Thursday, 10 December 2009

Prototype and period

I've always (as I said) been a GWR fan. I've also always been a lover of the Shropshire hills, ever since I read the Malcolm Saville Lone Pine books as a kid (in case you were wondering, that's where the station name comes from!). The fact that the Welsh Marches line down from Shrewsbury was LMS/GWR joint just makes it even better, since there's more scope for stock - small (and bigger) boys like variety.

As far as period goes? Fed up to the back teeth of variations on BR black and green, not to mention BR standard classes. Also don't really like the GWR or shirtbutton logos (not that the latter lasted long, or even made it on to many locos), so it's 1935 or earlier for me. Which is quite cool, since it basically means I can avoid the (to me ugly) LMS Pacifics, and the Hawksworth-era GWR stuff, while just squeezing in the Black 5, Jubilee and 8F on the LMS side. Technically, no Kings, either, since the line wasn't rated for them. More fun, though, the Bishop's Castle railway just hasn't closed, so I have an excuse for some four wheel coaches of some sort and maybe a saddle tank.

Craven Arms junction is ... actually, it's insane. From the north you have the main line, the Bishop's Castle line, and the GWR's Much Wenlock branch (about 2 miles north), and just south of the station the LMS's South Wales line turns off to the west, while the main line carries on to Hereford. The actual track plan is probably achievable in N, or in 00 if I actually don't ever want to make music in the music room again - which isn't going to happen.

So, the plan is a track plan based on a cut-down Craven Arms (losing at the least some of the carriage sidings, a couple of roads in the LMS shed, most of the GWR goods yard and the coal sidings, as well as reducing the rather insane 8 parallel tracks (goods loops, goods shed, Knighton road) at the north end of the station down to a more manageable 4. If I shoot for 24' of visible layout, that gives me room for two 6' or 8' fiddle yards and five or six coach trains. On 2'6" wide boards, I should be able to get 8' of station, with a couple of feet of faff at the southern end for the South Wales junction, another 6' of faff for the north end of the station, and then maybe 6'-8' of countryside, which has to include the Bishop's Castle and Much Wenlock junctions. The latter can disappear behind a backscene to a 3' fiddle yard while the BC branch can run parallel to the main line before disappearing into the main fiddle yard.

Time to stump up the shareware fee for RailModeller, I think, and see how practical that is.

No comments:

Post a Comment