The classic BRT

The current issue of British Railway Modelling magazine features a really beautiful model railway. The layout itself is built in OO scale and represents a Great Western Railway branchline terminus plan. I really love the layout and the modelling is superb. Not only is the modellwork and planning so well executed, it’s also based on a layout plan, or arrangement, that I find I really like. I’ve sketched out the general arrangement:
In this plan there is a hidden staging area representing “where” trains come from and go to. I’ve indicated this as being with a sector plate. Using one here allows you to complete the run-around loop. Of course, if you’ve comfortable with lifting trains a cassette would work just as well here and may be easier to build. Instead of just devoting the entire end of the layout to staging, an industry is developed in front of the staging yard. Often this factory extends beyond the entry to the staging area so trains dissppear behind this scenery before dissappearing altogether. Of course, it also provides for an additional place to switch freight or passenger cars into or out of. Though I indicated this area as “Industry” on my sketch, I’d actually build it as somewhere to service passenger stock, so perhaps a commissary for dining cars or post office sorting facility for baggage, express and railway post office coaches.

I’ve included some practical examples below to check out. These are all British but I see these being possible as adapted for North American practice. I could just as easily imagine subsituting rakes of Long Island P54 coaches or CN heavyweights. I keep aluding to commuter rail aspirations but Steve’s reminded me of just how much traffic Charlottetown generated for passenger service and he’s absoloutely correct – any of these plans could be adapted to represent Island railroading to the early 1960’s. Just imagine switch rakes of CN heavyweight head-end cars with green 44 or 70 tonners. I know I can!

Trawden – 4mm scale and 4×1′
This layout is a popular plan. The very first adaptation that I really liked was one that Neil Rushby built as a four-part article in Railway Modeller magazine in 1992. His version was built in a 1×4 foot area in OO scale. It was probably the first micro layout I ever saw in a model railway magazine and it left a really positive impression on me. I still enjoy re-reading those articles and wondering if I should built a copy as somewhere to excercise some wonderful British models. Mind you, most of my British OO stock is Midland and passenger stuff and I don’t know if a Jubilee 4-6-0 and a rake of crimson coaches really fits well in this area.

Southwork Park – 7mm scale and 15×1′
A second example of this plan was featured on Carl Arendt’s website. It was intended to be built in British O gauge. Not only does it illustrate a concept I really like, it uses the Amalgamated Terminal track plan that I just adore. All good things come in threes and so does this layout: the theme for this layout is Victorian suburban railroading. I like everything about this adaptation. Check it out on Carl’s website by clicking on the link below and scrolling down to “A Big City Terminus in a Really Small Space”:

Halstead – 7mm scale and 4×1′
More recently, I came across a really tiny example of this layout. Also built in O and also British. This one is really interesting and I like it. The modelling is all to finscale standards and superb. We talk about how a major benefit of a small layout is the time it affords a modeller to invest in working to a higher standard and this is a fabulous example. Remember, it’s O and in only 1×4 feet:


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