I guess it helps to know what you want to have for your model. You could have a depot, you could have a classic GWR branch line, you could run ECML express trains from the golden age of steam or you could even model a carriage depot if you wanted.
One of my pet hates for many years has been the fact that many model railway layout appear to want to have a bit of all the above situations in their layouts – and to be honest, you can do what ever you like – however, I think in trying to put everything in your layout, you can run the risk of not getting any of these things totally right. Furthermore, how many through stations have an engine shed, a goods yard, a refuelling depot and carriage sidings?
So in preparing this layout and its narrative in my head. I have tried to give some careful thought to what I wanted to achieve with this project. If I was going to be an O Gauge Modeller, I wasn’t going to be running scale length trains – well not until my wife won the lottery and we moved house!
Well, after dismissing the idea that I would be able to recreate a section of the ECML and a great big MPD, I realised that I my space was more suited to a small station slowly fading from its glory days – trying to keep itself viable in the face of increased competition from road haulage. In my opinion, having this narrative not only helps with your track and layout planning, but it helps to set your layout in its surroundings and plan what buildings, roads and topography surround your tracks. Planning my layout provided me with some interesting modelling challenges such as the single line through the double track tunnel and the suggestions of a lifted line due to track rationalisation.
So – Princes Street Goods – as a layout, it has one platform. It doesn’t really see passengers anymore, unless there is a visiting rail tour. It does see some mail and parcel trains as the Royal Mail still has its regional base adjacent to the old station. Its good yard has kept going and the old man still runs his (rail served) coal depot supplying many of the local houses and farms nearby. The station is looking grubby these days and its glory days are long gone. The TOPS era is just around the corner, however, I doubt that this station will see any more passengers or money for new facilities. I’m not sure if the goods shed will be demolished or cleaned up and kept for some trendy new shops or bars. We shall have to wait and see.
Plans for Princes Street Goods Yard take shape