layout

50 YEARS OF WESTPORT

An N gauge modern image layout built and described by Stephen Farmer. Photographs by Tony Wright.
59 206
59 206 passes through Dimsdale View station light engine as 58 050 waits for its next duty in the yard behind.
This layout came into being when three factors came together in mid-1996. I wanted to build a small layout in OO which I could use at home, as Barton Road (featured in the May 1996 BRM) had grown to 18' long and hence far too big to set up in my bedroom. In effect I spent all of my time building stock to run at exhibitions. Around this time I was also short of people to help out at shows; this was where Fred Johnson, Mike Tooth and John Cox offered their services to help operate Barton Road at exhibitions, the three of them being N gauge modellers. While trying to decide on the criteria for a small layout, I was reading the August 1996 issue of British Railway Modelling. Inside was an article about a layout called Welham Green by Mark Calvert - modern image in a small space, but with a main line air to it. It was the size of the layout that drew my attention - 6' x 2' - and still with room for interesting scenery as well. I read the article, studied the photographs and decided that I would have a go at a layout in N gauge with a baseboard size of about 6' x 2'.
Since I knew nothing about N gauge other than that it's half the size of OO, Fred, Mike and John were questioned, catalogues perused and other N gauge articles read to see what was available. To my surprise I found quite a lot, especially for modern image.

Construction

The baseboards are made from two pieces of MDF 3' x 2' and 9mm thick, with bracing made from 45 x 12mm softwood. A shelf 2' wide has been attached to the front to give room for an embankment and platform, to give a total width of 26Ó. The boards are held together by two 8mm bolts and wing nuts. Pattern makers dowels align the boards together to get everything lined up every time. The layout then sits on a specially built table slightly bigger than the layout. John made this for me as he is quite handy with a piece of wood! With the boards done, I could start to decide on a track plan around two ovals for continuous running. This was done by using Peco point templates and a few lengths of flexible track.
The track used is Peco code 80, with medium radius 'Electrofrog' points used on the scenic section and 'Insulfrog' in the fiddle yard. The curves are 'Set track' radius 1 and 2 for their respective ovals; the sharpness of the curves did not bother me as they were going to be hidden anyway. The final track plan I came up with gave me an inner city station with two through roads and a bay platform, and a small yard with a Railfreight terminal. It is basically nothing more than two train set ovals and seven sidings.
Points are operated by a mixture of hand operation and point motors. The hand-operated points are on the scenic section and work by piano wire running from the back of the board to the underside of the point, with a 90° bend in the wire through a 10 mm hole in the baseboard to the hole in the tiebar on Peco points. Seep point motors are used in the fiddle yard switched by the stud and probe method.

Track Plan

track plan

Dimsdale View will be appearing at the following shows in 2001: Stowmarket April 22; Redditch May 12/13; Wolverhampton June 18; Ipwich september 8/9; Warrington September 15/16 and Great Yarmouth 13/14.


Dimsdale View   Westport part 2   Bachmann Conversion   Star of the Slugs