Fred's, Hartshill Bank- John Cox
This layout is back on the exhibition circuit and is being exhibited in the memory of the late Fred Johnson.
(All photography courtesy of Tony Wright.)


Encouraged by his experiences on the exhibition circuit, Fred Johnson describes how he built his own N gauge layout.

Activity on the depot with two Class 37s, two 60s and a 59 in attendance.

I started to build the layout in l998. Having helped Steve Farmer with his Barton Road layout at a few exhibitions, I was encouraged to have a go myself. I decided to incorporate a station at one end and a diesel depot at the other end of the layout.
As it was to be an exhibition layout, I started to build the layout in five sections of 2ft x 3ft each, giving an overall length of 10ft by 3ft. My cousin, John, built my layout boards using the tongue and groove method which we had previously tried out on our club layout. The track is Peco code 55. It is laid on a base of cork and ballasted using Greenscene's N gauge product.
With the track laid, next came the wiring, which I kept as simple as possible. The points are operated on the stud and probe principle. The layout uses K.P.C. hand-held controls.

A Gloucester parcels railcar in the station bay platform.

Hartshill Bank Track Plan - Layout size 10' x 3'
Hartshill Bank's town scene is made up from kits by Faller and Polar plus a few scratch-built buildings. The continental kits have been altered slightly to make them look British. The market stalls and the bus shelters were made by my friend, Mick Tooth. The diesel depot is made from two Peco kits utilising one full kit and half of the other one. The yard lamps are from T.P.M. Models. The depot yard is formed by plaster of Paris dragged across the tracks to make it look like concrete.
A prominent feature behind the depot is the rock scene which was constructed from plaster of Paris, nappy liners and tinfoil. The tinfoil was put into place just before the plaster of Paris dried out to get the indentations of the rock surface. This was then scattered with Greenscene's scatter and trees were put into place as desired.
Another scenic feature is the canal, which was formed by painting varnish on top of varnish with a layer of paint in-between.

A busy time at the depot and in the Civil Engineer's yard.

A view of Hartshill Bank's station buildings.

Canal scene with EWS No.66 003 and Blue Circle cargo-wagons heading south.

Rolling Stock.
The rolling stock is a mixture of my own loco re-sprays with a few C.J.M. models, plus a bit of stock from Mick and John, together with some scratch-built engineering rolling stock and kits of Steve Farmer's. All the stock on the layout has been detailed or modified.
Having taken nearly three years to build the layout, which was set up in the lounge, my thanks must go to my wife for putting up with it all that time. Also many thanks to Mick, John and Steve for all their help and to their wives for letting the lads come away at weekends to attend exhibitions.

Right: A bird's eye view of the station with a Midland Main Line HST arriving as a pair of Loadhaul-liveried Class 37s head away with a nuclear flask train.

One for the 'bashers' as Freightliner Class 66 No.66 503 arrives at the station with a northbound charter. The first vehicle behind the loco is a generator car.

Hartshill Bank station with 59 102 heading north with ARC box wagons while Freightliner's 47 306 heads southbound.
Class 58 No.58 042 heads south past the diesel depot with a MGR working.


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