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Harton Gill - BR(NE) and NCB 1960s

Club Layout: Builder Graham Broad                                              Stock Page - Click Here

Steam Diesel Electric Transition Era, Tyneside Area, Coal Mine Cement Works & Station Halt, 4mm Scale,

P4 Gauge Finescale, Code 75 track hand built using C&L components, four boards of 4 foot two adjoining and two facing forming a [ shape.

Photo: Dave Smith

Harton

Although everything on the layout should be prototypical for the southern Tyneside area in our chosen time period of the late 1960s, nonetheless Harton Gill is a fictional location. I’ve always believed that this is the way to do a model railway : every detail looking as though it belongs, but no need to try and copy a real place. Thus we have in the foreground an overhead-electrified private line connecting the colliery to some imaginary staithes off to the left, just like the real-life Harton Electric Railway.

At the back of the layout, we have a British Railways North-East Region branch to a cement works, with engines and traffic appropriate to such a place. In the middle is a short passenger line terminating at a halt, with a DMU shuttle service, recently electrified with third-rail, to allow different trains to be run. Wherever possible the buildings, such as the signal box and the footbridge, and the signals, follow ex-NER prototypes. (Photos above Dave Smith)

The timescale allows us to run a mixture of steam and early diesels, in both green and blue as well as the dedicated colliery electrics. The latest additions here are a Tyneside Bo-Bo electric operating off the third rail, and the EPB parcels car which ran on Tyneside for a while. The operators would be pleased to hear from anyone who knows anything about this interesting vehicle.

The boards are all made from 6mm birch-faced plywood, glued and pinned together. Track is handbuilt entirely from C & L components with a few homemade modifications for tiebars and to strengthen crossing units, and I have to say that I am completely satisfied with it. It goes together quickly and when built carefully, it runs successfully.

The buildings are all scratchbuilt from plasticard (with the exception of the colliery headframe which is a brass Wrightscale kit) to fit their locations amongst the tracks. I’ve tried to save the space and effort in construction and carrying of fiddleyards by using cassettes, which overhang the edge of the boards while being firmly attached to them. Lots of people comment on the dangers involved, but so far with a table always occupying the space below the cassettes, no disasters have occurred!

Harton 2

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Please note that Harton Gill is only available for two day exhibitions

(Photo above Dave Smith)

The Real Harton

Real Harton images

Images from Railscot here Harton Coal Company

Images from Geoff's Pages Westoe Electrics