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Rites of Passage for a Model Railway - 18: Thoraldby - the Layout and 'Potted History'

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Welcome to Thoraldby Station. The ticket office is top of the steps to the left before you come to the platform, waiting rooms beyond the barrier to the right.

Welcome to Thoraldby Station. The ticket office is top of the steps to the left before you come to the platform, waiting rooms beyond the barrier to the right.

Two of Darlington's finest. Both modified Gresley designs with the distinct North Eastern touch (a straight running board over the coupled wheels, something to do with Edward Thompson's input)

Two of Darlington's finest. Both modified Gresley designs with the distinct North Eastern touch (a straight running board over the coupled wheels, something to do with Edward Thompson's input)

That Wickham Gangers' trolley has undergone a small identity change, the regional 'W' replaced by 'NE'; parked on the livestock dock/machine ramp road by the signal cabin - just needs a driver

That Wickham Gangers' trolley has undergone a small identity change, the regional 'W' replaced by 'NE'; parked on the livestock dock/machine ramp road by the signal cabin - just needs a driver

A close-up of  'old timer', Bachmann Branchline Class J39 0-6-0 64710. Renumbering and weathering have altered her appearance since first taking her out of the box. See below '...An engine passes through...' for location shot

A close-up of 'old timer', Bachmann Branchline Class J39 0-6-0 64710. Renumbering and weathering have altered her appearance since first taking her out of the box. See below '...An engine passes through...' for location shot

And a close-up of relatively ancient (1980s) Hornby D49, modified to D49/2, 62764 'The Garth' with the help of a Crownline converson kit.

And a close-up of relatively ancient (1980s) Hornby D49, modified to D49/2, 62764 'The Garth' with the help of a Crownline converson kit.

A pair of (Hornby) Q6 0-8-0 locomotives (63443 and 63420) and K1 2-6-0 62064 rest between turns at Ayton Lane mpd. See section on Ayton Lane below

A pair of (Hornby) Q6 0-8-0 locomotives (63443 and 63420) and K1 2-6-0 62064 rest between turns at Ayton Lane mpd. See section on Ayton Lane below

Model-U fireman on Q6 63420 of 51D (Middlesbrough) keeps an eye on what's going on in the firebox whilst listening for the signal coming 'off''. (See Model-U appraisal below)

Model-U fireman on Q6 63420 of 51D (Middlesbrough) keeps an eye on what's going on in the firebox whilst listening for the signal coming 'off''. (See Model-U appraisal below)

Here's the Model-U driver of Stockton-on-Tees K1 62064 looking back at the photographer during a signal check near Thoraldby. In the lull, fireman tops up the coal in the firebox

Here's the Model-U driver of Stockton-on-Tees K1 62064 looking back at the photographer during a signal check near Thoraldby. In the lull, fireman tops up the coal in the firebox

*See below for link to Double O Gauge Association (DOGA) web site

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A brief look round Ayton Lane m.p.d - see the rest lower down on the page

From Selby north to Berwick-upon-Tweed and inland from the coast as far as Leeds and Hawes (at least until 1954), the North Eastern Region of British Railways was the old North Eastern Railway territory in less prosperous times

From Selby north to Berwick-upon-Tweed and inland from the coast as far as Leeds and Hawes (at least until 1954), the North Eastern Region of British Railways was the old North Eastern Railway territory in less prosperous times

Class L1 2-6-4 T 67742 was a Darlington (51A) allocation in the early 1950s - she is seen here at rest before returning with a short passenger working

Class L1 2-6-4 T 67742 was a Darlington (51A) allocation in the early 1950s - she is seen here at rest before returning with a short passenger working

Sentinel Class Y3 0-4-0 T borrowed from Northallerton (51J) for yard duties stands on the sand furnace siding

Sentinel Class Y3 0-4-0 T borrowed from Northallerton (51J) for yard duties stands on the sand furnace siding

J94 0-6-0 ST 68010 was a Tyneside (Blaydon 62C) engine at this time, brought to Darlington Works for overhaul and never made it back. She takes turns on the loco coal ramp and trip workings from Ayton Lane until recall (paperwork mixed up?).

J94 0-6-0 ST 68010 was a Tyneside (Blaydon 62C) engine at this time, brought to Darlington Works for overhaul and never made it back. She takes turns on the loco coal ramp and trip workings from Ayton Lane until recall (paperwork mixed up?).

THORALDBY - An idea for a space, and space for an idea

The idea of a large model railway layout in the cellar came after taking apart a small layout in the living room known as 'Reeth'. It had been an experiment in track-laying, had 'dummy' signals and was very limited but an article I penned about it and the 'history' behind it (based on a projected railway that never came about because of the decline in lead mining in the northern Dales) appeared in 'Railway Modeller' in the mid-80's. I thought it was time to 'go big'.

Naming the layout took some head-scratching to work out. Made-up names seem artificial and don't always work. As there are duplicated place-names by the score in Yorkshire, I thought how about an out-of-the-way place, a small town or large village with an army base that originated in WWI? There are several of these dotted about in the Vale of Mowbray near Thirsk and Northallerton (satellite camps of Catterick).

Aside from that a coal depot was a must, as well as a cattle dock and 'roll-on' facility for tanks (the army base would be a background feature, and some tanks that rolled out of the factories in the last year of WWI might have come here. After being 'checked' at the local base they would have rolled up onto the ramp and onto machinery wagons alongside the cattle dock). The ramp is used by the time of this layout for farm machinery and unloading horse boxes. You can see the two Nissen huts in the overhead view of Thoraldby Station, painted in camouflage colours. These were bought through Colin Snowdon, Chairman of DOGA, from Gramodels' own large scenic range: www.gramodels.co.uk . Whilst not inexpensive they are a useful addition to a layout with a hint of the military. You could paint them in civilian mode as factories (many were put to use after the military vacated them). As the layout is based in the early 50s these two have been given a Royal Engineers' 'makeover', a board decorated with '8 RE' facing the railway. In the war years they would not have had these boards facing the railway in case of spies (WWII). Peace reigns (at least in war-torn Britain, where signs of the recent past Korea conflict still abound), and part of the Royal Engineers would soon be renamed Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (REME). One hut has a red door to warn of restricted access (detonators or other sensitive equipment stored). The other, with a green door, may be a workshop to repair vehicle parts or equipment. They have been placed where the back of the 'Up' platform was. The goods depot further up uses part of the platform once used by passengers with a water tower sited behind. If you bend down, at the back under the awning you'll see a pair of gates for access by delivery vans or lorries.

Originally based on the years 1946-48, the austerity years of post-WWII Britain, I thought it time to move on, to the early 1950s, Coronation year (1953) to the mid-1950s before the second BR totem was adopted and corridor passenger rolling stock went through a new livery change to all maroon with 'waist stripes' (just below the windows) of black, cream and black.

Passenger stock tends to be mostly Gresley and Thompson, although one David Bain four compartment NER brake passenger coach shows now and then. it would take some time before BR stock joined the rakes in a process of gradual replacement. There was still stock running in LNER livery up to the mid-50s as well as in early British Railways' livery, gradually being re-liveried as they were overhauled. Even NER non-corridor stock was kept on, re-liveried from LNER teak to BR crimson (in the 1920s they had been in NER crimson lake, like their Midland Railway contemporaries). I had allowed myself a nice wide brief, then, as far as concerned coaches. In the late 50s passenger traffic in the region was largely in the remit of Metro-Cammell diesel multiple units, the non-corridor stock being used by longer distance passenger traffic, a bit hard on passengers who travel the full distance, unless they can find seats in a lavatory composite. There is a kitbuilt Ian kirk Gresley and a Thompson version in use (the latter using Comet sides, ends and roof).

On the motive power:

I started with late LNER (post-1946 numbering), and then began renumbering the engines. All are now in BR livery with the 'mono-cycling' lion emblem on tenders and tank sides (the early 1950s lion on the wheel). There are 'foreigners', i.e., the odd ex-LMS engines that replaced or augmented 'knackered' old North Eastern Railway loco stock, such as Ivatt Class 2 'Mickey Mouse' 2-6-0, Ivatt Class 4 ('Flying Pigs'), also of 2-6-0 wheel arrangement, and a Fairburn Class 4MT 2-6-4 tank (precursor of the BR Standard Class 4 2-6-4T (all Bachmann models), introduced into the area in the early-to-mid 1950s to supplement an ageing fleet of war-neglected ex-NER and -LNER locomotives).

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The LNER acquired a large fleet of ex-War Department locomotives after WWII, namely the J94 0-6-0 Saddle Tank locos for shed or trip workings to eke out the old NER/LNER J72 0-6-0 tank engines that originally saw service in the late 19th/early 20th Century, and the much bigger, heavier 2-8-0 tender engines for heavy workings. On the Thoraldby branch these would have been strictly speaking over the axle weight limit, but limits were 'stretched' in post-WWII Britain when re-building became more vital than paying 'lip-service' to pre-WWII permanent way dictats.

Hornby brought out their Class J94 in the late 1990s, around the same time as Bachmann produced their Riddles' designed WD 2-8-0. Being a mineral and goods artery, I introduced a pair of J94s and a WD 2-8-0 for mineral workings down the branch.

The ex-LNER Class B1 4-6-0, designed by Edward Thompson and lighter than the WD 2-8-0, was used on either fitted freight workings or passenger diagrams on country branch lines. There are two (Bachmann) B1 4-6-0 locos that appear from time to time at Thoraldby, 61016 'Inyala' of York (50A - metamorphosed from 61069 of Neville Hill courtesy of HMRS transfers and name plates from Phoenix Precision) and 61339 of Leeds Neville Hill (50B). Also from Bachmann is the V2 2-6-2 tender class, a York number in this case, 60864 on the odd homeward-(south)-bound light engine movement or 'in tandem' with another home-bound engine such as the Bachmann K3 2-6-0 that I picked up at a bargain price in Monkbar Models, York some time ago, before Hornby introduced their K1.

In February 2016 I took delivery of Hornby K1 2-6-0 62059 from Hattons, a welcome addition to the scene at Thoraldby and has seen service on various workings through the station. Originally I ordered an early totem loco, but was told Hornby was not going to deliver. The weathered version bought instead with the early totem didn't need re-numbering, the model as it was sported a Darlington (51A) number. A bit of extra weathering, a crew and a change of detailing (brass vacuum and steam heat pipes, and screw couplings) was all that was needed to get her into traffic.

It seems pigs do fly! Not long ago I mentioned a singular shortage of 'off-the-shelf' ex-North Eastern Railway prototypes aside from the erstwhile Replica, latterly Bachmann Branchline J72 (NER Class E1 0-6-0 tank loco). Last week, on Saturday 18th June, '16 I took delivery of the new Hornby Q6 0-8-0 in 'ex-works' condition from Hattons. Given the time the same weekend I started the weathering process and had her looking like a 'working girl' ready for the DOGA AGM on July 2nd. Who knows, maybe next will be a J27 (NER Class P3 0-6-0).

25/2/2017: The pigs have turned into rockets. With the influx of extra cash from a PPI claim I took delivery of another Hornby Q6, this time ordered online from Model Railways Direct. Numbered 63429 with post-1956 'lozenge' and overhead power warning stickers, she underwent an identity swap as 63420 with the early emblem. The allocation for 63420 in 1950 was Middlesbrough (51D) before Thornaby's new shed (51L) opened in 1958. In other words we have another 'Teessider' to take heavy traffic from Durham collieries and Teesside steel plants.

Ideas about the loco fleet 'on the branch' came from reading a quartet of books titled 'Men of Steam' by the late Scarborough driver Raymond Flint published by Santona Publications of Hull. The first has a picture of an LNER green-liveried D49/2 - 4-4-0 tender loco 2726 'The Meynell' of York 'striding' out of Scarborough Station in the mid-late 1940s).

A selection of branch line locomotives abounds, still kicking about after WWII in the region. A pair of Bachmann J39 0-6-0 tender engines alternates on branch pick-up work. Due to their shorter body length and shorter overhang they were suitable on these duties in smaller, tighter branch stations. Several older Hornby D49's have taken passenger turns, one being a visitor from outside the area, possibly a Scottish 'Shire'. Having bought a pair of nameplates and a smokebox number from Fox Transfers for 62701 'Derbyshire' they're in the 'In' tray downtairs until I get a round 'tewit' (53D Bridlington in 1950-58, then Hull Botanic Gardens, 53B for about a year before the shed closed to steam in 1959). A couple of engines at Ayton Lane shed alternate between here and Thoraldby, a Bachmann J72 and a Nucast Y7 0-4-0 'Sentinel Coffee-pot' (vertical-boilered shunter, assembled by fellow DOGA member Stephen Siddle). Others get an airing every now and then, a pair of Bachmann Gresley V3 Class 2-6-2 and a Hornby L1 Thompson 2-6-4.tank engine fill in on passenger turns. A couple of NER veterans stand in the shed, a Middlesbrough allocated (Nucast) Q6 0-8-0 further back, and Darlington J21 0-6-0 (also Nucast) pokes her smokebox out of the shed, awaiting the fitter or the knacker's yard. The bigger engine is in for extensive refitting, meanwhile the recently introduced (Hornby) Q6 from across the Tees at Haverton Hill takes on anything from a mineral working to steel-laden bogie bolsters, four-wheeled twin bolsters and plate wagons away from Teesside for civil engineering projects around the region (see separate entry on this page). The J21 can be seen on branch passenger services - possibly with either a pigeon/parcels van or milk tanker for the Dairy (Co-op) at the other end of the branch.

A few of the locomotives mentioned above have featured in DOGA competitions and magazine features that can be seen on their website - just enter DOGA on the search - in full colour. Others - taken by fellow DOGA member Brian Roper - feature in my RMweb Gallery page. Just for you, I shall feature some of them here (you've already seen the coal depot images in Number 13 of this series of pages).

The motorised Bachmann Type 27 Wickham Ganger's Trolley (see below) in BR Maroon is in for a slight change of identity, from Western to North Eastern region. I've put the storage shed for it near the tunnel entrance at Thoraldby by cutting out part of the scenery and ballast, some work was needed to 'bed it in', some painting and restoration of scenery. Only problem is, the 'trailer' is permanently fitted for pickups and it won't fit in. However... I took a fancy to them after seeing one 'buzzing' down past Levisham on the Pickering branch in a dvd (Marsden Rail No.13 'BRAKEVAN TO WHITBY' available through Videoscene, product MR013. I've added a link below). It could stand in the siding near the provender store at the Ayton Lane halt, waiting for the gangers at work near the tunnel portal. Of course when wagons need to be collected or dropped off by the branch pick-up it would have to be elsewhere. Watch out for further pictures.

Rolling stock: As for stock, if you've got a big enough hat I could scribble the manufacturers' names on chits of paper and it would be full in no time!.It's enough to say many of the wagon and van kits are Parkside Dundas, and many of the off-the-shelf wagons are either Hornby or Bachmann. Almost all the coach kits are Ian Kirk Gresley stock. Of these the bogies and underframe detailing are of different sources but mainly Comet and MJT. There are some r-t-r underframes with Comet 'Thompson' sides to complete the scene and a vintage North Eastern clerestory brake 3rd in British Railways' crimson livery (the LNER repainted them after 1923 and BR repainted the survivors into BR crimson. In other words from when they were first built at the turn of the 19th Century they'd run in three different liveries). A pair of 52' Thompson non-corridor brake seconds - originally brake thirds in LNER days - was bought at reduced price by mail order recently (week end 22nd October, '16), screw couplings attached, last running numbers changed, ends, bogie sides, steps and ends repainted to look 'used'. Another was bought separately, also at discount rate, around £35 (registered retail price is over £40 now)

Some of the coach bogies are Bachmann's, bought separately, as were the sprung buffers on a number of the carriages. In the time since I started building these carriages the ownership of Kirk Coach kits has strayed away two or three steps from the original owner Ian Kirk. A number of other kit manufacturers has also changed ownership in the intervening years, so it gets a bit sticky finding the products after a while. It's all part of the charm of making things, that the bits and pieces get harder to source unless you keep up with the movements of the makers on the market. Even a lot of the ready-to-run stock can only be found on second-hand stalls or on e-bay, where the makers have either gone out of business or do other things. The original Ian Kirk kitmakers now only make 'O' Gauge carriage and wagon kits and Graham Farish only produce N-Gauge models these days.

It's a great life if you don't weaken!

April 2nd, 2013 - A few new additions have entered 'service' since this Hub-page was first created. View one of these, the crane and 'runner', on my RMweb Gallery Page

1. A Bachmann V3 2-6-2 Tank locomotive threw a wobbly and I cast around for a replacement. Colin Snowdon, the DOGA Chairman, came up trumps - price-wise too - with an unused V1/V3. The model as it came had a Tyneside V1 number, 67635. After adding Markits cast brass vac pipes (these come in two parts and can be either soldered or super-glued together straight or with the 'pipe' slightly askew) and Jackson-type screw couplings, I re-liveried the engine with the British Railways' 'cycling lion' emblem. One of the numbers was changed to turn it into a Middlesbrough-allocated (51D), V3 67685;

2. Spent countless hours assembling seven of the Parkside BR Shildon-built steel mineral hoppers, filing down 'flash' and other extrusion 'irregularities', cutting brass wire, cursing, assembling hopper bodies, adding Smiths 3-link couplings, cursing, painting, numbering, weathering, sitting back and admiring. Two I slightly modified. One I modelled with the hopper doors open - not noticeable with the 'load' inserted - and because I lost a small (and I mean SMALL) part I turned it into a 'prototype', an intermediate between the steel LNER hopper and the BR type. Coal load 'platforms' were assembled using thick plastic card bases (to avoid 'bowing'), thinner layers added on top to build up the load profile. Next plastic filler was added and smoothed around the card profile; to be painted matt black with pva glue spread before sprinkling with real ground/powdered coal from the lump I 'liberated' when at the North Woolwich Railway Museum decades ago;

3. Bought the Dapol version of the Booth Rodley Diesel breakdown/engineers' crane and modelled it with bogies, attached to the underside of the body by 8BA brass screws, secured with nuts under the bogies. Threading the 'cable' was tricky but achievable using grey thread (only trouble is you'd have to keep the thread damp somehow to stop it fraying). It works at least, the jib and hook cables can be turned with a square Allen-type key and with a load on the hook it looks reasonably realistic. Painting was in British Railways North Eastern Region black with the afore-mentioned 'cycling lion', Dapol transfers (Booth Rodley) and HMRC numbers. I since found out Parkside have a sheet of appropriate transfers. Well, when I get a round tuit... As a crane runner I modified one of my four wheeled plate wagons with a jib rest and appropriate regional departmental transfers;

4. Unfitted brake vans have been had outside lamps added, supplied by Springside (available through Wizard Models), with the clear aspects forward and red to the rear. White lamps were already attached to most of the brake vans - including the bauxite-painted fitted ones - on the middle hooks. A proprietary Bachmann Branchlines unfitted brake was re-worked, using Smiths 3-link couplings, a guard added to one end platform (looking as if he was about to open his cabin door), painted a coat of lighter grey and heavily weathered. I now have twelve brake vans, five of which are fitted, suitable for mixed goods, livestock, fitted freight (fruit, fish or perishables traffic) or breakdown trains, the rest are suitable for mineral traffic (iron ore, coal, limestone, building stone) and are representative of different eras of the LNER/BR.

July 2013:

1. Colin brought the V3, 67686, back in late July, and with a few adjustments to the underside she ran well. With detailing (screw couplings and vacuum pipes, fitted and painted) and weathering she 'slots' back into service with her sister loco 67685, both Middlesbrough allocations. I've painted up a few white metal fire irons to add to the top of the tank on the fireman's side (right);

2. Busy assembling Parkside fish vans and BR 21T mineral hoppers, seven of the former, seven of the latter; intermittent adaptation of proprietary wagons with Parkside underframe kits also went on and I've got a new problem. Parking. Now I've got to modify my stock 'cases' (recycled wooden bread trays and shelving units found locally in skips - new costs a pretty penny!);

The only thing missing at Thoraldby is the hot creosote smell, the sound of doors slamming at the platform, the platform porter's whistle and the dull thud of cylinders thumping into action! Add to that the sound of a dog barking, another porter whistling as he humps mail bags onto his barrow for collection by the local delivery office van, the sound of shovels scraping in the coal depot nearby as coalmen tidy up the coal cell floors in preparation for the next delivery by the branch pick-up goods service. Delivery lorry engines being revved up for the climb to road level with a full load...

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Scenery at Ayton Lane shed.is detailed below.in the 'diary'.

*['Thoraldby' the layout has been dismantled and sold to a fellow Double O Gauge Association - DOGA - member, although I shall keep its pictorial history here to show what can be achieved at a 'basic' level in railway modelling. I have made fair progress on another layout to replace it on its framework in the cellar with 'Ainthorpe Junction & Deanthorpe Goods Depot & Livestock Market with not two fiddle yards as before but THREE,- that is two two-road yards at one end, one at the back slightly higher than the front one, and a full width one at the other end Interesting pointwork on the planning board and sketches of the goods depot buildings done whilst I was in hospital at the end of February-beginning March, 2018 based on ideas gleaned from my travels and bookshelf references. Another visit to Masham station site is in prospect, hopefully in the autumn, 2020 - circumstances permitting - to take pictures of the double-length provender store that was still there in 2017 when I was there last. More soon on a dedicated page. This will be headed, "Rites of Passage... 31::Let Me Introduce You to Ainthorpe Junction" ,

Funny thing, I forgot to mention the controller...

Gaugemaster dual controller with brake simulator

Gaugemaster dual controller with brake simulator

What got things going, what regulated the locomotives' speed?

From the image above you'll see the controller I chose a long, long time ago was a Gaugemaster Series DS dual control speed regulator with brake simulators. I'm no technical wizard, but under advice from someone I knew at the time I started to build 'Thoraldby' I bought this gizmo. The idea was to control traffic from both ends of the layout, and have one loco coast in to Thoraldby station platform and the other coast up to the goods depot across the way (originally I meant to have two platforms but decided to make things interesting by adding the army camp with two Nissen huts close to the railway behind high fencing).

With this controller you have no sudden stops and starts, but a gradual build-up of power to simulate putting on or taking off the brakes. I have two single ones from Gaugemaster (when I find the second one I bought in 2018 for 'Thorpe Carr' at the bottom of the box that contains the loco fleet), one being what controlled 'Kirk Rigg'. All three may be put to use on the 'Ainthorpe Jct' layout and buy another dual one for 'Thorpe Carr'.

Q6 63420 and K1 62064 at Thoraldby - Model-U figures in their settings

Q6 63420 from the tender end shows how the moulding detail has been brought out by the weathering. A bit more 'mank' (weathering) and she'll look the part. Here she stands at a signal check with the driver leaning out of his window (close-up below)

Q6 63420 from the tender end shows how the moulding detail has been brought out by the weathering. A bit more 'mank' (weathering) and she'll look the part. Here she stands at a signal check with the driver leaning out of his window (close-up below)

One of the firemen (stoker in the US?), busy with his shovel. Crews had to sign for all their gear, shovels, prickers, lamps and so on. They had to pay for lost or stolen equipment

One of the firemen (stoker in the US?), busy with his shovel. Crews had to sign for all their gear, shovels, prickers, lamps and so on. They had to pay for lost or stolen equipment

Here's one of the drivers, posed as leaning out of his cab window. One pair will be the crew of the K1 below.

Here's one of the drivers, posed as leaning out of his cab window. One pair will be the crew of the K1 below.

Here's the other driver in close-up, painted and leaning out of his cab during a signal check to see who's on the engine coming the other way

Here's the other driver in close-up, painted and leaning out of his cab during a signal check to see who's on the engine coming the other way

Bird's eye view of 62064 beside the water crane. The following train will be a local (stopping) passenger working

Bird's eye view of 62064 beside the water crane. The following train will be a local (stopping) passenger working

Model-U

The figures from Model-U are not cheap. These were £3 each, but the level of detail and the poses are unique. You could have them custom-made, some people pose for the cameras and have themselves produced in the scale, outfit and pose of their choice, obviously the bigger the better. 4mm scale (1/72) is the majority choice for OO, EM and P4.

What was delivered on order yesterday (6th April/17): 1059-076L Loco Crew Leaning (looking left), 1068-076L Loco Crew Leaning on cab side with rag (I cut this off to replace it with something more convincing), 1070-076L Loco Crew fireman holding onto cab side (with shovel in right hand), 1072-076L Loco Crew fireman firing (looking left).

I'd already bought some goods train guards (also differently posed) for the tail end, painted and positioned them. (I shall add images shortly), so one pair of this lot will be at the front end in the K1 and the guard at the back. BR(NE) tail lamps I bought from them will be positioned either side of the guard's van when I've inserted the shiny red 'jewel' insert. I'll keep you posted when these crews have been finished and ready for duty. .

Contact ModelU by e-mail at: info@modelu3d.co.uk or google them on www.modelu3d.co.uk

Bachmann's Wickham Ganger's Trolley

In situ beside the trolley shed - the Bachmann Wickham trolley shed bedded in near the tunnel mouth. Some work needed on the trolley to bring it up to scratch - like driver and 'passengers', and  the trailer needs a look at

In situ beside the trolley shed - the Bachmann Wickham trolley shed bedded in near the tunnel mouth. Some work needed on the trolley to bring it up to scratch - like driver and 'passengers', and the trailer needs a look at

The trolley sits on the bridge at Ayton Row near the tunnel mouth with the fog hut behind

The trolley sits on the bridge at Ayton Row near the tunnel mouth with the fog hut behind

The cover of Marsden Rail (Cinerail productions) No.34 Steam In The North East available through Videoscene, below

The cover of Marsden Rail (Cinerail productions) No.34 Steam In The North East available through Videoscene, below

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I have a collection of Marsden Rail's and B&R's steam era railway recordings from Videoscene. These are good quality translations from the original video cassettes (in turn produced from various formats of colour and black & white film) collections that I had before they were superseded by dvd format. With a large choice of steam, diesel, electric railway, tram (street-car), bus and air transport recordings, these people satisfy transport enthusiasts' requirements in research or entertainment.

Videoscene

An engine passes through... branch goods workings

Different perspective: a look down onto 43054's footplate with the fireman hard at work shovelling coal onto her grate

Different perspective: a look down onto 43054's footplate with the fireman hard at work shovelling coal onto her grate

On her way through Ayton Row with a fitted branch goods, 43054 passes the occupation crossing... Is that driver still sat on the back of that trailer, gassing to his mates? No, sorry, it's a delivery drivers' meeting again.

On her way through Ayton Row with a fitted branch goods, 43054 passes the occupation crossing... Is that driver still sat on the back of that trailer, gassing to his mates? No, sorry, it's a delivery drivers' meeting again.

(Seen before the addition of the shed for the Bachmann Branchline Wickham Gangers' Trolley):With an unfitted branch goods working 43054 emerges from the tunnel adjacent to Thoraldby's coal depot

(Seen before the addition of the shed for the Bachmann Branchline Wickham Gangers' Trolley):With an unfitted branch goods working 43054 emerges from the tunnel adjacent to Thoraldby's coal depot

43054 passes behind the old hopper loader of the Derwent Stone Co'y after being given the right away by Thoraldby Gates' signalman

43054 passes behind the old hopper loader of the Derwent Stone Co'y after being given the right away by Thoraldby Gates' signalman

Class J39 64710, one of two allocated to Darlington shed in the early 1950s, draws up to the junction with Ayton Lane's goods depot to collect wagons.

Class J39 64710, one of two allocated to Darlington shed in the early 1950s, draws up to the junction with Ayton Lane's goods depot to collect wagons.

Figures on the scene

Overall there's a variety of figures I've positioned on the layout, on locomotives, in passenger carriages and goods guards in their vans in various poses. More recent ones have been from Model-U. Back in time I've posted Dapol figures, cut them up, moved their arms and placed them in as natural positions as I've been able to observe. There are pre-painted figures, such as the 'spiv' outside the station entrance, taking care not to be too noticeable, or the man leaning against the outside wall of the station shelter on Thoraldby's platform. At Ayton Row there are figures positioned around a road trailer, looking like delivery drivers in an impromptu meeting whilst a farmer labours in the goods shed entrance. In the shed area a signalman comes off duty after briefing the next man on. On Thoraldby's platform a man struggles up the ramp with a huge chest. He's seen holding his back as a burly station porter strides along the platform with luggage in his hands and under his arms. Passengers wait patiently and through the main entrance you see a military policeman - a 'redcap' - with his alsatian as he points somewhere along the platform. Elsewhere a couple of 'gangers', railway line workers - tackle a fencing job near the tunnel entrance at Ayton Row. And there's the fireman coming away from his class V3 tank locomotive at Ayton Lane shed, a fireman leaning back in the cab of a Class J94 saddle tank on the raised deck of the loco coaler, awaiting the 'off' signal. Then there are the men in the coal depot, filling bags, loading them... Or the cross-country runners above the tunnel mouth on the Thoraldby side (you see one in one shot as he puffs over the rise from the direction of a farmer's field..Or how about the tractor driver on his way over the bridge at Ayton Row, the man with his barrow on the short former livestock dock opposite the station building? The shepherd with his collie and small flock in the field near the stone loader, the angler, oblivious to all that goes on around him near the bridge at Ayton Row. See how many of these you can pick out...

They're all from well-known manufacturers, Most of the figures I've painted with matt enamel paint, often thinned down, sometimes mixed, always with a view to making them look as natural as possible..

It's all been go on this line at times. The layout as you see it has passed into history, sold to a fellow DOGA member early in 2018. I've started another layout, 'Ainthorpe Junction'. Pay a visit, it's on this site, and whilst I work on the layout drop in from time to time to read about progress as well as the many locomotive profiles of motive power you'll see running in due course. .

Traffic's busy - sometimes - along the branch at Ayton Row

K1 62059 of 51A Darlington passes the now disused platform at Ayton Row with the same Down fitted perishables working towards the coast

K1 62059 of 51A Darlington passes the now disused platform at Ayton Row with the same Down fitted perishables working towards the coast

Q6 63443 of 51G Haverton Hill leaves the tunnel on the Down side, at the approach to Ayton Row with her coal working

Q6 63443 of 51G Haverton Hill leaves the tunnel on the Down side, at the approach to Ayton Row with her coal working

Many Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0 engines were built at Darlington during and after WWII, 43054 allocated to 51A Darlington was one. Here she takes an Up branch goods across the bridge past Ayton Row's depot

Many Ivatt Class 4 2-6-0 engines were built at Darlington during and after WWII, 43054 allocated to 51A Darlington was one. Here she takes an Up branch goods across the bridge past Ayton Row's depot

Class J94 68010 (Blaydon, 52C) and 68052 (Darlington, 51A) run 'in tandem' on temporary transfer to Ayton Lane shed for shunting loco coal wagons, and light mineral duties (to/from Derwent Stone siding)