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My Model Railways and Layouts

 

My railway modelling experience ranges from N Gauge, though American HO, 009, 00 Gauge, EM Gauge to 0 Gauge and 0-16.5 narrow gauge. I had been keen on modelling American outline railroads for approximately 18 years but several years ago I returned to modelling British outline models. Encouraged by my best friend who had moved away from Workington and now lives in Horwich, I decided to have a go at UK modelling again.  I settled upon a Railway Company I have always been interested in but instead of choosing proprietary flexible trackwork in N or 00 gauges I decided to try EM gauge for the first time.  The layout was Wyndham Row and can be seen by clicking on the appropriate link in the left hand floating menu.

For years I built layouts to be shown to the public at model railway exhibitions but as I grew older, suffered from the occasional illness and incurred the odd minor accident, I became weary of building layouts to be assembled and dis-assembled as they are shown at exhibitions and favoured to build permanent layouts. Furthermore as I get older I find I prefer to watch other layouts when I visit an exhibition.

Below are some of my layouts I feel I should mention on this website.  It is not a full list as one layout that I began turned out to get an alternative layout name. while others were jointly owned with family or were test excursions using different scales and gauges.  The layout that had its name changed was Mardale 2 for I had intended it be a 4mm finescale layout of Bassenthwaite Lake.  It is still under construction after starting it over two or three years ago.  To disguise its originality the level crossing that was a dominant feature of Bassenthwaite Lake Station was replaced by a stone overbridge.  Stone steps leading down from the elevated roadway create an alternative unique feature.  The lake remains in situ but it now represents Haweswater and in my alternative universe it is not a reservoir for Manchester!  Rain that falls in the Lake District remains in the County to flow to the Solway Firth through Cumbrian rivers and streams, not through the taps of the next county.

With my later layouts I chose to continue to use Kaydee auto couplers or as they are more commonly called a KD.  These I used on my American layouts and liked the remote uncoupling characteristics.  I found three link couplings too difficult to handle as I aged and decided that the KD was the coupling for me. For half a decade British RTR manufacturers have been using the NEM coupler box and there are four KDs in the range that simply plug straight into the NEM box.


Workington Main
This began as a private venture and was shared with members of the Workington Model Railway Club.  It went through several stages and materialised as the station everyone knows as Workington Main.  Back in 1972 and before the layout was under construction a few friends formed a group to research the railways of West Cumberland and we called ourselves the Workington LNWR Group.  We would take photos of local railways as they were going through several changes in 1972.  This group still survives today albeit after several name changes and we are known as the Workington Main Railway Group.  As more and more people joined our band of modelling friends we decided to form a club who's interests were just railway modelling.  We adopted the Workington layout as the club layout but it remained the property of myself.  It has been exhibited at several shows and after a while it was showing signs of old age.  I removed the good trackwork to use on an American outline layout and The Workington Main layout was no more.


Mardale 1 Layout
Mardale 1 was a might have been railway based on a plan to build the West Coast Main Line using a different route to that which climbs Shap Fell in the Former County of Cumberland.  The layout was built using PECO00 gauge, code 100  flexible trackwork.  It lived in the same premises as Workington main but in a cellar room next door.  After several years on the exhibition circuit it was retired and dismantled.

 
Bangor, North Wales
This was my first attempt in modelling in N Gauge and I had no difficulty in downsizing like I had heard of others  had when they tried. 

I had researched Llandudno Junction in North Wales as a possible 00 gauge layout but found it would need too much space.  I started to plan it in N gauge to reduce space but my mind kept going back to a survey I had made previously when I canvassed visitors to a model railway exhibition what they best liked to see when going to exhibitions.  Another station on the North Wales line met all their criteria and this was Bangor.  Bearing this in mind I began building the Bangor layout.  This layout was exhibited at the Barrow in Furness exhibition where it was awarded the Platform 3 shield for the best running layout.


East Texas Terminal
This was my second American outline layout I started.  The first one began life in a cellar under a solicitors office on Oxford Street Workington.  It was going to use the baseboards rescued from the abandoned 0 gauge of the Workington Model Railway Club when the club broke up in the mid 1980s.  A forced location move saw the baseboards move to my cellar workshop on Station Road, Workington but the lease ended very shortly and the layout became abandoned.  Instead of finding a new workshop I decided to build a much smaller layout in a bedroom in my home.  I decided to keep to the theme of the first American outline layout and stay with the Santa Fe railway.

Hudson & Madison Railroad
This was my third attempt at building an American style layout but it too would never get finished.  This layout was going to live in the loft of our new home at Northside, Workington.  The track that was laid is what I recovered from


Wyndham Row
Wyndham Row is a might have been layout using the name of an actual location in West Cumbria. I researched and finally planned an imaginary branchline that diverts off the Cleator & Workington Junction Railway's Northern Extension. I decided to use the old name of Broughton Moor for the name of my station - Wyndham Row. The scale is 4mm/foot but the gauge is not 00. I had chosen to model the gauge to 18.2mm - EM gauge. I based the design upon the prototype C&WJR station of Seaton, near Workington. The layout has been exhibited twice but has suffered extensive damage while in storage. The layout has been withdrawn from the exhibition circuit and has now been dismantled. The locomotives for Wyndham Row were mostly scratch built from sheet brass, or built up from white metal kits, or are heavily modified RTR models, altered to run on EM 18.2mm gauge track.


Bigrigg Branch
First things first - I never started this layout for I bought it off a model railway club that wished to dispose of it.  I bought it and have had it stored on my loft ever since.  It was first called Scalegill after an actual location in West Cumbria. It was an iron ore mine served by a former WC&ER branch.  Scale was 4mm/foot and trackwork was PECO 00 gauge, code 75 finescale.

It had been completed to the stage where it was ready to go to a Model Railway Exhibition but when Workington was flooded in 2009 the exhibition was cancelled.  I rebooked Scalegill to appear at the same venue in the following February but the members of the club were against operating it because I never consulted them when rebooking it.   I had planned to exhibit the layout single handed, but when one or more members deliberately lost part of the layout there was no way it could be shown without legs, control panels and a fiddle yard.  Consequently  the layout had to be withdrawn.  I made the excuse it couldn't go because of an accident to my leg in the previous December made travelling so impossible and others would not exhibit without me leading them.  After the exhibition had been and gone it was apparent the club had split into two different factions so to solve the animosity the model section of the club closed down


Lime Road
When Andy Wright was going to retire his EM Gauge Mossop Road layout he gave me the first chance to buy the layout but although I agreed to buy it, the deal never went through.  He had his reasons why he didn't want to part with the layout and I had bought a few engines to run on the layout.  All the engines save for one were to 00 gauge and would have needed converting to EM gauge.  The last showing of Mossop Road layout was at the Workington Model Railway Exhibition and while Andy was dismantling the layout he removed the cottages from the layout and presented me with them.  You the reader may be curious why he did this but it is because I had been contracted to build the cottages for him.  I saw this gesture as a reason to build a layout that was similar to his and that is what Lime Road is. Well almost it is almost a mirror image of Mossop Road but the other buildings differ somewhat. Click on the menu link to see this alternative Mossop Road style layout.


Mardale 2
Mardale 2 is my latest venture is in 4mm using PECO code 75 finescale 00 gauge trackwork. The layout began life as  Bassenthwaite Lake Railway Station but after discovering that Don Annison's N Gauge layout of Bassenthwaite Lake station was still very popular on the exhibition circuit I reverted back to an old dream that never materialised. This was to be my Mardale 2 layout instead.  The station building is a scaled down copy of the real Bass Lake Station, right down to the drinking fountain and the letter box built into the walls of the building.

 


Many thanks
for choosing to visit my web pages.  

 Tom Jenkins 2014

Page last updated 28th December 2014

 

 

 

 

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