Lego - my first railway layout project 2019


How I undertook my first major Lego project in over 40 years

24th January

I had decided to build a train layout on my living room floor.
I had bought two train sets already, I decided that there would be a simple loop of track with a siding with a small railway station and two platforms.
I wanted a tunnel and a good area of hilly or mountainous terrain.
There would also be a bridge across some sort of water feature, either a river or an estuary - or a lake.
11th February

In the bottom left of the layout I started to build limestone crags, with the railway track going through a cutting between two of these masses of rock.
Because I was building the layout on 48x48 stud base plates, I had to tailor my construction methods to allow larger topographical features such as mountains to cover more than one baseplate, with each module being detachable from its neighbouring modules.
27th February

Here the two platforms are in place and I'd started building the station building along with a separate snack bar at the end of the platforms.
There wasn't a lot of room to play with so the station was destined to go through several redesigns over the coming months so I could incorporate all the features I wanted and still have some space for a small car park and access road.
At the end of February I had also completed the two limestone crags and begun work on a separate modular piece incorporating the railway tunnel.
The tunnel would be built beneath a large brown mountain. The technique I used at that time was to build compartments with 2-stud bricks. This would give strength to the structure and also allow long bricks to span the gaps.

Only towards the end of the work on this project did I think up more efficient techniques to build mountains quickly and efficiently. I had no idea how the mountain would develop and grow - typically I don't work with detailed plans, which is part of the fun.
10th March

There is now a two lane road emerging from a twin tunnel in the mountain and ending at a car park near the railway station.
There is now water to the left of the layout which the railway will cross on a low bridge in the future.
15th March

The mountain continues to rise, brick by brick.
The railway station building is complete and the original separate snack bar has been merged into the main building. The roof is complete and uses red tiles.
The station will be changed in the future, I'm always looking for improvements.
17th July

Four months on reveals that a huge amount of further work has been done, especially on building the mountains.
An extra strip has been added to the rear of the layout and a peak topped with an obelisk rises high above a gorge with its multiple waterfalls and rapids.
The river eventually emerges at a waterfall at the end of the lake.
Grass and trees now grow on the brown and grey hills.
The railway station has changed again, a toilet block has been added and a small signal box now sits at the start of the one remaining platform!
10th September

A second mountain now rises above the railway tunnel. By coincidence, this is exactly the same height as the peak behind with the obelisk.
The mountain fades away to the left close to where the waterfall from the gorge's river pours into the lake.
There is a small collection of buildings on the far side of the lake, near the bridge. The grey building in the far corner is a pub, complete with a bar and tables.
The brown building is a newsagents. There is a nice footbridge behind the newsagents which crosses the railway near to the tunnel entrance which is hidden from view.
7th October

Image 1

The layout is now finished!

Note that the grass on the mountains has mysteriously changed colour from dark to light green.
The completed plate girder bridge crosses the lake.
The signal box has been moved from the station to the small village.
The station building has changed yet again and now has a nice grey tiled roof.
You can see where the deep gorge lies between two ranges of hills and mountains.
7th October

Image 2

The village with its pub (left), signal box and newsagents. The footbridge crosses the line near the tunnel entrance.
I never actually completed the village, its pub was going to be called 'The Blue Budgie', but maybe I will finish it and put it on my future bigger layout.
7th October

Image 3

The railway station, with toilet block, waiting room, offices and snack bar. There is also a clock above the entrance.
I especially enjoyed creating the new roof, which is quite intricate.
I intend to use this building in my new layout at Medge Hall, when there is a room ready to accomodate it.

As of April 2020 I am well into building modules for my new layout, which will be 6 (yes six) times as big as this one.

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