7mm 54E

Discussion in 'Layout Progress' started by FiftyFourA, 6 May 2015.

  1. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    Well, prevarication over - wood has been cut and the first track is laid and wired up on the first 2 of 4 boards. The 'layout' is a shed scene in the late 50s/early 60s and is basically somewhere to get all my locos out. If anyone is looking for 54E let me tell you now you will not find it on any BR plans. The 54 group was based on Sunderland South Dock and many people thought that it was taken over by Gateshead in 1958 ... oh no it wasn't!

    54E is one of that group and is based around Pensher (or Penshaw as some people spell it) of monument and Lambton Worm fame. It is 'situated' on the old main line/Leamside Line which, because of the electrification of the ECML rather than the WCML in the late 1950s, was a heavily used diversionary route. You havn't heard of the scheme? Funny that, alot of people seem not to have heard of it - don't know why.

    The basic layout (pun intended) is similar to West Hartlepool/Scarborough with a straight shed at one end and a roundhouse at the other - obviously neither modelled full scale - with a coal stage forming the backscene. The 2 photos below should give some idea.
    100_0641.jpg 100_0641.jpg

    The bare area on one side will be the ramp & coaling stage. One of my fellow volunteers at Locomotion kindly routed out the pits which you might just be able to make out - it will look better when I cut back the sleepers.

    Now to start the planning for the roundhouse end, but I could not resist running a few locos in various stages of 'underess' with the typical Peter Townend 'east coast pose'.
    100_0635.jpg 100_0633.jpg

    Hope you like it so far.

    Attached Files:

  2. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Very nice..

    Always good to get all your engines out..!

  3. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    As the actress said to the bishop .......
  4. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Bishop said to the actress, shurely..

  5. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    Just thought I would update with progress, well the lack of it really.

    I broke bones in my hand/wrist in an accident at Beamish Museum quitea while ago and have been unable to do much modelling, so progress has been halted both on the layouts and loco building. Warren Heywood has been painting some of my locos (he has 'Sparrow Hawk' with him at present) so at least when the layout is ready the stock is 'ready to go'. All I need now is the over-stretched and under-paid NHS to do their stuff and hopefully I will be able to get back to the layout later this year.

    In the meantime, I have not been idle so if anyone is interested I am starting a new thread called East Dock Shed ... this time with blue Heljan diesels.

    Compton castle likes this.
  6. Compton castle

    Compton castle Western Thunderer

    Hope you have a speedy recovery
  7. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    Recovery gone as far as it can; still restricted on what I can do on the footplate so modelling now to the fore.

    The roundhouse end of the layout has caused me some problems in the planning so I left it and got on with the other end until 'East Dock' and Heljan diesels got in the way. Then, while I was browsing some old MRJs, I came across John Dornmon's roundhouse and it hit me right between the eyes - open up one side, move the turntable to the 'front' and make a sort of diarama out of it. In fact, this could be a small layout on its own. If John Dornom reads this then I apologise for the plagriaism, but his ideas are so good (and his building) so its his own fault :rolleyes:.

    So, I bought a turntable kit at Telford at the weekend and I am going to part build it so my mate can laser cut the well AND the inspection pits.

    When I have those done I will post some photos - these will be my layout diagram after the dimensions are worked out on the back of the proverbial fag packet (my normal layout planning method).

    Gavin Thirkell and 40126 like this.
  8. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    My N10 build is held up waiting for castings so, as I am back 'in action', I thought I would push on with 54E.

    My mate, Gavin (Stoneybridge Structures) Thirkell of this parish, is doing the hole for the turntable - his laser can do a better circle than me - and will be doing the other roundy bits for the well.


    The turntable I bought last year is finished and you can see what I mean about the laser cut hole. The score marks are where the tracks will be. At present this is just a template to sort out where baseboard joints etc. will be - this area will have to be on two boards as one will just be too big and unweildy.

    The other end has not been ignored. Gavin has cut the bits for the carcase of the coal stage and last night I 'clagged' them together.

    The gap is because it is too long for the bed of the laser cutter. And because some muppet :rant:got the floor the wrong way round so had to cut a bit off the end and stick it in the middle.

    And where it will be on the layout ...

    The next task is to cut out the hole for the stage to 'sit' at the right height then brick for the base and timber cladding for the top, which is again being done by Gavin so it will fit correctly. Then its the ramp.

    It structure is based on the one that used to be at Tyne Dock shed; the straight shed (thats the one where the V2/A2 were in the first post) will be based on Gateshead 'pacific' shed and the roundhouse of Sunderland South Dock.

    This will not be a quick build :rolleyes:.

  9. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer


    I have come to an arrangement with my model railway club that I can 'build' the layout in the clubrooms on a wednesday when there is no-one in, well get it 'up an running' anyway then take it home to work up the scenery.

    First thing was to paint the underside to seal it (should I have done this before starting the wiring?) then the vexed question of the roundhouse end. To recap, this layout will be a round house and straight shed facing each other with a coal stage as the background, but how to work the roundhouse end so that I use part of the board(s) as a fiddle yard was taxing the 'little grey cells'. In an effort to get rid of this brain log-jam I set the boards out on the clubroom floor like a jigsaw so I could visualise the spaces I had (or not!).



    By putting the two roundhouse boards side to side I realised that I could just about get what I wanted so concentrated on clearances, minimum curves etc. to measure out exactly where the two end-on boards would fix onto the rest of the layout.

    As schematic it will look someting like this ...

    Concept 54E.jpg
    Sorry about the quality, when the track plan is completed I will get my mate Gavin Thirkell to do the proper drawing for a control panel (he doesn't know that yet so don't anyone tell him ;)).

    Next week it's off to the local timber merchant (a proper one) to get the legs sorted then the side frames for the roundhouse boards. Once they are painted it will be on with the trackwork, so my wednedays will be a bit busy for the forseeable.

  10. Martin Shaw

    Martin Shaw Western Thunderer

    Nice one Peter. My late friend whose passing has prompted the recent flurry of activity grew up in West Hartlepool, a staunch NER man, so I will be watching this with great interest.
  11. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Nice and what is the name of this helpful club?
  12. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer


    The club is Perth Green, based in Jarrow (Jarra' to the locals). I think I may have had to promise that it's first outing will be our 2019 exhibition ... plenty of time :eek:.

    40126 and Dog Star like this.
  13. Sorry about the quality, when the track plan is completed I will get my mate Gavin Thirkell to do the proper drawing for a control panel (he doesn't know that yet so don't anyone tell him ;)

    Too late Peter. I've just found out
  14. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    Things have been quiet lately but with Telford approaching (not to say an exhibition in October as a 'work in progress') I thought it about time I did some work on the pile of wood in the corner.

    I have given the salient dimensions of the straight shed (based on the 'pacific shed' at Gateshead) to Gavin of Stonetbridge Structures for the 'kit' so set to work on the 'concrete' floor using Pollyfilla. After many thin coats and much dust created by the use of sandpaper, it has a nice coat of cheap emulsion paint as a sealer and to identify areas for remedial work - of which there are many! I have not taken any piccies of this area but you can see a bit of it in one of the later pics in this little update.

    Next job is the external ash pits. Gavin made a 'kit' of parts for me a while ago consisting of thin ply sides/bottom and plastic steps. I 'lost' the first set of steps so a couple of weeks ago he made another set (another reason to get on with things before I lost this set as well). These are the steps.


    And here is one set fixed onto one end.

    Notice the laser cut brickwork and different bonds.

    And the assembled pit.


    The first one was installed ...


    ... but the next two will take a bit of work because of that crossmember underneath. Maybe leave them till after tea.

    The shed floor is that messy stuff at the top - that will be another job for after tea.

    In the meantime Gavin has also done me some laser cut wooden sleeper fencing.

    Done in ply so it will take stains rather than paint it and has impressions of chairs cut into it, both sides (although not on the same sleeper :drool:).

    No NE layout can be without these walls, certainly not in the 1950/60 period; I remember vividly climbing on them to do my trainspotting around then or, as they were often rotten, spying through the holes and cracks to get loco numbers. Drifts into wistfull memories while waiting for the kettle to boil .....

    allegheny1600, S7BcSR, JimG and 2 others like this.
  15. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    Time for a short update I think.

    While working out the parts for the straight shed (based on Gateshead's pacific shed) and wanting to push on with the first board I thought I would have a go at the water tower, based on the one at Tyne Dock.


    This is one of my 'working photos' and shows some of the detail.

    A mate of mine (Gavin Thirkell of this manor) does the castings for the tank itself so I bought a pack or two.

    Then built the tank itself out of black plastic sheet and clagged them on. The base is made out of different thickness of gash MDF lying around.

    100_1120.JPG 100_1122.JPG

    The pictures I have show the top of the tank covered by a flat planked 'roof' so thats what I am doing ... plus it gives the tank more bracing, essential when handling it. How do I know that? :rant:

    Next the walls, the two side ones for now. The back is just plain, coz nee-body can see it!

    The openings are for the door/windows and Gavin came up trumps again with some smashing laser cut windows/headers, unfortunately my camera does not do them justice so I will try to get some better piccies. The different colours are where I have started 'distressing' the bricks to match some of the early 60s photos I have of the building.

    Tonight its the front wall with two windows and tomorrow (hopefully) to put the 4 walls together and stick the tank on top. Hope the walls are strong enough!

  16. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    Superb Peter, will you bring it along when we next meet up?
  17. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Interestingly (or not) I was general manager of a film lab in North London which, as is inevitable with such places, had huge as in enormous water tanks on the roof. I learned very early on that, in the summer, they were used as swimming pools. I suffered some very rude words on the loo doors when I prohibited it and roofed them over......

  18. FiftyFourA

    FiftyFourA Western Thunderer

    Thanks for comments guys.

    BTW, you're a wicked man Brian :D:D:D.

    Rob, do you mean this Sunday at Keighley? If you mean bring it along to the next meeting at Shildon it will have to come with the baseboard as I intend that it will be fixed permanently in place long before then!

  19. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    There's a meet at Keighley? Apparently there is a show - why did nobody tell me?

    Keighley Model Railway Club - 2017 7mm Festival

    That's not been advertised very much. Is anyone from WT going? I really need to visit my sister in Crosshills so might be able to sneak along to Keighley.
  20. BrushType4

    BrushType4 Western Thunderer

    Some good ideas there..