Tuesday 25 September 2018

3 x 1 Plank

A personal quickie I worked on last week for me between commercial jobs, all on a 3x1 plank. The inspiration is the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway, a mostly unfenced railway that ran next to, or actually along the road in deepest Cambridgeshire through to the 1960’s. Give it a Google.

The wonderful town buildings were a lucky secondhand find, they just had to be used, they were very much the catalyst for this speedy project. The buildings are at least at least 30 years old and once lived on a much bigger layout which has since been broken up. Sadly I have no further information to hand. If you know of the layout or the builder, please comment in the comments section.

The windmill is an Airfix/Dapol kit knocked up in the spring, in reality such a structure would have fallen out of use a good century before the railway came. The rail served shed with door is a chopped up Bachmann colliery wash-house modified with pitch roof and doors. Its use is a mystery, maybe a paintshop for pumpkins or storage for pedant’s ruck sacks. The other shed, another ready to plonk thing that had been gathering dust.

Track is PECO, ballasted with sieved grit from our local common. The cheapo quickie cobbles were created using the empty shell of a ballpoint pen pressed in to Das clay. All in all around 18 hours work, this project being more an assembly of existing bits than a true build.

It will link in to other modules in due course to allow through running. At some stage it will live in an illuminated diorama case to fit it with my other layouts. Track has been aligned so it can connect to my other layout Brew Street. I’ve Brew Street booked in to the Rochdale Expo In April 2019, so will probaby add this module.

Click on photos above and below for a bigger view...


  1. Chris, love all your posts. I'm Stateside, and your planks really inspired me to model UK rails. Question about this plank in particular, in terms of operation: If an engine pulls cars up the siding to the buffer, then backs the cars to the shed, does it do so one at a time? Is there sufficient room for engine, tender, and car between the switch and the buffer?

    I ask because I have a similar section of track on my own plank, which is a modified version of Hemyock terminus. The dimensions are almost exactly what you have here (but in N Gauge): there is about 6-7 inches of track between the switch and the buffer, then a longer section of track before the shed. I'm wondering how it would be operated.

    Thanks--and lovely work, as always!

    1. Hi Aaron - just one wagon/car at a time with the tender loco on the photos, or maybe 2 if using a small switching loco. All part of the challenge!

  2. Chris,

    I am faced with a similar challenge, a 43"x9" plank and want to avoid the dreaded Inglenook. I am guessing but operation is not the first priority for this layout, not a problem when exhibiting?

    Lovely work.


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