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 (now dismantled) which sat 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.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Battens Cut Ready to be Installed and Another Addition to Engine Fleet

This morning Jo and I cut the battens ready for installation.


Unfortunately my first attempt to install the first batten failed! I managed to strip 3 Phillips No.2 bits trying to screw it to the steel bearers with the special self-drilling screws. Contacted the supplier ScrewFix and they recommend special bits for the job which I have ordered and will pick up tomorrow morning whilst I am out in Leamington Spa food shopping.


The engine at the back of my little railway arrived today, a great addition to my fleet of locos.



  1. Hello Keith & Jo,

    Model railways are great fun & your project seems to be coming along well. Off cuts of closed cell PIR foam are very useful & may be substituted for the Thermalite block viaducts used in both OO & 16mm garden railways, as shown in the links.

    I'm using a 2440mm x 1220mm sheet of 160mm thick polyurethane insulation on edge, to form a single flat arch bridge like this Mine is nearly 8 feet long & 4 feet tall to carry the rails across our fish pond. I peeled off the foil & carved the blockwork & I will finish it with Santex masonry paint when it's warmer.

    Tunnel portals & their wing walls are also are also easy to carve & the sheets are very suitable as baseboards.

    Best wishes for 2018,


  2. Many thanks Perry, we have already thought about using the spare foam for landscaping.