Remodelling and upgrading of the Folkestone East layout continues.

April 10, 2017

Thumpers take a spin over the layout. It is run as the real location would be run in both the BR Sectorisation and post-privatisation eras. It is also home to my EMU and DEMU fleet, whether they are suitable for the location being modelled or not!

Remodelling of my EM gauge Folkestone East is making progress, having reached that ‘nothing looks finished’ chaotic stage. To recap, the work commenced with rebuilding the key cross-over from the down line to the yard and branch turn-back sidings. This required the removal of the Up staff halt platform and signalling to allow room to work on the new track and to allow for the slight remodelling of the track at that location. No.6 curved turnouts were replaced with longer No. 8 turnouts making the track run in a smoother arc in the curves and through the turnouts. The new track can be seen in the image below.

The flats which can be seen at the Ashford end of the real location have been built and in the process of detailing – fitting windows etc. The buildings are loose fitted to the layout and will be removable once the scenery is complete to suit particular date and time stamps, so to speak. Furthermore, they will be partially screened by weed trees growing on the embankment. The actual structures are slightly smaller than scale  – the real ones being set a little further back from the lineside.

Two of the most challenging structures to build include Folkestone East signal box (above) and the electricity sub station (which will be located more or less opposite this scene). The box might appear to be of a simple design. However, there are elements of it that are quite challenging to work out, including the sun shields. The interior has been left clear to allow me to model the panel.

The box is situated on the old demolished Down platform of Folkestone East station. A short length of platform survives as a staff halt as it does on the Up side as mentioned above. Note how the box is set into the demolished platform with a low retaining wall.


The back drop has been pushed back about three inches to make room for some more low relief buildings including the end of the terrace houses on the street leading to the signal box. The end of an small industrial building is to be added too. Yes, the layout is seeing quite some remodelling, but I hope the extra effort will be worth it. The new cross-over track has already brought much benefit in improved running over what is already a pretty reliable layout. The signal box is reaching the painting and detailing stage. Already, I am eyeing up the construction of baseboards for the harbour branch.



Mk.2d BFK…

August 15, 2012

One of a handful of work bench projects to be completed is a cut & shut project involving the merging of two former Airfix Mk.2d coaches into one. A BSO and an FO were carved up, window sections discarded and the remainder glued together to make a reasonable representation of a BFK. A full repaint, fitting of ‘Laserglaze’ and weathering of the completed body shell was a must. A Mk.1 RMB is next – the challenge is finding some window frames to upgrade the Bachmann model…

…before it can be painted in Intercity livery. Air brake details and a change to the roof vents will be needed too. A handful of Mk.2f using Lima models as a basis, enhanced with Shawplan ‘Laserglaze’ and fitted with Bachmann B4 bogies will follow.

A new addition to the fleet…

October 3, 2009

I could not resist the limited edition Class 57, 57 601 offered by Model Rail magazine! This special issue Bachmann OO gauge loco has since been equipped to work on my EM gauge ‘Top Deck’ layout, allocated to charter traffic.

New-Out989_988A very fine looking machine it is too. 57 601 is one of my favourite locos and it has spent time up here in the Highlands working the Royal Scotsman. It has been to Kyle of Lochalsh during its recent career, a far cry from its beginnings on the Great Western.

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Here’s the finished article, ready for traffic – a simple piece of work, really. Internally, a 21-pin decoder is fitted for use on the Top Deck layout which currently runs on Lenz equipment. However, with the imminent arrival of Duplex radio from Digitrax, that may change (my N scale layout on the lower and middle decks already works with Digitrax equipment, so another power district could be established very easily). Hornby air pipes decorate the bufferbeam and a Kadee is fitted at the opposite end. EM gauge wheels and a coat of light weathering to the underframes and exhaust ports on the roof completes the picture. This model replaces the FGW Class 57 which I once used on ‘Platform 4a & 4b’. A worthy successor!