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.

Thursday 31 October 2019

Converting Telegraph Poles into Telephone Poles Part 3

This afternoon I added the cable that runs from the connection box at the top of the poles down to the ground.

Then I painted them black.


Wednesday 30 October 2019

Converting Telegraph Poles into Telephone Poles Part 2

The 4 stages of converting telegraph poles into telephone poles. 

2 poles are used to create one by cutting both above the pair of footsteps, and one below the lowest footstep. 

The pair of footsteps on the top of the short pole are removed. 

All pieces were then rubbed with a needle file to produce the wood grain and remove the shiny plastic look. 

Both poles were then glued together to produce the required pole. 

This repeated 8 times to make 8 poles.

Connection boxes added to the tops of the telephone poles and painted black, and the footsteps also painted gunmetal colour. 


Tuesday 29 October 2019

Converting Telegraph Poles into Telephone Poles

Early stage of converting 8 telegraph poles into telephone poles.
I have started to remove the telegraph arms and convert the smooth plastic finish to a grained wood finish.


Sunday 27 October 2019

Tunnel Portal

Although technically not part of the layout I thought I ought to add some static grass either side of the track emerging from the tunnel and onto the removable bridge just to finish it off.


Saturday 26 October 2019

Even More Weeds

Having got round to painting the floor of the garage this morning, I glued it in place and added some weeds around it :D



Today I painted the floor of the garage concrete coloured. 

Whilst I had the concrete paint out and on the brush I repainted the concrete areas around the lock which I had painted grey before I acquired the concrete paint.


Friday 25 October 2019

Final Flowerbeds and Veg Patches

This afternoon I applied the final flowerbeds and vegetable patches.
The garage owners cottage.

The farm workers cottages.

The farmhouse rear garden and veg patches.

The farmhouse front gardens.


Thursday 24 October 2019

More Weeds

Weeds either side of the pubs barbecue.

Edge of the platform by the level crossing.

Along side the coal stage and diesel tank.

Along the fence bordering the maintenance area.


Wednesday 23 October 2019

Hedge & Lawn

Today I have added a lawn and hedge to the rear of the garage owner's cottage.


Monday 21 October 2019


With all the large areas of static grass completed, this morning I added "weeds" to the bases of walls and buildings by applying 2mm static grass.


Sunday 20 October 2019

Static Grass Part 17

This afternoon I have applied the last small section of static grass between the rail track and the garage compound.


Static Grass Part 16

This morning added some 4mm static grass in places, then I vacuumed up the excess grass from the last large area. Finally I refitted the 126 trees.


Saturday 19 October 2019

Static Grass Part 15

Last large area of static grass completed this evening, just need to leave it overnight for the glue to set before vacuuming up the excess, repairing any bald patches and refitting the 126 trees.