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Finished overpass. No traffic yet, must be Sunday.
To make the gas pipes seen
opposite, glue thin strips of
plastic onto 1
/4" wooden
Modelling olden days in N gauge.

Brewhouse Yard is one of those little rail
served yards that appear from nowhere
from underneath the arches in many
towns and cities across the country. It's
actually the end of a goods only branch
line running from the nearby station to
serve various industries. It serves, as the
name suggests, a brewery. Only a small
brewery, but a brewery none-the-less!

When did this all happen? Fed up of extra
transport costs, the local businessmen got
together in 1869 to promote a railway of
their own. Land was soon purchased and
agreements made with the local railway
The railway was
completed in April
1872. Modest
facilities were
provided at each of
the industries,
usually just a single
short siding. It is
now summer 1906,
big hats are the
fashion and business
is good.

Of course, none of
this actually
Brewhouse Yard
exists purely as a
figment of my
although there is a
street where I
grew up of that
name. I've always
liked those little
yards that you
often see from the
train window,
wondering if they
were once rail
Industrial railways are also
an interest of mine, so I
thought I'd put the two
together. There are a few
links to where I grew up like
brand/business names and the
tramcar livery.
The model...

Started in October 2005, it
has, taken nearly two years to
reach the stage that you
seebefore you! But of course
the big question is:
"Why model the 'olden days'
in 'N' gauge?" The answer is
that I like the Edwardian
period and I hadn't modelled
it in 'N' gauge before.
In fact I havent seen it
modelled in 'N' gauge before so
I figured it would be a
challenge. I thought it would be
more challenging to make the
layout as small as possible!
Track & Baseboards

I drew the original layout out,
full size, on an A5 sheet of
paper. I built it a little bigger,
then added a bit to enclose the
yard. I later added the fiddle
yard end, eventually making it
the 55 cm x 29 cm (21.5" x
11.25") version that you can see.
A plywood box type
construction was used
originally using 5mm
plywood, the fiddle yard
end being made from
plastic sheet to keep the
weight down.
If you havent already, you will notice changes in the pictures as you scroll down
Track-work, working and
non-working, is a mixture of both
Peco code 80 & code 55 flexi
track. The track consists of one
point making two sidings so it is
not too complicated. I did find at
Brewhouse Yards debut
exhibition, (The N Gauge
Society's 40th Anniversary show
at Kettering), that this
combination played up a little so
all the track is due to be re-laid
with just code 55. All of the track
is in filled with either clay or
plaster and then the yard surface
scribed in by hand. The tramway
bridge track used the same
method. The railway track has
every other sleeper removed to
give it a turn-of-the-century look
so often seen in old photographs.
The picture on the left shows the
current amount of scenery on the
new extension!

Despite its small size and simplicity in track plan, there are still miles of wiring underneath the
baseboard. This is mainly due to the electromagnets for the proposed automatic uncoupling in the
future. Otherwise its two wires to the track. Control is by an old ECM compspeed that I've had for

To make the fruit & veg stall on
the left I made small boxes from
plastic strip. These were then
painted in various shades of
brown and were filled with
'Liquid Lead', (small leads
balls), which was then painted
fruity colours!
Rolling Stock

Rolling stock consists
of three vans, one
round ended open and
two flat wagons. There
are two steam engines.
These are, or should I
say were, a repainted
Farish J94 and a
modified Minitrix
dock tank. (I rounded
off the square firebox,
not an easy task!)
The dock tank, like several
of my aging locos, only likes
continuous run layouts now
so it has been replaced with
a Dapol M7 in LSWR
livery and is therefore
authentic for the period
modelled. I imagine that
most people who own one of
these can't claim that!

There are just under fifty
figures populating the
layout. They are mainly by
Presier, Peco, Model
Power, SAF and Merten
and have been converted to
Edwardian dress by
addition of model filler and
plastic discs for hats. I found
that Model Power steam era
people are very useful as are
Preiser brides. I never
dreamt that I would be
researching women's fashion
to build a model railway!
M7 on hire arrives for
duty on Brewhouse Yard
Edwardian Women:
use a hole punch to
make the disc for a hat.
Use model filler to add
length to dresses.
All of the road vehicles are by
Fleetline or Shire Scenes.
Even the horse drawn tram,
which started off as an electric
one! The exception is the
horseless carriage, or car, as
we call them now. This is
scratch built and based on an
1899 Opel but with equal size
wheels whereas the prototype
has smaller front wheels. It
looks over-scale, but cars that
were around then were huge
compared to today's miniscule
Another thing I had to figure out was how to model dung. Yes, dung. If you have horse drawn
transport on the street you have dung left behind! The only exception to this seems to be in the
last few years when they have to wear a nappy. Pre-grouping layouts in England are popular in
the larger scales but you rarely see any dung modelled.
Buildings are made mainly
from plaster with stonework
scribed in, the railway
embankment and tramway
bridge were made the same
way. The only building that
doesn't use this method is
the greengrocers on the
other side of the tramway
bridge. I built this one up
from layers of stiff paper
and card. All the roof tiles
are made of paper glued on
in strips or individually and
then painted.
Everything is weathered
as back then everything
was dirty as it's a city,
pristine doesn't exist! Any
greenery is by Woodland
Scenics, including the tree
which is a dried grape
stalk with clumped foliage
glued on. Uncoupling at
the moment is by GBS
(God's Big Stick) but will
be replaced by an
automatic uncoupling
The Future...

Future plans for
Brewhouse Yard include
moving the control panel
from the end of the layout to
the back. This would not
only make operating easier
but would free up space for
more scenery. Track to be
relaid in code 55 and the
short siding extended. I'm
also going to add a dummy
wagon turntable on a siding
that will come out of the
brewery and cross both the
sidings. I've already got
figures and road vehicles
for this. More round ended
wagons to be made as well.