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Jack Palmer

JACK PALMER tells us about his ongoing OO Scale layout project.

Model Railway Layout

An E4 and the streamline railcar resting at one of our smaller sheds at Greenland MPD.

Ever since I was a small boy I was always interested in Model Railways and found myself circling almost every Hornby set in the Argos catalogue, but never actually got my hands on one. I was about nine years old when I built my first Airfix kit, a 1:72 Messerschmitt 109, and from that moment I knew that modelling was the hobby for me. In 2009, I finally received a Hornby Virgin HST Train Set and spent many hours watching the train running around and around. The rest, as they say, is history and here is a brief discussion on my current layout...

GLVMR History

Model Railway Layout

A 9F hauling a goods train passing through White Rock Farm.

By Late 2010 I had started building my first 00 Scale layout in my bedroom. It was a small but smart railway that was built to resemble a modern-day preserved line. It had two (later three) stations on a roughly 10ft long layout, but it didn't last long as it was ripped up only a year after it was built when we moved to a new house.

Model Railway Layout

One of our current projects is the construction of this Bulleid Leader locomotive. Roughly 80% is completed at the time of writing.

In January 2012 I began building a new layout in the garage of our new home, which was roughly 15ft in length with two stations and again, the plan was for it to be a fictional preserved railway in West Sussex. The stations would later be called "Greenland" and "White Rock Halt", whilst the railway was given the name "The Greenland Valley Model Railway" as by this point, we had set up a YouTube channel. Trains began running in August 2012, But the railway was again ripped up in October as I was unhappy with the design.

Model Railway Layout

A general view of Durrington Station with the goods yard on the right and the carriage sidings on the left behind the signal box.

In 2013, Whilst redevelopment work was taking place, I extended the railway by another 5ft and built a new station called "Durrington". The layout was finished again in March 2014 with the new design.

Model Railway Layout

P Class 178 running through Greenland Station. A large portion of the loco yard can be seen in the background.

In July 2015 however, we were sadly forced to move out of the garage, and we had to find a new home for the railway. During its time in the garage it did suffer from an unsuccessful robbery attempt and an incident where our loco yard flooded because of a leak in the roof! Eventually, we moved the layout into the loft of my home and the railway was dismantled and rebuilt to almost exactly how it was before the move. Since then the layout has been slowly progressing visually with some areas changed around and improved over the years but the layout remains roughly the same since 2012.


Model Railway Layout

A Schools Class passing through White Rock Farm and approaching Greenland Hill Tunnel.

The railway currently operates on a U-shaped layout which measures 28ft in length with two stations at either end - "Greenland" and "Durrington". A small halt is also present named "White Rock Halt". The railway currently houses eighty locomotives which are mostly steam, from very early Hornby locos right up to the latest models from various manufacturers - there are kit-built locos including the experimental Bulleid Leader Locomotive which has caused quite a stir amongst members of staff here! The rolling stock is rounded out by a diverse range of roughly fifty carriages and wagons. The layout also has a small workshop where most of our stock is serviced and overhauled.

Model Railway Layout

A streamlined Railcar sitting at White Rock Halt during a running session.

For the first several years of operation, the layout was controlled by an old Gaugemaster Series E controller (now obsolete - Ed). This was replaced by the Model D in 2017. In 2018 we converted the railway from analogue to digital and currently use the Prodigy Advance System with only a couple of sections isolated so we can store analogue locomotives that are waiting for repairs or overhauls.

The track is mostly made up of Hornby track with a bit of Peco Setrack also present. The buildings are a mix of card, plastic kits and pre-made models. The scenery is mostly from the Gaugemaster Scenic range and continues to be worked on and improved as time goes on.

The Future

What you see here will sadly not last long however, as earlier this year we decided to build a new layout that will replace this one but retain the same name. The reason for this was because the railway is now in such poor condition, it would be better off starting from scratch rather than working on separate areas at a time. This was a hard decision to make as the layouts been going strong for seven years, but now it's time for a fresh start.

Model Railway Layout

A Thumper unit passing an abandoned farm building.

The new layout will be built in the same place at the current one but will also have a new extension which will turn the line into a rough S-shape and take the length to approximately 35ft with three stations.

Model Railway Layout

Standard 4 No 75062 rests outside one of the 4 loco sheds at Greenland MPD.

The layout will feature things that are not or cannot be present on the current build such as vast amounts of figures, vehicles, tiny signs, road bridges, small rivers, an NRM-style exhibition hall, backscenes and much, much more. The main aim of the new layout is to accurately recreate the atmosphere and look of a modern heritage railway so you may see it in RIGHT LINES again soon!

Model Railway Layout

Durrington Station goods yard. On the left is a Class 25 which is halfway through restoration.

If you like what you see and want to follow the progression of the rebuild, the GLVMR has a Facebook page which you can visit here.

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