Latest news.................

West Calydon : "All change for the last GWR trains"

 

Yes, West Calydon has moved to a new permanent location - more of this later.


First, some of the last pictures taken of West Calydon under GWR operation. I had intended to take some pictures of big engines - King, Castle, Hall, etc. - but decided that the stock that was originally planned to operate the layout was more appropriate. (Those of you who like main-line trains will have to wait until the layout is fully operational in its new home.)

Lets start by re-introducing the locos that ran the line...............................................


The oldest model GWR loco that worked the line is a 2-6-2 Prairie Tank made from a Springside kit, was built in 1987.


The other regular operating over the line is a model of a GWR 57XX class 0-6-0 pannier tank loco No. 7706,
which was built in 1989 from a Vulcan (Eric Underhill) kit. This loco was very nearly scrapped when it suffered
a major disaster by running off the end of a baseboard onto the concrete floor of the garage. There is
now very little evidence of the badly bent floot-plate and bunker that needed extensive surgery to straighten.

Both engines are still running well with their original Mashima motors and gearboxes. With the addition of
flywheels, both operate very smoothly and are perfect for hauling the branch-line B set and goods trains.
The Pannier Tank, No. 7706, has shunted the goods yard for many of hours at most exhibitions we
have attended over the years.


The last loco to be featured here is a relative newcomer to West Calydon, a GWR 4-6-0 Grange Class
No. 6800 Arlington Grange. This loco was built from a Malcolm Mitchell kit and is powered by a Portescap
motor and gearbox - chosen for low speed performance. The loco is a few years old, being built whilst waiting
for Malcolm to finish the body etchings for his King kit. I'd already built the King's chassis and needed a
distraction to avoid continually phoning him. Arlington Grange duties at West Calydon are confined to hauling
the summer Saturday excursion consisting of the B set plus 2 main-line coaches, and the occasional goods.
It is pictured on-shed at West Calydon having just come off the excursion train.


Around the layout.................................................................................................................


Operator's view of the road bridge (scenic break) over the running
line (lower) and goods head-shunt.


No, West Calydon's goods yard doesn't border Mahon harbour.
It just makes a rather interesting back-drop!


West Calydon station with the foot-bridge that was built to hide baseboard
joints when it is mated to the platform extensions and acts as a double track
main-line station for exhibitions purposes. Once again a holiday snap provides
the back-scene.

7706's end to end guided tour of West Calydon...........................................................


7706 waiting beneath the single line portion of the road bridge for 4566 to pass.
The point 7706 is approaching connects a line to some storage sidings down one side
of the garage (the layout proper sits across the rear). In exhibition form this line isn't
used and a removable buffer stop is positioned just the other side of the bridge.


7706 on yard shunting duties approaching the goods yard. More of the dark
building in the background later.


A classic combination - 7706 trundling along with its shunter's truck.
In the foreground is the rear of the Engine Shed and across the yard
are the coal staithes and office of DR King the local coal merchant.



7706 just level with West Calydon's signal box. The blot on the landscape
in the background is a model of Weymouth's GWR Engine Shed. We placed it
on the layout for safe keeping and it somehow stayed put for these photographs.


7706 with the local coal merchant's staithes, sign and office in the background.
The line in the foreground is the bay platform road.


7706 just about to cross the joint between the two 8ft baseboards that
West Calydon is comprised of. West Calydon's cattle dock can just be
seen in the background.


7706 passing over the sleeper timber walkway that disguises the baseboard
joint. The scheme works well but all the pieces take some time to put in position.
There's another story on what's going to happen to the platform starter signals.


7706 coasting down the goods arrival road which runs parallel with the
main platform road. Crossover points between the 2 tracks allow train
engines to be released, following their arrival.


The station approach with 7706 shunting the yard.

West Calydon's passenger services...............................................................................


4566 with the branch local coasting to a halt at the main platform.
In the background is West Calydon's cattle dock. There's also glimpses
of some of the big boogie goods wagons that make appearances.


4566 having arrived with the B set, has run round it's train and is in the
process of detaching a GWR MOGO van from the rear. It'll have to wait
a while for 7706 to clear the end-loading road of the Fruit vans and the
boogie vehicles: a Crocodile H and Macaw H.


4566 comes to a momentary rest by the lamp hut, in the process of going on shed. 


A bit of excitement at West Calydon. Here comes the summer Saturday
excursion with Arlington Grange in charge. The train is made up of the
branch B set, a Third Excursion coach (C77) and a main-line Third Brake.
First class passengers have to take seats in one of the B set coaches for
the journey up the branch from the connecting main-line station.
This is the largest passenger train that can be accommodated in the main
platform and allow release of the train engine without assistance from another.


Summer Saturday visitors to West Calydon about to return home aboard
the excursion hauled by Arlington Grange. The last UP train of a Saturday,
the afternoon goods, also looks almost ready to depart as well.


The end of an era with the last GWR passenger train leaving West Calydon
in the form of Arlington Grange hauling the summer Saturday excursion.


And finally the move..............................


It certainly would have been great if we could have packed West Calydon
into a container and transported in this fashion. You'll just have to imagine!


Well that's it, West Calydon containerised and on its way to its new home.

So, what about its new home.............................................................................................

It's centrally-heated, carpeted and has sufficient space for West Calydon to be permanently run as a double track main-line station. What's more it's going to take on a definite Caledonian appearance with additional scenic boards. Possibly renamed as well, Derek has yet to decide. After-all, the name chosen for the layout in the first place is formed from Great Western and Caledonian with the subtle change of the e to y. An appropriate name to reflect that in the early days neither of us had sufficient stock (GWR or CR) to run the layout. Consequently, it was exhibited as a jointly operated layout and not the only one of its kind, I might add!

And there's more....................................................................................................................

Nigel's retained the platform starter signals for his new single track main-line, 7mm finescale GWR layout: Wyke Cross Junction. It's principle feature is a triangular station with the main platform on a sweeping curve - a feature of Pendon's Dartmoor Scene he's always liked.  The primary purpose behind the station shape is to allow out and back operation via a reversing loop in the garden. There's going to be a very interesting viaduct section over the compost bins. At least the stock will get a soft landing!!!!! Cunningly, quite a bit of operation will be possible inside the garage as a contingency against bad weather. 


Click here for more pages on West Calydon at www.7mm.co.uk.