Scouring the Book Bins…

I found this on AbeBooks; Great Western Branchline Termini (Combined Edition); Paul Karau – Guild Publishing 1977/1985. It’s an edition which combined two previous books.

Great Western Branchline Termini Combined Ed. : Karau, Guild 1977/1985
Great Western Branchline Termini Combined Ed. : Karau, Guild 1977/1985

It’s a nice copy which seems never to have been opened, although the sleeve shows signs of fading.

Anyway, it has a very interesting chapter on Princetown station; working timetables, images, track plans, building drawings, etc., and will be a fabulous inspiration for the Boltorr branch.

Turn the page...
Turn the page…

Dartmoor, Down Under

I found this interesting and very nice layout of Princetown, situated in Australia where the general standard of railway modelling seems to be very high.

So I thought I’d post a link and give myself something to aspire to.

Snowplough awaiting the blizzard at Princetown
Snowplough awaiting the blizzard at Princetown

Unfortunately, the write up doesn’t mention the creator’s name, but thanks whoever you are.

British Railway Modellers of Australia | Princetown

On the way to Princetown
On the way to Princetown

Sometimes you have to Double, Double Check

Remember that bridge I’m building?

Well, the first attempt looked pretty good, but…

When it comes to scenery and structures I’m pretty much of the school of If It Looks Right, It Probably Is Right.

So far, most of my layout building has been done by eye. No need for scales and engineering drawings.

However, I have used spirit- and laser-levels to set the bed of the permanent way, and checking for horizontal when positioning Boltorr Dam, and routing the access road. The access road does look a bit like an Ordnance Survey contour, and I’ll be relieving that a little. But that’s by-the-by.

When I made the final check of my first road bridge I found it had racked while the glue set. That is, twisted.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the age of Scotch glue – not that Scotch – animal glue – sorry vegans – or Seccotine – something for you piscatorians – so steaming or warming the modern PVA I used didn’t work.

Back to the drawing board.

All the component materials are much the same – 2mm MDF, foam-board, PVA, except that rather than gluing up the entire structure in one go and hoping for the best I’m completing one process at a time, letting it set, and then move onto the next.

Which is where I am now.

Diversion. When I was at grammar school, one of my first choices was “Latin” – sorry Fred Stacy – or “Woodwork“.

C’mon it’s difficult to be true to your roots.

Guess what I chose?

A lesson with “Woody” Worrell was a lesson in life. In the morning, come in, turn on the Scotch-glue-pot over the Bunsen Burner. In the afternoon, smell the dead animals boiling and rendering away in the glue-pot – still better than McDonald’s by a million miles. No really. But you know that, don’t you?

Anyway, we’d listen to the cricket on long-wave BBC from Droitwich. At the end of every lesson, he’d read a poem. Sorry Woody. I can’t remember any of them, but I know John Masefield and Rupert Brooks were in there, every time. Sometimes even Kipling. Thanks Woody. I mean that.

Then bus home, even if I wasn’t wearing my cap. Thanks, PGS.

Sorry. No Pictures of my abject failure. But I did win the school Woodwork Prize. Oh yes…
Just wait until my next posting…

Meanwhile in Dumnonia…

Bridge Building: I

Time to think about the road bridge over the tracks. This is going to serve as a scenic break so that the layout appears to run north-east all the way to Exeter.

I’m going back to the method I used for the tunnel portal to the south. For the basic structure I’ve used 2mm MDF. This is quite hard to source here. In the end I got mine from Am@zon, but it actually shipped from Sweden.

2mm MDF and foam-board
2mm MDF and foam-board
Aligning and levelling the bridge
Aligning and levelling the bridge

I made a template for the stonework of the bridge as described in another article and cut the front and the back of the bridge together so they would – hopefully – be identical. I used foam-board for the road plane and as internal braces to stabilise the structure. The whole lot is joined together with PVA glue.
The bridge in situ. There is space on the right for the platform to continue under the bridge
The bridge in situ. There is space on the right for the platform to continue under the bridge

I’ve applied foam-board and styrene strip to represent buttresses and some masonry embellishment. Only the layout side is going to be treated since the other side of the bridge won’t be visible.

Next step is to install the bridge liner and roof.

Ordnance Survey: 137 – 1928 edition

OS137 - 1928
OS137 – 1928

By sheer chance, quantum pairing, or harmonic convergence if you like, some years ago I was fortunate enough to receive a 1928 reprint Ordnance Survey “Contoured Road Map”, one inch to the mile, number 137, linen-backed, as a present. Very nice.

This covers an area bound by Launceston – pronounced, “Lanson” – and Callington, Cornwall, and Okehampton and Tavistock, Devon, the very epicentre of the legendary, and somewhat ethereal Boltorr branch.

OS Map 137, 1928
OS Map 137, 1928

The "B" side
The “B” side

It turns out this includes the very focus of the railway which exists only in my mind’s eye.

If you’d care to examine the entire map – click on the image for a larger version – you’ll find the location of the Boltorr branch somewhere along the Tavy, by-passing Okehampton, on its way from Tavistock to Moretonhampstead and, eventually, Exeter.

PS: I dare say this is extremely well copyrighted so please only use as an item for review or education. Thank you.

A slice of Devon in the USA