“’Sheep Lane’ was born from sheer frustration. I had spent five years or thereabouts building a large 18ft x 12ft loft layout. The track was laid and trains were running but it just didn’t feel right and things ground to a halt. A change in circumstances saw to it that this was as far as this particular layout progressed and the layout was dismantled.
“The desire to have a layout never went away and a chance encounter with a redundant IKEA shelf got me thinking about a small shunting layout that could be stored when out of use and set up quickly anywhere in the house, such as on the dining table. A second shelf was added to the first and ‘Sheep Lane’ was born.”
Inspiration came from John Betjemen’s wonderful film A Branch Line Railway, filmed on the Highbridge branch of the former Somerset and Dorset Railway.
“This was my first layout after a long time away from modelling so I wanted to develop my skills, I certainly didn’t go into the construction with the intention of making an exhibition layout. I simply wanted to try out new techniques and see what came of it.
“I decided to keep things simple and get it finished. A less is more approach. All of my locomotives and wagons are either Bachmann or Hornby ready-to-run models, which I’ve weathered, and the buildings are also ready-to-plant. The larger hut on the right-hand side is from Bachmann, although I’ve added some individuality by giving it a new roof – after the original was damaged – made from foil from a Prosecco bottle. The ground frame hut is a limited edition from Kernow Model Rail Centre.”
You can read the full article in Model Rail 259 - Out Thursday March 14th!