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 have now built the layout. This is now a full record of the building of this layout and any new additions along the way.

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

Saturday 17 March 2018

More Bridge Construction

Road base now in place which will need surfacing with sanding belt sand paper.
Also in place the two connecting stone walls which join the two bridges together.

This afternoon I finished off the end of the road and bridge.

I have used Peco 'N' gauge bridges and although the bridge over the canal is okay, the one over the rail track needed raising up about 8mm to clear rolling stock.

The side walls for this bridge also needed raising up too.

I also did this to the tunnel portal I fitted a couple of weeks ago.

I will have to do the same to the tunnel portal at the other end of the tunnel.


Friday 16 March 2018

Start of Bridges Construction

I started constructing the two adjacent road bridges, one crosses the canal, the other crosses the rail track.

This evening I added the internal walls for the canal bridge.


Friday 9 March 2018

Wine Bar Renamed

Jo selected the style and colour for the signs for her tea rooms today.
Now officially "Jo's Tea Rooms".


Jo's Tearooms

I have purchased this wine bar on eBay and will be converting it to "Jo's Tearooms".
I wonder where I got that name from?


Thursday 8 March 2018

Tunnel Portal Stone Walling

Today I fixed the stone walling either side of the tunnel portal.


Saturday 3 March 2018

Even More Track Laid

More track laid today, from the fiddle-yard across the other lift-off bridge around to the start of the station. This is all the track I can lay at this time, I need to purchase all the points, point motors, etc. before I can proceed any further. I hope to be able to do this when we return to our mooring after our Spring/Summer cruise.


Friday 2 March 2018

More Track Laid and Powered

Today I laid more track across the lift-up bridge around to the start of the fiddle-yard.
It is all powered up and working.

This is as far as I can go as I now need to buy the point-work to be able to continue.


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!