Wordless Wednesday: A (very!) mixed goods…

‘Rocket’ shunting stock at the end of a long day’s work on the Telford Steam Railway.
Video by Phil McIver.


“Hatley, Hatley, Hatley…”


Sorry, I mean “Arley, Arley, Arley.”

I’ve not posted about Arley for ages. That doesn’t mean the project is forgotten. It’s still there, simmering. It is, however, currently dormant. As posted originally, it is my extremely long term project and requires more space than I currently have.

All that said, I’m still collecting research photos and have got a new books etc. The two lineside huts are still stored too. I have, however, sold the Hall. I concluded there was no point it being sat in a box gathering dust when I could use the funds on Little Lawley.

Project Arley isn’t a goner, it’s just, at this moment in time – and for the foreseeable future – in quite a deep slumber!

OOSevern: Project Arley


So, here it is. My new project. Arley Station, in Worcestershire, on the Severn Valley Railway.

For the first time I’ve decided to go for a real location, for several reasons really. Firstly, I prefer to watch trains go by. I’m not a massive operator, I enjoy running trains and relaxing as they run by, stopping them in the station whilst a bit of yard work goes on nearby. In addition, my own planned layouts run out of steam (sorry!) when I realise I have to make up what’s there. I lack the imagination to do so, trying to squeeze too much, unprototypical detail in. Finally, as this is a long term project, the fact that I enjoy tinkering with stock and buildings means I can take my time on these aspects before things are in place regarding the actual layout build.

Plans are not exactly finalised yet. The dream is that the layout is a roundy-roundy, housed in a shed. However, a number of factors would need to alter before this could happen (buying of a house, initially) and potentially a shelf layout might take it’s place instead. This isn’t a major consideration currently though, as the aim is, initially, to get started on the buildings. There is no mad rush to finish the buildings and I’d like to scratch build (or kit bash) as many as possible. There are lots of aims with this build, and one of the main ones is that I want to take my time with the build, not rush things, and ensure that I get it right.

The dream

Copyright arleystation.org.uk

If space and budget was no option the dream layout would be a station that is, now I’ve relocated, not a million miles away from me; Arley Station on the SVR.

It has a lot going for it. Firstly, the picture postcard location. It’s beautiful. The sloping, flower surrounded path on the platform for trains heading to Bridgnorth is rather splendid. The station building is imposing yet charming and the station is kept in excellent condition, with plenty of little details that are crying out to be modelled. There is a couple of sidings that adds shunting potential and play value, as well as the chance to model long trains – something space has never allowed me to do previously.

Amy and myself have often discussed future home plans (one step at a time though, we get married this summer) and I have been allowed a ‘man shed.’ Although this is mainly to get my train stuff out of the house it would also mean I have the space to build something such as Arley.

This is very much something I would see as a long term project. My first baby-steps would be to mock up some plans. The over bridge just south of the station is an obvious scenic break heading towards Kidderminster but the northern end would pose more problems.

Whether Arley will ever properly take off, I don’t know. However, it will remain a dream – my ‘forever’ layout.


P-p-p pick up a Peckett!

(C) Hornby.

Hornby’s Peckett model, that hit shops late 2016, is already rarer than rocking horse dung. So, when I found that Hornby would once again be releasing the model – and this time in the Lilleshall Railway colours – I quickly pre-ordered one.

All I need to do now is work out what layout I’m building to run the thing on!! However, as it’s due in the fourth quarter of 2017 I’ve got plenty of time I guess.

Railways of Telford

At Christmas I received the quite excellent book ‘Railways of Telford’ from my future in-laws. It was a book I’d looked at several times and, having moved Telford way, is an area of the railways I’ve become very interested in, meaning it was a very much well-received present. Included within it’s pages is a chapter on the Lilleshall Company. This is of huge interest to me, as it is very much the area that I’m looking at basing my layout on.

The back cover of the book states that the author, David Clarke, is building a model of Trench Sidings and then, by chance, I discovered a thread on the Lilleshall Company and Mr Clarke’s own blog to do with his layout build on RMweb.

After some initial conversations we swapped email addresses and since then Mr Clarke has – very kindly – sent me lots of pictures of the Lilleshall system and it’s locos alongside more information about it.

One picture – included below – has solved a problem I was facing. Having weather the Cory Brothers wagon, I was wondering how on earth I could include a South Wales wagon on a Shropshire-based layout. Well, look at the wagon poking out from behind Lilleshall No. 4 (on the left).

Inspiration truly is everywhere!