Category Archives: Model Railway

N Gauge Hereford 2022 – Stock Boxes for Moving

Moving the layout of Hereford from Ashton-under-Lyne to Telford required some careful planning. I was particularly concerned about the safe transport of locomotive and rolling-stock. I decided that I would move the layout and stock myself rather than ask the removal company to transport them. This proved to be a wise decision and I managed to get my employers to cover the cost of a few journeys between Ashton-under-Lyne and Telford as this was cheaper than using a removal company.

Some research resulted in the purchase of one stock box from Ten Commandments. [1]

Ten Commandments’ stock storage boxes for N Gauge are based on two boxes from the ‘Really Useful Box Company‘ [2] – a 4-litre box (£22.00) and a 9-litre box (£37.00).

I purchased the smaller of the two. It came with two foam inserts with pre-cut storage slots. The top layer had 9 crossways slots, each 195mm long. The lower layer had 5 length-wise slots each 310mm long. The slots were 25mm wide and 25mm deep. Each foam tray also had a cover layer/lid of foam.

I have a large amount of stock and would have needed to buy a significant number of the stock boxes. At £22.00 or £37.00 per box. I was going to be spending a lot of money.

The 9-litre Really Useful Boxes cost around £6.00 each (depending on where they were bought this varied from £4.50 to £10.00, with a manufacturer’s retail price of £7.55 plus postage. With a significant amount of stock it made sense to buy in bulk – 9 No. 9-litre boxes cost a total of £45 at Rymans (£5 each) and I found a few for a little less than this in sales at various retailers.

I researched available plastic packing-foam and realised that I could purchase reasonably large sheets on-line. I ordered two different thicknesses of foam in nominal 25mm and 10 mm sizes. The actual thickness of each sheet was marginally below the nominal sizes.

I tried using a variety of different glues before decided that strong double-sided tape would be the best for the job. This was purchased on-line at reasonable prices.

Each tray was made up of a bottom sheet of 10mm foam with cut pieces of 25mm foam stuck to it. The construction of the trays is illustrated by a series of pictures below. Please bear in mind that perfection was not required, just trays that would protect stock in the move to Telford.

The trays varied in thickness depending on what stock I intended to place in them. …

Base layer of nominal 10mm foam.
The base layer of foam with two end-pieces 25mm deep.
Double-sided tape in place at one end of the base sheet of foam.
Two end-pieces of foam stuck in place and double-sided tape almost ready to accept the side-pieces of foam.
The process continues.
A finished tray – definitely not perfect but perfectly serviceable!
A couple of examples of my finished trays followed by the two foam trays which came with the original purchase from Ten Commandments.
Stock being placed in storage boxes in the loft layout-room

As this process seemed to have gone well. Rather than buying a lot more ‘Really Useful Boxes’ I decided to try an alternative system for a significant amount of my stock. This system made use of the 25mm thick foam as well as the 10 mm foam.

At the time, I purchased a set of storage drawers as shown below for, I think £12.00. The prices as I write in June 2022 is now £18.00. I imagined that these drawers wolw hold a significant amount of stock and that I would also be able to accommodate some larger items which I had on display in the Vicarage.

The process followed was the same with the exception of a need to provide some reinforcement for the trays as they were larger and the foam was not fully rigid. Trays were shaped to fit the drawers as can be seen below. …

The first layer of foam in one of the plastic drawers.
The first tray in this drawer was used for road vehicles.

I had some very large items – O-Gauge models made by my father-in-law and some buidlings from the layout which needed larger boxes. The method used was the same but the thicker foam was more suitable for these boxes. …

Midland/LMS Steam Railmotor in O-Gauge together with a brake van and a mineral wagon.
One of Hereford’s large goods sheds being packed away carefully
Hereford Station Building also being stored away carefully. Both these models were made for me by my father-in-law from card. Superb!


  1., accessed on 13th June 2022.
  2., accessed on 13th June 2022
  3., accessed on 13th June 2022.

N Gauge Hereford 2022 again. …

I mentioned in my last post that the staging in my layout room had been built and my library was close to being sorted out.

Just a few more pictures. These show the layout room with the completed staging and one layout board being worked on…..

The staging uses IKEA “Ivar” to create bookcases on which the layout sits/will sit. The uprights are 1.2 metres high which means that there is good shelving space beneath, and room for a desk and computer.

N Gauge Hereford 2022

It has been a while since I posted about my layout.

We have now moved to Telford and the powers that be have generously allocated a relatively large bedroom for the layout. Some compromises are inevitable as the space is smaller than the loft in the Vicarage in Ashton-under-Lyne.

Staging has been built and my library is close to being sorted out. I will need one new fiddle yard, the electrics will need connecting board to board for the layout and some damage will need to be rectified.

Completing the staging is a good step forward!

Just a few pictures …..

The wiring above is new connections from the board I am supposed to be working on which will connect sections which originally relied only on the track connection across the board joints!

N Gauge Railway Modelling!

There was a time when I would have been satisfied with almost anything in N Gauge. The hobby was served by a very limited number of Ready-to-Run manufacturers and the kit industry was often based around relatively coarse white metal kits or relatively poor resin kits. Those resin models even seemed to bend a little with age. 

It is a different world now. With modern homes being so much smaller and space at a premium, N Gauge is the new 00!

Model quality is high and standards are still rising. Modelling techniques have improved so much that it is at times difficult to tell the difference between N and 0, let alone 00.

The space available in N Gauge, together with the quality of models available mean that there has never been a better time to switch to N Gauge from other gauges/scales!

Just a few examples ……

1. The N Gauge Society Journal 3/19, p92. ….

The journal carried this picture of a sleepy scene of the goods yard at Wrenton with cattle waiting on the dock to be loaded. ‘Wrenton’ [1][2] is Roger Beckwith’s superb layout which was featured, along with an article about how he built the outstanding building models, in N Gauge Society Journal 4/18. … Are you sure that this is N Gauge?

Roger Beckwith has supplied a monochrome version of the same picture below. …. Is it really N Gauge?

2. N Gauge Society Journal 3/19 (back cover)

This picture comes from the back cover of the Society Journal and features the Ableton Vale Layout. [3][4]

3. The Derwent Valley Railway

The Derwent Valley Railway is a might-have-been railway connecting the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway to the Dore and Chinley line between Rowsley and Grindleford, following the course of the Derwent River past the Chatsworth estate. [5]

4. Stamford East

Robin Fox has this model on the exhibition circuit. [6]

5. Ashburton

A few photographs of Ashburton made (in N Gauge) by John Birkett-Smith which appeared in BRM Magazine. The layout also featured on the front cover of N Gauge Society Journal 6/19. [7]

6. Bridgford

A view of ‘Bridgford’ by Alistair Knox at the Warrington Show. [8] This image and those following immediately come from the N Gauge Society website. 

7. Wickwar

The layout ‘Wickwar’ by the Farnham & District Model Railway Club, taken at the Fareham show October 2017 using a mobile phone (Samsung Galaxy 6). [8]

8. Melton Mowbray

The Northern’ at Melton Mowbray, created by John Spence and Steve Weston. [12]

9. Shirebrook

Added at the request of a member on RMWeb. These three pictures are taken with permission from a flickr page. [13]

10. Blueball Summit

Also added at the request of someone on RMWeb. The video was made in September 2016 and is available on YouTube. [14]

Blueball Summit’s buildings are also exceptional. there are a few pictures below. [14]

11. Buildings

I find it really hard to believe that many of these models (both full layouts and individual buildings) are not at least 00-gauge models, (if not modelled in larger scales). Here are a few examples of the quality of buildings now being scratch-built in N Gauge. The first comes from ‘Wrenton’.The Red Lion in Wrenton, by Roger Beckwith. [10]Marylebone Railway Station modelled in N Gauge by Mark Eaton. This picture was included in the N Gauge Society Journal 1/19. [11]5 different images of structures on Bluebell Summit made by Andy Stroud. [14]

12. Hereford in N Gauge

Just not got as far as I could have done with my own model of Hereford Station in N Gauge. But here are a few pictures of my father-in-law’s work. The quality of my photography does not match the quality of the modelling! [11] My father-in-law, David built the model of the station building at Hereford and the two large goods sheds. The back scene, smaller buildings on the layout and the station footbridge are my own work.


  1. Wrenton:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  2. Wrenton:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  3. Ambleton Vale:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  4. Ambleton Vale:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  5. The Derwent Valley:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  6. Stamford East:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  7. Ashburton:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  8. Bridgford:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  9. Wickwar:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  10. Wrenton:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  11. Marylebone: N Gauge Society Journal 1/19.
  12. Melton Mowbray:, accessed on 24th May 2019.
  13., accessed on 11th June 2019.
  14., accessed on 11th June 2019.