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.

Friday 31 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 12

 Final few pieces of heavily modified rodding cut, glued and all fixed in place.

Point operating and locking mechanism rodding on the far side.

Further rodding to the ground signal.

This now completes this end of the station apart from painting and ballasting.


Thursday 30 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 11

 Early start this morning with the paintbrush on the point rodding installed so far.

1st a coat of gunmetal, immediately followed by rust whilst the gunmetal was tacky, and smeared with a finger.


Wednesday 29 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 10

 Further good progress with the point rodding at this end of the station today.

Overall view of the work so far this end of the station.

Far side point locking mechanism rodding completed and glued in place.

Closeup of the completed far side point locking mechanism rodding.

Nearside point locking mechanism and point operating rodding glued in place.

Closeup of the completed nearside point locking mechanism and point operating rodding.

Final section of this part of the rodding through to the ground signal.

Closeup of the ground signal rodding.

This now completes the rodding in the foreground.

Tuesday 28 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 9

 1st expansion compensator and angled pivot now connected to the 1st point locking mechanism and in place ready to be connected to the rodding.

Corner junction also completed. Will leave overnight for the glue to set.


Point Rodding Part 8

 Today I have returned to installing the point rodding by shortening connectors to fit, shown alongside original pieces.

Also 1st point locking mechanism and linkage glued in place.


Friday 24 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 7

 Good progress today with clearing all the ballast/static grass at the other end of the station.

Bare area now painted brown.

This means everything is ready to start installing the point rodding after Christmas πŸŽ…πŸ€ΆπŸ§¦πŸŽ„πŸŽπŸ¦Œ


Thursday 23 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 6

 This afternoon I removed static grass/ballast from the second half of this side of the station ready for the point rodding.

Point rodding temporarily fitted in place.

Painted brown, all ready for installing the rodding.


New Brake Van

 New brake van arrived this morning, it goes well with my Bo-Bo logging engine 'Marmite'


Rail Replacement Coach Service

Whilst the railway is closed during the installation of the point rodding, the local bus operating company have laid on a special coach service with a new coach (it arrived in the post this morning) as well as their normal bus service.


Wednesday 22 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 5

 With 2 sets of 5 chisel blades arriving today, I have made a start on removing static grass and ballast for the point rodding.

1st section from the level crossing cleared.

2nd section cleared.

1st section of point rodding temporarily in place.

2nd section of point rodding temporarily in place.

Ballast removed from where the locking mechanism link will pass under the rail.

Locking mechanism linkage temporarily fitted, the link passing under the rail will need to be shortened.

Exposed section from the level crossing painted.

Remainder painted.


New Bug Boxes

 0-6-0 saddle tank 'Beryl' in charge of the longer bug box train, with the addition of 2 new green livery open coaches.


Monday 20 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 4

 Did I mention that this point rodding might take a while? 

Having glued 2 pieces together I have to wait for the glue to set before adding the next piece.

One set of rodding connected to the junction arms.

2nd section of rodding from the junction through to the ground signal.

Close-up of the 2nd section at the junction end.

Droppers attached to the far side rodding.

The far side rodding temporarily in place.

1st section at the other end of the station towards the maintenance yard.

2 assembled expansion compensators, these allow for expansion and contraction of the rodding with the changes of air temperature.

Should keep me busy until the New Year.


Sunday 19 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 3

 Today I had to remove a piece of stone wall which was in the way of the new point rodding where the rodding drops below the level crossing.

As viewed for the route of the point rodding.

Piece of stone wall cut off.

End of the remaining wall painted.

Point rodding temporarily in place where it drops below the level crossing.


Saturday 18 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 2

 Today I started assembling sections of point rodding.

This 1st section is made up from 6 pieces glued together with 3 droppers added to the end.

Closeup of the 3 droppers which drop the rodding underneath the level crossing.

The next 3 sections 2+1.

This is the junction that goes between the 2 sections assembled so far, it allows a change in direction of the rodding, it is made up from 3 based glued together and 3 angles glued on top of the bases.


Tuesday 14 December 2021

Point Rodding Part 1

 I initially bought one kit of point rodding to see how far it would go and work out how much more I needed. 

Point rodding is a mechanical way of operating points and signals from a signal box. 

From my workings out I needed a further kit and the extension set which arrived yesterday. 

Yesterday and today I have been planning out the runs for the 2 points, 2 ground signals and 2 facing point locks, at the canal wharf end. Facing point locks are necessary where train approach a facing point as rodding operating the blades of a point is insufficient to hold them in place with approaching trains, the locks lock the blades in place. 

This could take a while.

The full run.

1st point and point locking.

2nd point, point locking and 2 ground signals.