As if I didn’t have enough projects on the go I decided to start a new layout project – Holywell Town.
Holywell Town was a small LNWR branch line in North Wales, I stumbled across it from an article in the British Railway Journal, where the best I can describe it is as “quaint”. An “interesting” 1:27 gradient up to the station and an unfeasibly short headhunt access to the goods yard.
It even got drawn up as a track plan by C.J. Freezer.
At the moment I’ve come to realise that I just don’t have the room for the Scale7 layout I have planned – once the kids move off to uni then their rooms may well be “requisitioned!”. So I’ve scaled back my plans to something more modest and have been spending the Christmas break working on this project, I’ve managed to negotiate room space to get this one built!
In scanning the web for background research I recently managed to find some cracking photo’s on www.colourrail.com who have graciously allowed me to post these images with the appropriate copyright. Judging by the wreath on the loco I suspect this was the last train to run on the line.
The excellent resource that is the Disused Stations website has also recently added Holywell Town to their list of recorded stations. These postcard images also give a flavour for the station. The head shunt after the station is unfeasibly short – such that the goods trains had to use the station loop line on approach to get enough clearance over the turnout into the goods yard. Note also the catch points embedded within the turnout. The original intention was to extend the line through to Mold so the head shunt really should have extended into a tunnel underneath Holywell Town.
I had grabbed these images before the article in MRJ but I will re-iterate the wonderful resource that is www.britainfromabove.org.uk. These images show how compact the station was, these images show a white column attached to the side of the over bridge. This was a vacuum powered luggage lift. There was a large vacuum cylinder the other side of the bridge that could be recharged from the loco. So that the passengers didn’t have to walk their luggage up the incline from the station.
Searching the web then there has been a 00 gauge layout built and on the exhibition circuit of the station but the viewing side is from the goods yard side so the incline approach from Holywell Junction is towards the rear of the layout. I think I’m going to swap it around so that the Station buildings and incline are at the front of the layout. So in the aerial photo’s the plan is to make the viewing side from the left hand (eastern) side. Doing it this way means that I can make the front of the layout bow fronted and the exit incline can drop away and curve away to the rear of the layout, hopefully disappearing into the copse of trees.