I was recently reading an RMWeb on building an ‘O’ gauge layout based on the King’s Cross loco stabling point. This thread is very interesting itself, with track layouts and some excellent photographs of King’s Cross in the steam and diesel eras. This station was my favourite in the diesel era, with plenty of Deltics on view. I’ve posted this photo before, but it shows the character of the place.
Two good things came from this thread. It contained this track layout from steam days.
This is in 4mm scale, and then it is apparent how compact the whole yard is. It would compress to just over 4ft in N gauge. Real potential for a layout here.
The second thing was a link to the National Library of Scotland, that has an extensive set of old Ordnance Survey maps on line. Here’s the link for King’s Cross prior to 1900, showing the locomotive stabling adjacent to the station, rather than in its later site.
Most of Greater London and its railways is shown in great detail – more than enough to determine track layouts – using the London 1:1056, 1893-1895 and London TQ 1:1250/1:2500 map sets. I had great fun running round the South London Line from Victoria to London Bridge. What is also apparent is just how large the London termini were, and their loco facilities – places such as Stewart’s Lane and Nine Elms are gigantic in steam days. Equally the size of goods and parcel depots are staggering – some of the east London goods depots close to Fenchurch Street and all on viaduct are fascinating.
Outside London the detail is less, but there is still enough to pick up track plans on the 1:1250/1:2500 map sets. I followed the Wisbech and Upwell tramway for its full length, and on the south coast, Holland Road (one stop from the main Brighton terminus) offers a compact urban goods yard.
It’s an excellent resource, giving hours of fun tracing lines and hunting track plans – but keeping me from actually building anything!