Author Topic: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3  (Read 4948 times)

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Offline Kevin_S

Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« on: December 26, 2013, 03:04:37 PM »
Askam in Furness Railway station modelled in gauge 3

Having built and exhibited two scenic gauge 1 layouts (Mardy Colliery and Gottersee) through the late eighties/early nineties I fancied a new challenge. I had always fancied a go at gauge 3 and saw that no-one had really attempted to do a fully sceniced gauge 3 portable layout before. Gauge 3 is, to all intents and purpose, the same as G scale but representing standard gauge rather than narrow gauge railways. Tying in with this idea was the discovery of the grade II listed station building at Askam in Furness with its Swiss chalet roof and a lot of original features still intact. Situated on the Cumbrian coast line north of Barrow in Furness the station is still on a quite busy line with regular passenger service and nuclear flask trains to and from the Sellafield nuclear plant to the North.

The architects were the well known firm of Paley and Austin from Lancaster better known for their ecclesiastical work but also the designers of many of the distinctive stations on the Furness railway.



Still present are the signalbox, which still leans forward as it has done for many years, the cattle dock and the up platform waiting room but the goods shed was swept away a few years ago to build and industrial estate. The original level crossing swing gates have been replaced with standard full width lifting barriers.



Going through the county records office unearthed some copies of the original architectural drawings and ordnance survey maps. I have kept a constant photographic record of the station since the mid nineties and now have probably a thousand pictures of it, both overall shots and detail shots.



I also scoured the historical archives for early pictures which show how little the station has changed in over 100 years



more soon

KEV

Offline Kevin_S

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 03:11:20 PM »
The construction of the station building reflected the massive construction of the original and is 12mm MDF for the main structure with cast resin corner blocks and windows, it is a lot easier to make one prototype, take a rubber mould of it and then cast as many as you want. The wall in between the castings are clad in red DAS modelling clay and scribed to represent the sandstone stonework, individual stones are then picked out in different shades of sandstone red to bring the colours alive. As the building is six feet long you can begin to imagine how heavy it is!





you can see how the buildings was intended to fit into a recess in the platforms in this early view



early days of applying the stone cladding



more soon

Offline Kevin_S

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 03:18:48 PM »
The roof followed the drawings quite closely particularly in regards to the roof trusses and the supports for the roof overhang on the platform side. It is in three sections ticket office, main roof and the very complex roof over the gents toilets, which must count as one of the most ornate urinals ever built in the Victorian era.

I had already made the decision to leave the roof unfinished and pose it as ‘under repair’ to allow people to see into the individual rooms which were all accurate representation of the state of them in the late nineties. So, it was half clad and partly slated and gauge 3 workmen were posed on it looking as if the were re-roofing it.







It was designed to sit in a recess in the platform so that the rear wall and ground level was lower as on the prototype. Details like the tiled floor in the waiting room, hand scribed and painted, the working clock in the ticket office window and the representation of the original gas lamps made it quite fascinating for the public. In this form the building was exhibited at gauge 3 garden railway get-togethers, Cumbrian railway association events and model railway exhibitions as a taster for people to see what was to come.


Offline Kevin_S

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 03:25:24 PM »
What was becoming evident even at this stage was that the layout would have to be quite innovative to get the depth to do it all. It was going to have to be five foot wide in places, which meant two parallel rows of baseboards, and also getting on for forty foot long. In other words it was going to be huge to move around to shows and the flight case to take the buildings and stock were also going to be large as well compared to the gauge 1 layouts. However as the layout was being built and shown in the water tank building at Barrow Hill Roundhouse at the time space wasn’t really a problem at that stage of development.






Part one of the video concentrates on the station building after its recent removal from long term storage and also looks at some of the freight and passenger trains that still pass the real one today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew_I9XdfXDY&feature=share&list=UUI6p-eLL5zX3K226z27Josg&index=1

Coming next will be a look at the signalbox, goods shed and Askam Co-op

cheers

KEV

Offline Jon Nazareth

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 04:24:20 PM »
Kevin

It's a lovely building but what is the loco shown in the last picture?  Is it scratch built?

Regards
Jon

Offline Kevin_S

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 03:36:14 PM »
Thanks Jon.

The loco is a scratchbuilt Furness 2-2-2WT that was the first loco I built in gauge 3. I'll be coming back to the rolling stock shortly

next.

The signal box was modelled to represent the box as it was in the late eighties with accurate representations of the lever frame, block apparatus and furniture with the exception of the control gear for the level crossing as I was undecided whether to model the large, ship type, wheel that operated the swing gates or the push button stand that controlled the half barriers. Construction was again MDF but not as thick as the station building and once again DAS was used to represent the stone block work. It was designed to fit into a recess in the down platform to allow the steps down to the locking room. This was the only building that really was finished on the project









more soon

Kev

Offline Kevin_S

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 03:47:55 PM »
The Goods shed was not as big a problem as anticipated, the Furness Railway standardised on a small goods shed for many locations and a lot of them survive today and a word with the farmer who owns the one at Drigg meant I had a full afternoon to measure and photograph a similar one to Askam. As it was never intended for the public to see the rear only three sides were stone clad







On the video part two you start to get an idea of just how big this project was turning out to be as a relatively small building comes out as a massive model structure.

Now the intention was always to have a full length backdrop at the backdrop layout and operate it from the front. This would allow us to represent a section of Duke Street in Askam including the Askam Co-op store. Originally separate shops which we were able to identify from an old land registry the whole block is now one store but the basic structure is still the same. Measurements were taken to represent the building in ultra low relief, it only measures 2 inch front to back. I had got as far as putting real curtains in the upstairs windows and making the displays for the shop windows.



In this view you see how the level crossing, signalbox, cattle dock and Co-op were all relating to each other and also how the width of the layout was coming in to play



coming next, rolling stock and pattern making

cheers
KEV

Offline Kevin_S

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 04:05:57 PM »
In part two of the video I go into the construction of the other buildings in more depth and start to look at the development of the rolling stock

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHyFoQiJwTk&feature=share&list=UUI6p-eLL5zX3K226z27Josg&index=1


Now as gauge 3 is an obscure scale to say the least getting rolling stock was never going to be easy. I had started to model one of the Furness railway 2-2-2WT well tanks a while ago and once we had laid some track (using gauge 1 rail and white metal chairs) a few test runs soon gave an idea of the sheer mass and inertia noticed when running. It was all looking very promising. I next made some patterns for the things I knew I was going to need lots of, axleboxes, springs, buffer bodies etc and also tooled up to make a batch of the famous Lancashire and Yorkshire railway 0-4-0ST ‘PUGS’ on my pantograph engraver with resin castings for the sandboxes etc



The pug was a particular favourite of mine as it was such a tiny engine in real life



The 2-2-2WT was a notable Furness design made even more famous for some of us modellers who remember the Railway Modellers articles by Ross Pochin of his 4mm one many years ago. The model was a mix of Nickel Silver,brass and GFS steel and the suspension was carefully balanced to allow it to pull a reasonable length train. Now sadly I can't seem to find my pictures of it finished, I think I gave them to Pete Marshall, but here is a picture of it early on.





Offline Kevin_S

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 04:13:05 PM »
Within a few months I had assembled some 5 plank open wagons, four wheel coaches, a horsebox and started on Furness No. 20 the celebrity 0-4-0 tender engine which is one of the oldest working steam engines in preservation.





The wagons were wood with cast resin strapping and hinges etc, pantographed W irons and white metal castings from my own patterns



more in a mo
KEV

Offline Kevin_S

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2013, 04:19:44 PM »
So, you ask, what went wrong? Why do we not see this layout out at the big exhibitions in the UK? Well, it was becoming apparent that the project was hugely ambitious for one man to do and assuming I got it in an exhibitable state it was going to take a 7 ½ tonne truck and a team of 6 to get it to a show. So for now it was O.K sat where it was in Barrow Hill. However, not long after that I got a job with Direct rail Services in Cumbria and found myself living in the real Askam! But there was nowhere to put the layout to store or work on it. In addition by this time I had the first of my very popular Z gauge layouts out on the show circuit and the chances of completing Askam were looking increasingly remote, Sadly the decision was made to sell the completed rolling stock, scrap the baseboards and put the buildings into deep store for a long time.




Recently I have been having a blitz on model railway stuff in store in the house and outbuildings, the first to go were two of my earliest Z gauge layouts which had no bookings for the foreseeable future and they have new homes in Bath and Walney Island respectively and next on the list is Askam. I am going to try and find a new home and future for it somewhere either in a museum or perhaps with a garden railway enthusiast who wants the ultimate centrepiece for his layout.

The final video is some rare footage of the layout at various exhibitions and some close up of the well tank topped and tailed by footage of real steam running through the real station.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwWn6IXyGm0&feature=share&list=UUI6p-eLL5zX3K226z27Josg

cheers

KEV


Offline Jon Nazareth

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2013, 05:21:47 PM »
The 2-2-2 looks impressive and I liked the look of the carriages and horsebox.  I'm intending building a 2-2-2 myself but a representation from the LBSCR.  I have a set of cast iron wheels for the engine and tender but it's the dome, which is quite a size, that gives me headaches just thinking how to make it or, really, how to successfully blend the body with the skirt.  Retirement next year so, will have more time for engines, I hope.

Regards
Jon

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2013, 12:48:46 PM »
Impressive Kevin!

Many years ago, on the bring-and-buy stand at a G3S AGM in Bedford, were several Furness Railway wagons.  There can't be many people actively modelling Furness in any scale, let alone Gauge 3, so were these anything to do with you?  I didn't buy them and don't know who did, but have regretted not doing so.

Mike

Offline IanT

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2013, 02:37:41 PM »
Alan Headech has modelled the Furness in G3 for many years Mike and has a live steam version of one of Kevin's engines. I'm not sure when I last saw it in action but I can certainly remember it at Mike May's many years ago.

Looking at Kevin's YouTube, I suspect that I may have his L&Y Pug too.

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline MikeWilliams

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2013, 10:11:44 PM »
Indeed so Ian, but when I asked Alan about Furness wagons he looked blank and said they were not his.  Interesting little railway and lovely livery of locos and carriages.

Mike

Offline Kevin_S

Re: Askam in Furness station in gauge 3
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2013, 11:44:00 AM »
Alan and I exhibited side by side one weekend many years ago but I can't remember where, this was Alan's display



KEV