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.

Thursday, 4 January 2018


Happy New Year to you all!

Whilst we were away for Christmas we picked up another 2⅔ tonnes of bricks for more ballast, which we have put some under the remaining shutts, some under the counter at the stern of the boat, and the rest temporarily stacked in from of the water tank and the front end of the hold. Once we have built the railway room, then we can move these to where they are needed, some may have to go at the stern, and the rest under the gas locker and alongside the water tank. On Tuesday, 2 days ago, I ordered 10 sheets of insulation.

It arrived today!


We unloaded the sheets of insulation from the lorry and carried it down to our mooring, fortunately it is very light and we carried the 10 sheets quite easily between us.



It was my job to carry each sheet to the hold.


I was Jo’s job to manoeuvre the sheets into the hold, where they are now stacked ready for installation.



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