SAR "Commercial Street" - LMS "Wellingford & Bakewell Bridge Railway" - GWR "Porthminster" - Port Dock Station

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Great Moor Street - Minories

Great Moor Street in OO scale in all its old world splendour.
An overview of the station canopies. An Ex Midland Flatiron 0-6-2T waits in
Platform 3 with some Ex LNWR stock.
As a lad of a young age I looked starry eyed at a unique hinged baseboard idea that I had seen in my edition of “The Railway Modeller Book of 60 plans for Small Locations”. I would like to build that one day….the time had come and so it was done. This fold up railway using a space of 7ft x 1tf in size was known as the “Minories”. Consisting of a terminus station at one end and a specially set out track design at the other end, it offered train operations like no other. It was a signature piece by CJ Freezer no less, and learning over the years that his designs were held in high regard, I give it a go. The terminus station has the high surrounding walls each side of the whole station and a road bridge straddling the station platforms concealing a pair of hinges. This allows the two baseboards to be folded over on each other for transport or storage. To make the terminus operable, a fiddle yard would then be attached at the station throat concealed under another road bridge leading into a hidden fiddle yard, which would be bolted on to the Minories.
A view under the canopies of Great Moor Street. I think this photo captures the
right atmosphere which was what I was striving for here, that maze of frames
and elegant styling of the steam days.
My thoughts were to have a fiddle yard that was permanently attached to the station throat via another set of hinges; the whole layout would fold up on itself without having separate baseboards. Making use of a large warehouse building as a means of hiding the fiddle yard, and using block sections at the end of each siding, this allows the operator to run trains from the terminus to the fiddle yard and back without touching/handling any engines or rolling stock. Under-track magnets would be located at appropriate positions around the layout to allow hands free shunting using Kadee couplers.
The layout plan which shows the three 1065mm modules that fold over
each other - all permanently fixed together with hinges.
The view of the coal staithes and signal box. All the points are switched
using a simple push-rod system attached to a slide switch which changes the
polarity of the attached point. The mini control panel can just be seen
below the front ledge.
Timber baseboards were made using 6mm MDF fixed to 42 x 19mm pine frames, with 6mm MDF used for the station end and side walls, warehouse walls and road bridges. Self-supporting legs extend from under each baseboard section and are kept open using gas struts. This makes for very rapid erecting and knockdown of the layout. The warehouse takes its cues from the Ex Midland Railway Sandon & Canada Dock Goods station.
A view of the lift off bridge that covers the hinges fixed on either side on top
of the abutments. The bus on the bridge is of a local bus line with
"Plodder Lane" written on the destination boards - appropriate for the area.
Two Metcalfe Models Warehouse Kits were grafted together with scratch built hoist towers to achieve the result. The terminus was modelled on the Ex LNWR Bolton Great Moor Street station in Greater Manchester. A number of images exist on the World Wide Web and so I collected them as reference for scratchbuilding the station with its red brick architecture. The station canopy was scratch built from copper wire, basswood and styrene, with 1.5mm acrylic sheet used to represent the glass roofing and side wall panels. Each of the trusses in the canopy were made on a jig with soldered copper wire. This ensured each truss was the same as the next. Station walls with their arched panel design were made from balsawood covered with Metcalfe Models brick paper. The signal Box was a Metcalfe Models Kit suitably re-detailed to more faithfully represent the standard LNWR design. Platforms are adorned with Ratio Kit LNWR signals, Dapol book stalls and Langley Models kit built gas lamps. Mikes Models LNWR water columns and scratch built coal staithes stand opposite the signal box.
A 4F enters station throat from the hidden sidings, heading for the goods
road in the station to be reversed into the sidings after the 0-8-4T has
completed its shunting moves. The water tank structure is removable to enable
the canopies to clear that area when the layout is folded up.
The large warehouse hides the four storage roads. The wagon turntable is located on the piece of baseboard
that sticks further out. The furniture factory siding comes right to the end of the layout.
Wagon turntables were a common sight in and around many large goods sheds, so I incorporated one along the front sidings of the warehouse. I used an Atlas Track 90 degree crossover cut down to size and secured with a central pivot screw. It sits in a scribed balsawood deck surround which represents the timber planking commonly used to cover the drive mechanisms for the capstan rope tow system. Although the turntable is for static appearance only, it gives the scene purpose and access to the furniture company siding at the end.
For more photos, a Plan of the Month feature was published in the April 2015 edition of Railway Modeller of Great Moor Street.

The layout folded up and placed in the back seat of my car
ready for transport to a convention. Seat belts are used to restrain
in case of an accident.
This shot shows the layout semi-folded. The two station modules are folded on top of each other 
with the hinges in the bridge abutments (at floor level) and the warehouse hidden sidings module hinged
at the throat of the station (seen at the top) The sets of legs are hinged and fold into each module and are
held open by gas struts. This makes for very fast erecting and folding up times.  All the legs, power supply,
on board sound system and control panel are permanently fixed so the whole layout is self contained.
This shot shows the layout erected before adding the curtains and
rolling-stock. The control panel can be seen in the centre.
A side on view looking under the side glazed wall of the canopies.