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  This came about when in 2018, Rails of Sheffield held their annual Christmas Advent promotion and they had the Dapol O Gauge 57/87XX pannier tank priced at the same for an OO gauge loco. I dithered for a few days as I knew I had some PECO O gauge track that I had stored for a garden railway sometime in the future. I checked the site again a couple of days  before Christmas day and it was still available so made the plunge and brought it. I was looking at buying a Lionheart  B set - which I finally purchased one of the last sets from Hattons in July 2021,  and a rake of Parkside wagons and GWR toad, so will have a terminus with a goods siding  and at the  start  point  with two sidings to hold the  trains. 


 The offending item that has started this train of action on a length of track on the kitchen table, being test run with my Gaugemaster D twin controller.


At the end of October '20 I had purchased Dapol's Autocoach which was on sale at a good price and I  saved up for Dapol's 48xx with GWR Shirt Button livery to match up with the autocoach so as the pannier will now work the B set and the Parkside Dundas wagon kits of which I have seven of and plus the Toad  from Peter's Spares and will order another two or three or purchase some of Dapol's range and also a Slater's Milk Siphon C kit.

Photos below show locos matched up to  their respective trains on the kitchen table at the end of March'21 when five of the eight wagons had been built.
















 The latest addition to the project ,- Lionheart's 'B' set behind the pannier tank. 


       I have gathered most of items I need for the project namely track, signals, buffer stops, water tower, yard crane, station furniture,  people and have on order engine crew and station staff to come.




I will be scratch building the station and Goods Shed and after reading my latest Great Western Study Group's Pannier magazine I have just bought an Arch Laser  signal box kit from Osborn's Models. This kit was good to assemble and I did deviate a little by strengthening the roof so as to be able to lift it off and view the interior. I did have a small problem with fitting the safety bar as there was no wire to form one,  so I decided to use black linen thread.  By starting threading from the inside of the right hand front end of the box, across the front and back  through the left hand front.  I had a wee bit of difficulty in threading the linen  back out to the left side but after quite a few attempts it finally poked through and then across to the hole by the door and straight through the hole.  I tied a knot then a dab of glue, pulled it firmly and held till dry and repeated the process  with the  other holes then snipped the linen thread,   I also wanted the model to be coated with at least two coats of varnish when painted before glazing the windows as it would be outside when the layout is operated. I have just the Station  and Goods shed to scratch build as I picked up a second hand factory sealed PECO lineside hut which went together well.  All the buildings will be treated likewise as when there is an operating session they will be put in position and then  back in the train shed after the run.

The Signal box:-































Track plans and track laying


  I have finally drawn up a track plan for the layout which will be a small terminus branch line with  a run round loop at the station and a freight siding and Goods Shed.  I will be making my own points with PECO Individulay components (4 right hand small radius, 1 left hand small radius and 1 right hand curve one ). The track work will be elevated above ground , height is  18 inches at the start, 24 along the fence line and 17 inches at the station due to the slope of our section.  I cut lengths of 12mm plywood 8 inches wide  apart from one board 12 inches wide for the twin track starting  section. These boards will accommodate the the track from the starting position to the station throat, so needed sheet plywood to do the station area. 






 Screen shots of the plan and 3D vision as done on Scarm. The station platform will be a bit longer than is depicted in the above screen shots.  There has been several versions of the terminal station layout contemplated and finally settled on the  St Ives layout where the Goods area is quite close to the platform setup which includes a loading dock for the goods traffic.



















The last part of the branch line being constructed , the lead into the station throat and the station area frame work , checking the levels.


                                                                        Baseboards all level and and double painted ready to accept trackage.


                                                The station boards,                                                                                                  From the station throat looking down the fence line . 


                                                        Through the trees.                                                                                                                    Out and round to the starting point.


                                                                                        Re-alignment  of  Starting base board and posts cemented in.

                                                                                        Now all base boards are in place so track laying can begin


 Track Laying.

        Have laid a single track from start to station end, a total of 22 metres, as a start to test curves. The sidings have not been all laid as  I have not built any points. I soon found that by using a B Set coach to sort out the curves as their bogies need a easier radius than the auto coach to get round. 


      Starting two sidings which I laid to top of RH curved point.                                                                Joined outside siding to branch line track .

    Had to ease out to outside of baseboard for the curve.                                                                No problems with curve to travel along the fence line.


 Along the fence line and just beyond fence post opposite white table is a power feed.  Taking the RH point line to outside siding. Two points' spaces beyond is the Good Shed track.



 Curving round to siding end and looking at crossover to platform track..                           Looking back down the station sidings . Pumpkin patch encroaching.















First off, will run it on DC to check curves and point running.  After making enquiries regarding the best way for my small operation which is about 25 yards long and including sidings using 36 metres of track , I have decided to use Dead Rail  system to run this layout.  I have a couple of MyLocoSound  decoders that will be just fine for the project, so I need a system that will activate these DCC units. I am looking at the Fosworks' system which seems to be the one to tick all the boxes for the project, using their ONMI Tx4.3 transmitter and OMNI FR24-2A receivers. 





FOSWORKS  OMNI TX – 4.3 System DCC Decoder Ops













Tx4.3                                                                                                               FR24-2A


 Tx4.3 Handset with  centre off regulator, electronic inertia control, loco selector switch and 12 auxiliary functions controlled by push buttons. Gives simultaneous control of up to three locos

FRx24-2A receiver combined with 2 amp DCC interface module to operate DCC decoders. 12-28v input For use with OMNI Tx4 and Tx5 series transmitters.