The last couple of posts on Minories have given enough ideas for any number of successful layouts. But I’ve been playing around with the basic idea, and have a couple of ideas that could have some mileage.
Firstly, Minories on a curve. This track layout also appeared in RMWeb.
It keeps the Minories track layout, but bends it around a curve. The end result is an even smoother run into any of the three plaforms with no reverse curves at all. It does lose a little of the character of the approach tracks, but with the addition of a fiddle yard (perhaps a mirror image of the layout) it would make a fine layout for a small L-shaped corner.
A second thought is the ‘bitsa-station’ approach. Again, and Iain Rice idea, as may be obvious from the name! Here we make the observation that the station platforms are often the least interesting part of a station. All the interest is in the approach tracks and at the platform end. Here we have the signals, the complex trackwork, loco facilities and often the sidings. It’s where all the modelling occurs! The only thing lost is the admittedly often attractive station building. And the attractive buildings are usually on minor lines with short platforms – city termini can have impressive buildings, but the ones you would want to model are just too big!
Further, nearly all the action on the station platform is human form, especially in an inner city terminal. Empty platforms are fine for a branch line, but commuter termini are just full of movement, and waves of people filling, then emptying, the platform. We can hide this to some extent with trains in the station, or by an overhead roof, but it rarely feels right on a model.
I know that this is not entirely true – Gavin Thrum’s platforms and overhead roof shown in the first post of this series show how attractive a station can be. However, were the terminus a full pre-nationalisation 15 coach length, it might lose some of its charm.
If we apply this to Victoria Park, and put it back into the original Minories cutting we might get something like this. Two road bridges concentrate the scene at the station throat. Hidden sections extend to right and left, and if sized correctly, could be made to fold into the main board. If this were in N gauge, and the 8′ length retained, a sector plate fiddle yard could contain 5 or 6 car EMUs. I’ve also added a loco spur to the front of the design. Pity it’s a facing spur, but in the context, this probably isn’t important.
As it is drawn, it would be difficult to keep the original design of Victoria Street on a viaduct, as two road bridges wouldn’t cross a railway viaduct. But railway crossings at height aren’t unusual – Ewer Street near London Bridge, and Loughborough Junction near Brixton are good examples. Here’s the Loughborough Junction double crossing, from Google Streetview. If you move closer to the bridge, the trains disappear, and you lose the evocatively named ‘Tram Close’ on the left.
Then, if you combine the curved Minories, with a ‘bitsa’ Minories, perhaps we have the circular Minories. I haven’t drawn this up, but it could have potential. We lose most of the platforms (as in Victoria Street), and they are replaced by one end of a double ended fiddle yard. If each platform divides in two, we have a fiddle yard with six loops. At the station entrance, the scenic section is lengthened, perhaps allowing a couple of carriage sidings to be modelled. The end result is a circular layout. This could be run end to end, and also has the option of just letting the trains circle. I think it would be too tight to model it in a 4′ circle, but 6′, in three sections, looks very possible. Perhaps I may come back to this one!
And finally, if you want a real micro-Minories, Carl Arendt’s Amalgamated Terminal is a layout that takes some beating….
The author describes it thus:
Amalgamated Terminal combines a pleasingly-intricate yard throat with an impressive three-platform covered concourse to represent part of a shared terminus in a medium sized city anywhere in the world. It’s designed to handle full-length (80-foot) passenger cars in HO or OO.
A key feature is the carefully sited viewblocks in the form of road overbridges. They reveal only two coaches and part of a locomotive in the open spaces they create. As a result, two- or three-coach trains can give the illusion of being realistically long, as the viewer’s eye can never see the whole train at once.
I’ve often thought this would make an excellent interurban terminus.
So, that’s an overview of Minories for you. Hope it’s given some modelling ideas for the New Year!