Monday, 29 December 2008

A lost layout

I found some old photographs of my first portable layout build in the late 1970's. Not very good photos and for some reason I used black and white film. The track plan was lifted from an article in the Railway Modeller as it suited the very limited space I had available at that time. Overall the layout was 9 ft long being two 3 ft x 1 ft boards for the scenic section plus a 3ft x 1 ft fiddle yard. Peco Streamline track with Peco point motors underneath. The buildings were card kits from Prototype Models. It was used a couple of times to promote the Mablethorpe Club in displays and if I remember correctly once at one of the club's exhibitions on an August Bank Holiday Monday. The layout has now long gone but I still have some of the stock, all of the wagons being converted to EM.

Lets hope I can do better this time around.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Boscarne level crossing

Just been checking out some of Malcolm Smiths photos of the line and come across an good photo of the level crossing at Boscarne. Bottom Photo on this page

It shows that the land fell away from the level crossing very steeply down towards the river. The buildings in the left of the picture must be what was the mill etc and are well below rail level. So I doubt whether the Wharf siding would have connected directly with the mill, not unless the mill was extended. Would think that the Wharf siding would have been at a slightly lower level than the main running lines. With this evidence I think I may well leave the buildings off the layout, but would really like to visit the site again, if possible, taking photos of these buildings.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Boscarne Junction + Wharf (2)

First attempt at adding some scenic detail to the Boscarne track plan. I need to further investigate the level crossing area of Boscarne, especially the Mill and cottage south of the level crossing. There was a mill race running off from a weir on the river Camel further up the valley so I could presume that the mill was water driven.

After looking at baseboard joints and where they may fall to miss point work, I think this will be built with four 4 x 2 foot baseboards. This may mean I could extend the left hand exit/entry point (Grogley end) by 1 foot to give a 10 foot scenic frontage. This extra foot might give me enough space to suggest a halt platform but not sure how to disguise the exit point f I do. I am at working on the assumption that I will be using a cassette style fiddle yard with maximum train lengths of just under 3 foot. (Engine and 2 coaches or engine and approximately nine wagons).

If this track plan is going to be used as a test piece there shouldn't be anything stopping me from starting to build the baseboard framework. Open framework construction was how I used to build baseboards. These boards may be similar to be able to have a level base framework onto which the different levels can be constructed. The last boards I build used the plywood sandwich beam method which did end up to be very stable. I am also pretty sure how each end baseboard end piece contour should look.

Oh dear, this means I should now start to prise myself out of that armchair.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Boscarne Junction + Wharf (1)

Well is this it? Boscarne Junction as it might have been if Grogley Junction was built as my scenario. A much reduced track plan from the original as the exchange of clay traffic will be taking place at the new Grogley Junction. At last having found some time I've had a play with Templot and produced this track plan. Simple plan but please don't mock as I've mastered a few little quirks of this software and feel a little more confident in it use.

Grogley is to the left, Bodmin North and Wenford bridge are off top right and Bodmin General bottom right. For extra interest I have added a Wharf siding which would also serve the Mill at Boscarne. This siding would be gated like the one at Nanstallon. As the original Boscarne Junction I have not included any platform but it is very tempting to duplicate Nanstallon's or Dumere's style of halt at the left entry/exit just before a level crossing.

Overall length is 9 feet of scenic frontage so this could be a first foray into P4. With only four points and on straight baseboards if would be very simple to build and get something working. I will be trying to take this plan into a drawing package to add scenic bits and bats and will post later if reasonably successful.

Ruthern Bridge

First draft for Ruthern Bridge track plan. This proposes that the mine was still in existence with a few wagons being exchanged in the sidings at least once a week. (I still have not found out what was mine in these workings, I am hoping it is iron ore). There is also one wharf siding serving the local community which is gated.

Grogley is just one mile away so I have not included any platforms at Ruthern. I am proposing that the next station on the line to St. Blazey would be Bugle on the Par to Newquay line. Not settled on the next station towards Mawgan Porth and not sure if I really need to yet. If I ever do I may be looking at the stations on the Newquay to Chacewater line for inspiration. Possibly Perrenporth with its island platform otherwise it would be based on a typical North Cornwall line station layout.

I have not full worked on size of this layout but would put it in the region of 12 - 16 feet scenic frontage. It is a little large to be a first project, test layout. But it would make an interesting extension/addition to Grogley Junction or a stand alone second layout.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

How to make a start

After realising the potential task with the time I have available, I have been putting some serious thought into what do to get me started. A small diorama/working layout may be the best starting point. I am trying to think of ways that if this is successful whether it could be constructed in such a way that it could become part of the Grogley Junction project. Or at least a stepping stone onto Grogley.
So first thoughts being:
1) How would Boscarne Junction look in my alternative universe?
2) How would Ruthern Bridge look?
3) Could I get enough out of building an extension to either of the three lines leaving Grogley Junction?

Boscarne, as it may have been if Grogley Junction was build as I propose, could be a good starting layout. Should be able to get this junction down to three points. At a later date may be able to justify a small wharf siding, feeding the Mill perphaps?

I am beginning to like the idea of Ruthern Bridge but as I commit pencil to paper the track plan always ends up to be more than just a test layout. This would have a good range of traffic with thought traffic between Grogely and Mawgan Porth also Grogley and St. Blazey. Plus if I really stretched the plusable history to it limits, the addition of a branch to the mines near Withielgoose Mills and on Mulberry Downs. Not sure what these mines were, (Iron Ore, Tine, Lead or Copper) but the extra interest in traffic and track layout would add to the operation.

To build an extension to any of the three exits to Grogley could be a quick way of getting started. An extension to the line off to Mawgan Porth would be especially good as it could form an excellent bridge between Grogley and Ruthern Bridge. Though how would I gauge the end sections? How much value would I gain as there would be no real track building, no points to construct. It may be better to build these once both layouts are build so that end pieces will match.

So Boscarne it is?!!! Well for the moment anyway.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Locomotives allocations 1960

The following are allocations of engines known to have worked to the area during 1960.

Class 0298 2-4-0T (Beattie Well Tank) : 30585 - 30586 - 30587
57xx 0-6-0T : 4666 - 4694
Class O2 0-4-4T : 30200 - 20236 (30236 withdrawn in Jan. and 30200 stored in Feb.)

Class T9 4-4-0 : 30313 - 30338 - 30709 - 30710 - 30715 - 30717
these were also used for part of the summer 30718 - 30719 30729

Exmouth Junction
Class WC/BB 4-6-2
34030 - Watersmeet
34033 - Chard
34038 - Lynton
34069 - Hawkinge
34080 - 74 Squadron
34110 - 66 Squadron
Class N 2-6-0 : 31834 - 31836 - 31839 - 31840 - 31841 - 31845 - 31847 - 31853

The above taken from A. Henderson's article in the July 1997 BackTrack magazine.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Loosing time

Well, it would seem that I am falling into the same trap as previous. Yet again not being at home this weekend and finding enough spare time for Grogley during weekday evenings is being difficult. Any spare time has been spent on expanding MI Territorials web pages The web site still needs a little work before publishing so any spare time this week will be spent on this.

Templot is a great piece of software but I need a good continuous stint at using it to get the best out of it. As a first plan in Templot and with the sporadic time I'm giving it, Grogley Junction is proving to be a hard learning curve. When I find a couple of hours free I know I will be going over old ground to remember commands etc. This is getting a little frustrating so I've been thinking a lot about how best to get started. As it will take time to finalise Grogley's trackplan, it is very tempting to build a small diorama/working layout first. This would help to iron out and test track building techniques and problems, gauge my woodworking skills, and try out different scenic construction techniques. So what to do? This is the question.....

While this is thought about I will get my membership application of to the P4 Society this week.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Watering facilities at Grogley

Just a quick thought....

As I am planning in to the timetable two runs up the Wenford Bridge Branch, as in the 1939 timetable, I could justify some watering facilities at Grogley for the Beattie Well Tanks to top up. These tanks had small water tanks and could top up with water on the Wenford Bridge Branch at Pencarrow. It would be a little bit of added interest at Grogley possibly sited at the Up end of the Up platform with access from the goods loop??

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Track - Sleepers and Chairs and other stuff

I'm nearing the point of placing an order for track components so need to put some thoughts down to the type of sleepers and chairs that I'm going to use.

Sleeper type, plastic or wood?
Wooden sleepers would be my preference as I feel they will give a more natural feel to the track work. On the other hand as I have not built any track for some considerable time A plastic kit might be a good starting point (no pun intended). At this moment, in drawing the track plan, there would not seem to be many points at Grogley that suit an of the standard "out of the box" kits. The main junction will have to be bespoke.

This has started me thinking that I may build a little 6 x 1 ft test layout using a couple of kits and then building a couple of bespoke points using wooden sleepers. This would give me a chance to iron out any problems before embarking on the main project.

Sleepers size and length?
My understanding on the sleeper wide is 10" for plain track, 12" for turnouts. But were 12" sleepers used on joints on plain track? Regarding length, as the track had been relayed at least twice before the 1960's the sleepers should be 8'6" long.

Chairs, Standard 3 bolt or LSWR?
From photos it looks like Wadebridge had the standard 3 colt chair in 1959, though the Wenford Bridge branch still had the LSWR chairs in 1962. As yet I have not been able to confirm Grogley after 1933 when it still had LSWR Chairs, but it looks like Boscarne had the standard chair in 1962. So I've settled on the standard 3 bolt "S1" Chairs for the main running lines though the junction. (That is 1 bolt on the outside and 2 bolts inside).

A cat among the pigeons
With all the above said I have I've seen a colour slide that looks like Dunmere junction may have had concrete sleepers in June 1960. I am also certain I have a B/W photo somewhere of the junction outside Wadebridge circa 1960 that seemed to showed concrete sleepers on the Bodmin section. Makes me think:
Q1) I could justify laying the plain track leaving the junction towards Bodmin with concrete sleepers?
A1) I think the answer to the above question is yes but no. After reading Colin Craig's article, mentioned below, I feel that with no detailed information as to the exact type of concrete sleeper and rail used on the branch I cannot justify any on the model.
Q2) So when did BR introduce concrete sleepers and on what lines first?
Q3) Were concrete sleepers laid on branch lines first as tests before being used on mainlines?
Q4) When did flat bottom rail start to be used....was this at the start of the introduction of concrete sleepers?
All of the answers to the last three questions above can be found in an excellent article by Colin Craig from the MMRS at

Monday, 24 November 2008

Broken Glasses

Broken my glasses this weekend which make typing this very difficult. The knock on effect is that yet again no progress has be made on the track plan. Again this is very disappointing/frustrating as having not use Templot properly in the last two weeks means I will have no doubt forgotten some of its tools and commands.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

E160626 12t Box Van

Another old EM gauge wagon. This one is from a Three Aitch kit (I think that is how you spell it). Again as it only has brake shoes on one side that were not too tight to the EM wheels so the P4 wheel set dropped straight in.

It's strange how standards progress.....I remember being happy with this wagon when first built. I now feel it needs more detail picking out and weathering. There is another one of these vans in my stock box plus a couple of Three Aitch Eastern Region 6 plank opens that might be contenders for quick conversions. Just need some more P4 wheels sets.

I'd better start being careful as there seems to be a risk that I might be getting out of that armchair.

First P4 wagon M475613 3plk open

One that I prepared earlier...ex EM gauge.

Had a quick browse thought my existing EM gauge wagon collection for any that might still run straight and true. Found a few but most with the brake assemblies too tight to EM gauge making them little difficult to convert quickly.

Then I found this one....not completely finished, needs tare weight applying and weathering, but with brake assembly only on one side the P4 wheels just plopped straight in. No rubbing on brake shoes......excellent. I think it is an old Parkside wagon but cannot find it in their current catalog. Looks like I had replaced the plastic buffers with some white metal ones possible from Kenline. She sits well, nice and square so I'm hopeful that this one will run true without a compensated chassis.

Its a start.......just need some track to run it on!!!

Friday, 21 November 2008

More possible Bullied coaching sets for layout

Another browse though the books reveals two three coach Bullied sets that might have been seen on the North Cornwall Line. (Possible for the Mawgan Porth to Exeter workings or even the ACE).

Bullied sets 768 - 769 were made up of,
Semi-open Brake Third - Seven compartment Composite - Semi-open Brake Third
These two sets had been transferred to the West Country from South Eastern Section in 1959. - An Illustrated History of Southern Coaches

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Coaching Stock (ACE)

During the 1960's it would seem that Bullied coaching stock was used on the main expresses on the North Cornwall Main Line. BR Mk1 stock was rarely seen on the line. In the summer months it is possible that a Bullied five coach set was used (No's 840 - 860) particularly on a Saturday. The Saturday working may also have included a catering vehicle which would have worked down the line on the Friday.

The above said, odd coaches would be added at Okahampton or Exeter creating some strange formations. Also in the early 1960's the fixed sets seemed to be in a state of flux with odd coaches appearing at random around the system. One know working of the ACE in July 1960 was made up of a Bullied brake second, a second from a Bounemouth six-car set, a Maunsell second open, a standard Bullied composite and Bullied brake second.

In the winter months the working would have been reduced to a 2 coach set of a brake composite and a second.

The above taken from an article by A. Henderson in BackTrack magazine Vol 11 Number 7 July 1997

Another possible coaching set for the ACE running though Grogley. This would be the final section of the ACE destined for Mawgan Porth.

I believe sets 63 - 75 spent most of their lives in the West of England.

Bullied Set 66
2 coach set consisting of
No. 4374 - Semi open brake third - (Comet Ref S8)
No. 6706 - Corridor Brake Composite - (Comet Ref S9)

Could add a loose Bullied BCK to the above set to make a three coach set (Comet Ref S7)

Freight stock list (Wenford Branch + Bodmin North)

I have been looking though photos of the branch to come up with a possible list for freight stock for the Wenford Bridge and Bodmin North freight turns. This will give me something to work towards while I'm finalising the track plan and purchasing track and timber for baseboards. The list is a little loose so should not be taken too seriously but will give enough wagons to run 4 typical goods trains to and from Wenford Bridge. (That is 1 down and 1 up freight plus 1 down and 1 up clay).

General Goods to/from Wenford Bridge
8 12t Box vans
2 conflats with containers
3 3 plk opens - with tarpaulin covers
1 lowfit - with load (a vehicle of some kind, car, tractor etc)
1 lowfit - empty
3 16t Minerals - with coal load
2 16t Minerals - empty
1 RCH 7plk open - empty
1 5plk open - empty or with load

China Clay to/from Wenford Clay sidings
11 China Clay wagons - empty
11 China Clay wagons - with tarpaulin covers (not hoods)
5 12t box vans
1 6plk open - empty (one was frequently used as a buffer between loco and first box van - it seemed to be in a poor state)

For both trains above.
1 20t BR Brake Van dia 1/503 - LMS design (I have not been able to find a clear photo of the number for this Brake Van but it looks like one was used frequently on the Wenford Bridge goods).

For the China Clay to/from St Blazey - Grogley Junction
1 Toad

Goods to/from Bodmin North
1 16t mineral - empty
1 16t mineral - with coal load
2 Shell/BP Tank wagons
3 12t Box vans (1 SR 2 BR)
1 5plk open - empty
1 5plk open - with tarpaulin cover or load
1 plate
1 BR 20t Brake Van dia 1/506 (LNER design - Airfix kit type)

Some wagons were fitted but I would imagine that the trains were unfitted. It is difficult to see from the photos.

The above gives me something to work with, allowing me to check thought any existing EM gauge wagons for likely conversions.

There are still the Bodmin General to Grogley exchange goods, the St. Blazey to Grogley Junction exchange and possibly 4 pickup/though fitted freights to consider. Along with any specials that I might be able to justify.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Gainsborough Model Railway

I remember being taken to see this layout by my dad during my Primary School days and it made a lasting impression. Have been back a few times since and even now the scale and operation of this layout is awesome. Well worth a visit if your in the area.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Lincoln MRC Exhibition

Ventured to the Lincolnshire Life Museum today. My partner had read an article in the local rag about Lincoln Model Railway Club putting on a small exhibition there. Thought it might be worth a quick visit as I was already in Lincoln.

Layouts on show were two OO, three N, and a Hornby Dublo, all from members of the club. Enjoyed the N gauge layout entitled "Peakdale". Simple track plan but nicely displayed with well constructed scenery. Spoke to two very amiable members re DCC operation and gleaned some useful information. I like the idea of sound which will add an extra dimension. Not sure I will be able to afford a DCC system at the outset but it looks like Grogley might have to be built with DCC capabilities.

There was also a demonstration the Trainz Railroad Simulation software package. Very impressive. They recommend the 2004 version as being the most stable. If time permitted it would be excellent idea to build a simulation of Grogley.

Temptation was there for a few purchases at the Caister Loco shop stall, but managed to prise myself away with only two packs of Smiths 3 link couplings. I should be saving my money to purchase timber and track components.

Unfortunately I've had no time for developing the trackplan for Grogley this weekend. The junction end of the track plan is proving to be a challenge and I was looking forward to wrapping my head around it again. I'm a little disappointed that no further progress has been made.

Onwards and upwards......

Friday, 14 November 2008

Branch Line to Padstow

Branch Line to Padstow
Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith
Middleton Press
ISBN 978-1-873793-54-1

Another book on the wish list.....

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Bullied Coaches seen in area

S5872S - (Seven compartment Composite)
Seen on:
On 1:15pm Wadebridge to Padstow June 1960 - (pg.77 The Bodmin & Wenford Railway - John Stretton) - I think this would have been a loose coach as it was part of set 267 which was disbanded in 1959 - (An Illustrated History of Southern Coaches)

S106S - (Eight compartment Third)
On a three coach train at Bodmin North behind O2 30236 on Whit Monday in May 1959 the other two coaches are a standard Manusell BCK/BSK set normally seen on branch - (pg.28 The Bodmin & Wenford Railway - John Stretton) - Very strange working it must have been between sets as in late 1959 this coach was added to set 826 along with SK 107 and allocated to the Waterloo - West of England workings. BSK 4291 + SK 106 + CK 5819 + SK 107 + BSK 4292. (pdf on BR(S) Bulleid and Mk1 coach allocations by David Gentle on the Comet Models Web Site)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Clay Wagons

Clay wagons at Bodmin General 2007

Monday, 10 November 2008

How I ended up here, at Grogley.

This project has been bubbling away for many years. The origins of which start back in the early 1980s when a Model Railway Club, of which I was a founding member, decided to build Bodmin Road as a club layout. This prompted me into looking at this area in more detail for my own interests. At this point I discovered Bodmin General. It has everything, single platform with interesting L shaped station building, goods yard, engine shed and coach siding. It has two lines exiting the station and natural scenic breaks with the ground rising behind the station and the road over bridges over the incoming tracks. It was also busy for such a small station with the exchange goods traffic and clay workings. All this possible in 12 x 2 feet. I thought I'd found the ideal station to model. But at the time North London Group's model was just starting to appear in the magazines. I was overawed at the standard of this model and felt that I would be disappointed with what ever I managed to create when comparing the two.

At this time I did venture into EM gauge and build a few wagons and started on building track with copper paxolin sleepers which were intended to convert a previous small OO layout. Somewhere along the line (no pun intended) I lost my way. Many projects were drawn and not progressed. I kept getting drawn back to Bodmin General and the surrounding area. I have a general leaning towards the GW with its 57xxs and 45xxs along with the diesel hydraulics. But I then discovered the Beattie Well Tank which is such a beautiful little tank engine. The more information I collected the more I was getting drawn to the SR workings and locos of this area. The N Class 2-6-0 is such a well proportioned engine.

After I'd spent many years in the wilderness, Boscarne Junction started to be in the frame for a layout. At the start no station platform seemed to be an advantage but I then realised it my not hold my attention for long without one. What about the mill at Boscarne? Could there have been a private siding or a wharf siding similar to those on the Wenford Branch giving extra shunting potential? Could I include a halt similar to Dunmere or Nanstallon at the other side of the level crossing to the junction? After a while I began to realise that this would not be Boscarne and if I was going this far away from the location should I look elsewhere? The project was put on hold for a while longer. I had a demon in my mind that the layout had to be of an actual location, anything else was just playing trains.......

I have always been negative about my ability to build a model of a real location and have it scrutinised. However, more information gathered, and a few exhibitions visited started the thought process again albeit from a totally fictitious angle. Perhaps adding a twist on history for Boscarne would do the trick? More plans and still not satisfied. I was trying to find a solution to justify a layout that would have seen Beattie Well Tanks, O2s, 45xxs, 57xxs, T9s, N Classes and Diesel Hydraulics. Trying to keep the interchange of clay traffic as an interesting freight working. Also if possible including Atlantic Coast Express workings, behind a West Country Pacific, with some BR Standard Class loco's along with some more GW types for good measure. That stereotype GW Branch working of a 14xx and auto coach would also be nice. As a curved ball a 42xxs would be interesting as a couple were shedded at St. Blazey for the clay runs to Fowey and finally was there any way I could justify larger GW tender locos.

Ruthern Bridge was in the frame at one time and could, with different twisting of history, have been developed into a model of a large junction station with Wadebridge and Padstow being a branch line from it. Eventually I thought that this would be too big for my first project, so Grogley was developed. I liked the idea of building a junction on a curve and first tried to transpose Boscarne Junction onto the location at Grogley. Initially with no station then I adding a halt, then altered this to include an island platform and finally as the final sketch (see track plans). I also want to fit as much of the actual location into this fictitious layout thus fulfilling the need for a model of real location. In the end I have taken a couple of liberties to try and make an interesting model that should be enjoyable to build, interesting on the eye, and a pleasure to operate. After all a hobby should be fun and entertaining.

I think after 20 years I have finally expelled the demons that if any layout is worth building it has to be an actual location. I am hoping that with Grogley Junction I will created a plausible layout bridging the gap between real and fictitious.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Beattie Well Tank at Bodmin

Grogley Junction bigger than expected!!

Imported the original 1:20 scale plan into Templot again as I was not convinced that it was previously at the correct scale. Sure enough if drawn to scale it is approximately twice the size I was expecting. In drawing the sketch I must have use some strange calculation that lead me to believe it would be possible to design this layout to scale and fit in available space. Thought this was too good to be true.

Not sure that I can do anymore with the plan today but will have to mess around with the import options in Templot to make this plan fit space. A little despondent that the layout will not be to scale.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Coaching Stock (SR Branch/Local workings)

Sets seen on the Bodmin North branch trains.

For many years Maunsell coach sets were the mainstay of this working and it would seem that they were rotated. I have not found any answers to how but I am assuming that these sets were rotated with workings from Exeter and could be seen at other locations in the West Country.

Need to settle on one set for the branch workings to Bodmin North.

Set 20
I do not know formation of this set.
Seen in:
June 1960 leaving Wadebridge for Bodmin North behind 57xx 4666 (pg.18 Branch Lines Around Bodmin - V. Mitchell - Middleton Press).

Set 23
Dia 2113 - six compartment brake third - no. 2792 - (Ian Kirk Ref 8871)
Dia 2403 - six compartment brake composite -n0. 6575 - (Ian Kirk Ref 8872)
Seen in:
September 1961 on the 3.8pm Wadebridge to Bodmin North train behind 57xx 4694. (pg. 10 Steam on West Country Branch Lines - Peter Gray - Ian Allan)

Set 24
Dia 2113 - six compartment brake third - no. 2832 - (Ian Kirk Ref 8871)
Dia 2403 - six compartment brake composite -n0. 6602 - (Ian Kirk Ref 8872)
Seen in:
In the early 1960's at Bodmin North station being pulled by a 57xx 4694 (postcard print)
September 1961 behind O2 30199 arriving at Bodmin North. (pg. 33 The Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway - C.F.D. Whtmath - Forge Books)
July 1960 heading to Bodmin North behine 57xx 4666. (pg. 32 The Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway - C.F.D. Whtmath - Forge Books)

Set 25
Dia 2113 - six compartment brake third - no. 3780 - (Ian Kirk Ref 8871)
Dia 2403 - six compartment brake composite -n0. 6665 - (Ian Kirk Ref 8872)
Seen in:
August 1955 at Boscarne Junction returning from Bodmin North behind O2 30203 (pg. 37 Branch Lines Around Bodmin - V. Mitchell - Middleton Press).

Set 28
Dia 2113 - six compartment brake third - no. 2787 - (Ian Kirk Ref 8871)
Dia 2403 - six compartment brake composite -n0. 6569 - (Ian Kirk Ref 8872)
Seen in:
In June 1959 at on the 4.23pm Bodmin North behind an O2 30236. (pg.64 Branch Lines Around Bodmin - V. Mitchell - Middleton Press).

Set 30
I do not know formation of this set.
Seen in:
May 1962 behind an Ivatt 2-6-2T 2MT 41284 on a Bodmin North to Padstow train. (pg. 23 & 29 Branch Lines Around Bodmin - V. Mitchell - Middleton Press).

Set 198
Dia 2113 - six compartment brake third - no. 2780 - (Ian Kirk Ref 8871)
Dia 2403 - six compartment brake composite -n0. 6699 - (Ian Kirk Ref 8872)
Seen in:
April 1960 at Wadebridge on the 5:00pm Padstow to Bodmin North behind 57xx 4694 - coach S6699S identified in photograph - pg. 76 Bodmin and Wadebridge 1934 - 1978 T.Fairclough

As these seem to be the mainstay of short haul branch/local trains in the area another set will be required for locals to Mawgan Porth.

Bodmin and Wadebridge 1834 - 1978

Southern Branch Line Special No.1
Bodmin and Wadebridge 1834-1978
Tony Fairclough and Alan Wills
Bradford Barton
ISBN 085153 3434

The first book I purchased on the line so this is where it all started.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Static Grass fibres

Silflor grass fibres for railway modeling and wargaming

The supplier has a stand at the Warley show. I know this is one of the big shows but never ventured over. Will have to check it out to see if it is worth a visit this year.

River Camel at junction 2007

Taken after crossing the river on the Ruthern Bridge branch looking towards Bodmin

Taken from approximate position of the junction with bridge over the river out shot on the right.

Polbrock Road Bridge photographs 2007

Looking towards Wadebridge

Looking towards Grogley

More photographs of site taken in 2007

Looking from Wadebridge this would be the approximate start position of the platforms as they curve around the corner towards the junction.

Again looking from Wadebridge the loading bank and siding would be on the left.

More photographs of the line taken in 1987

Photos of Grogley taken in 1984

Link to Malcolm Smiths excellent site of a near compete photographic survey of the Bodmin & Wabebridge Railway from Wadebridge to Wenford Bridge. First link has potographs of the road overbridge at Polbrock, the second a few photographs of Grogley Junction. Other pages contain many interesting shots of features of the line which might be useful.

Goods wagons seen on branch


Wenford Bridge - Sept 1961
16t Mineral – 4 x 5lk open all with tarpaulins covers – 4 x 16t minerals – 3 box vans – Brake van
Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway – Whetmath - pg. 36

Boscarne Junction – Sept 1961
Beattie with 12T Box Van M 522395 with a tarpaulin over roof
Postcard – Bodmin, Wadebridge & Padstow line

Wenford Bridge Clay Sidings – May 1961
12t Box Van W124745 with "Leavers" on white panel above number. Wagon had recently been refurbished and looks new. Also 6 plk open used as a buffer between loco and 12t box van then clay wagons.
Steam Trails – The Withered Arm – Clemens – pgs. 91,94, 95

Layout design

Some of my original thoughts on layout design for Grogley Junction.

First thought was just to move Boscarne Junction track plan to Grogley Junction. No station but giving me extra operational interest with though traffic to St. Blazey and Mawgan Porth. Easier to construct with far less buildings.

At the Wadebridge end the road over bridge at Polbrock to be brought forward and used as a scenic break. The Bodmin end scenic break could be trees and undergrowth.

But as always I start beating myself up with ideas and possible plans.

What if I included passenger facilities?
1) A halt could be built with access from the road over bridge. This would be similar to Dunmere Halt.

2) Or a platform could be built in the triangle of the junction (Ruthern Bridge / Bodmin end). Pedestrian access would have to be either a separate footbridge over the river Camel or to use part of the rail bridge. Small car park on the Ruthern Bridge road. This would allow passenger simultaneous exchange between Mawgan Porth to Wadebridge and Wadebridge to Bodmin trains.

3) Or a standard two platform station could be built that would be used as a junction/passing place. The station could also have a small wharf/goods siding along with exchange sidings for the clay traffic.


Traffic to be seen running thought the model of Grogley Junction.

All workings from Wadebridge to Bodmin North, Bodmin General and Wenford Bridge will be as factual timetable apart from clay workings.

Clay trains from Wenford need to be reversed at junction to continue to St. Blazey. The junction would be used similar to Boscarne Junction. Exchange sidings required. Proposed working uses an engine change at junction from Beattie Well Tank or 13xx running on the Wenford branch to a 42xx or 63xx, or 2 x 57xx or 57xx banked by a 45xx for the steep climb up the valley to Tremorebridge and beyond to the junction with the Newquay branch.

Add to this fictional local workings from Wadbridge to Mawgan Porth and though workings from Exeter (via Wadebridge) to Mawgan Porth, and though local workings from Par to Wadebridge.

Though coaches of the Atlantic Coast Express to Mawgan Porth pulled by West Countries tender first in both directions due to reversal at Wadebridge. The other option, and possibly the most likely, would be that Padstow kept the larger turntable and the West Country's carried on to Padstow in charge of the ACE. A lesser engine backing onto the last two/three coaches of the ACE for Mawgan Porth. Possible engines, T9's, N class or other to be decided. Will have to decided on the importance of Mawgan Porth. The 70ft turntable was installed at Padstow in 1947 a 50ft turntable was at Wadebridge.

Questions for potential traffic
Q1) When and why did the De Lank Quarry close at Wenford Bridge? Could it have survived into the early 1960's?
Q2) When did the Iron Mine at Withiel close? Could it have survived into the early 1960's if the rail link had been built? (All mines in the Ruthern area were shut by 1878 the last one being an iron mine not sure if it was the one at Withiel. Making it last another 90 years might be stretching history a little too far).

An Oil terminal at Mawgan Porth would add the excuse to run a special. Perhaps a large terminal on the old Air Field.


A North Cornwall fictitious branch line. Not seen this in the flesh but have used it as a guide to other what might have beens.

North Cornwall Railway

An Illustrated History of the North Cornwall Railway
Irwell Press
ISBN 1-903266-89-0

Updated version of David Wroe's classic

Looks like a book I shall have to get hold of.....

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A fairly accurate track plan of Grogley Junction in 1907
My first attempt at a using Templot

This was drawn over the top of a 1907 map.
The curve headshunt is the remnants of the pre-1888 mainline. I hope to keep this section as part of the proposed layout but using it as one of the exchange sidings.


I was privileged to see this layout at the York Show at Easter 2007. In my humble opinion it was one of the best if not The Best Layout at the show. It is a well researched and well presented layout. The operation, consistency of construction, and attention to detail put this layout firmly in the region that it is depicting.

If Grogley reaches the stands set by this layout I will be well happy.

North Cornwall Railway

Excellent web site containing much information regarding the North Cornwall Railway (The withered Arm).

Sections on; Its History, The Route, Operation, Traffic, Rolling Stock and The ACE.

I've used this site to gain an insight into traffic, locomotives and stock used and to develop though workings to Magan Porth from Wadebridge and Exeter. May be using the Architectural plans for station buildings.

Branch Lines Around Bodmin

Branch Lines Around Bodmin
Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith
Southern Classics
Middleton Press

Excellent book containing full historical background for the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway. Including track plans and gradients, a small selection of timetables and many black and white photographs from cira 1920's until closure and beyond with the Bodmin and Wenford Railway Preservation Society.
Photographs of Grogley Halt and Junction taken during 2007

Looking towards Wadebridge from junction.

Junction looking towards Bodmin. Grogley Halt platform can be seen centre left and the line to Ruthern Bridge can be seen though the gate on the right.
Factual potted history of the Bodmin & Wadebridge Line.

1848 - LSWR took control of the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway

1862 - China Clay traffic started to be carried between Wenford Bridge and Wadebridge. It was also proposed during this year that the Ruthern Bridge branch be extended to serve a proposed iron ore mine at Withiel.

1864 - Launceston, Bodmin & Wadebridge Junction Railway obtained an Act of parliament for the construction of a line from Launceston to Wenford Bridge. Also a second act to extend the line from Ruthern Bridge to Truro and change its name to Central Cornwall Railway. (Both proposals did not come to fruition, but for the model the latter did).

1865 - Bodmin and Wadebridge railways track was relayed using second-hand rail from LSWR. The Bodmin and Wadebridge act of this year also contain permission to realign the Wenford line involving several crossings of the River Camel and the junction at Dunmere also the construction of a south to east curve near Grogley to accommodate through traffic.

1873 - Two proposed lines. One was to extend from Wenford to Delabole slate quay. The second was an extension from Ruthern Bridge to join the Cornish Minerals Railway being built between Fowey and Newquay. Part of the plan was the construction of a south to east curve at Grogley to avoid reversal of trains. (For the model I have assumed that the extension to join the Cornish Minerals Railway was built).

1879 - Further relaying of track. Why? How? (Further research required?)

1882 - North Cornwall Railway with the backing of the LSWR obtained an Act to build a line from Launceston to Wadebridge and Padstow

1886 - An agreement drawn up between the LSWR, Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway and the GWR to control GWR access to Wadebridge. The LSWR were to rebuild the B&WR including a new station at Wadebridge

1888 - (3rd Sept.) GWR completed the extension from Bodmin to Boscarne

1895 - LSWR arrived at Wadebridge after the opening of the Delabole to Wadebridge section of the North Cornwall Railway on the 1st June.

1963 - (1st Jan.) All control of the B&WR pasted to the WR.

1964 - (June) Bodmin North passenger service reduced to a shuttle service between Bodmin North and Boscarne Junction.

Using proposed acts and extensions outlined above to create the fictional Grogley Junction:

1862 - The extension to Withiel was constructed

1873 - The extension from Ruthern Bridge join the Cornish Minerals Railway was built and used to transport Clay, Iron and De Lank Quarry stone to St. Blazey and Fowey. Fowey which offering better sea access.

1882 - The North Cornwall Railway with the backing of the LSWR obtained and Act to extend the line from Withiel to Mawgan Porth.
The finalised plan
only a rough sketch at present

Templot software will be used to turn this outline into an accurate track plan.


After many months, if not years, in the planning I have finally decided to attempt to build Grogley Junction. This will be my first project in P4 so I am starting with many questions and concerns. It is also many years since I have actually built a model railway so could even be classed as my first. It all could be a bit of a disaster and end up in tears but if I don't give it a try I will never find out.

This blog will be used as an incentive to keep going and as a log of the projects progress. My aim is to post comments each month with any available pictures. As it is my first blog it may take some time to get organised and I apologise for any bad posts or site construction in the early stages.

If anyone has any further information on the workings or history of the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway or disagree with any postings please add comments.