Fairlight Works

Official blog of the High Weald Light Railway (1977) Co. Ltd.

New Park (Harrogate)

009 harrogate industrial model-railways narrow-gauge

Harrogate - OO9

I’m doing a pretty bad impression of someone who doesn’t need to be building another layout. At the weekend’s get together I had enough of Harrogate working to be able to demonstrate it and talk about the concept and how it’s been built so far. I also had the chance to take some photos in decent light which, as I usually work on it quite late in the evening, was a nice bonus.

Harrogate Gasworks plan mk4

While the track plan went through a few evolutions until I was happy with, this is what is now commited to foamboard. Everything is laid, aside from three sidings, and the majority of what is there is wired up. Once the last bits of track are down I will then concentrate on completing the wire-in-tube point controls.

The main change from the final version in that previous post has been moving the loco shed siding along to the first loop, in order to make space for a Hornby Skaledale gas holder I picked up cheaply.

Harrogate - OO9

Although the detail on the base and gas tank itself is good the metal framing surrounding it leaves something to be desired, so I’ll be looking into ways to replace that. And although the real site didn’t have a gas holder so close to the railway yard, it felt like a good way to set the scene. For that reason, and a few others, I’m going to call the layout New Park first and Harrogate second, to suggest that it is “based on” rather than an accurate depiction of the yard.

Harrogate - OO9

Another reason for this is a lack of published detail on some of the scenic features. While the excellent NGRS book on the railway is full of useful information on stock and operation there is, for example, no photo of the exterior of the coal store shed where wagons were unloaded. So where necessary a freelance approach will be taken with the hope that it can at least be convincing as part of the scene.

Harrogate - OO9

It was perhaps a gamble making a 1.5m long structure entirely out of foamboard, but so far it seems to be holding up well. Each of the sides and ends is effectively a double thickness, with the “top” sitting on the inner walls and plenty of bracing underneath. The sides rise above the top all the way around as the site is more or less in a shallow cutting, once the scenic profile is established I will trim the sides away or build them up where required. Finally, a fascia of thin ply cut to that profile should protect the foamboard from knocks and dents.

In the photo above, the coal transhipment shed will be at the bottom edge of the layout, while the ground rises up to the right where a number of terraced houses overlook the yard. These still exist, and can be visited on Google Street View, so I can base my models on what can be found there. The position of the loco at the top of the image is roughly where the tunnel mouth will be.

The loco and the first hopper wagon test seen in the photos are the total extent of the stock for the layout so far. The second hopper test etch also seen on display will be the next thing to work on, along with the rest of the point controls, and then the scenery structure that will fit over the the end curve and fiddle yard. Despite this not really being a micro layout, I think it is fairly modest in its ambition and as a serial layout starter I really hope I don’t get too distracted before making some serious progress. Wish me luck!

Previous posts on the planning of the layout and stock.