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.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Further Working Narrowboat Detailing

Motor boat now has a rudder, swans neck, tiller arm, engine exhaust and stove chimney.


Butty boat now has a elum and stove chimney.



Saturday, 22 September 2018

Working Narrowboats

I have started to add the detail to the pair of working narrowboats.

Cratch, mast, stands, uprights, and top planks.



Thursday, 20 September 2018

Lock Gate Painting

This afternoon during the rain, I added the metal grab rails on the top of the end of the balance beam, and the step to be able to step up onto the gate to cross over them.

I also put the 1st coat of paint on the lock gates.


In situ they are now looking pretty good.

If you look very closely you can see them in these next 2 photos.




Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Modified Top Lock Gates

Today I have modified the 2 top lock gates for the canal lock. I realised after close inspection of the photo below of a real GU top gate that having added the extra paddle gear which was missing I now had 4 posts, and should only have 3, the one at the windlass winding end, and 2 paddle gear posts. This was because I had added a spare set of paddle gear as supplied. I also noticed that as supplied the hand rails on top gates are attached to the paddle gear and not the other side of the gate as I had done according to the kit.


I have removed the excess post, added an extra section of rod to replace where the extra post was, and fixed the handrails on the correct side of the gate, actually attached to the paddle gear posts. If you look closely you can see in the photo of the unpainted gates the extra post, which is now removed, and the handrails on the wrong side of the gate.


The photo of a real GU top lock gate is how they should look.

GU Lock 17

I think this is about as close as I will get as there are variations so not too fussed. For example, some top gate handrails do not have the curve but are square as in this photo, so there is definitely some leeway allowable.

GU Lock 16b


Sunday, 16 September 2018

Lock Gates

I have started working on the 4 lock gates. I first attached the paddles and paddle gear to each gate.

However, as supplied the top gates only had one paddle each, so I have added an extra one to each gate to be more Grand Junction (southern Grand Union) style.


Once the glue had set I then added the handrails to all 4 gates.


They are now ready to paint once the glue has set.


Final Plaster Work.

With the 2 bridges fixed in place yesterday, I was able this morning to complete the landscaping up to them.

The canal lock side.


The towpath side below the canal bridge.



Saturday, 15 September 2018

Canal & Railway Bridges

Today I finished the basic painting of the 2 bridges which cross the railway and canal at the village, and have fixed them in place along with the retaining walls.

As viewed from the canal wharf.


The view from the canal lock side.


They still need further painting and weathering in place.


Thursday, 13 September 2018

Carnage at Hadarford

Carnage at Hadarford station, casualties are light fortunately.


Similar disaster at the canal wharf.


All this due to travelling up through the 21 locks of the Hatton flight today.


Tuesday, 11 September 2018


Farm, station, canal bridge and level crossing roads temporarily in place.


The road alongside the farm.



Monday, 10 September 2018

Bridge and Coping Stone Painting

Today I have started to paint coping stones on the canal and lock walls and the bridges.




Friday, 7 September 2018

Another New Arrival

Today I received another Bachmann Baldwin loco. This is now my 2nd one. It also means I now have 3, including the kit one I built for my late father, as in the photo below.


This now completes my steam fleet for Hadarford and all 6 locos are below.




Remaining Base Colour Painting

With the plaster at the tunnel end of the layout taking a bit longer to dry, I managed to get it painted this evening.




Thursday, 6 September 2018

Base Coat Painting

With the majority of plaster landscaping having dried by this afternoon I was able to complete this section of the base coat of painting.

The canal bridge and earth bank on the towpath side and the towpath.


the lock landing below the lock.


The lock side. Some finer finishing off is required with a finer brush than the ½” brush I used to get the coverage required.


Churchyard, towpath, canal bank and railway embankment.


The 2 hills at the end of the layout.


Full length view of the canal lock and village area.



Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Plan B

Unfortunately I discovered yesterday that the papier mâché did not work. In places it was not sticking down. When I lifted it where it was lifting, it came off in sheets and had not stuck to any of the landscaping.

So this morning I have used plaster instead where needed.






Sunday, 2 September 2018

Lock Keepers Cottage Steps.

2 stone door steps at the door of the lock keepers cottage.



Papier Mâché

A messy morning covering the foam insulation landscape with papier mâché.










Quite an appropriate use for Towpath Talk.



Saturday, 1 September 2018

Final Plastering.

This afternoon I used some moulding plaster to create the earth bank of the canal.


With what was remaining from the mix I have attached a large boulder above the tunnel.


I have to wait 24 hours for it all to dry before I can clean it all up, so a bit of time off.