Boltorr Road Halt

Welcome to Dumnonia. In particular, Boltorr Road Halt – alight for Boltorr Warren Hotel, a delightful pause on a railway which skirts, and sometimes invades, Dartmoor, in Devon, UK.

Elsewhere I’ll expound on what has got me to where I am now. In the railway modelling sense, at least.

But this is the scenario. Somewhere, in a universe with a place not unlike Plymouth, Devon, UK, the city where I was born a very long time ago.

A few hundred years before that, a ship full of men, women and children set off for a New World which eventually turned out to be much more Brave than anyone could have imagined.

Local service crosses Bolt Brook just below the Boltorr dam
Local service crosses Bolt Brook just below the Boltorr dam

Centuries later, during the golden age of railway building, a railway was built between south Devon and the north of the county. The Boltorr branch is just a twig off that route, allowing access to the industries in that area, a granite quarry, china clay and an ancient gunpowder factory, and, of course, The Boltorr Warren Hotel, a spa popular in the Twenties, but which, somehow, continues to attract a weekend trade of ramblers, aesthetes and members of the Arthur Conan Doyle Society seeking the Great Grimpen Mire.

A plan of Boltorr Road Halt
A plan of Boltorr Road Halt

But, if we’re talking about this world. Up until now, the Boltorr chronicles have been covered in another of my blogs. I’m splitting off and containing all model railway articles here.

This Boltorr branch is a proof of concept, establishing construction, control and other modelling skills. It’s my first attempt at a model railway. Well, it’s not my first attempt, but the first which has approached substance, if that’s an appropriate term for a model.

Add to that, I’m doing this at a three thousand mile remove from the UK since I’m based in New Jersey, USA.

It’s small – 8ft x 2ft – and what is sometimes referred to as a Cameo Layout. As such it’s alien to what you are likely to find in the cellar of any American railroad modeller. That will be the subject of a further article in this blog at some future date.

The layout showing the profile - I don't like the "nailed on a board" look
The layout showing the profile – I don’t like the “nailed on a board” look

A slice of Devon in the USA