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.

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Ballast Train

 0-4-0 saddle tank 'Nesta' with a ballast train passing Hadarford wood. 😊


Sunday 7 January 2024

New Quarryman's Brake van

 With 'Linda' and Blanche' delivering the new quarryman's brake van to the paint-shed yesterday, and a sterling effort by the painters overnight, it has joined and now completes the quarryman's train and is immediately behind 6wDM diesel ‘Becky’. 😊


Saturday 6 January 2024

Test Run

 After a morning of checks and firing up for the 1st time, 2-4-0 Hunslet 'Blanche' is out for her test run with 0-4-0 Hunslet 'Linda' as back-up, just in case, with a new guard's van in tow, also under trial. 😊


Friday 5 January 2024

New Arrival

 0-4-0 Hunslet 'Linda' has safely delivered new arrival 2-4-0 Hunslet 'Blanche' to Hadarford's maintenance yard to take on coal and water ready to be fired up for the 1st time tomorrow. 😊


Tuesday 2 January 2024

Getting to grips with PhotoShop Editing

Today I have been playing with Photoshop to improve the backgrounds of my photos.

Because of the low proximity of the guttering and the shadow it creates, it is difficult to take good photos as in this photo.

0-4-0 'Prince' with a small mixed traffic train passing Hadarford lock. 😊

It is a painstaking process taking a couple of hours to complete. I have at present a choice of 14 cloudy sky pictures to choose from. I copy and paste one of them onto a transparent blank the same size at the intended photo and position the cloudy sky at the top of the blank.
Then the time consuming part where I 1st open the intended photo and paste it onto a transparent blank, then very slowly cut the unwanted background bit by bit, until all the unwanted background has gone.
I then copy and paste this photo onto the blank page with the cloudy sky at the top. I position it to give the best view. As I have always done previously I then black out the underside of the layout.

This is the final result

Oh look, a rainbow 🌈