Building Platform 4a & 4b

A folder full of pictures taken during the building of Platform 4a & 4b came to light when I was searching for archived material the other day. Here’s a selection of them which goes to show how much effort goes into even a small layout.

Plat 4a 4b - 10
It made its début at the 2003 Chesterfield show as a ‘work in progress’ project. Steve Jones took many of the following pictures and helped me at the show too. That was a great weekend and the Little Midland Society, organisers of the show, are a very good group of modellers. With the layout in this format, it was an ‘anything goes’ as far as stock was concerned, especially before the show opened.

Plat 4a 4b - 9
Platform 4a & 4b was built on the frames recovered from an old layout project which itself had seen many outings! The baseboard tops (sub road bed) and the back drop boards are new.

Plat 4a 4b - 7
A Class 165 converted from a Bachmann Class 166 sits in the nearside platform. The signal gantry is modelled on the one at Reading, scratch built from Evergreen and Plastruct sections with brass used for strength.

Signal gantry

The platform starter signals were photographed to show progress when nearly complete. The leads run through a hole in the baseboard and connect to a circuit board underneath so the gantry can be removed for repair. Control is manual from the main panel. I have had some difficulty using thin styrene section to build this model – styrene always seems to want to warp, even slightly. The gantry is reinforced with brass section to overcome distortion. If I was to build it again, the main structure would be constructed entirely from brass.


Another view of the starter signals when placed on the layout. This view was taken shortly after ballasting. Note the cable troughs and bases for equipment cabinets behind the signals.

Plat 4a 4b - 2

Track at the throat of the platform roads consisting of two 1:6 turnouts hand-built using flat bottom rail and PCB sleepers. Today, things have moved on and I would construct the same turnouts using Timber Tracks laser cut sleeper templates for 1:6 turnouts which are produced by C&L Finescale.

Plat 4a 4b - 5

Platform end detail is constructed. Track is a mixture of C&L Finescale andPeco ‘Induvidulay’.


A view of the station end of the layout with platform canopies under construction and a mock up of the station building in place.


Don’t worry if your layout building looks like this from time to time! However, a side table is a better thing for holding all those bits and bobs of layout building!


A little tidying up allows for test running and bedding in of the electrics and track.


Ballasting is complete and scenery has been started. This picture also offers another view of those 1:6 turnouts now they have been detailed.


My model of 207017 was new and partially complete at this time too. It is being test run and also testing the track on the layout too. It’s good news that we are soon to have a Hampshire unit (or Class 205) from Dapol via a limited edition issue for Kernow Models. I am pleased that I opted for 207s as a kit build; those being a different breed of Thumper to the 205s and unlikely to be offered as a mainstream model.


Bridge works: I love modelling bridges and arches. The difference in levels seems to make something of even a small layout such as this one. When I refurbish Platform 4a & 4b next year, this structure will be improved and further detailed.


Platform ends again showing more progress. An interesting little project and one reason why it’s such a waste to throw small layouts away – all that work wasted. So refurbishment beckons.

Ready to travel – it a neatly fits in carrying cradles like this. It is worth looking at how your layout is to be transported when designing and building it.


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