My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

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Howie617
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My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by Howie617 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:33 pm

After much lurking and eventually signing up to the forum I am able to introduce you to the start of the Westmorland Light Railway (WLR), having sold up a load of equipment from a past bobby I’ve been able to start buying a few bits, the track is still very much in the planning stage, the garden is due to be remodeled next spring so no point putting too much effort into the track laying until that is done. Having enjoyed plastic modelling as a kid, making most of the bits from kits and eventually some scratch building is the way to go. Having read and taken onboard the sound advice of those more experienced I have worked out what my railway will be.

The railway will be 32mm, it is named the Westmorland Light Railway as its main station is Kendal, at the time of construction the administrative center of the County of Westmorland and will be based on an altered history of the local area. Kendal was the end of the Lancaster Canal, in 1845 The paper mill started in Burnside and a horse drawn tramway created to serve the mill from the canal head. With the Carlisle to Lancaster Railway being in the planning stage and mumblings heard they wanted a branch line to Lake Windermere, the Canal owners decided they wanted to keep some form of control to their business, so built a narrow-gauge railway from the canal head at Kendal through to Birthwaite (later becoming Windermere) firstly for onward freight and when they linked a station close to the CLR’s Oxenholme Station some passenger and additional freight services, there idea being they could make it cheaper for onward freight that arrived by their canal and they could have a bite at the passengers so maintaining their local monopoly.

Due to the lack of connection to the main line and the rest of the UK, it was not a successful as its real-life full gauge counterpart and with the general demise of the canals, it became run down, when the great war broke out, its staff and due to its gauge, its stock went of to battle and it shut down.

We pick the WLR up at its rebirth in the early 1920’s, its old staff are back from war, there is no appetite for the main rail carriers to either run the narrow gauge and it was found to be too costly upgrade to standard gauge. So, it’s bought for a pittance. The railway is to be built back up as a lean operation to start, using the war stock locomotives that are becoming available. The lines first loco being a Baldwin gas mechanical tractor which is in the locoworks getting overhauled (read awaiting delivery and construction), they have also bought in some rolling stock, the team have overhauled there first item of rolling stock to form the first permeant ways train to get the track fettled. (they left it out in the weather so it’s already got a used look)

Having already got so much out of the content on here from the other members, I will do my best to keep things updated (with pictures), although this will not be a short project

So the first real item of the WLR is this is an IP Engineering 4 plank goods wagon. It’s nice to see I haven’t lost my old skills to much. Looked a little too bright and new, so it got weathered out a little
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tom_tom_go
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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by tom_tom_go » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:38 pm

Hi and welcome!

Looking forward to watching your line grow :thumbup:

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philipy
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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by philipy » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:06 pm

Hi Howie and welcome.
Plenty of pics always keep us happy, but you say you've been lurking so you already know that! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Peter Butler
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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by Peter Butler » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:29 pm

Welcome on board Howie, great storyline and plenty of scope for you to develop an interesting railway there. Keep it flowing!
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laalratty
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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by laalratty » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:30 pm

Welcome Howie, I'm very intrigued to see how your line pans out, a narrow gauge version of the Windermere branch sounds interesting, and I do wonder if it had happened like that whether it would have had more chance of getting to Ambleside and beyond. I hope you don't mind me asking, but do you live in the South lakes/North Lancs area? I'm in Morecambe (or depending on the day of the week Ravenglass), and there are quite a few other garden railways in the area.
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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by Soar Valley Light » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:40 pm

Welcome Howie,

I love a railway with a good back story. Please keep us posted and let us see some pictures of progress. Most of all, good luck with the project.

All the best,

Andrew
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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by IanC » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:12 pm

Hello Howie. A welcome to the forum from me too. I'll add my list to those who've already expressed an interest in seeing and hearing more about your railway.
Ian

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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by Howie617 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:34 pm

Thanks for the good wishes.

Laalratty yes you could say I'm local to the line. The WLR sits (or rather will sit) within about 150 metres as the crow flies from the Windermere Branch Line. When I started looking at track options it had to be 32mm I wanted to have that Ravenglass to Eskdale feel. Can't go there every year as a kid and not have its charm rub off on you. I'm guessing your a bit of a fan.

I suspect the line will get a little further then Windermere. My better half is nearly as keen on the project as me. She has already been away with a couple of my IP rolling stock kits I had stashed out the way. She is really keen to run the line in the late 30s early 40s time frame so I expect it to eventually make it to the Shorts Sunderland flying boat factory at white cross bay.

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laalratty
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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by laalratty » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:00 pm

Howie617 wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:34 pm
Thanks for the good wishes.

Laalratty yes you could say I'm local to the line. The WLR sits (or rather will sit) within about 150 metres as the crow flies from the Windermere Branch Line. When I started looking at track options it had to be 32mm I wanted to have that Ravenglass to Eskdale feel. Can't go there every year as a kid and not have its charm rub off on you. I'm guessing your a bit of a fan.

I suspect the line will get a little further then Windermere. My better half is nearly as keen on the project as me. She has already been away with a couple of my IP rolling stock kits I had stashed out the way. She is really keen to run the line in the late 30s early 40s time frame so I expect it to eventually make it to the Shorts Sunderland flying boat factory at white cross bay.

A bit of a fan of the R&ER is perhaps a slight understatement, for it is also my current employer, with many years volunteering before that to go with it. If you are a member of the Association of 16mm Scale Modellers, or are thinking of becoming a member I recommend joining the North West Area Group too, we have fairly regular running sessions on a variety of garden railways. Inspiration and ideas for your line certainly wouldn't be lacking. Alas I'm nothing like as involved as I used to be, working on a tourist railway has a horrible habit of taking all of your weekend time.
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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by FWLR » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:39 am

Welcome Howie, Hope to see more of your line too. Coniston is where we ended up for all of our summer holidays every year….The Lakes are a real favourite of mine. Anne is also very supportive of my hobby, so it’s great to hear your better half is also of the same mind.

Has laalratty as said the North West Area Group are a great butch and are very welcoming, has most area groups are, but the NWAG are not clickie. So I would advise you to go along to a steam up, you don’t need to have a loco or any stock, but you will have the opportunity to have a play with somebody’s loco at some point if you so desire.

There is a steam up this weekend at Scorton on a 32mm line. I can send you the details if you wish.
Rod

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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by Lonsdaler » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:37 am

Hi Howie,
and welcome to a great hobby. Like you I'm in the Northwest, not far from Kirkby Lonsdale. As laalratty has said, it would be well worthwhile contacting the NWAG guys. You will be made welcome to come and see others lines in use - that can be very useful for avoiding some of the mistakes that we all make when starting out :lol:
I'll pm you the email address, rather than post it on the open forum, and as Rod has said, there is a steam up this weekend just south of Lancaster. That will give you something to aspire too!
All the best, and look forward to meeting you at some time in the future.
Phil

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Howie617
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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by Howie617 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:44 pm

The WLR has its first piece of track. As the saying goes great oak trees grow from just an acorn.

A decision has been made on the paint scheme for the brandbright coaches. (You will have to wait and see the pictures when I get building)

The engineering team has been squabbling over what to finish first, but they won out over the 'major', the railways guiding hand (I would say boss). With the lack of decent working conditions they have built a guards van and are busying themselves putting a stove in so they can keep the kettle on and themselves warm as the cold days come in.

The war department have finally released the railways first engine. The Baldwin gas mechanical tractor (from pdf) the engineering team have broken it down and have started it's refurb. Really impressed with the new laser cut metal chassis sides and cranks (these have been put into the kit very recently). It feels bomb proof.

The major (one of Kara's little kharacters) can be seen inspecting the engineers work. From my best research as he is not a director but the boss on the ground his role could be Railway Superintendent? Any input on historic railway management structure would be appreciated.

As I cant provide you with lots of beautiful vista shots of trains (yet) I thought I would try to give what I can do just a little character, over the next few posts I hope to introduce some of the rest of the railways small staff (in numbers and size)
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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by ge_rik » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:12 am

Hi Howie and welcome aboard. Great sounding back story - shades of the Ashover LR? Will be fascinated to see how the infrastructure develops - my railway is also set during the inter war period.

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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by FWLR » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:19 am

Looks like this will be a very well thought out build, with plenty of helpers….. :roll: :roll:
Rod

Life is so easy when I run my trains. :thumbright:

🚂🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃🚃

https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic ... 41&t=11364

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Re: My first railway - The Westmorland Light Railway

Post by Howie617 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:46 pm

Its been some time since i've had anything to post, but the WLR is still under development. With the Christmas shut down (enforced tidy up) and a number of holidays things have been on a go slow. So I will break my latest into a couple of posts.


Both recent holidays have had railway experiences involved so Sri Lanka first. I know its the wrong gauge, but a few pics are always nice. The rail network was built the same time most of our NG layouts hale from. Even thought we choose to model Victorian infrastructure and practices, the Sri Lankan railway system still makes it its daily business. It is quicker to go by road then train. (and the roads area a nightmare) but it was interesting to so the use of token signaling, almost all the track was single track, with station passing loops. I do apologise now, I missed taking the picture of the immaculately preserved steam crane in one of the stations, It caught me out. (after a google, preserved is probably wrong term, well maintained and still in use would be closer)
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