Kinchley Lane station buildings by David Gibson
Kinchley Lane is the station on the CDOGG layout and these notes chronicle its origins and how it was built.
When the Group moved into permanent premises in 2006 the sectional test track was erected and levelled ready for running. Prior to this time it had been stored in various locations and only erected a few times a year for open days held in a local village hall. The effect of being in a permanent location, which was warm and dry, perversely had a detrimental effect in that the baseboards contracted and the rails expanded and this caused the track to buckle. The only solution was to re-lay the track, but this did provide the opportunity to convert it into a scenic layout. It was decided to incorporate a station around an island platform instead of the more conventional arrangement of two single-face platforms. A design was agreed and track-laying proceeded at a good pace.
Around this time we had a Group visit to the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire, during which we realised, while standing on the platform at Quorn station, that this typical Great Central country station would suit our layout admirably. On that and subsequent visits many photographs were taken and measurements made, and we were also fortunate in obtaining a drawing of the station buildings. We knew that, because of space limitations, we would have to slightly curve the ends of our platform but the buildings could be built to the GC design.
Modelling the buildings
Island platforms with access from an adjacent overbridge were typical of the GC, and the preserved Quorn and Rothley stations would be our guide. The buildings on both are identical, but the canopy at Quorn had been re-built with a less-attractive asbestos roof sometime in the 1930’s, so we decided to make the original glass canopy like the one at Rothley, however the overbridge would incorporate steel beams like Quorn, unlike the Rothley overbridge which has brick arches. We deliberated long (very long) and hard trying to choose a name for the layout, without reaching a decision, but a chance remark that the model would be ‘something between Quorn and Rothley’ provided the solution. Those who know the preserved GCR will know that roughly half way between those stations there is an overbridge called Kinchley Lane, and so the layout of that name was born.
The first structure to be built was the skew overbridge and stairway down to the platform, a geometrically difficult task, but expertly undertaken mainly by Group member Jeff Davidson. The platform was then constructed from 2mm and 3mm thick styrene, and styrene edging added good effect.
GC buildings have inlaid brick panelling and were not going to be straight-forward. We did consider having them professionally laser-cut, but this was too expensive to justify for our small Group, and went against the instinct of wanting to build for ourselves. A compromise was reached whereby we would construct the buildings from Slater’s brick embossed Plastikard using English bond, which is the nearest to the rather complex patterns used by the GC. Etched brass door and window frames were sourced from Geoff Taylor who already had the GC types in his extensive range, and was most amenable in adjusting them to our requirements. Geoff also etched the canopy support brackets and the projecting signs, both from my artwork. The plastic valancing for the canopy came from the range produced by York Modelmaking www.yorkmodelmaking.com.
The only compromise made with dimensions was to make the end profile of the booking office and waiting rooms 2mm narrower than the drawing in order to give sufficient clearance to the platform edge, our platform being slightly narrower than prototype. Also, because of the curve in the platform at the overbridge end, the buildings were placed further back along the platform making the canopy longer than at Quorn.
I devised a way to make the inlaid brick panels but in order to prove that it would work, the gent’s toilet was built first. The four sides were cut out from brick styrene sheet, then the recessed panels were cut out and set back by 2mm (the depth of a brick) by making a sandwich construction. This can perhaps be seen in one of the photographs. The sloping bricks at the top and bottom of the panels were made from strips of brick sheet one course deep. Satisfied that this method worked, the other buildings were made in a similar fashion.
A prominent feature are the stone corbels which support the canopy brackets on the booking office and provide matching decoration on the waiting rooms. These were fabricated from ‘Evergreen’ styrene strip, which comes in a range of sizes and profiles. Square, rectangular and quarter round profiles of various sizes were used. Other stonework was also constructed from Evergreen strip.
On completion, the brickwork was enhanced by running a thin mix of ‘concrete’ enamel into the mortar joints, then, when dry, weathering with a very thin wash of ‘dirty black’ which was also used to create texture by applying varying amounts of staining. The buildings have interior detail and are lit with LEDs, as are the canopy and staircase to the overbridge.
Kinchley Lane No 2 signalbox was built from a Modelex etched brass kit of a McKenzie and Holland all timber prototype. No 1 box is a larger version of the same design but with a brick base and is scratch-built from plastikard and ‘Evergreen’ sections, the window frames are etched and are also from Modelex. Both boxes have interiors and are lit in a similar manner to the station buildings. Signalmen and booking office clerk are from the excellent ‘Heroes of the footplate’ range made and marketed by Group member Pete Armstrong . As detail is added, I am sure that more of Pete’s figures will populate Kinchley Lane.
The resulting buildings have attracted good comment from visitors, so we are not displeased with them (the buildings!) and in retrospect feel that GC buildings were a good choice.