Project evolution – update

Continuing from my last update, I’ve been working on the plan for my N gauge project. The layout and scenery plan is finally pretty much finalised.

In my last project post update – Layout, Bedding, Wiring And Track Laying – I’ve decided to merge my two previous plans creating a a single Victorian-era model with a theme of Tin ore mining for which the trains will provide the transport.

This works nicely as it combines the plans I’d already worked up, with the St Blazey Cornwall elements providing the ideal background for tin mining operation (and the the hills providing the appropriate geological setting for mine heads) while my Guildford siding mini project becoming the sidings in the oval. Last time the layout looked something like this.

trackplan2-300x201 2

The layout as per previous update. The scenery is now decided.


I’m still not happy with the track plan for the industry zone on the left but I’d started work on the track laying and basic electrics and I’ve now firmed up the scenery layout so it looks like this.

Latest layout plan with key points marked.

Latest layout plan with key points marked.

Trees and Water 

As you can see, a small water feature has crept in and I’ve chosen locations for the tin mines. As mentioned, the hills will provide the base for the mines and the water feature (a brook/stream) will have its head at the top of one of the hills, falling down the front of hills, over exposed rocks. The central hills, aside from home for mine workings, will also provide the location for my “secret” fun element (more on this soon I promise).

I’ll be following my own advice – in the recent post of the adding realism to model railways with trees –  and featuring a lot of trees on the hills and alongside the track.

Ore Loading, Rocks and Coal


As mentioned last time, the mines would naturally have produced rock and ore so a loading facility will feature in the top right hand corner.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@modelrailwayeng) will know I’ve been in Germany recently (visiting the amazing Miniatur Wunderland model railway) and while here I took advantage to buy the Faller 232515 ballast loading building from a local model railway hobby shop for this purpose.

With some painting and weathering I think this will look very realistic and fit in nicely with the overall theme of my layout. I need to do some work to make it realistic for the era but am confident this can be achieved.

I’ve also got some bark that I’ll be using for expose rocks on the hills and a small landslide feature where the stream has carved its way down the front of the hill. I’ll be experimenting with using tree bark for rocks which I’ll hope to cover as part of in my model railways on a budget series of posts.

As hinted at last time, in the longer term the spur (bottom right) can possibly provide a link to a bigger layout later but until then it’ll be home to an engine shed with coaling and water facilities. As the engines will depart from here and it’s close to the industry zone, it also makes sense for a signal box to be in this region of the layout controlling traffic and operations.

That’s it for now. Time to get on with some actual work on the layout, finishing the track, getting more of the electrics in place and building the hills.



Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.

Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.

When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here,

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