St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus in P4

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Rustyrail
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St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus in P4

Postby Rustyrail » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:05 pm

Dear All,

I am currently building a small first time P4 layout representing a might have been southern region branchline terminus situated on the Hoo peninsula, north Kent. The basic intention is to portray a very run down station on the verge of closure, drawing inspiration from the East Kent Light Railway and the Hundred of Hoo Railway. It is assumed that the original route ran from Gravesend in the west to Allhallows (on the Thames estuary) in the east. The line was truncated at St. Mary Hoo which then became the eastern terminus and rail head; the reason for this was because the Central Electricity Generating Board operated an industrial feeder railway connecting with the BR/SR line at SMH with occasional transfer freights (coal). Therefore SMH held a degree of importance on the line, not matched further east. The layout measures approximately 6 foot by 1.5 foot on two equal sized boards. The project is slightly unusual because it has a working live third rail system that I developed; the recent release of the Bachmann 2 EPB was one reason behind this because I wanted to see if I could convert the unit to 18.83mm gauge plus make working scale third rail pick ups. Both were achieved after a good deal of fiddling around. The EMU now picks up a secondary electrical current from the conductor rail as planned. The third rail system is to fine scale standards and utilises parts from the Scalefour Society (scale conductor rail and insulator bases/etched cradles), plus modified Peco insulators and scratch built parts. I've also added side protection boards made from C and L etched brackets and plastic card. The station is also unusual; it draws inspiration from the EKLR way of building platforms (one half) with corrugated iron sheeting, with timber uprights and longitudinal timbers on the platform surface with fine ash ballast infill. It also has a standard SR pre-cast concrete platform (the other half) made from MJT components. Attached are a few photos showing the station area which is the only bit of scenic work that I've completed. You'll notice that there is no buffer stop; instead a sand drag was put in with a (now) defunct stop light on a piece of rail (the light disappeared years ago and would be far too exotic for such a knackered location!). None of this is finished yet and the station waiting room needs bedding in with weeds, dust, etc, to remove the unrealistic gap at the base.

SMHa.jpg
SMHa.jpg (63.79 KiB) Viewed 9586 times
Last edited by Rustyrail on Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Rustyrail
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby Rustyrail » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:13 pm

I can't seem to post more than one photo as I keep getting the message "Sorry, the board attachment quota has been reached". Any suggestions much appreciated!

Cheers
Simon

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siquelme
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby siquelme » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:15 pm

Trying uploading them on a photo sharing site such as photobucket then use the embedded link it gives you
Great Western Modeller for my sins
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Rustyrail
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby Rustyrail » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:31 pm

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Passengers access the station via the ramp; there is no car park. Again this is typical of the East Kent Light Railway and an example can be seen here:

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/w/wi ... ndex.shtml

The building is the very nice Peco waiting room kit which fitted the very narrow space available without looking out of place. I also wanted a building that had an awning and had a similar atmosphere to the buildings on the EKLR. I painted it in suitable SR colours and then weathered it in subtle shades of matt black. The chimney was drilled out and the roof given a light matt white wash. It still needs finishing; glazing, with some broken glass, plus interior furnishing... well a single brazier! Bodiam station (before restoration) has provided much inspiration:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_Rg486QMkD6g/S ... age0-1.jpg

The CEGB industrial line runs behind the tiny island platform and crosses the road via an ungated crossing. The BR line had gates; only one remains now and is completely rotten through and broken in half (as per a photo I once saw of a real level crossing gate on a disused line in East Anglia). The industrial railway will be worked by an 0-6-0 big Barclay tank loco (High Level Kits) and an ex BR 08 shunter still in black livery. There is also an ex North London class 75 0-6-0 tank that sees occasional use; these were famous for working the Cromford and High Peak Railway in their later years. The majority of the track is code 75 bullhead on wooden sleepers; the industrial line has a mixture of wooden and Dow Mac concrete sleepers, plus a fair amount of code 75 flat bottom rail. All the track will end up being far more overgrown than can be seen at the moment. The BR/SR line leaves the station over a long three way point (C and L Timbertracks ply base) followed by a trap point and then immediately under a road bridge. The view in front of the station will eventually show rough marshland and a view of the Thames estuary - a very lonely and isolated landscape. I'm hoping to make a panoramic photo backscene actually taken from the real location.

Cheers
Simon
Last edited by Rustyrail on Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Rustyrail
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby Rustyrail » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:58 pm

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The third rail system is a work in progress; I want to make it as close to the original as possible. The live rail feeds are modelled from photos and are not just wires soldered straight onto the rail sides; there is bolt detail too (there are three main types used on the SR). On the three way point there are two side exit ramps on the conductor rail, again modelled from photos and these of course are powered. There will be wired fishplate detail as per protype SR/LTR practice and more side protection boards, in areas where staff might come into contact with the 750v supply. The power feeds will have concrete ducting in places and maybe the older wooden ramped cable runs. Obviously the conductor rail surface has to be left unpainted, althought the sides and ramps are weathered appropriately. However, when used with live current the con rail surface develops natural black carbon deposits and looks very realistic. SR/LSWR point rodding from Southwark Bridge Models will be added soon.
Last edited by Rustyrail on Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

nickbrad
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby nickbrad » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:01 pm

Although this is only one picture so far, it sounds very interesting and I look forward to seeing more.

Edit, I knew I shouldn't have left it on this thread whilst I went out to get milk, there's been an update with more pics lol.
Last edited by nickbrad on Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ERMick
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby ERMick » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:08 pm

Hi Simon, great idea for a layout. I grew up almost due south from there, on the other side of the estuary, in between the Medway Towns and Sittingbourne. If you looked North from almost anywhere round there you could see the Kingsnorth Power Station and the Isle of Grain Oil Refinery in the distance!

That's Great Expectations country round there as well isn't it?

Anyway, the layout looks great and I shall follow it with interest.

Cheers,

Mick

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Rustyrail
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby Rustyrail » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:16 pm

Many thanks for your comments Nick and Mick (sounds good that doesn't it?!). Much appreciated. Mick, I think you could be right about "The Great Expectations" location. The power station is exactly what I want in my backscene as it is very atmospheric and so typical of the area.

Cheers
Simon

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Rustyrail
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby Rustyrail » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:26 pm

siquelme wrote:Trying uploading them on a photo sharing site such as photobucket then use the embedded link it gives you


Cheers for the info siquelme...

Simon

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SouthernBoy
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby SouthernBoy » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:04 pm

Top notch modelling Rustyrail:
Excellent observation of detail / exquisitely reproduced / plus very atmospheric too. Thread bookmarked herewith :)

A few questions if I may ...

Live third rail - (and sorry if I missed it in one of your posts or I am being dumb) - but what purpose have you put this to? Like does it provide additional functionality/better reliability/is used for circuits for signalling purposes?

You've obviously taken a lot of trouble over third rail accuracy. Do you have additional sources of information to that which many of us refer: ie. Russ Elliott's page - and the couple of articles in the Southern Way publications?

And finally: In this picture below - what products did you use for the greenery growing over the fences? It looks very effective :)

Image

Thanks

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Lysander
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby Lysander » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:09 pm

ERMick wrote:That's Great Expectations country round there as well isn't it?


That's exactly what I was thinking. This is already hugely atmospheric. If you can build in the desolation and melancholy of a run-down and isolated terminus this will be brilliant. I really look forward to seeing more of this and your trackwork is lovely.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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Rustyrail
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby Rustyrail » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:31 pm

SouthernBoy wrote:Top notch modelling Rustyrail:
Excellent observation of detail / exquisitely reproduced / plus very atmospheric too. Thread bookmarked herewith :)

A few questions if I may ...

Live third rail - (and sorry if I missed it in one of your posts or I am being dumb) - but what purpose have you put this to? Like does it provide additional functionality/better reliability/is used for circuits for signalling purposes?

You've obviously taken a lot of trouble over third rail accuracy. Do you have additional sources of information to that which many of us refer: ie. Russ Elliott's page - and the couple of articles in the Southern Way publications?

And finally: In this picture below - what products did you use for the greenery growing over the fences? It looks very effective :)

Image

Thanks


Hello SouthernBoy,

Many thanks for your kind comments and observations all of which make building a layout like this really worthwhile. In answer to your questions; the live third rail has no particular function other than the knowledge that I know the thing is not a dummy but working as per the prototype. I like things like this; working OHLE is also fascinating for the same reason. I think I also decided to make a realistic working third rail system because very few have attempted such a thing (certainly in P4; it may be the first of its kind in this gauge) so it was a challenge. I find third and fourth rail systems fascinating (some will think I'm off my trolly!) and watching the sprung pick up shoes on my 2 EPB negotiating the various ramps, etc, is endlessly intriguing - just like the 1:1 version. It also provides a secondary power source to the unit (and a P4 converted class 73 in the future). Like most people I used the info on the CLAG website (the one you refer to) plus personal knowledge from many years of travelling on the southern region around London and the Home Counties.

The scenic products I used to create the overgrown crossing gate were as follows; quite a mix really! First I used broken bits of pre-painted scouring pad to make base bushes super glued in place which were then covered partially in teased out hanging basket liner. The liner is then painted a dark green and spotted with bits of PVA and covered in mid green Noch leaf material. The area around the road surface uses Noch static grass (Spring meadow) toned down with a darker shade of green, planted in PVA and then very fine sieved limestone soil is sprinkled over it to cover the traces of glue plus give it a totally natural look (I use this soil for most of my scenic work). I also made longer grasses with Woodland Scenics wild grass. The hanging basket liner is popular, as you know, for general base grass, but it actually makes very fine bushes - much finer than any fibre bush material. It can be made to look incredibly convincing and is very easy to use in this way. It would make great ivy bushes for example. Finally I placed some Silflor summer grass clumps along the edges of the road, again covered (and vacuumed off) with fine soil. I used many photos of real disused level crossings for this scene, so I could really capture the look I was after.

Cheers
Simon

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Rustyrail
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby Rustyrail » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:45 pm

Lysander wrote:
ERMick wrote:That's Great Expectations country round there as well isn't it?


That's exactly what I was thinking. This is already hugely atmospheric. If you can build in the desolation and melancholy of a run-down and isolated terminus this will be brilliant. I really look forward to seeing more of this and your trackwork is lovely.

Tony


Cheers Tony! I really appreciate your comments. I'll be adding more photos in due course; I'm currently painting the point work at the moment (time consuming and snooze making) so I'll post some pics of these soon. The station will have a lone passenger to emphasize the remoteness of the place and highlight the fact that SMH only ever has one passenger a month. I want to create a slight M.R. James feel to the place with just seabirds in the background... like the ones on this website (from Allhallows) ... have a listen:

http://www.soundsurvey.org.uk/index.php ... ents/1319/

There will also be a derelict pill box guarding the station area, near the lineside hut (seen in the background) which was quite a common feature of Kent railways. These stark features also add to the lonely, rather wild feel...

Cheers
Simon

Ex-Pat
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby Ex-Pat » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:51 pm

Very "Futerish" and so reminiscent of his work (except it's not in the North East or Scotland!) - simplicity with excellence.

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Eastern
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Re: St. Mary Hoo - a clapped out SR branch terminus

Postby Eastern » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:04 pm

Have to echo the sentiments of everyone else - I really like the unkempt look and air of dilapidation - the peeling poster on the waiting room! Your lighting is great- will you have a backscene or keep as is? Somehow a view to the beach or coast would fit in - to me anyhow! How did you find using Silflor as opposed to just static grass? - I have always been put off by the cost of Silflor-but it always looks so effective.
Thanks for posting!
“Sir, Sunday morning, although recurring at regular and well foreseen intervals, always seems to take this railway by surprise.”

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