It’s Decided – Par & St Blazey it is

St Blazey engine shed ariel photograph

Aerial of St Blazey engine sheds and turntable, via Google Earth Maps.

It’s decided. After a lot of pontificating, I’ve finally picked the project I’m going to build for my next model railway: Par and St Blazey in Cornwall. 

To be honest, this wasn’t initially on my radar as a potential location as a layout but I’ve travelled to Par frequently in recent months and during my travels I couldn’t help but notice, even from the brief journey through the station, it has some interesting potential. A bit of Googling revealed it was a classic junction that could prove fun if challenging.

Then I stumbled on Tim Hall’s Where Worlds Collide blog (post no longer available) where he describes it in some detail as part of his plan to model it and I was really hooked.  It ticked all my criteria, namely:

  • An old layout – I like the steam era the best and St Blazey, part of the Cornwall Minerals Railway, dates back to 1874 so lots of scope there.
  • Lots of side buildings and scenery –  with the engine shed and workshops including a turntable, repair shop, a fitting shop, a smithy, boiler house and a 2,500 gallon water tower – so lots to get play with.
  • It’s challenging, it’s not worth doing if it’s easy and the layout – a fraction of which can be seen in the above aerial picture above – has a lot going on.
  • There’s room hills into which I’m going to incorporate an as yet secret but fun and imagination element.

Like Tim, I’m doing it in N gauge and I don’t have the space to do recreate it in full. Instead I’ll be focusing on the marshalling yard and locomotive depot and go from there. The layout will provide more of a framework on which to build than my layout being an exact replica but there’s more than enough here to keep me busy.

I’m back in Par in early January 2015, so will hopefully get some pictures then. Until then and over Christmas I’m going to start working on the track plan. Time for some research.

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