Thakeham Overlap

Saturday morning, coffee, books, disappointed cat, and things from list to do today was how it started. I grabbed my notebook to amend my list of things to do today and that moment when the pen hit the page lightning happened and these sketches emerged quickly. Wow!

Thakeham. “Eureka!”

I’d been reading through a book on the Thakeham Tiles Railway and looking at some photos and daydreaming about model railways when it struck me how well suited the Thakeham plan as an application of my Overlap idea.

Place the sand unloading in the front scene. Let the mainline stretch across the back scene. Frame that fascinating little bridge in that back scene too.

I regret that there are no turnouts in the plan—especially as the size of turnout components makes making them in 16mm scale quite attractive. 16mm? Yeah, I was thinking this would be built in 16mm and be a place for the Ruston and my skips could roam.

Just like on Fen End Pit (video link above) the railway would move live loads of sand through the scenes. Live loads of sand, just like the real thing, pretty realistic eh?

It would be really easy to declare an intention to build a model railway but, frankly, my day job is consuming too much of my life right now. I could build a diorama to at least feel that sense of productive in the hobby again. So, in my sketchbook and based on a terrific photo of the area around the bridge, I started sketching a plan.

Counting the courses of bricks seems to land at each abutment being eleven high. I should go measure a real concrete block to get a sense of how high one is and, from there, I can extrapolate that into the related proportions of each part of the scene. Similarly estimating the dimensions of the bridge itself could be based on photos I’ve seen against the gauge of the track. Variables like these, in my sketch, are X and K.

Wouldn’t it be cool to build this up in the style of the Paddington TV show? I love those stories and, equally, that program. The way they moved between rendering approaches is brilliant and could be a powerful way of constructing a model railway and establishing focus between each component of the scene and the context of the models.

Michael Campbell has built a beautiful layout based on Thakeham Tiles and discusses it on his blog:

The link, above, to introduce Thakeham is from the Industrial Railway Society’s site:

Categories: model railway design, Thakeham Tiles

Tags: , , ,

1 reply


  1. My latest Victoria – Prince Street

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