GBs Model Railway

Post pictures and information about your own personal model railway layout that is under construction. Keep members up-to-date with what you are doing and discuss problems that you are having.
The Great Bear
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GBs Model Railway

Postby The Great Bear » Fri May 11, 2007 10:50 pm

Having finally registered with a photo storage site, this thread documents my first layout. No name yet - suggestions welcome. It's loosely based on the GWR pre-war. Hope the photo links work!

The Requirement

• Two young sons – what other excuse does a father need!

Seriously though, I envisaged the boys enjoying doing the scenery, gaining DIY skills and I hoped that it would make a good introduction to electronics.

The Space

The loft space was converted to create two additional rooms in the house. One room replaced a ‘box room’ bedroom obliterated by the stairs up to the loft conversion, the other room was to be a playroom for the boys. The standard design was modified to push one wall back to make room for a model rail layout. Although the sloping ceiling comes down low such that the space is normally only fit for storage etc, it was my best opportunity of securing a permanent layout of reasonable size.


O gauge is prohibitively large and expensive although I’d love to own an O gauge layout. The choice was between 00 and N. In the end I decided that N was too small for children to easily work on. So 00 it was.

Track Layout

The layout space was approximately 11’ by 4’. I wanted it to be as visually exciting as possible with tunnels, inclines and bridges. If one train could pass over another, so much the better. With two sons, it made sense to have two loops. Sidings and a turntable were also a must. I had a 00 layout as a child, but remember being frustrated by two aspects:
1. The station was on the main loop such that trains passed through each lap.
2. The platform was only long enough for 1 and a bit coaches plus the engine.

I therefore wanted the station on a passing loop, and the platforms long enough to accommodate a 4 coach train plus engine.

If there was room for a village, so much the better.

The designed layout is:

The design aims have been met with different degrees of success. Two loops were achieved, with tunnels inclines and bridges and one loop passed over the other – however the inclines are a bit steep! The station is on a passing loop, but in order to get the platform length, it’s right beside the mainline!

Starting Out

We bought a layout from some neighbours that included
• A GWR 0-6-0T engine
• An HST125
• One Hornby controller (the old type with the yellow knob)
• An assortment of trucks
• Piles of track

I sourced some additional track/points and crossings from EBay and the boys put together their Christmas money to buy the Great Western Pullman set from our local model shop.

The baseboard was built in three bolt-together sections in the garage and carried up to the playroom. The whole assembly sits on a hinged stand so that it can be lifted to get to the underside.

We've got the two main loops built, the station area, and had a go at some scenery. Photos coming soon...


The Great Bear
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Postby The Great Bear » Fri May 11, 2007 10:52 pm

Someone tell me how to make the photos appear pleeeze! Tim

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Postby PeterH » Fri May 11, 2007 10:55 pm

If you look at the top of the page (under th NRM logo) you will see a link called Upload images - look there and it should tell you.

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British Rail
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Postby British Rail » Sat May 12, 2007 10:13 am

Sounds excellent Tim 8)

Kindest Regards


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Postby suchahampal » Sat May 12, 2007 1:00 pm

This picture:



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Postby joshing_man » Sat May 12, 2007 1:33 pm

......shows you where the layout is - the loft - and the fact that it is hinged for access.

Can a mod please get the pictures up for us all to see?



ps Great plans by the way.
The Original Smiling Man With Train (SMWT):

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Postby TomWebber » Sat May 12, 2007 2:22 pm

suchahampal wrote:This picture:



The text that goes with it offers an explanation..... :roll:

The Great Bear
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Some photos

Postby The Great Bear » Sun May 13, 2007 10:30 pm

You're right Kiran. Looking back at it the diagram is a bit wierd. It's supposed to show the side view of the roof space (dotted line) and the room in bold. You can only stand where the ceiling is flat so where the layout is its only a few foot high. The layout is only a foot off the floor and as I can't help tinkering with electronics, access to the underside is a must.
Anyway, on with the photos. The first three show the layout in the state it was in when I joined the forum. Some backdrops are definitely required!

Central section.
Left Hand end
Right Hand end.

The plan is to cover the baseboard as quickly as possible and then spend time re-working/adding detail. The back of the board is hard to reach so the scenery there is best done before the foreground. There's going to be some sidings on the right so we did the scenery here first. The hill is our first attemps at paper mache - the boys loved it and it looked OK as paper mache. I went into town and left the painting supervision to my wife. I was somewhat shocked to see the lurid green and brown poster paint they'd used and have been trying to tone it down since! The incline on the right started off using the Hornby risers. I'd seen a wooden trestle bridge in a mag and without thinking if it was in keeping with the GWR bought a sheet of balsa wood and attacked it wiht the stanly knife. Many back-breaking hours later...

The bridge starts as an embangment,

Some more pictures of the station,



And finally one of the pullmans I've converted to add table lamps. Only 3 left to convert!


Regards Tim

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Postby pointstaken » Sun May 13, 2007 10:45 pm

Agree about the backdrops, but that apart, it is sir, definitely well done !!

I know nothing, but much I believe

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Class 60
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Postby Class 60 » Sun May 13, 2007 11:19 pm

Lovely stuff there TIm, Layout is coming along nicely especially the bridge going up the embankment....really does look fantastic mate 8)

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Postby Spavo » Mon May 14, 2007 7:15 am

Well I wasn't expecting that so quickly, you have done a ton of work and some really lovely touches too but of course that bridge up the embankment is the star of the show for me, tree-mendous! :oops:

Keep the updates coming please...

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Re: GBs Model Railway

Postby Sprintex » Mon May 14, 2007 8:36 am

The Great Bear wrote:Seriously though, I envisaged the boys enjoying doing the scenery, gaining DIY skills and I hoped that it would make a good introduction to electronics.

*rough translation* - the boys will end up playing trains for hours on end while dad gets stuck doing ALL the scenery, electronics, etc :wink:

As for needing an excuse, who needs one anyway??? No kids here but I'm still getting back into model railways :D

Great work there mate, amazing amount you've done in a short space of time and looking fantastic so far :)



Postby Lofty » Mon May 14, 2007 8:58 am

Very good, I really like this.

After reading the first post showing the track plan I was going to suggest that you built the pub and beer garden first, then you could have sat in there and contemplated the future, but you are way ahead of that stage.


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Postby ollyg16 » Mon May 14, 2007 9:17 am

Well done: it all looks very good.

I am in the same situation as you, with two children. It all adds to the fun. Trying to fit point motors with a HST thundering past every 47 seconds is a dark art.

I have two tracks too, and the kids compulsion to race the engines "slot car" style makes the hair on my neck stand up.

However, teaching them the DIY and scenic stuff more than makes up for it.

Good luck: keep it up!


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Postby FishBowlMan » Mon May 14, 2007 2:11 pm

Lovely pics there.

That's a cracking job with the lamps on the pullman coaches - very effective.

The trestle bridge looks brilliant as well.

Will be watching this with interest,

There is no room inside a box.

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