Western Thunderer
Yes, Dave, that is also what I have in mind, though you are way ahead of me in execution. As the hand of god is going to play a big part in this area I think the intricacies will have to wait. I have several buildings that should take priority as well as a huge back scene of 2D buildings to think about.

But like you I enjoy the research.

I think the cylindrical columns are out for the water tank. BUT the tank at Moor Street has a very different foundation from Henley or Earlswood and it was also more exposed to strong winds than either of the rural tanks.

I am still ploughing through my library of Warwickshire books but mostly it’s the same old photos!


Western Thunderer
I think I’d take a different approach for the wagon traverser.

A couple of years back, Paul & I corresponded on a stepper-motor-leadscrew arrangement, and I prepared an Arduino sketch to control it. I would propose to use a similar leadscrew assembly, but in this case, use the surface rails to guide and support the carriage, and drive it by the use of neodymium magnets.

This was the sort of thing, but seems to have jumped up in price dramatically,B0811MG51F,B0999L3KQK,B07PNXNZZV,B093WZJ3GY


Western Thunderer
Hi Simon

2 years on and the passengers traversers have been stalled. Covid really is to blame as the anduino software and hardware have been in France and I haven’t! I have to get my head back around all this except I never really understood what I was supposed to be doing!

We were going to meet up at Telford but couldn't. Now Reading seems to be in the balance this December. Ballasting doesn’t hurt the brain and my brain is not as quick as it was two years ago! I have always been a fan of new tech but, after owning Macs for 29 years (my first Mac was a IIFX) I am finding every new software update a challenge.

Hence my immediate reaction to use the hand of god approach.

Bon weekend, toute la monde! Paul


Western Thunderer
I have made the ramps from siding rail to traverser carriage. Well, to be honest I just filed off a wedge on each rail end! The carriage needs to be heavier (the plate in the prototype photo is certainly thicker and heavier than mine).


60EC4270-D689-4EB2-AA75-CD3CB6CD0586.jpeg 16D02E5F-CC36-45DC-B9CE-930FA1F6DA90.jpeg EF0F6A7E-50A9-4139-B06B-C67C51CF35A8.jpeg

Sorry about the focus on the wagon, right at the limit.

I think when it comes to mechanizing this traverser I should build a drop in module which can be removed for adjustment and maintenance.


Western Thunderer
A new problem emerged this afternoon. My tortoises only worked one way and not the other. I finally sourced the problem. I use Tortoise’s recommended two power supply units. One had a green light the other didn’t. So it has burned out, partly because I never turned them off last November. Any way, two new units are on their way, arriving on Wednesday.

Normal service will be resumed . . . . .

All the more reason to continue with the goods yard and not play trains!


Western Thunderer
Back to the Water Tank. Another map on suggests that there were four columns supporting the tank, the columns being inset from the ends to give better load bearing spread. The columns appear to thicken at base and top so can be made up using two brass tube sizes, one inside the other. The columns then support a thickish base which connects the four columns and is smaller all round than the tank it supports. There are braces, both solid steel and wire, and presumably there are pipes to bring water in for topping up and take water out rapidly to the water cranes. Their precise location is uncertain.

The footprint is known by calibration of maps and Google Earth and it should not be too difficult to estimate to height of the columns and the vertical measurements for the tank.

So, with Dave's help, a good day's research!

Hi Paul,

while wandering through YouTube I came across this film of 82G

at 3.22 the water tower comes in to view. If the type/size suits Moor Street perhaps an email to the owners might produce some drawing to help your cause.




Western Thunderer
Thanks, Mike

The tank side panels are different and the pillars don't match the ones at Henley and Earlswood, though they might represent the ?columns which could exist in the Moor Street photos. The diagonal braces seem to be very similar and are a GWR standard.

I am thinking that Moor Street was designed and built at the same time as the part of the North Warwickshire Line that includes the two other boxes, namely the stretch from Bearley West Junction to Tyseley Junction. There is a good degree of common design all along the line, so perhaps the best solution is to copy Earlswood but with the footprint dimensions measured off the 25" scale map and scaled to the end view seen in photos.

I have searched a lot of GWR water tanks over the past few days and nothing else has matched the North Warwickshire Line. The design for which was in a period when not a lot of railway expansion was undertaken.

But I always enjoy 82G photos and films!



Western Thunderer
I have searched through the literature on Moor Street for the water capacity of the tank but with no luck. However, Tyseley has a two tank design holding 96,000 gallons while Earlswood's was only 12,000 gallons. The latter size would be enough to top up several locos after climbing up from Stratford upon Avon. Tyseley, on the other hand was designed to be able to rapidly refill all the locos on shed. Moor Street's needs would fit in between these two extremes. Looking at the footprints of Moor Street vs Tyseley, I would guess that 36,000 gallons could have been the capacity at Moor Street, though that is comparing apples to oranges..

My footprint derived from the 25" scale map looks to be a bit too long, a purely subjective comment. There is a Fire Insurance Map from 1937 of Moor Street on Warwickshire Railways but unfortunately the boundary cuts through the plan of the tank, thwarting any confirmation of its length. No end of searching today has found the 1937 revision on line.

I have taken the photo found by Yorkshire Dave on Flickr and tweaked its exposure, contrast and shadow settings to get to this:

Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 2.41.17 PM.png

The supports are clearly of the North Warwickshire Line design and they are inset from each end. The four supports can easily be identified by the location of the diagonal supports, leaving other vertical components to be considered. I am wondering if there were two large diameter downpipes, one heading off to each of the water cranes?

The post processing (if it can be called that) has also brought out the vertical rivet patterns on the tank walls and these are identical to those at Earlswood. The panels number 4 across the end at Moor Street while there are only three at Earlswood. Earlswood has 5 panels along the tank side but there is no evidence for that number on the Moor Street tank due to masking by the signal.. Earlswood has 7 cross supports sitting on the main support beams but it is impossible see how many might have been present at Moor Street. The height of the tank walls appears to be more than the height of the sides of the Moor Street tank, but it equally possible the both tanks actually have the same vertical dimension. Again, the supports at Earlswood are undoubtedly shorter than Moor Street because the tank is mounted on an embankment above the platforms.

Next, a check on the water tank at Henley in Arden. It compares very closely to that at Earlswood, having similar layout and dimensions. It is also perched on an embankment so has shorter supports. Scaling the footprint from the 25" map of the area gives a dimension of approximately 20ft length by 12ft width. Earlswood scales off at much the same. I am beginning to wonder, however, just how accurate the rectangles represent the "truth" on the ground or were they "representative shapes".

Going back to Moor Street, the scaling gives a footprint dimension of 36ft long by 16ft wide. The widths compare nicely, 3 panels = 12ft, 4 panels = 16ft. It also tells us that the panels were probably a standard width. So, Earlswood's length is 5 panels which should give a length of 20ft. Check!

So how many panels should there be on a Moor Street tank side? Nine. And how many cross supports on the main support beams? ( 9/5 ) x 7 = 12. Edit to add that the photo in Post 775 has 9 suggesting the cross beams are approximately 4 ft apart.

Next, the height of the Moor Street tank walls. Using the excellent near side on view of Earlswood, the ratio of width (4ft) to height is about 0.5, meaning the walls are 8 ft high. The ratio on the end wall of Moor Street's tank is approximately the same at 0.5, which implies the reasonable assumption that they are standard panel sizes, at least for the North Warwickshire Line.

Finally, the volume of the tanks. We know that Earlswood (and therefore probably Henley in Arden) was a 12,000 gallon tank. This relates to a volume of (20 x 12 x 8 = 1920) cubic feet. 1 cubic foot of water contains around 6 imperial gallons, which would be 11,520 gallons. That is close!

So, by extrapolation, Moor Street's capacity may have been around (36 x 16 x 8 = 4608) cubic feet, giving an imperial gallon capacity of around 27,500 gallons. That would appear to be about right for the needs of a small terminus station with mainly large tanks and panniers plus the occasional tender locomotive.

How reliable is all of the above?

1. I think the process has given good confidence that the Moor Street water tank was a larger cousin of the two water tanks on the North Warwickshire Line that were constructed during the same time period.

2. The enhanced photos of all three tanks show good similarities of design, with the exception that Moor Street's foundation was at track level, not on a raised embankment. Hence the longer supports and bracing at Moor Street.

3. Using the 25" scale maps has introduced a significant margin of error IF you don't accept the draftsmanship of the rectangular footprints to be accurate. Having three rectangles and a known calibration (St. Martin Church in the Bull Ring) that "make sense" does give optimism.

4. All the photos of Moor Street water tank are close to end on, so there is no easy way to check on the length of the tank, the number of panels or the number of cross supports.


I think I can be brave enough to start drawing plans up for the water tank.
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Western Thunderer delivered the two 12v PSUs for the Tortoises this afternoon, a day early. All connected up and tested. From now on the power supply will not be left on months at a time!

Yorkshire Dave

Western Thunderer
I am wondering if there were two large diameter downpipes, one heading off to each of the water cranes?

The central one will be the supply pipe boxed in by shuttering as frost protection. From the photo this appears to have a cabinet in front of it. The pipe visible to the left and to the right of the leg would be the water supply to the cranes.

In connection with the measurements one guide is the number of cross girders under the tank of which the ends are just discernable in the Moor St photo. However, there could be a larger number here due to the extra capacity tank.

Before brandishing the knives I would make a couple of cardboard mock ups of the tanks and stick them on bamboo skewers to see which size suits your Moor St layout. Again, based on your research the larger tank may well be the one due to the larger number of locos it would have serviced.


Western Thunderer
This time last year we had to leave France in a hurry due to a hastily introduced “confinement” on November 1st, which is a major holiday in France, Toussaint or All Saints. Our packing was disorganized and I honestly thought I would be back before Christmas. Well, that didn’t happen, so this time we have been doing some forward planning. I have also been compiling a list of modelling things to order once back in England.

The plan is to leave the Railway Room relatively tidy and to complete the track scenery in the upper goods yard between the station and the Snow Hill Tunnel main line. So before we leave I will be taking some pictures for WT and also for my own reference.

There are quite a few photos available which show the ex GWR diesel railcars in action on the North Warwickshire Line in the 1950s, so I may well order the Dapol model. It suits the foreshortened platforms and also provides an excuse for blood and custard livery at Moor Street! However, the razor edge model with proper buffer beams might be the better option as it can tow a van or extra coach. But we’ll have to see what might be available.

It’s very disappointing that the Reading show will not take place but I think the organizers have made a good decision. I suppose Bristol might be the next opportunity.
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Western Thunderer
With some difficulty I was able to “rent” a helicopter to rise above Moor Street and take some photos of the surface goods yard area. The baseboard is wide in this area and it is clear that scenicking the model will have to be carefully planned, working backwards toward the “hole” in the baseboard. The last area will be simple 2D representations of the city skyline as well as a model of the old Moor Street Warehouse.

The first photo shows the no-mans land adjacent to the Snow Hill main line. The southern tunnel portal will be where the orange sand traps begin, the brass “u” section troughs being placed for now to test that they fit. The wide area between the main line and the goods yard didn’t exist in real life but some brick walls were present so they will be added to help close the gap which looks bigger from above than from the side.


The goods yard framework is nearly complete apart from painting and weathering. The wagon hoist hole has been framed ready to accept the structure. White plastikard is concrete, the yellow stickies represent the 8 capstans. The rails for the wagon traverser are partially installed but no more fishplates in stock to complete them. I am not happy with the ash ballast effect and need more fine cinders.


Standing almost full height, the “helicopter” was able to take in the entire station throat, showing the curved representation of what in reality is a very long, narrow site.

Finally, a view in the opposite direction, one that visitors will see. The hidden loops in Snow Hill Tunnel will be behind the cityscape.


The cork in the left foreground will be finished off as cobble stone, following the prototype. I am not happy with the texture of Slaters Plastikard for this as photos show a crude “fan” layout of the dark setts. I will be looking around for better in the weeks ahead.

In the time left before we depart I hope to do more ballasting of the other end of the main line. The more I do now the better I will know how much more of my ballast mix may be needed.

Yorkshire Dave

Western Thunderer
The cork in the left foreground will be finished off as cobble stone, following the prototype. I am not happy with the texture of Slaters Plastikard for this as photos show a crude “fan” layout of the dark setts. I will be looking around for better in the weeks ahead.

Although 4mm scale have a look at the Wills granite setts sheets - I've seen these successfuly used on 7mm layouts. However, they are not large sheets at 13 x 7.5 cm but there are four to a pack.

The other one to consider are the Redutex textured sheets. In the UK they are around £9 to £10 per sheet (if they have it in stock and are willing to order!) whereas in the EU it's around €9 to €10 per sheet. I would place a link but their website is down for upgrading.

Being in France you may be able to order these more easily from the manufacturer in Spain (postage probably cheaper than to UK). I ordered mine direct but took some time to get to the UK through customs - but fortunately escaped duties.

This is the Redutex 1:43 dark grey square stone setts, which I have but not used yet. The sheet size is 34 x 13.5 cm. It has a self-stick backing and can be gently teased around corners when gently heated with a hair dryer.


To allay any doubts regarding Redutex textured sheets I scratchbuilt this 7mm building and used their 1:43 sheets for the walls and pantiles.
AS 14.jpg


Western Thunderer
Well, Dave, you have excelled! I like the Spanish textures a lot and will see what can be ordered. The Wills sheets will probably be OK too. I well remember the surface of the old Bull Ring and have also photographed red brown setts in the streets in nearby Digbeth. These photos are on a hard drive in the UK but will serve to be a useful guide once back in England in a week’s time.

There’s a world of difference between cobbles and setts! But horses like them both.

Stephen Freeman

Western Thunderer
They may have appeared elsewhereand expect you will have them anyway but there are 3 photos (at least) of Moor Street in GWR Company Servants. One of the station traverser and three of the arrangements in the yard.


Western Thunderer
On Tuesday I switched off the power supplies and lights but left the door open to keep air circulating through the railway room We left about 10:30 on Wednesday and stopped overnight in Limoges, taking the opportunity to see the Porcelain Museum before checking in to the hotel (well worth visiting!). Then an early Thursday morning departure, lunch in Falaise and plenty of time to check in for the afternoon ferry to Portsmouth. On arriving the car deck we were on took 45 minutes to start unloading. This, however, meant that customs clearance was quicker than anticipated. They did want to see what was under the blanket covering our stuff, which I described, correctly, as personal effects, but then waived us on through. Arrived home at 11:00 p.m., so quite a long day.

The paperwork was not too difficult to provide and there was need to print out the Passenger Locator Form. All pre-empted by number plate recognition, it would appear. So Big Brother is indeed everywhere! Final word from immigration "safe journey to Winchester!"

This morning I unpacked the car and took stock of a plan I devised while on the ferry. We'll see how far things get but the priority is to construct some buildings! I also brought the Warren Shephard Mogul kit with me, it seems this one will make many appearances at Moor Street (specials, parcels, etc.) as well as pulling freights through Snow Hill Tunnel.

This afternoon I placed an order with Tower Models for the two points and small items and will receive the DAPOL bogie bolster I ordered I also placed an order for the blood and custard DAPOL diesel railcar! Hopefully due next year. . . .