New Layout – No Honestly

As promised an actual layout is under construction and not just a false start. For some time now I have reached a stage where instead of just outputting T&RS I had a real need to build something to run it on!

I showed you all the flying bog seat (FBS) some weeks back as a full 1:1 plan, the problem is I do not have a lot of room, but the FBS really started to shout Diorama and at home I wanted to do some shunting.

At OTCM towers we have been toying with the idea of the ‘half loop’ for some time and finally it has manifested itself into a layout. The half loop is where the back half of the run round loop is completely off scene. It gives you a chance to run around a train and shunt without having to model the entire loop.

The layout is going to be an NCB landsale yard, it will see my first attempt at almost everything. I have to say now that the points were built by John Jones who is on eBay under the name ‘Hayfield Golfer’. He built each point for £18.95 (about $27 US) for that price I ordered for ease and quickness (laziness). Remind me never to moan about cheque book modelling.

For landsale inspiriation please see these links, these photos are by Kingmoor Klickr/Gerv Wright/Adam D Swift. (I cannot stop WordPress from inserting a picture from a link – do not want to upset the copyright):

Brynlliw Colliery Landsale Yard

Allerton Bywater Landsale yard

Peckett 1426 at Brynlliw

Do not fear however the rest will be to the normal OTCM bodging and making do standards.

The points will be controlled by PDC simple switches and this is because of Matt’s Railroad blog, so thanks to the world of WordPress I am trying a new laser cut Canadian product, link here:

Just leaves you with some photos of the actual layout:






Information so far:

Backscene is bendy MDF from B&Q built on a simple frame. The track is C&L and all I have done to the points since John constructed them is fill the isolation gaps with Humbrol filler.

The exciting stuff is about to begin….

I will keep you all up to date with the layout as I learn new bits and bobs with the development and hopefully you will enjoy the ride.

Keep modelling folks!



8 Replies to “New Layout – No Honestly”

  1. Congratulations on the start. It must be exciting.

    In terms of how the layout would be operated, have you any thoughts to share? My interest here is how cars are cycle through the various sidings and car spots on the layout. Lately, I find myself fascinated with industrial railways within coal yards here in America but know so very little about similar operations elsewhere.

    I assume that operations like these are used to load wagons?

    Once a wagon is placed, how fast is it loaded and would the locomotive stay with the car to move it out of the way to cycle the next into position?

    (Just trying to get a sense of the pace and volume of work).



    1. Hey Chris thanks for the interest. A Landsale yard was a coal distribution point within an internal mine/colliery. The landsale yard was a small yard that distributed house quality coal for heating. So loaded wagons would be tripped down by an internal shunter and then unloaded by hand into sacks/lorries for selling in the local community.

      So on my layout a set of full wagons would arrive, the loco will run round and then propel the rake in two halves into the two sidings. In reality unloading would take half a day probably at a leisurely rate all mostly done by hand with a shovel. We don’t really use fast clocks or anything and at an exhibition people require something moving all the time so the sequence would probably start again with slightly different wagons and a different locomotive.

      Mainline (British Rail) domestic coal supply was pretty much the same with the same 4 wheeled wagons distributed at stations for a local coal dealer to unload and distribute.

      I’ve chosen to model an internal mine system as in the UK they had steam engines in regular service until the early 80s! Mainline steam ended in 1968 so it gives a chance for filthy old steam engine to work with wagons and vehicles with more modern styles and markings.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Thanks for the background. I really appreciate it. It does help.

        Would various grades of coal be delivered to such a yard? Would that require some shunting to better order the wagons for unloading?

        Thanks again.


      2. Hey Chris not a problem! The coal grades would of been sorted at the colliery/mine proper with only house quality coal sent to the landsale yard. What sort of motive power would work internal mine systems at North American/Canadian Mines?

      3. I have only a superficial knowledge of Canadian coal mining (but a terrific interest in the retail end…just not the supply…sorry). Here in Atlantic Canada, coal mining and railroading are synonymous with the Sydney and Louisburg Railway which was the railway of coal mining in Cape Breton. The S&L was owned by American interests and tended to inherit equipment from the United States. It was among the last to use steam in regular service. Their’s was a terrific varied fleet of engines ranging from small 2-4-0’s through some massive 0-8-0 tender engines.

        A small collection of photos of their fleet can be seen on this web page:

        I have a terrific DVD of vintage film documenting the final days of steam on the railway. The name of the film escapes me but I’ll go look it up.

        I hope this helps.



      4. That sounds and looks like one heck of an alluring link to click on. I’ll wait ’til I’m back at home to have a look but quite looking forward to catching up with working steam.



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