Black Country in N

4x5 Black Country

Another of those layout plans I’d love to build. This one’s an attempt to fit as much layout as possible in a small space, in this case 4’6″ by 3’6″. Although not an accurate model of a real-life location, it’s inspired by the point just south of Wolverhampton station where the viaduct carrying the high level electrified main line passes Wolverhampton steel terminal.

I’ve designed it using Kato Unitrack for the visible portions and Peco Settrack for the hidden parts. The upper level is simply a stretch of double-track main line fed by a six-road hidden staging yard. The idea is that the four bi-directional centre roads each hold a four or five coach multiple unit, which can run through the scenic section in either direction. Stock like Virgin and Cross-Country Voyagers, and London Midland 350s would be typical stock. The two longer outside roads can each take one longer train, such as a locomotive-hauled freight.

The lower-level tracks (in red) represent the steel terminal, fed by a two-road fiddle yard beneath the main line loops. The siding tucked under the loops will be appear to run into a low-relief shed. The steel terminal handles a mix of wagon types; typically modern covered BYAs, Cargowaggons, and older SPAs and bogie bolsters. The small size of the layout rules out any physical connection between the upper and lower levels, the junction is assumed to be somewhere off stage.

All that’ mmissing is a tramway; the street-running part of the West Midlands Metro runs very close to Wolverhampton Steel Terminal. Perhaps a third, lower level?

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