Dudley's Coal

Discussion in 'Entries' started by Dave L, 15 February 2018.

  1. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Hi, all.
    As the Competition has been on going now for a few months I thought it was about time that I started documenting my entry.

    My entry, 'Dudley's Coal' is a small P4 layout set in the early 1920's in the Black country, the layout is based on the railways of the Earl of Dudley. The Earl's railway (also known as the Pensnett railway) was a comprehensive mineral railway system in the South Western corner of the Black country in the West Midlands.
    My cameo entry is designed to represent one of the railways many Landsale Wharves, where the local coal was offloaded to businesses and the public.

    The Railway was an independent mineral and industrial railway, which at one point stretched for some 40 miles. The railway has a very long heritage and a little place in history. However with the last steam engine withdrawn from service in 1963, very little remains of the once important railway.
    Perhaps though with one lasting connection to the present day, is that the railway once serviced the Round Oak steelworks, with much of the internal railway still left at the site once being a part of the Earls Railway.

    Its little place in history (and the NRM) was assured in 1829 several months before the Rainhill trials, when large crowds gathered in the Pensnett area of the railway (at this time known as the Shutt End Railway) for trials of the locomotive Agenoria, which was seen pulling up to 20 mineral wagons, weighing over 130 tons, managing a speed of between 3 and 7 mph. Interestingly the builder Foster Rastrick, of Foster Rastrick and co, Stourbridge, was after this trial run of Agenoria invited to be a judge at the Rainhill trials. Agenoria can now be seen in the great hall at the NRM, minus her tender, but well preserved.

    In the very early part of the 17th century it was discovered that the land in the black country was rich in minerals, Coal, Limestone, ironstone and clay were in abundance, however a ridge some 800' above sea level ran through the area, while to the North and East of the ridge the minerals were pushed to the surface and easily collected, the terrain to the South and West was more hostile, and it was for this reason that ultimately brought the railway in to being, alongside the many canals in the area. The owner of the land to the South and West of the line was the Ward family, who had succeeded the title and ownership of the Dudley estate in the late 18th century.

    As the railway developed in the mid to later half of the 19th century, the railway purchased tender locomotives from Manning Wardle, which worked the line for many years, before the railways own workshops rebuilt them in to small 0-4-0 and 0-4-2 locomotives, these worked up until the turn of the century when further purchases were made trialling different makes of small tank engines, with locomotives from Avonside and Peckett being used on the line, but when a few Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 st were introduced to the railway they soon became the mainstay of the line up to until their withdrawal in the 1960's. Barclay 0-4-0 and 0-6-0 saddle tanks were in abundance on the lines. Very few survived in to preservation, as most were cut up at the works and the scrap used in the furnaces at Round Oak.

    The Earl of Dudley's Railway was a very complex and interesting system, with vast workshops on site at 'The Wallows', a 90 deg crossing of the GWR mainline at Round Oak, connection to multiple coal mines, canal basins, landsale wharves, which for instance took the railway almost in to the town centre of Dudley, the railway has a long history and hopefully by modelling this little railway I can convey some of that importance and history.

    If anyone would like to learn more I can highly recommend the book The Earl of Dudley's Railways, by Ned Williams.
    Last edited: 15 February 2018
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  2. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Cameo Entry
    The layout design is a simple fan of sidings, with a small kick back spur. Several of the wharves on the railway didn't use run around loops and this allowed for push pull trains to utilised on the line, but some wharves were big enough to warrant more than one loco, so this design gives me the opportunity to utilise both systems.

    Its P4 and utilises Exactoscale fasttrack sleeper sections and plastic timber and chairs for the 3 turnouts.
    I have experimented with Radio control using the Deltang system, which I may well utilise at some point on this layout, however the size of the small locos may well mean that I stick with DCC, so the layout is being wired for DCC control. I'm not keen on having the battery for RC in a wagon behind the loco, so there's a high chance that this layout will remain DCC, but we'll have to see.

    Below is a simple track plan taken from the sketchbook section of Templot. with the fiddleyard being off to the left. Probably best to add that it does have an Ian Futers flavour to it but it does fit well with the Earl of Dudley's railways system nicely.

    Building has started, the baseboard is built and track laying has started too, Ill add to this thread when I next get a chance.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 15 February 2018
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  3. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Great concept.

    Good luck!

    Dave L likes this.
  4. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Thanks Jonte.

    Landsale wharf
    A "Landsale wharf" in the Black Country, usually means a railway siding at which coal is unloaded for sale to merchants or consumers. Coal is usually loaded from the train to lorries by hand.

    There were numerous wharves on the railway network, the photo below is of the smaller Abbiss Coal merchants of Baggeridge.

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  5. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    First few wagons are starting to take shape now.
    A couple of Gloucester 15' po wagons a 7 plank and due to be a 5 plank. I've removed the V hangars from one side to model the single braked wagon.


    Lanarkshire models wooden underframe po wagon buffers have been added and they're due to get Lanarkshire models coupling hooks too, which I think read somewhere that Dave Franks said are strong enough to be used for 3 link coupling, so not just cosmetic.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for etched brakes? I have been looking perhaps at some Masokits etches but just wondering if anyone has any other ideas? Single sided brakes and just the one lever.

    As these are P4 I have decided for now to just build them rigid, given a 9ft wheelbase I feel that should be sufficient and extra care is taken in aligning of the solebars.

    Attached Files:

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  6. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Hi Dave,
    Nice idea.
    I've always liked the etched brakes from Bill Bedford (available from Eileen's).


  7. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Also just with a little tidying up left to do before priming, is a Severn Models weighbridge kit. I well etched little kit and for the price a very good item indeed. The weighbridge plate also is well etched and different from the typical pooleys weighbridge. This kit represents a very early type of weighbridge which was designed with horse hooves in mind rather than rubber tyres.
    The etched door handle nearly finished me off and I'm grateful for the spare handle that was part of the etch! A little tidying up of the door will be needed as even glueing with a needle tip made a mess trying to get the handle located well.



    Planning on trying the new Badger stynylrez primer for the airbrush, a few people on US railroad forums are really taking to it, even covering brass. It's designed to be sprayed from the bottle without thinning and is self levelling, so that'll be the next update on the weighbridge.

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  8. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Thanks Jan
    They do look good, handy having brakes on one side only the etch will do more wagons.

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  9. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Yes.... You’re thinking like BR... :)

    Here’s two 1/108s I made earlier with Bill’s bits. I must get back to them.

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  10. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

  11. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Thanks Jim.
    I'm a little undecided at the moment, I spoke with powsides and those sets are for the 7 planks only(as they were designed with the RCH 1923 wagon in mind which I wasn't planning on using), they're too large for the 5 planks. If I have to have transfers bespoke then it may be worth doing a job lot for both sizes. Although I think there's a white alphabet set of Fox's and probably hmrs, that may be an answer.
  12. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Hi Jan

    Long time no hear; glad to see you’re still active on the modelling front.

    A couple of (daft) questions, as usual, if you don’t mind:

    The chassis of the wagon in the photo appears to be of brass construction. Can you buy them as a whole kit i.e. including W irons etc?

    I presume that the wheels are sprung/compensated in some way. Heresy, I know, but does the springing actually work? For instance, does it reduce wobbling over dodgey pointwork?

    Would you recommend something similar for a bogie unit to convert say a Hornby/Bachman coach or even brass kit to P4?

    Could a ‘keen’ modeller, like me, that never fails to glue his fingers together when making hamfisted attempts at this sort of thing, be able to build it or would I be simply wasting my time and not so hard earned? Please be honest.

    Apologies for the interrogation.

    Hope and trust you’re well.

  13. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Hi Chum,

    For me, there are no daft questions.
    The etched chassis is one of Bill’s:
    It comes with springing. As to whether it works - well, there’s definitely (even if I build it..) some cushioned movement in the vertical plane, so I would say yes. However, the springing is 11 thou guitar wire, and I have to use latex gloves to stop it going rusty. So - for me. - it’s not optimal. It DOES reduce wobble, but having correct clearances in your crossing is prime, for me. Which is why I P4... I like Lurchers, but only in canine form....

    Bill’s etches are well thought out and easy to understand. There are no instructions for the chassis - there are some for the springing units - but the chassis is a reasonably intuitive build, so I don’t think any are needed.

    The chassis is an excellent fit on the Bachmann body. All the extra whitemetal bits are from Dave Franks.

    I do use compensation as well...
    This is the ‘standard’ - one axle fixed - configuration, using MJT Inside bearing rockers - very handy for RTR conversions, in that you keep the connection between the moulded solebar and springs. I’ve done something very odd (purely for my own interest) on this one...
    This uses a Palatine Models baseplate with MJT Inside rockers on both axles... It seemed like a fun thing to do... if you use internal rockers, you’ll have to file the pinpoint ends of the axle, which means you’ll need a jig to hold the rocking axle parallel to the fixed one for maintaining squareness..

    I haven’t done coaches... too many windows.....


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  14. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    There are a few full underframe kits for wagons, depending on the wagons you require. It all depends on the detail you want.
    Coach bogies are a slightly different matter. Bogie systems usually are just hidden behind cosmetic side frames. Check MJT or Brass masters(JimSW's) for bogie suspension etches.
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  15. Dave L

    Dave L Active Member

    Are you leaving the brake lever down/on on that second mineral wagon? Not often seen modelled.
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  16. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Hi Dave
    Thanks. I’ve made it so it pivots.

    The joy of the Craig Welsh lever guards is that - although they’re a terrifying exercise in pan-dimensional origami - they allow free movement of the lever. And - as you say - a dropped lever is seldom seen (but required in the prototype ) . So I thought I’d give it a go.

    I’ll give yo your thread back, now. Apologies for the hijack! If you need any info, then let me know. I’d be happy to help.


    Dave L likes this.
  17. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Ahh, the dreaded ‘jig’ word.

    Seriously, that’scrystal clear, Jan. Thank you.

    Looks very do-able.

    I appreciate your time and effort putting this together for me, and an enjoyable read too.

    Dave L likes this.
  18. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Much appreciated, Dave.

    Only checked MJT so far, but they’ve a good range of products and reasonably priced.

    Pleased to see from your avatar that you’re still ‘in’ to your dark side modelling.

    Good luck with Dudley. Will follow with interest.

    Dave L likes this.
  19. Lyndhurstman

    Lyndhurstman Western Thunderer

    Hi Jonte
    No worries. Glad to help. If I can do it, you should manage it blindfold . I’m probably going with the middle option of the three for most of my stock, just because it’s quick. I have also a number of ‘old-fashioned’ rocking W-irons to try; but to make these work, you generally need to separate solebar from spring moulding, as you need the hole in the spring for the bearing.

    Cheers, Chum
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  20. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the further reference, Jan. I’ll have a read through it later.

    Btw, you’re far too modest, Sir.

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