From when my Parents gave me my first train set for a Christmas present as a child, I have had an interest in model railways. I originally started in "OO" gauge, but have also built in "N" and "O" gauge. The last layout I built was my exhibition layout "Holmehurst" which was in "O" gauge, and I exhibited it around the country. Photos of it can be seen by following this link.

I inherited some "OO9" rolling stock from my late father, and ever since living on our working narrowboat Hadar I have been thinking about building a "OO9" layout.

For those who do not know, "OO9" is "OO" scale, which is 4mm to 1ft, but the track and rolling stock are narrow gauge, equivalent to 2ft gauge in real life. Modelling-wise this means that I can used standard "OO" scale buildings, people, scenery etc. of which there is a far greater range of ready built items and kits to choose from, but it has the advantage that the reduced size of the track and rolling stock means that curves can be tighter than for standard gauge, without losing a realistic look within a restricted layout size.

I had thought about building a layout in our garden alongside our mooring at the Saltisford Canal Centre, but after much thought decided that this would not be practical. However I built a small layout which sits on the shelf above the display cabinet, in our saloon, which houses my "O" gauge rolling stock. Having finished it, my wife Jo suggested that when we stop selling coal I could build a layout in the hold. As we stopped selling coal at the end of 2016, I am now planning the layout. This will be an ongoing record of the building of this layout.

Please feel free to leave comments, I am always interested in suggestions or questions.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017


We are out travelling for a few weeks before the winter sets in. Whilst out we have loaded 2.67 tonnes of bricks for ballast into the hold.


We had hoped to load them straight under the shutts, but as they were wet we have had to stack them in the hold until they dry out, which will hopefully be by the time we return to our mooring.


Friday, 15 September 2017

Further Work on the Baseplate

Today we managed to complete work underneath the floor of the hold as far as the new model railway room will go. Lagging the main water pipe to stop the condensation, painting the baseplate with used engine oil, and refitting the shutts.





Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Work in the Hold to Build the Model Railway Room

Today we started preparatory work for building my model railway room in the hold. First we had to sort out the rubbish we had accumulated, which went to the bins, then moved everything else as far forward as possible, which allowed us access to and removal of the first two shutts (floorboards) from the bulkhead at the saloon end of the hold.





It is in better condition than we thought it might be. Jo set about scraping and removing the loose bits, then painted the base of the walls. It is already for oiling tomorrow morning, then we can do under the next 2 shutts. We thought that whilst we had the shutts up it was lagging the main water pipe from the water tank in the bow with some pipe insulation, to stop the condensation which appears to be happening, so I popped to Screwfix to get some and have fitted the first lengths.


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Coaling Stage / Fuelling Stage

Having bought a ready made coaling stage, I have decided to convert the one I built, along with the engine shed, to a fuelling stage for the diesel engines.


I have finished painting the stonework and painted and attached a fuel storage tank to it. It will need further work on it to finish it, such as pipelines from the tank via some sort of pump and thence to the locos, but I need to think about how I am going to achieve this.


Thursday, 3 August 2017

Cattle Dock 5

Cattle dock finished today with the posts, railings and gates painted.




Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Cottage Kit 8

Today I repainted the cottage I built recently as I was not happy with it white, it didn’t look right to me, so I have painted it cream.

The pictures on the left are the repainted cream colour and the right are the original white colour.




Cattle Dock 4

Today I painted the stonework of the cattle dock.





Saturday, 15 July 2017

Cattle Dock 3

Cattle dock primered and ready for painting, with the 2 cattle wagons I purchased on eBay and received in the post this morning.




Friday, 14 July 2017

Cattle Dock 2

Construction completed today with the final fencing added and the gates.




Thursday, 13 July 2017

Cattle Dock 1

Over the past two days I have been scratch building a cattle dock from scraps left over from the kits I have recently built.

As seen from the track side.


The access ramp.


The holes for the fence poles and the drain covers.


1 of the 18 fence posts made from 1.8mm square hardwood, and the 5 holes for the fence rails (0.6mm piano wire) were drilled with a 0.6mm drill in each post.

The 4 corner posts had to be drill twice at right angles.


First part of the fencing installed on the access ramp.



Friday, 7 July 2017

Engine Shed 8

Engine shed completed.




Thursday, 6 July 2017

Engine Shed 7

Back to working on the engine shed today, halfway through painting the stonework and fitted the door and windows.




Monday, 12 June 2017

Engine Shed & Coaling Stage 6

Painting has progressed nicely this morning.





Sunday, 11 June 2017

Engine Shed & Coaling Stage 5

A bit more painting.




Engine Shed & Coaling Stage 4

Base coat of light grey which is for the mortar between the brickwork and stonework and the concrete platform of the coaling stage and the water tank support.





Saturday, 10 June 2017

Engine Shed & Coaling Stage 3

Both engine shed and coaling stage primered ready for painting tomorrow.



Friday, 9 June 2017

Coaling Stage 2

Today I constructed and added the brick steps. The coaling stage is now ready for painting.



Thursday, 8 June 2017

Coaling Stage 1

Today I constructed the coaling stage to go with the engine shed. It needs a set of steps to complete it.




Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Engine Shed Kit 2

Construction finished, all ready for painting tomorrow.




Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Engine Shed Kit 1

Today I made a start on building an engine shed. Yesterday I received in the post a Wills Kit of a standard gauge engine shed, which needed modifying to suit my narrow gauge layout. To this effect I had planned to reduce the length and height, but I decided to keep the width as changing this would have been impossible to adapt the supplied doors to fit. I hop that it will look alright when finished. First thing was to cut down 2 of the doors from which the height of the shed could then be determined. The 2 doors in the centre are the original height and the 2 outside doors are the reduced ones.


The walls are complete.


I have also altered the model by replacing the 2nd pair of doors at the rear of the engine shed with a solid wall, with a door and wooden extension in this new wall. The wooden extension as from the Pub kit which I converted into the hotel.


The water tank positioned in its location but not yet fixed as both the shed and tank will be painted separately before I fix the tank in place.