fiddle yard are medium radius.


First pic shows an EWS coal train viewed from the roadbridge (when built)






Second pic shows the 2 sidings at the front of the layout






Next, I'll give an explanation regarding the layout name and it's significance relating to layout operations.



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Having finalised the layout plan, I needed a suitable location and a reason for the run-around for coal trains. Duncrievie Sidings had used reception sidings for a coal loading adjacent to a mine.


I remembered a location on my local line, the Blyth & Tyne, where trains heading north to access the ECML were required to reverse - Furnace Way sidings at Bedlington,Northumberland. Trains entered the sidings and used the run around loop to reverse and head back to Bedlington Junction taking the line to Morpeth and the ECML.


This pic from 1999 shows a pair of 37s, having run around in Furnace Way Sidings, awaiting departure with the North Blyth - Fort William Alcan tanks.





From my research it would appear that the sidings were used by EWS until 2010 when Gbrf took over the running of Alcan trains.


The site is now derelict. This pic, taken recently, shows the crossover and entrance to the sidings.





The next pic taken recently at Bedlington Junction shows the line (on the right) which heads north to Morpeth and the ECML






I have been unable to find any pics of EWS coal trains using the sidings although I believe trains ran from opencast mines in Northumberland to Lynemouth Power Station. If anyone has any info, I would be most grateful.



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This week I've made good progress, gluing down the track and wiring the layout.


Always a relief when you start up a loco and it runs nice and smoothly!


Like all my previous layouts Furnace Way Sidings is located against the wall of a small bedroom and sits on top of some IKEA units, which provides a neat










Next I'll be painting and ballasting the track.


Here's a pic from 1999. 37709 has just left F W Sidings, having completed it's run around move, with the North Blyth - Fort William Alcan tanks and is heading north towards Morpeth and the ECML.


Today it's still possible to catch Alcan trains at this location, which is largely unchanged.




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Track painted and ballasted this week. The scenic area is only 5ft 6ins x 15 ins.











Weeds are already starting to grow around the buffer stops! I'll be adding grass and weeds later, aiming for the 'Tyne Yard look'.(below)


Note the Bachmann track worker in this pic!




The nice thing about modelling the current railway scene is being able to go out and observe lineside details. A five minute walk from my home brings me to this rather pleasant location for trainwatching.





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Thanks Tom and all those who have commented favourably on the layout.


This week I've started building the road overbridge, I'll post some pics later in the week.


Hopefully the view from the bridge will be something like this!




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This is how the view from the bridge looks today.






The bridge has been scratchbuilt entirely from Wills materials and has been given a base coat of dark grey acrylic from a Humbrol spray can.


Quite pleased with the results, a nice even matt finish. I'll pick out colours and weather the bridge later.









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I've started weathering the bridge. I prefer to do this a little at a time having messed up too many projects in the past with over zealous weathering!


I've also started to add a little background greenery, bushes and trees will be added later.








As I mentioned earlier in the thread after EWS lost the Alcan contract in 2010, Furnace Way sidings ceased to be used for reversals.


Since then, trains have had to travel a few miles further south to Newsham and then return north to Bedlington Junction. These pics show a Gbrf Alcan train reversing at Newsham.







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Looking good.......

What will really set the location would be a half relief " angel of t' north "


I visited Tyne yard when I was working at Byker grove international airport, there wasn't much action in those days

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Looking good.......

What will really set the location would be a half relief " angel of t' north "


I visited Tyne yard when I was working at Byker grove international airport, there wasn't much action in those days


Thanks. The layout is actually located about 20 miles north of Tyne Yard on the Blyth & Tyne freight line. However, I've visited Tyne Yard a few times in recent months to get some reference pics. The yard is busy now since Network Rail starting using it as a base for engineering workings.




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My local freebie newspaper has just reminded me that Sunday 2nd November will be exactly 50 years since passenger services ceased on the Blyth & Tyne.


A sad day, indeed. Even sadder, I can remember the occasion vividly!


In the 60s, Bedlington Junction was a much busier place than today. In this pic note the J27 waiting on the line from Morpeth (ECML) to join the B&T main line where a 4MT & Q6 are heading towards Ashington.






The platform at Bedlington still remains albeit in a rather ruined state.






By co-incidence the latest issue of 'Freightmaster' #75 has a special location feature on the B&T and other locations in the North East.


Superb pics and also includes the freight timetable for Bedlingtion.



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Over the weekend, I've been working on the scenics, adding static grass and grass tufts for ground cover.


Sea moss trees covered with Woodland Scenics coarse turf and Noch leaves have also been added.


The pics show up a few gaps in the tree line, so I'll add more sea moss later.









Not forgetting the Tyne Yard inspired view from the bridge.







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I've filled in the gaps between the trees with more sea moss and I'm reasonably happy with the results.










New addition to the Class 66 fleet is Gbrf 66731 which will be used on North Blyth - Fort William Alcan trains.


I'll lightly weather the loco later, most Gbrf 66s I've seen appear to be reasonably clean. A Legomanbiffo sound decoder will also be fitted.







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