Sunday, 21 February 2010

Old Layout Memories Part 2

My fictional creation of Tuebrook Station and High Street, c.1980

After finishing Art School in 1996 and moving back home, I thought I’d have another go at producing a small layout in my tiny bedroom. This time, my birthplace of Tuebrook in Liverpool was the subject, although the track plan and scenery would be fictional and the boards were fitted, shelf-like, to two walls of the room to form a 7ft x 4ft ‘L’ shape (1ft wide boards).
The low relief Georgian townhouses are definately out of place compared to the real Tuebrook!

The track layout was quite advanced for me at the time and colour light signals eventually guarded this busy junction, interlocked with the points

Assuming the freight-only Edge Hill-Bootle line had been taken into the Merseyrail system in the 1980s, Tuebrook reopened for a local DMU-operated service. In contrast to the real location, the station was set in a cutting rather than atop an embankment, with the station building being at road level. The short platforms hinted that they carried on beyond the outside wall of the house(!) and trains obviously had to terminate here. A small engineers’ siding was provided and the goods line ascended a steep gradient to reach a (never completed) warehouse and oil terminal, while the main line disappeared into hidden sidings beneath.

My first stab at kit-built motive power, a DC Kits Class 101 DMU, stands at Tuebrook. The signal box in the foreground was a scratchbuilt copy of the LNWR box at Arpley Junction.

Most of the buildings were kits, although the lengthy retaining walls and numerous other buildings were created from the Linka cast plaster system (anyone remember that?!). Point motors were fitted and interlocked with Eckon colour light signals and, although only insulfrog points were used, adding extra power collection to locos meant that running was fairly reliable. The curve at the top of the goods line was far too tight, however, limiting the trailing load to just one or two wagons. The hidden sidings were hard to reach, too, but other than that I enjoyed operating the layout.
This was my favourite part of the layout. The canal and twin level rail bridges created a nice scene as trains passed by.

The tortuous curve at the top of the goods line could only be managed by short Bo-Bo diesels or shunters.

As the layout progressed I also began kit-building wagons and the odd DMU from DC Kits, as well as fitting all of the buildings with fully detailed interiors and lighting. I even started to replace the kit-built buildings with scratch-built versions of real structures.

The Newsham Park pub, on the corner of the bridge, was scratchbuilt from Linka castings and had a fully detailed interior complete with bar, seating and a darts match in progress. The name refers to the old park in Tuebrook and the name of my Dad's old 'local'.

The top of the goods line terminated at a warehouse, oil terminal and MPD, although this was never finished. The scratchbuilt depot is well under way here but never received a roof!

In common with my previous attempt, the track plan had distinct advantages (this one was my own design) and, given a bit more space – or simply re-jigged, it could be made to work better. I’m thinking of revisiting both of these layout plans for future ‘Masterplan’ features for Model Rail.

Unfortunately, I never finished the scenery and dismantled the whole thing just before I married and moved back to Liverpool. The matrimonial home was a tiny terrace with little space, although I did eventually make a start on my Dent Station odyssey in the spare bedroom before we moved to York. But that’s another story...

The real Tuebrook Station c.1930. See for more info.

1 comment:

  1. Good series, it's very interesting to see your old layouts. I remember Linka. It's avaliable again now and people still use it, there's even been a layout with Linka buildings in Model Rail in the last year (or so).