This is a kind of pictoral Blog showing what's happening in the land of Burton Crumpnold


5th September 2019

  The Burton Phoenix work has been continuing over the summer.

The corner section scenery is nearing completion, and trains have been running.

.. An amazing bargain from a local (and very rare in North Wales) model railway show has become the centrepiece for it - A skaledale Windmill

The next stage is to complete the river section in the foreground.
  Burton Pheonox Corner    

13th July 2019

  The Burton Phoenix works is continuing.

The 'Basic' scenery for the new corner board is done.. The track is ballasted and the general shape of the scene, including undulations and a 'base' colour is done.

.. It has also been wired into the rest of the boards - to make sure it all works - and the track transitions between the boards are OK.
As the Hornby GWR Parcels Railcar was easy to get at - it had the honor of being the the first 'Powered' locomotive on the new track section.

  Burton Pheonox Redesign    
  Burton Phoenix Redesign    

22nd June 2019

  The new 'Corner' board is coming on apace.

In keeping with the original 'Burton Crumpnold/Pheonix - a lot of the material was from the original layout supplies.

.. The track has been positioned and balasted - and the basic scenery has been set up, and the first coat of paint applied.

  Burton Pheonox Redesign    
  Again - in keeping with the original layout - I have used the original 'J'cloth/PVA glue and polysterene foam bits construction method.

To add more scenic potential - I am adding a river/canal to the corner of the board.


27th May 2019

  Here is the framework for the new corner board for Burton Pheonix.

Most of the wood dates back to the original Burton Crumpnold layout. I actually carted it up here years ago when we moved here for this kind of use...

.. Next job is to add an MDF top to the frame - also from the original layout!!

  Burton Pheonox Redesign    
  The track has just been placed to show the sort of thing I am aiming for.

I am planning to 're-lay' the track on both the fiddle yard and scenery board to ease the curve to use more of the new board.

Most of the space on the new board will mostly be filled with 'scenenery'.


26th May 2019

  The second and larger job I am doing is a modification of the Burton Phoenix, end to end layout.
... I am adding a curve to the second board to convert the long end to end into an 'L shaped' to make it easier to use for any exibitions/shows etc.

... I will show the results of this in use soon.
  Burton Pheonox Redesign    
  I have finished the planning, and have acquired the wood and will add pictures when construction starts


25th May 2019

  As promised - an update of what I am doing at Burton Crumpnold now it is 'Open' again
... First was a simple project I have had the parts for for some time - a home made static grass application.

I got the idea for this by a chat with an exibitor at a model railway show and a bit of research on YouTube.
It is a simple device made from a pound shop electric fly zapper, a metal tea strainer and some wire.

... I will show the results of this in use soon.
  Homemade Static Grass Applicator  

23rd May 2019

  After a months of being boxed up and hidden away .. Burton Crumpnold is out - and in a new and larger room..
... I have even started on a number of long standing jobs on the layout..

... Details to follow soon..

11th February 2019

  After a year of very light running .. Time for an update..
Everything has been packed away as we embark on a major set of improvements on the house. This is quite key to Burton Crumpnold as it should finally free up a room to build a permanant layout.

Good news that comes from this is that it will be larger than originally expected, which will allow for a much larger main station.. More details when the building dust has settled...

... Also to add motivation - I have been more than a little excited about the annoucements at Hornby this year (Details HERE), in particular the New LMS Princess. The old (short) hornby model was in my first trainset... It will be good to have a proper 'scale length' model in lovely crimson lake livery.

21-28th January 2018

  After an age away I now able to think about Model Railways..
I am starting to plan for a new home for a reborn Burton Crumpnold, using a spare small bedroom in our house - more to follow.

Plus I have finally spent time improving the website, Initially to make it display better (more responsive) on large and small devices (phones etc).
I have also updated the site navigation... There is more to follow.

... I must give credit to my good friend and follow model railway enthusiast 'Ian White' who has been constantly bullying me to finally deliver some updates to the website. .. Now to see how long it will take him to notice... :-)

  Toby Testing..  
  .. 'Opening Day' at Burton Phoenix.. And by random chance - the first loco I found it's 'Toby'. So it's been busy testing that all the the power and pointwork is working after a long time dormant  

Pre 2018 Updates

  27th April 2014
  The last few weeks I have 'Redeployed' Burton Phoenix into our Dining room to allow easy access to the front of the layout. It has also allowed me to take a single photograph of the layout end to end.
  Phoenix and to end
  With a new photograph of the station end...

Now I have some space in the 'Railway Room' I have started work on the N Gauge 'Stowey Green' Layout.

As this is my first 'N' gauge project I have started at the 'hidden' end. I am in the processes of powering up the lower rear loop and positioning the point motors for it.

  Stowey Rear Loop
  30th December 2013..

Just before the year end - and as promised to my friends at AAR Models. Burton Phoenix is Running.
Admittedly there are a number of small scenery jobs to do... but that is mostly tweaking.

Here are a couple of views of the Station..

...The reason Thomas is pulling a couple of Virgin Mk2's - hardly appropriate for the Logo.. or the layout is to check for clearences in the station and the tunnel mouth to the fiddle yard....

... As you can see I've a tiny bit to do to cover up the joins in the hill over the tunnel (which hides the fiddle yard).

Finally a view from the tunnel along the whole scenic area to the station..

.. In the new year, after the final scenery jobs are done ... and had a bit of a play...

I will carry on with 'Stowey Green' N Gauge Layout....


  8th December

Today I managed to test the new Burton Phoenix control panel and layout wiring... BY ACTUALLY MANGING TO RUN AN ENGINE... The first time I have been able to run a 'OO' gauge loco for an embarrassing 5 years...

I chose Thomas for this grand adventure - as it was the first tank engine to hand. His mission was to ensure all the 'Cab Control' power sections and the point switches all worked. After spending the last few days wiring up the box and making up the connections cables to the layout I was pleased to find only a couple of minor issues to sort out

Phoenix -  Thomas


Here is the completed Control Panel - Painted and 'Wired up' - complete with the controller




This is also the first time that the complete 'End to End' layout was put together... Now to add the scenery to 'Hide' the fiddle yard..



  27th October 2013

I'm aware that Web Updates have been rather lacking...But I since September work has been progressing well on the 'OO' gauge Burton Phoenix layout. I have and wired all the boards - the new fiddle yard and the modified centre board is shown below. All the track sections and point motors are wired and ready to be connected to the power and control 'circuits' using 25way DSub connectors., recycled from the original layout..

Fiddle Yard and Centre Board - Under Construction
The next big task was to build a 'control panel' box. The idea with the design of the control box is that my Gaugemaster twin controller sits on top with the 'cab control' power selection and and point control switches operate from a 'Mimic' diagram on the front. The 'Mimic' panel selection are fed to the layout from sockets at the back of the box. The unit has been built from MDF I have lying around in the garage,
...Now the control box is 'built' the next stage is to get the soldering iron back out and wire up the control panel and fit all the switches. Then it will be time to make up the connecting cables between the control box and the layout sections... ....And then maybe we can have a go running some trains...
  30th May 2013
  Work has been continuing on the Burton Phoenix where I have finalised the track positions of the fiddle yard and fitted the point motors, rescued from Burton Crumpnold. Next comes the wiring, which is the major task needed for the is layout, as I have to adapt the wiring loom for the old station board to work with a new plug/socket fitted to the board. In addition I need a simple way to connect the other 2 boards to a new control panel. The current schematic for Burton Phoenix is shown below, showing the power section 'cab control' control over the 3 boards.
  Burton Phoenix Plan


I have also been sketching out the isolated sections and point control of the 'N' Gauge Stowey Green Layout. The following schematic shows the 'cab control' isolated track sections. Note the layout has been slightly simplified from the original design.

  StoweyGreen PLan
  12th May 2013

Life may have had resumed in the household - but after a lapse of over 3 years I'm finally back into the Stowey Green 'N' gauge project. I have been trying out the geometry of the lower part of the layout and have even have trains running round it. The stored loco's needed a bit of TLC after their unintended hibernation...

  Stowey Green Plan
The Original Stowey Green design



Proof I have really started work - my 'initial tinkering' of the lower level.Starting Stowey


And as I'm on a roll (compared to the past 3 years) I have even tried out the 'Fiddle yard' layout for Burton Phoenix...BurtonPhoenix Draft Fiddle yard



  22nd November 2009

The extension has been built and normal life is resuming in our household.

Whilst I was packing up Burton Crumpnold I had an idea for another project to run alongside Burton Pheonix with no space for a large 'OO' layout for a year or two.

It is a small( 4ft 6ins x 2ft 6ins) GWR 'N' Gauge layout 'Stowey Green', this is a fictitious in Somerset, close to the Somerset & Dorset line which would allow the occational LMS ' visitor'...

I have a sketch design of what I plan to build and have built the baseboard.

It a twin loop design with a low level oval and a second oval that climbs to a small upper station and then descends back to the lower one. In order to keep the gradeants reasonable I have built the baseboard so it is 30mm higher at the front than at the back.





Stowey Baseboard

The Stowey Green Base board

The extra bracing at the front and centre is to support the front and centre at 30mm above the frame.It is the normal softwood frame with 6mm ply top with cork tiles.

I'm in the processing of refining the layout of the base level.....


R.I.P Burton Crumpnold...

  5th October 2008

It has been an 'interesting' year - with little time for Burton ...

As can be read in the 'What's New' The Last train for the original Burton Crumpnold Layout ran in September... I needed to put the layout away as the room it has been living has no roof at the moment - whilst we have an extension built above it.. In addition to this my nagging disaticfaction with the track issues at the rear of the layout has made me decide to 'Decommision' the layout. (OK Keep the Buildings etc trash the track).

Coming out of the ashes of Burton Crumpnold is a portable 'End To End' layout built from the uupper station sections and a new fiddle yard. Hopefully I will be able to run this layout at exibition (If they will have me..)

  11th November 2007

Lots of things have been going on - but sadly no updates. The biggest task has been to make the website work after I changed service providers - all should be OK now.

I have also dipped my toe into the land of DCC.
I bought a Pendolino DCC train set during the summer, the Pendolino was on my shopping list plans for the year and the digital train set seemed a great way to have a look at what DCC can offer.

With very minor changes to the control panel - mostly involving rewiring the 'power feed' plug - I managed to change the layout to DCC operation. The only issue with just using the Hornby select controller it that there is not enough 'omph' from the 15v supply to properly operate the points. This will just involve having a separate supply for the point CDU.

I have had a go adding DCC decoders to my DCC ready Class 121 DMU and Class 57 loco. I am also investigating upgrading my class 110 DMU to DCC - with lights. We will see if my soldering is up to the job.....


Playing with DCC - Next time use shorter wires...

Station Greenery

Hornby Select Controller - Basic - But Fun

Other acquisitions of the past couple of months are a class 166 Turbo DMU - special offer from Rails and a surprise from Hornby in releasing the GWR liveried LBSCR 'Terrier'. I have added all these to the stock pages with photographs etc.

The next major 'Website' task is to add the freigh rolling stock pictures and details pages... Lets see how long these will take...

  27th July 2007

I have completed most of the scenery (for now!!) I have taken some more pictures and Updated the 'Photographs' pages. For a while I'm planning to enjoy 'playing trains' over the summer. Then it'll be time to up date the scenery and add pictures to the freight and road vehicle stock pages.

  Station Greenery
  1st July 2007
  I've been continuing with the scenery - particularly the upper station area which I have neglected until now. I have been also adding fencing the stations and improved the look of the 'green' areas of the layout. The work has been sporadic up till June but is going well now. All being well I will be done by the end of this month.
  Green Upper Station
  11th February 2007

I have been doing more scenic work on the layout this past 2 weeks. The 'Scenery'page to this website has been completed.

This shows the past and current work in adding realism to Burton Crumpnold.

  28th January 2007

A few tweaks were needed for the website - I had not properly set up the 'print' mode of the pages. Before these changes any attempt to print the pages would not produce sensible output.

On the layout I have been giving some thought to the upper station scenery. I finished some Metcalfe half relief houses and shops ready for the back scene

  1st January 2007

The new website is ready and has been launched today. I still have some work to do in completing the stock list pages. These should be complete soon.

  29th December 2006

Father Christmas has come to Burton.... The Hornby Class 121 'Bubblecar' DMU and GWR railcar have arrived along with the Bachmann Class 108 DMU. I will add the photographs soon.

  4th November 2006
  Been busy on Ebay this week having a bit of a stock clearout - Mostly stuff that has been 'upgraded' or just will not get proper use.  I'm planning to use the proceeds to buy the Hornby Blue Class 121 and GWR railcars (when they arrive). 
  22nd October 2006
  The stock photography is finished I am in the process of creating all the web pages. The loco's are nearly all done and will be on the web in a week or so.  In between the photography and web work I'm busy putting up fences, planting trees, hedges and grass - on the layout of course.  Photos will be uploaded soon.
  8th October 2006
  Now the Summer Holidays (and Summer) are a dim and distant memory it is now time to get back the the layout.  I have almost finished photographing the  stock, I finished the Corporate Blue BR, Virgin and Thomas stuff this afternoon assisted by the afternoon sunshine, there are just a few items left to do. I am very limited by daylight as the 'railway room' is rather dark, even with all the lights on.... I am planning to ease this problem during a trip to Ikea later this month when I can get some suitable lighting.  An upside to photographing the stock is that I've been able to take a few extra 'layout' pictures, particularly of the more modern stock.
  13th August 2006
  The great task of photographing the stock continues - when any time (and light) is available.  I've now finished all the steam stock and most of the 'Corporate Blue' BR - Just the Modern 'Virgin' and 'Thomas' to do.  It has been taking an age to ensure I have a nice variety of shots of the loco's coaches and wagons.  As a 'background' project I have been improving the fencing and general vegetation around the main station area. 
  Class 44 Penyghent
       ....Work carries on with creating the illustrated catalogue... This is the Class 44 'Penyghent'
  23rd June 2006
  There has not been much work on the layout the last 4 weeks or so - I have been busy photographing all my stock so I can add pictures to the stock pages. It is taking quite a while, I've nearly finished all the stream locos, coaches and wagons and am about to start on the 'Modern' BR stock.  
  2nd April 2006
  Looking though railway magazines has made me realise that to take realistic photographs of the layout I needed some kind of background. The current home for the Burton Crumpnold layout is surrounded by shelves of books, which are far from realistic as a backdrop. I had a look at the various  printed scenery sheets around but most are very tacky - the photorealistic ones had promise and I may try them in the future (or make my own). I decided to go for the simple 'Blue Sky' look by adding some 'Sky Boards'. These boards are easily removable hardboard panels painted in a sky blue colour that are fitted around the side and back of the layout. They are very effective as can be seen in the picture below. 

I have updated the 'Layout Photos' page to show the new 'complete-ish' Burton Crumpnold Layout. I have also updated the Home page pictures to show the layout as it currently is.

GWR Scenery

  31st March 2006
  March has been a wonderful month for Burton Crumpnold..
I have managed to add most of the basic scenery to the layout so that Burton Crumpnold is beginning to look 'real'. There is grass, hedges, bushes and even a couple of trees to add a bit of colour to the place. Nearly all of the baseboards are covered with appropriate scatter and other scenic items. There are lots of little 'detail' jobs to do, particularly to do with the upper station area, which will keep me busy for ages; but it is great to see the layout finally come together. I will probably take a bit of a break on the construction front  and spend some time simply 'playing trains'.  
  12th March 2006
  The scenery is coming along nicely. The first tree's have been planted and I've started building up the hill that will make the tunnel entrance near the station a bit more realistic and to improve the scenic 'gap' between the upper and lower stations. I've also placed some line side fencing to improve add a bit of realism and detail to the front edge of the layout.  Whilst waiting for various glued items to set I've been experimenting with scatter, flock etc to get a better grass effect. Scatter by itself does look rather dull.

Old Entries

  19th November 2005
  I spent a lot of time testing the new track layout making sure the track layout problem was completely resolved.  For the testing I went thorough most of my Loco stock - but found the Bachmann Kinlet Hall, Class 44 'Penyghent', Super Voyager and the Hornby Prairie and Fowler tank engines the most useful as they were the most 'sensitive' to bad track.

After this I started to go through my range of coaching stock and discovered the rich world of wheel 'back to back' measurements.  I discovered that certain coaches - even some very new ones would have a tendency to derail at points when the track geometry was correct.

After doing some research on the web I measured the wheel 'back to back' - (The distance measured between the inside edges of the two wheels on an axle) and found that this varied between 13.8mm to 14.7mm.  I know this does not sound like much but makes all the difference when the wheel has to traverse a point with all the check rails etc. This is less of a problem with the older 'less scale' wheels - but is much more of an issue with the finer (thinner) wheels on modern stock.  On my layout, using basic Hornby points I found the optimum back to back measurement was  14.3mm.  Measuring lots of wheels using a digital calliper became a bit of a pain, so I asked a friend who is a whizz with fine metal work to produce a 'gauge' for me.  This gauge is a small piece of metal 14.3mm across that allowed me to quickly check the wheel back to back measurement. If the 'gauge' fits tightly between the wheels being tested I know the gap is right. Otherwise it's a case of removing the wheel and carefully adjusting it to the right size.

I am also using this opportunity to replace the plastic wheels of some of my older carriages with new metal wheels. It makes them run much better and helps keep the track clean.

  14th August 2005

This month I treated myself to a brand new GWR loco.  It was a choice between the Hornby 'Hardwick Grange' and Bachmann's 'Kinlet Hall'.  After seeing them both in the flesh I went for the Bachmann as it really looked the part - and was a lot cheaper the Grange..    
Unfortunately the new Hall highlighted a problem with a few sections of my track.  The inner loop near the station was not properly connected - causing the curve to be a lot sharper then a '2nd radius' curve which was intended.  
All this is covered on the About Burton->Contruction Page which can be accessed HERE....

  17th July 2005

I've had 'Family' around this weekend so it's mostly been 'Playtime' on the layout.  It has been good to see Michael having a real go with his Virgin 125's etc especially in dealing with the inevitable derailments as he tried to break the speed record for a diesel train.......  

Thomas has had plenty of Track time - due to popular request of my brothers kids...

I've also had fun dusting off the BR Mallard and spinning it round the track for a while.

  3rd July 2005 

I've had a very successful week on Ebay and managed to pick up a Bachmann Class 44 'Penyghent'. I particularly wanted this model - not just because I really like the loco, but also am quite a 'fan' of the mountain having climbed over it a few time on my backpacking ventures. 

  2nd July 2005

Been testing Burtons new arrival, a Hornby 'Brighton Works' A1X Terrier Tank Loco.
The loco is a real gem - it does not fit into any era or region of the layout but I could not resist getting one.   I do suspect that some time in the future I will get round to modelling the Southern Region since I live in it..... Especially as I live near one of 'Lost Lines' of Sussex 'The Horsham-Steyning-Shoreham line which would make a great subject.

  26th June 2005

My  recent activities on Ebay has been getting hold of BR Blue and Blue/Grey 'parcels' coaches/vans etc to add a bit of variety to the modern freight operations of the layout. I have also been some selling off of the poorer quality bits of my stock, especially those that are about to be replaced by new 'Super Detailed' models eg Class 08 diesel shunter and GWR pannier tank engines.