‘Closed in a room, my imagination becomes the universe, and the rest of the world is missing out.’

~Criss Jami

Last month I mentioned (HERE) that The Boys and I were building a model railway, this is what’s happened since…

This is one of the concept drawings that Fin did for the railway, the layout pretty much evolved out of this drawing showing a factory, and engine shed, a ‘town’ station and an ‘end of the line’ or country station.
Here’s the basic 00 gauge layout before the scenery building began…

‘There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.’

~G.K. Chesterton

The central raise section will eventually be a quarry scene with a small narrow gauge railway running from the quarry to exchange sidings…
Instructions for looking after the railway…



Long before anything is there in reality Joe is busily engaged in describing the hillside he sees in his minds-eye, the road over the hill, the sheep and the tunel mouths…


‘The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.’

~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

We used strips of cardboard boxes attached with a glue gun to create the outline of the hill Joe had imagined…

I’m interlacing the photos of the layout with some of a growing album of images we’re collecting as inspiration for the ‘character’ of the railway, they show the kind of thing we’d like to include, from the quarry narrow gauge ato the gentle dereliction of a branchline station long past it’s heyday.

This image of Coanwood station has just the kind of aesthetic that I find fascinating, with the parred-back essential nature of the station –  shelter / platform / seat. Beautifully utilitarian and minimal.
The hill shrunk quite quickly as the Boys wanted to make sure they had at least two stations on the layout, the country station will squeeze into the top corner, nestling beneath the shadow of the hill…
The Boys are fascinated by branchline diesels, like this one, after traveling on an ‘East Midlands Trains’ modern version in the Summer. Tantalisingly they do produce wonderful models of this kind of thing – now where’s that lottery win?!?
Fin’s working on the next stage of the hard landscaping, covering the cardboard ‘skeleton’ with masking tape, this helps unifying the design of the landscaping and tie the shapes together before committing to plaster bandage…
This is the kind of ramshackle style we’re aiming for on the narrow-gauge line, lots of corrugated iron (naturally!), clutter and mess.
Cracking good image!
An unusually tidy railway! Half way through taping up the hills…
This is the kind of transfer/loading bay we’re planning to build to pass loads from the narrow gauge tippers in the standard gauge wagons…
A generous coating of PVA glue is then applied to the masking tape, this not only bonds the tape together but provided a useful adhesive surface for the plaster bandage to bond to when it’s laid wet over the glue. the track has been tapes up to prevent it getting too messed up during these wonderfully wet and sticky activities!
With the glue going off we took time to decide where the stations would go. We committed our ideas to the baseboard, odd how drawing a rectangle and labelling it ‘STATION BUILDING’ or ‘PLATFORM’ suddenly brought an empty space to life…

We’ll let you know how we get on with the layout in the coming months…

IMG_5900 (3)


One thought on “It’s a small world (2.)

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