Preston Station - Past & Present

Here is a selection of photos from my work-in-progress loft layout which is not technically great (or even good), but does provide a way of wasting many hours. The initial idea was to build a model of my home-town station, Blackrod, but that was soon discounted due to lack of space. What we have here is something which has grown in an un-planned, even haphazard way from a simple 2-loop tail-chaser I set up for my son - who was 5 at the time. Now it's just an excuse to run BR blue-era trains the way I remember them! Most of the models here are of things which would have been seen at Preston at some point or other...

pic14The station area is probably the most complete in terms of scenery, but still a long way off. It's a mixture of Metcalf, Superquick and Hornby products along with bits from The road bridge just visible on the right is scratch-built from balsa and plasticard and is loosely based on the one over Fishergate. The station aproach has recently been heavily re-vamped and now more closely resembles Preston, although there is no booking hall at the bottom....yet.
pic1The BRCW class 104 was one of the most common DMUs at Preston in the early 1980s, so I was quite keen to have one on my railway.

Unfortunately, there is no class 104 available ready-to-run, or even as a kit yet (although one is promised from DC Kits). This is my most recent project, a conversion of a Hormby 110 using a Craftsman conversion kit. I'm pleasantly surprised by how much it actually looks like a 104!

Since this picture was taken, various embelishments have been added including headcode blinds and a DCC decoder with cab and passenger compartment lights.

pic8After the 104 and the Met Cam 101s, the Cravens class 105 was next in the 1980s DMU league at Preston.

I'm rather pleased with this too! This is a DC Kits class 105 kit-built DMU and jolly good it is too. Again, this is still waiting for me to get round to doing the buffer-beam stuff, wipers etc. This kit uses a Black Beetle motor bogie, which runs very badly on DCC. It is in serious need of some extra electrical pickups.

This was my first attempt at a "proper" kit. The huge range of parts in the DC Kits box was a little daunting, but I don't think  I made too bad a job of it.

Hormby Class 31 - a nice model which runs exceptionally well.
The Hornby 08. \previously, I had a Bachmann version, which although a perfectly acceptable model, ran very badly indeed. This was due to an odd plunger pickup system which operated on the outsides of the wheels and collected dirt at an alarming rate. I believe that later examples were cured of this flaw. 
Bachmann 20 and Hornby 101. The latter is a Hornby re-release of an old Lima model.
Bachmann 25 - one of the older Bachmann diesels, but basically pretty good. One day, I'll get round to replacing those course hand-rails.
Bachmann 40 - perhaps not one of the Barwell company's best efforts. It's hard to put a finger on what's wrong with it, but it just doesn't really look right.
Bachmann 66 - one of the more recent models, which is generally pretty good.
Bachmann 158 - in the livery of First North Western, which lost the franchise to Northern Rail a couple of years back
Heljan 47 "tubby duff" The well documented error on this model is it's over-scale width. The newer Bachmann model probably outshines the Heljan 47 now, but it too has one or two errors.
Lima 87 - look no wires! - This model is really showing its age. The pancake motor is very crude by modern standards, as is the general level of detail, but at present, it's the only option. Hornby are scheduled to re-release this model in 2008, but any improvements will be minor.
Hornby 86 - another elderly model, and one which could really do with an upgrade.
Hornby 90
Hornby HST