Rites of Passage for a Model Railway - 21: Kirk Rigg, One I Made Earlier
Ideal for an ongoing gift: A model railway can be added to, updated, or left alone. Kirk Rigg was built as a Christmas prezzie for my son over twenty years ago
Try this for yourself
Think of a location for your layout. Look at local place names, the geography, the settlements in the area. Are they large, sprawling urban areas that might have grown with the Industrial Revolution? Or are they suburban, lightly industrialised, rural? Some names came with new towns where new industry sprang up in the 20th Century. Newtown, Newport, Grangetown, Peterlee are names from my area around North Yorkshire and County Durham. Modern towns interspersed with settlements that date back to Domesday and beyond, villages like Leeds and Darlington that grew with trade and industry. Other villages and hamlets such as Middlesbrough, Sheffield, Doncaster, Birmingham grew with the spread of shipbuilding, the discovery of minerals or the proximity of strong running water supplies for milling, the building of canals or railways, and became industrial centres by the mid-19th Century.
What's behind the name?
I suppose in a way this was a test piece, a guinea pig to work out scenery, lay track, construct buildings and invent a 'history'. The name of a station gives atmosphere, tells you something about a place, its regional character. Places with the name beginning with 'kirk' and ending 'rigg' define the region.
A kirk is a church, similar to Scotland (Northumbrian influence from way back), a 'rigg' is a ridge or high point between two dales or valleys. The full name of the station, KIRKRIGG & HOWE SYKE WOOD tells you its location is in an upland area, maybe near a moor. A 'howe' is a pagan burial mound, and a 'syke' is a cleft or depression in a hillside or moor.
In other words this is where a church was on a pagan burial site on the side of a wooded hill (or moor). It would be by a cleft wooded hillside where a gill or stream tumbles from the moortop, past the old church and nearby burial mound (early Christians built their places of worship near those of the pagans to show their god was as powerful if not more than those of their predecessors).
History lesson over. Now the model-making stage takes over.
Coal depot - station masters could make a good living from supplying coal to farmers, factories or domestic users
Kirkrigg is a farming community...
There's a cattle dock - out of use due to farmers using road transport for transit to market. There is the coal depot run by the stationmaster, worked by porters and a porter signalman for a share of the profits. Coal depots augmented their low railway wages. A stationmaster's income could be tripled by the sale of coal and coke.
A goods warehouse receives inward raw materials for light industry, livestock feed as well as household wares for a local shopkeeper/postmaster. Outward would be finished manufactured products, locally crafted items, butchered livestock meat or dairy products.
By the level crossing gatepost - replacement unnecessary where passenger services no longer stop here - there's a mail collection box on a post, typical of rural areas in the second half of the 20th Century where previously the nearest posting/collection box would have been at the post office in the village. The livestock dock is now used for goods too big for the warehouse. This station is on its beam ends, subject to eventual closure.
Interestingly other rail-borne traffic is still extant, the manual goods crane still in use (12/13 tons capacity). Coal and coke still comes in - albeit in limited quantities - in 16 ton or 21 ton steel wagons (Shildon Works produced high quality wagon stock) and there's a local parcels/small goods delivery service, witness the vans and Scammell 'mechanical horse' for restricted access in narrow streets or tightly ranged farmyards.
Yard crane and goods facilities... "To be collected/called for".
You can see a grain wagon poking out of the back end of the goods warehouse...
At the left, beside the manual yard crane is a flatbed lorry waiting for its driver to sign the goods out in the stationmaster's office. There's not much sign of life. Maybe it's 'bait time' (in this part of the North food is 'bait', elsewhere it's maybe 'meyt', it's all snacks. Doubtless someone will come along with more input).
You can see a grain wagon poking out of the back end of the goods warehouse. There's no silo for loading, it's been left here with a 'hot box' (axle box empty of grease) after discovery by the pick-up goods train guard.
Largely scratchbuilt buildings, Slaters plain plastic card with stone embossed overlay and detail from Peco (bell and phone box on office wall), Ratio livestock dock fencing and detail, Wills windows, Peco doors in station house and platform building, Wills greenhouse kit-bashed as station porch, Wills cold frames in garden, Wills water tower. Scale Link louvred factory/warehouse windows in goods shed, Wills door and window in goods office, Wills Smithy (locked up since the advent of motorised delivery vehicles), pigsty, 'grotty huts and privy' at the back of the yard opposite the livestock dock, Ratio lineside hut and unidentifiable card shed with plastic roof (added by me).
The gates (when I originally installed them) were Ratio. Only the posts are left (don't know what happened to the gates themselves) and the mail collection box on the post is a white metal casting from Langley Miniature Models and the ground-based water crane is a North Eastern prototype from Mike's Models.
Signalling's pretty primitive, but for an eight-year old a token gesture to technology. A Hornby tubular metal signal post with single starter arm and cast ladder. Simplicity, always best..
Another good reference work from the Silver Link library. A handy source of inspiration for the flat dwellers or renters with limited space. Some would even fit in the back seat of your car. Try one - I've had a copy of this for a while, useful for tips even on larger layouts. See if you can create a layout that will fit onto a coffee table - now there's a challenge! Or how about a working box-file layout? We had a competition for box file layouts at DOGA some time ago (see below for link). An insight into people's ingenuity...
Platform extent and around the goods warehouse
All the trackwork at 'Kirkrigg' is Peco
All the trackwork is Peco 'Streamline' code 100. A fairly simple layout with a loop, goods depot siding, short siding (where the crane is located) and coal depot siding. Through the enclosed tunnel portal is a single track to assemble trains and three unconnected 3 foot lengths of track.for stock - one being originally for a single brake second coach ('autocoach' or 'push-pull') and loco passenger service.
The trackbed was thinly ballasted, double-sided tape. Firstly the track was set down and the ballasted sprinkled over it, surplus blown away.
Construction of the units (2 X 4' X 16" X 5" deep) was from a framework of 2" X 1", boxed on the sides and outer ends. Connection between the two units was by coach bolts on the lower ends, the track fishplates supplying the power link between the two units (very rudimentary but easily dismantled and re-assembled). At the front the 3-plywood was cut away for the ramp down to the coal depot base. At the other end cutaways were made front and back for a beck, bridged by ply and overlaid with Peco girder bridge sides, suitably ballasted of course, and the whole was painted fairly realistically (I have to say). At the station end the ply was cut to , resemble a wall built across the trackbed, clad with embossed card and topped with (scale) twisted barbed wire and lichen undergrowth.
Wills building kits including Platform signal cabin, 'Kirkrigg'
As indicated, passenger services were one engine - a (Hornby) D49 4-4-0 in early British Railways livery - and a (Hornby) Gresley side corridor Brake composite coach, sometimes augmented by a goods van or two to be detached and shunted to the goods depot, empty vans attached again and away.
An alternative would be a Class G5 0-4-4 tank loco with Gresley or earlier David Bain NER-vintage suburban brake-3rd as a 'push-pull' service (no need for the loco to run round on the loop).
An ample supply of Hornby, Lima, Mainline and other vans and wagons, kit-built Slaters and modified ready-built Dapol hoppers for the coal depot supplied the station, brought in by the branch locomotive on a pick-up goods service along with the odd general goods or cattle feed van. .
Now I use the empty stock storage rals for standing my spare stock for the Thoraldby layout whilst son Robert decides what he wants to do with it..
Double O Gauge Association
- The Double O Gauge Association
The OO Gauge Association - see what you can achieve. Steady goes, don't set yourself too high a target. Do it in stages, go to exhibitions and see what others have done, ask questions, visit trade stands and don't be shy. We all start somewhere!
Station environs, end-to-end
RMWeb, the modellers' forum
- Redirecting to the RMweb community
The modellers' forum, read other modellers' blogs and look through their image galleries - lots of fascinating subject matter from Z Gauge to Gauge 1 or Garden Railways , Narrow gauge 009, Standard gauge (the usual option), US, European, UK, Irish
Finally, a view over the fiddle-yard from the control module end. There are three storage tracks at three foot each, enough to store locomotives and both passenger and goods rolling stock. Trains are made up here and 'driven' through the short tunnel, over the bridge and across the station throat either into the passenger platform, the goods or coal depot. The power supply is simply fed through a clip to the through track. As there are no reverse points there is no need for an additional power feed on the layout.
Fiddle-yards are useful for storage - locomotives, passenger, goods and mineral stock - to regulate traffic. On large oval layouts a fiddle-yard might take up one side out of sight if the layout is to go on the exhibition circuit. If you have an out-and-return layout like this one the fiddle-yard fulfils the function of keeping stock out of view until it appears through the tunnel. In other words there's the 'theatrical' role and the fiddle-yard is 'backstage'.
© 2014 Alan R Lancaster