I’ve written about my plan for a layout based on the Harrogate gas works before, and given it quite a lot of thought, but when you actually start shuffling track around on a board it starts to feel a lot more like a project.
I only popped round to Tom‘s for a day out with my daughter (she likes his rabbits) and it turned into a trip to Hobbycraft for foamboard and to the Signal Box in Rochester for the extra turnouts I needed and, oh, there was a Hornby Skaledale gas holder on offer…
So what you see above is the more-or-less final trackplan, laid out on an A1 foamboard sheet. The layout won’t actually be this shape, on the left the edge is more likely to be a vertical line down from the top corner. From the toe of the turnout at the top the line will curve back on itself into a tunnel and end in a cassette fiddle yard of some sort behind the scenery. At the bottom, there needs to be a short extension for the trio of coal drop sidings and the shed they run in to.
The gas holder was a complete impulse purchase, I didn’t even know such a product existed, but on inspection of the box I see the Hornby range also includes a retort house, boiler room and other gas works structures. Strictly speaking the works at Harrogate was across the road beyond the bottom of the photo but I think the holder and maybe a couple of other bits will help to set the scene. After all I am maintaining the whole thing is “based on”. By the end of this afternoon’s track shuffling it had taken on a position just below the end of the engine shed siding in the middle of the photo.
All up I am hoping it will still fit within the roughly 5′ length I originally planned. It’s going to be mostly foamboard with a ply skin – Chris Nevard’s Catcott Burtle has shown that a layout of this size is feasible in the material. Whether it ends up being in one lump or two will depend on what fits in the car!