Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Return to rail?

One of my major hobbies when i was a child was my model railway. I had one from about the age of 5 or 6 when i was bought a trainset for the first time (Hornby Royal Mail set with a BR blue class 37 locomotive). Until my late teens i continued with the hobby with layouts first in my parent's garage and later in my bedroom. You can see a photo of the early garage layout here.

I stuck with OO gauge most of the time though did experiment with N gauge at one stage. I lost interest in my late teens and needed the space for other things anyway. My rolling stock, buildings and track were packed away in boxes... and remain there to this day! When i got my own house i did start thinking of restarting the hobby though never quite got around to it. Well now i am thinking about it again!

While my later layouts focussed on contemporary British Rail i am now thinking of going back in time and travelling the popular track of an interwar GWR branch line. I might even do a small layout based on the line down to Stratford. I got an excellent book on this line a few weeks ago and its given me a bit of inspiration to consider recreating Wilmcote station circa 1934 for example.

In the meantime the Perry Barr turntable is still in existance, hidden away behind a fence. This is one of the last remnants of a live steam layout that once ran on the sports field next to where i worked. I've never actually seen the trains running on there but they did up until the mid-2000s i think. The track indeed was only lifted in around 2006 or 2007. I don't have any photos of the track in existence but these photos from 2008 clearly show the trackbed (this photo i took in 2004 for a Quicktime VR does show the track - just about). You can compare the turntable with the photo below (one of the two turntables was destroyed of the layout was destroyed).

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