As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve chosen St Blazey in Cornwall as a source for my next project. I took the opportunity of quiet time over the Christmas to source some information on the railway. I didn’t expect to find so much.
First up, is the Wikipedia page on the town which details basic geographical information, “St Blazey is situated 3 miles east of St Austell, 1 mile west of Tywardreath and 1 mile north of Par”, before linking to a page on the real subject of my interest, the engine shed.
“St Blazey engine shed dates from the opening of the Cornwall Minerals Railway on 1 June 1874. This line linked Fowey and Newquay via Par in Cornwall. The engineer was Sir Morton Peto and he built workshops for the railway on the north side of Par, close to the adjoining town of St Blazey. The workshops included a distinctive roundhouse engine shed of nine 70 feet long roads around a turntable. Each shed road had a 58 feet long pit between the rails for servicing engines. The area also boasted an erecting and repair shop, a fitting shop, a smithy, boiler house and a 2,500 gallon water tower.” (source)
This confirms my previous research and much of the reason I picked this location. In a small area is a turntable, roundhouse engine sheds, water tower, repair shops and smithy with the larger area also featuring a harbour, level crossing, bridge and station (Par). (Andy Hore on Flickr has some wonderful picture of Class 25’s in the sheds and even a picture from inside the shed!). There’s also room for some hills, which I want for a fun element of my project but I don’t want to say more on this just yet.
A bit more surfing showed revealed I wasn’t the only one to have picked up on this. Several others have built it before. There’s even a YouTube clip of one:
Lots of great ideas and inspiration here.
What’ll really help however is a posting over on modelrailforum.com by Mike Endacott detailing a N Gauge track plan for the area! Does it get much better? I’ve struggled in the past with track plans so for me this was an absolute Gold find.
This is Mike’s first track plan suites me better than his later version.
Finally, over on Christrerise on yourmodelrailway.net posted 24 pictures of buildings at St Blazey for prototyping.
Enough inspiration and everything I need to get started!
Footnote: Tragically, the turntable has been declared unsafe and off limits and is now condemned.
An online petition to save it has been started, please sign it here.
Picture credit, top: ndl642m