Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Design considerations

Just mulling over a few new layout plans.
Now I have more room for a permanently  erected layout I'm considering what to build.
I have always based my layouts on the Cambrian section of BR western region, but, I think the time has come for a bit of a change.
I'm now thinking of modelling a location near to where I live, which is on the West Midlands / Staffordshire border, Looking through my library of books and encouraged by my grand daughter it now looks like a semi rural/industrial layout is going to be the most likely outcome.

I knocked up a quick track plan using free software available for download from the interweb namely "Any Rail"  I could have used more sophisticated software of course but for a quick and easy option Any Rail does the job,
Anyway, this is what I come up with.....

 This is subject to change of course and open to suggestions from readers of this post.

The inspiration came from the book "The Railway to Wombourn" by Black country historian Ned Williams.
The railway to Wombourne was reached by the Kingswinford branch which left the old OWWR line from Stourbridge to Wolverhampton at Kingswinford junction. The line crossed part of the Black country before entering the rural area of South Staffordshire.
There were stations at Brockmoor, Bromley, Pensnett, Gornal, Himley, Wombourne, Penn, Compton and Tettenhall.
In 1913 a branch was proposed to be built, leaving this line at Wombourne and go across country to join up with the Severn Valley line just south of Bridgnorth.
Cradley Heath Model Railway Club have in fact built a layout of "Halfpenny Green" which was to be one of the  intermediate stops on the proposed route.
There was also proposed to build yet another branch off this line near Wombourne to Swindon (Staffordshire) presumably to serve the rolling mills of Messrs Richard Thomas and Baldwin Ltd who had built their steel mill in the tiny village of Swindon.
It is on this basis that I have based my thoughts, a "What might have been" had this branch ever been built.
The station would have been built in the village of Swindon (Staffordshire) but what name would it take?  I can't imagine it being called Swindon as that would have caused confusion with the Swindon in Wiltshire, So I'm still thinking of a name. Smestow is one I have come up with as Smestow is the name of the village about 1/4 of a mile back towards Wombourne.  Another name that is a possibility is Ashwood End although Ashwood is a few miles away from this location.
Well, I've waffled on a bit this time, I will post an update as soon as anything develops.


  1. A couple of thoughts. Wouldn't it make sense for the end loading ramp and cattle dock to be quite close to each other, and would a dairy/factory siding come off such a short headshunt? Incidentally are you planning to run the factory siding on to the fiddle yard. That might give you an option to have an industrial 0-4-0 shuttle back and forth.

    1. Thanks for your comments. Like i said there's nothing set in stone yet. It's possible that the bay/ factory head shunt will be longer than that shown. The cattle dock may or not be modelled it's still under consideration.
      Most of the track plan is actually pretty close to Aberaeron and the cattle dock and ramp were at opposite ends of the station site.
      I will update the blog once work starts.

  2. Don't worry about the heads hunt being too short. It may not be typical but the dairy at Tornes backs onto the platform! It's housed in the old Atmospheric pump house and although it's no longer a dairy the buildings are still there. On your plan above it would be to the left of the boiler house, instead of the right.

  3. Hi Mark.
    Thank you for your comments. Like you. Say, it may be far from typical but in modeling there sometimes as to be compromises. I have just started to lay track and the bay platform road/ head shunt will be just over 2ft (600 mm) long.
    Long enough to accommodate either an auto trailer and 64xx or a small tank engine and up to 4 six wheeled milk tank wagons. Enough for me anyway.
    Thanks again for reading my stuff and taking time to write.
    Cheers! Frank