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 30 April 2020

Light Haulage through Hadarford.

A smaller load only needs a small diesel to haul it.

Heavy haulage through Hadarford

A heavy load needs a large diesel to haul it through Hadarford.


Wednesday 29 April 2020

Ballast Train.

A ballast train hauled by 0-6-0 saddle tank, passing through Hadarford. 

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Private party passenger train through Hadarford

This is a private party booked on a special train passing through Hadarford.


Slow Freight Train through Hadarford

A slow freight train of mixed box vans hauled by a large diesel through Hadarford.


Monday 27 April 2020

Transfer Day Part 2

GW transfers added to the 2 new box vans, and tonnage transfers to all 5 grey wagons. 

This afternoon after lunch I added transfers to the bauxite liveried vans.

All 4 bauxite liveried vans.

The rake of box vans is really starting to look good.


Sunday 26 April 2020

2 More Box Vans

2 more 6' box vans assembled and primered.

The 2 completed box vans with the one I built in February.


Saturday 25 April 2020

Disaster Repair Part 2

Yesterday the replacement track arrived in the post. 
This morning I removed the excess ballast.

I fitted the new piece temporarily to measure the amount of rail I needed to remove for a good fit, which I then removed. 

I then screwed in 2 countersunk brass screws.
For some reason I did not fit screws here as I did with the other bridge, but remedied now.

I then soldered the rails to the screws. 

All ready for new ballast.

This afternoon I decided to replace the piece of track at the other end of the bridge, as this one also did not have any screws underneath it, to solder the rails to.

This evening I laid the ballast on the new piece of track ready for gluing tomorrow.


Friday 24 April 2020

1st Scratch-built Wagon Part 3

I wasn't happy with the space underneath my new brake van/wagon, so I had a search through my bits box and found this spare set of beer crates.

I cut it in half, and glued it underneath. 
Because of this the set of steps I had fitted were now in the way, so I removed them and added a full length running board.

I then sprayed it with primer, already for top coating later this morning.


Thursday 23 April 2020

1st Scratch-built Wagon Part 2

Sat outside today on our patio enjoying the sunshine and really nice to do some modelling out in natural light. 
Good progress with the brake van/wagon.
Firstly I cut in the wood planking before gluing it all together. 

Glued all the wall parts onto the frame.

I added further detail with the bracing, a long toolbox and a step.

All ready for painting tomorrow before fitting the glazing and the roof.


Wednesday 22 April 2020

1st Scratch-built Wagon

I have made a start on my 1st scratch-built wagon.
The floor.

Side 'T' sections added to the floor.

Under-frame created, and extra bracing where the bogie pivots come through. 
Also extra bracing added underneath the floor.

Under-frame attached to the floor.

Bogies fitted.

All the walls cut and ready for adding the planking detail.


Tuesday 21 April 2020

A Fine Day Trip Out for a Picnic

This set was probably the earliest set of 009 wagons I ever bought, so a long time ago. 
The wagons were grey plastic and the benches were red on one and yellow on the other. 
All repainted and looking a lot better.


Monday 20 April 2020

Transfer Day

Transfers applied to this box van and open wagon to remind me of my 'O' gauge exhibition layout "Holmehurst"

No smoking triangles applied to some of the coaches.


New Livestock Truck

This morning amongst other items, this livestock truck arrived in the post.
The vet is ready to check the cattle that are to be loaded in the truck to be taken to market.


Mess Van

It says what it is on the tin.


Snapper Bar Part 7

Stewards and passengers arrived in the post today, now fitted in the Snapper bar.


Sunday 19 April 2020


Disaster day today! I thought I would have a rest day from building stuff for the layout, and run some trains. 
I had to fit the 2 removable bridges. 
For whatever reason the larger bridge would not fit in properly and in the attempt to do so I damaged the end piece of track on the layout!!!!!!

After the blue air subsided and I sat down and thought about it, I managed to remove the broken piece of track. 
I had to unsolder the 2 rail joints with the next section of track.

Then I was able to slide the rails out.

Unfortunately too many of the chairs which hold the rails to the sleepers were damaged, they are very small, so I have had to remove the piece of track completely.

I spent 2 hours sanding the 2 ends of the bridge with a sanding mouse.

Now it fits again.

I have ordered replacement track which will take a while to arrive under the present circumstances.


Friday 17 April 2020

Repainted large Coal Wagons

Today I painted these large coal wagons.


Thursday 16 April 2020

A Large Box Van

Today's task was to paint this larger box van.
this was its original plastic brown colour.

 Hopefully better looking brown, with additional detailing added.

The set of box vans is increasing.