By Michael Shakespeare
Corfe Drops is a small coal yard somewhere in “Norf Landon” around 1968, with both facilities for gravity unloading of hoppers and crane unloading of standard mineral wagons. The coal thus unloaded is taken away by lorry.
The line also serves a factory / warehouse alongside the line, currently being used by Mullard Furniture Industries (who will soon re-invent themselves by only using their initials). The machinery for making the furniture modules has recently been delivered, and the empty packing crates have been dumped in the yard awaiting disposal.
One of the ladies has taken the opportunity to slip out (for a smoke?) onto the fire escape of another business backing onto the coal yard, and is staring reflectively over the yard towards the high level branch. Is she looking at the freight train that has just rumbled over the bridge, or at the recently appeared graffiti assuring her that ‘Skins Rule OK’. Perhaps she is wondering what ‘Skins’ are, unaware of the next youth phenomenon lurking just over the horizon.
Corfe Drops is a 12 mm gauge, 3mm/Ft TT layout built within the mandated 20x11x11 inches. Track is Tillig Modellgleis (Model Standard), and the 3 points are operated by wires and Gem Point Levers.
Buildings are a mixture of scratchbuilt and modified American HO industrial – the extra 0.5 mm does not show with industrial structures; the yard crane is a Faller HO kit (again, the difference is not obvious) and the buffers are venerable Peco TT rail built types.
Yard lamps are Langley N gauge tall yard lamps which look quite alright in this setting. Ballast is N gauge from various sources, the static grass is a mixture of Noch and Games Workshop. Road vehicles are repainted and modified Matchbox, all of which are approximately the desired 1:100 scale. Little people are generally HO who, under the surgeons knife, lose about 9 inches of scale height to make them suitable for TT. The coal yard workers started life as a Noch American convict chain gang!
The backscene is composited from several photographs sourced from the Internet and put together with Adobe Photoshop.
The layout is fully operational, (DCC no less), although there are only 2 locos that make an appearance. One is an old Easanel Condensing Pannier on a Triang Jinty Chassis fitted with a replacement Neomagnet, and the other is a modified BerlinerBahn SNCF Jackshaft Shunter which, with some hacking and filling makes a reasonable representation of an ex LMS Jackshaft locomotive. Both locomotives are fitted with Digitrax DN135 decoders, and control is provided by my faithful NCE Powercab.
In order to actually operate the layout, a 3 road 9 inch sector plate is clamped on beyond the overbridge, hence in Diorama mode the layout is 20 x 11, in Operational mode the layout becomes 29 x 11. Needless to say, the sector plate is described for completeness sake, but does not form a part of the entry.
The layout has taken 3 weeks to build in my usual Obsessive Compulsive style of working (oops, is it really 3 AM, better go to bed then).
For further information please contact Michael Shakespeare using the contact details below
Tel 07766 654491 or e-mail:- firstname.lastname@example.org