North of the border

It is ten years since I built Tweedsmuir Street, the N scale microlayout was a spin off from an experiment in minimum space main line modelling in OO scale and, unlike the OO version, was completed and exhibited several times.

Tweedsmuir Street, N scale microlayout.

More recently the micro has been “in storage” – to be more accurate it’s been under a pile of junk in the garage and has not fared well. The embossed styrene sheet roof tiles have warped badly and the layout has also suffered other superficial damage.

The layout as it currently stands, with the roof stripped and the trainshed loose.

I’ve stripped the roof and will re-tile it using printed card instead of plastic. While the trainshed was off the layout I drilled holes through the baseboard at the buffer stop end of each track and corresponding holes in the staging area. Why? Because I have never had a British N scale locomotive that performed half as well as American or German models so, if Tweedsmuir Street is to be resurrected, it’s going to use my infamous “horizontal puppet strings” (fishing line) to power the trains.

MkIV DVT on the end of a Kings Cross train.

The little Scottish terminus is ideal for this method of propulsion because the trains used are all either multiple unit or push-pull and, as with the prototype, simply run in and out without any shunting or uncoupling.

HST cross country train.

The accompanying photos show the layout as it was, before being put into storage, and is it is at the moment.

Class 101 DMU local service.

The scenery should be easy enough to refresh, the only thing I don’t have to hand is suitable printed card for the roof. I’ve been unsuccessful locating this on line so I’ll have to wait until later in the week to pay a visit to Haslington Models.

As for the reality of such a simple layout with just three trains on it? Stand for any length of time on my local station and you will see… Pendolino (Mcr/London)… Hippo (Mcr/S.Wales)… 323 (Mcr/Crewe direct)… 323 (Mcr/Crewe via airport)… Pendolino (Mcr/London)… Hippo (Mcr/S.Wales)… 323 (Mcr/Crewe direct)… 323 (Mcr/Crewe via airport)… Pendolino (Mcr/London)… ad infinitum. When you’ve seen one of each you’ve seen all you’re going to get unless you drop lucky and can catch sight of a freight passing through.


About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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