N Gauge Model Railway


So the third and final woodworking project is… something that I’ve wanted to do for probably 10 or so years now. Benchwork for my trains! I’ve decided to go for the L-Girder technique, as I like the idea of having full control and having access to everything from the bottom. That, and it’s easy enough to construct.

As you can see, the drop trap I built to start of the woodworking projects is in the background. And despite the look of it, it’s really sturdy! Just one slight problem, even though it fits through the door, turns out that the doors upstairs are 1″ slimmer… and it just barely doesn’t fit through them. So… lets break out the saw and try again…

Decided to make it 20cm slimmer, and to be honest, I’m happier that the top cross-bars are lower so I can more easily connect wires to another bench in the future.

Top bars were shortened slightly (by 10cm) so it’ll still fit through the (slightly slimmer!) upstairs doors, for when I eventually move.

Aaand that’s half of the bench already covered. Plus I’ll need to turn it a bit to be able to make the track of the station be able to loop back. But I reckon that’ll be fine and add a bit more interest to the whole thing. The track in the foreground is a slightly altered version of Glenderg’s design from the forums. I moved the engine shed and added a goods shed to add a bit more scenic interest to the design, with the doors facing the front instead of hiding it in the back of the building facing the station.

Oh, and the storage space underneath? Yeah, funny how quickly that fills up with all sorts of stuff.


Hydroponics Trolley

The second woodworking project of the month; a trolley to house 2 hydroponics buckets. The first bucket I’ve had running as a Kratky method bucket with only an air stone inside of the nutrient mix, with near explosive results when it came to the Oregano and Basil (they suddenly went insane covering half of the left door you see in the photo below!)

It might not look like much yet, no plants, or even plumbing yet. But the plan is for the right bucket to have 8 “medium” size net-pots for herbs, and the left bucket is still undecided, but will likely end up with anywhere between 4 and 6 “large” net pots growing larger plants. Maybe peppers? We’ll have to see once the plumbing is in place. Parts have been ordered for that.

Why a trolley? Good question! As you can see, it is sitting right in front of our back door, and we would like to have access to the garden at certain times. It also currently blocks our dryer, so its nice if we can move it out of the way if we have to. The plan is to include automation using a Raspberry Pi to alert me when the nutrient mix needs refreshing or otherwise needs attention (such as pH getting too high or too low).


Cat Drop Trap

Not quite a model railway thing, but recently I was asked if I could build a Drop Trap by my partner. Now this is mostly a simple piece of woodworking.. problem is, I didn’t have any wood.

And I suppose that is where the tie in with the model railway comes in; I didn’t have any wood for a model railway table either!… or.. for the hydroponics, which I have wanted to build a mobile trolley for for a while now. And I imagine you can see where this is going; it was the perfect excuse to borrow a van to purchase some wood from the local builders supply for my building endeavors!

So a little bit poorer but richer in building materials, I banged together this trap. It’s stone age technology really, but apparently the most successful design for catching kitchens. Neatly fits in my partners boot with the seats down, nice and light so it isn’t a hassle to carry even for a single person but heavy enough to not have to worry about kitties escaping. What you’d call, simple but effective.

Just attach a string to the little ringlet on the brace and pull if you want the trap to come down. And no sooner than when I finished it, it was whisked away for duty.

N Gauge Model Railway

It’s a start

So I’ve finally made a start at a model railway, or at least trying. Big plans of having most buildings light up, and having as much as possible “functioning” (read: moving) is one thing, but first and foremost I’d just like to build an idyllic railway that one could mistake for perhaps being Irish. I’ll try my best, and due to budget and availability of kits and time, I will be using kits of structures that would be at home in different parts of the world, but I’m going to try and make them feel as much at home on my layout. My first problem though, I’m technically inclined.. not historically, so I have no idea what kind of a trackplan would suit!

Trackplan designed and drawn by Glenderg from

So I asked for help on the Irish Railway Modeller forum, and a user by the name of Glenderg drew a plan that immediately captured my imagination. I had a plan for a station platform before, but his drawing instantly formed a 3D rendition in my head, and I could see my platform idea fitting in somehow as well, so.. bingo! Brilliant!

The idea formed on a drive on the Wild Atlantic Way, specifically the area around Connemera and the Cliffs of Dunneen. The roads and houses are kinda sloped in those areas, each building kind of has its own terrace. I wondered what it’d be like for a railway to be built in such areas, and with some bits and pieces I had that I’d hope to include somewhere, this idea formed. Having to carve out a straight section through a steep enough slope to suit the tracks with the station building above it leading passengers straight to the footbridge. Not wheelchair accessible maybe, but I’ll be going for early 1950’s, and I have a feeling I can get away with it.

Glenderg also made a smaller version of the original trackplan, to suit the available space more. I will be combining this smaller trackplan
with the grander feel of the first one.

Now Glendergs trackplan was drawn for a Harbour scene, as I want to have a harbour (I wonder if the Wild Atlantic Way inspiration gave it away?). And I feel like this platform would fit in nice enough. My mind travels back to a trip to Portree on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, and thinking back to the harbour there. Having the tracks a bit higher will protect the tracks from particularly high swells, and it will allow me to let the road that crosses the track to come down (even steeply) to the right of it, going undernearth the tracks. Which hits another thing I’d like to see on my layout: a couple of bridges!

So next steps: Figure out what kind of signals make sense to include in this platform scene, and transcribe Glendergs wonderful trackplan into tracks on the board, and see which buildings will go where.