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, including a loco I built from a white metal kit for him, 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 building 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, 1 March 2018


Started wiring up the layout today. From the control panel I have run 4 wires, red & black for the 12v DC for the track, and blue & yellow for the 16v AC, underneath half the length of the fiddle-yard, under the doors from the saloon in some trunking and back up to the layout. I connected the 12v DC wires to the track underneath the tunnel. The 16v AC wires I have run halfway underneath the layout to approximately where it will be required for the point motors, traffic signals, building lights, street lights, etc. I got Jo my wife to video the first test run on the track underneath where the tunnel will be to check it works.

Considering where I was operating the loco from, I was pretty accurate with my stopping before plunging the loco off the layout and onto the floor where the lift-off bridge should be!


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