Mini Project: The Potentially Perfect Layout

Guildford SidingsWhile I continue with the planning of my main model railway project I need something to keep me out of trouble. This morning I came across a potentially perfect layout for my needs.

The St Blazey layout is still in the planning stage – with an N Gauge track plan chosen – but it’s going to be sometime before I can get into the meaty part of the project (laying track, wiring etc). And the really fun stuff, for me at least, of scenery and weathering is even further away 🙁

So I need something to keep me occupied and while travelling today I happened to take a look at the sidings at a nearby station – Guildford in Surrey.

This station was, until 1967, a significant rail centre in the South. Thanks to its location, Guildford was home to a round house, turntable and engine sheds and lots more.

Old Railway TracksThe good times have long since gone however and now it’s just a busy commuter station at the interchange of the line to Southampton, the South West via Reading and London.

Although the sidings don’t see as much use as previously, four are still present and will make a great, potentially perfect, mini-project for me. Points, buffer stops and various track side structures to weather will keep me entertained until the Cornish layout is more established.

What makes sidings appealing is that their relative simplicity and size will be quick to get operational and so will allow me to dabble with scenery sooner than will be the case with St Blazey.

This second layout will also allow me to explore building model railways on a budget which is something I’m keen to explore and cover on Model Railway Engineer.

I’ve knocked up an initial track plan in the wonderful AnyRail (available here) as below that will fit on a simple small oblong baseboard which, as mentioned above, matches with my objective of a low cost build.


Track Plan - Guildford Sidings

My mini project track plan – a simple sidings but perfect for my needs.

As track plans go this is far from accurate at this stage and there’s plenty still to work on but you can see the basic shape.

With four siding lines it’s also got the potential to double up as a small fiddle yard for my bigger layout when that’s ready. Whether this actually happens is another matter but the thought is there.

More soon, starting with baseboard construction.

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