Hawkins Tower


(Layout 16)

Hawkins Tower started off as another donated baseboard kindly given to me by a group member.  He had built the board as a starter layout in 009, it was superbly made from 6mm mdf, and painted.  The track was laid, but no scenery appeared.  I suggested it would be a good scenic project for my wife.  She wanted a lake in the centre of the continuous run, so I cut out an area, it was painted, then filled with polyester resin and varnished to form the water surface.  

Bagnall 0-4-0 "Leader" running around the lake.  
The boat house is on the left and the folly "Hawkins Tower" is on the right.

We then decided between us what the theme would be, and it became part of an old Victorian Park where the old railway would be run by volunteers who had restored the line running trains at weekends.  I built three little buildings, then handed the layout over to my wife to do what she wanted with the scenery.

"Leader" is seen running round the left hand end.  
The Currant Bun tea stall is getting good business. 

The track plan was a simple continuous run with just one siding near the tea stall.  Once the scenery was completed we automated the trains by using a Trax Controls "Station Stop" module which was originally on "Ty-Morau".  At exhibitions, we just set-up the train to ensure it stopped at the platform then let is run on it's own all day.  After a few hours we usually cleaned the track and changed the loco to ensure the train worked fine.  By switching the unit off and to a normal controller, we could control trains manually if required.

 "Leader" stops at the Hawkins Tower platform.  
Visitors can climb the tower to see the view from the top.

"Leader" is stopping to pick up passengers.
The ruined tower was made from Wills Dressed Stone sheets.

Egger Bahn tram engine and converted  "Western" coach
 in the siding.  The tea stall was made from a Wills Ground Level Signal Box kit, it is fitted out with water boiler, sink, pans, cups and a selection of cakes.

"Leader" passes the tea stall. 

At the left hand edge, "Llew" runs behind the boat house and tea stall.

The layout now belongs to a group member who lives locally.