Tinkers End.

Why Tinkers End? Well the last house we owned in the UK was called Tinkers Cuss and the house opposite was Soar End so the two combined gave me the name for a fictitious small station on my layout and the name for the whole layout. In the upstairs of our house I have a 10 mtr x 7 mtr area with a small extra area (5 mtr x 2 mtr) down one side. The layout is OO gauge using standard track and will take many years to complete due to the size.

I decided early on that the layout would be purely fictitious as I have little opportunity to visit the UK and do site visits and other research. So I decided on a part of the East Coast mainline from Grantham to Newark (purely to restrict the purchase of even more rolling stock) with a secondary line on which the station, Tinkers End, sits. You will see from the track plan that the layout is basically shaped like an E, the top section being the Northern end. I decided early on that I had a number of key requirements:

The layout should be fully computer controlled including points and other accessories.

All signals placed on the layout (semaphore and light) should be working.

Trains departing north should return from the north, although I have made special provision for some trains to sneak back unseen to their original departure point. It would look strange for a fully loaded coal train to head south only to head back from the south still fully loaded.

Anyway here is the current track plan:

Track Plan

The layout was started in July 2017 and will be under development for many years to come. Here are some pictures of progress so far (to December 2019).

The first picture is the room completed by the builder and myself and ready to start the layout.

The next shows the basic layout boards in place on the metal framing. You may also see that the centre has two layers. The lower one is the northern fiddle yard and has track already laid and points added.

As you can see from the above plan the layout can be split in to four main sections.

The top section starts as trains come up the ramp from the storage yard and enter the scenic part of the layout from the right. They immediately enter Newark station (in name only). Departing trains either travel on the East Coast mainline or the branch. The branch line continues at a higher level to Tinkers End station before going in to a tunnel.

This is where you will see industry, rolling stock sidings and the main steam shed with associated turntable.

This scenic section contains no points or buildings and basically represents the East Coast mainline running through the countryside. The branch line on the higher level re-appears at the left hand end of the section before crossing to the bottom section.

This section sees the branch line link back up with the main line before progressing to Grantham station (in name only). On exiting the station to the south there is a small branch running off to Soar Point station. All lines then go under a covered area in to the southern storage area. The covered area will have an RAF base above for scenic interest.

 There are two riverbeds on the layout  which both needed bridges for the various railway lines crossing them.

So here we see the finished result showing the excellent range of bridges that have been built to achieve this.

April 2020

Hi all. I hope everyone is managing to avoid the virus and not getting too frustrated at being in the house. I thought I would send out a few pics from the layout as we can’t get together just yet.

The first one shows a bit of work I have been doing next to the first station as you go into the room (just below the airfield).

The second shows my terraced houses. They are designed on the PC and cut with my new laser cutter/engraver. There is currently 8 but there will eventually be two rows of 16 full depth with 2 rows of half relief backs behind them (when I get more materials). The slope is 1 in 20 and the roof line will follow the slope. It has taken quite a while to design them but I think I am about there now.


No. 3 is the Newark station area where I have put down the platform edges and made up my own steps to the underpass to get from the station building to the platforms. I am not happy with the station building as it appears a bit small so looking at alternatives.

Lastly there is a shot of the industrial section heading down to the end of the room. The big factory was made by cutting up sections of many copies of a much smaller factory and piecing it all together. I have also almost finished assembly of the quarry building although I am playing with ideas for the conveyor belts at the moment.