Sunday, 21 December 2008

Coming up with prototypical reasons for short sidings!

Looking at the front sidings in situ, they're awfully short! Fairly inevitable given the size of the layout as a whole of course, but it's got me wondering whether it might look less, well, "contrived", if instead of simply being plain old sidings terminating in buffer stops they disappeared into some sort of buildings / sheds at the end.

Trying to justify the existence, from a prototypical point of view, of two sidings that only hold 5 or 6 wagons, is difficult unless there is some specific reason for their being there and being as short as they are.

An alternative solution might be the crumbling remains of a loading dock, maybe with the old hand-operated crane still in situ.


  1. I think the idea of the sidings disappearing into buildings is a good one but would it make it look a little cramped? Although this in itself may help 'justify' the shorter sidings!

    Then again, layouts such as Neil Rushby's Shell Island are small and because they're visually balanced, which I think plan already is, the shorter sidings work.


  2. Hi James,
    I think you may be right - if the overall scene is visually balanced then maybe the short sidings will look ok. And once they're suitably 'grassed over' the length will probably be less obvious anyway.

  3. One genuine, and relatively common reason to have a very short siding is as a "cripple siding" to hold stock that is pulled out of service due to fault or for inspection.

    Even today, on my commute into Liverpool Street, there is one at the next station down, Harlow Mill, where an enlarged roadstone depot was built only a couple of years ago. It is right next to the building that houses the unloading facility.

    Look on google earth for the station, follow off the platform going west-south-west, and you'll see it to the south of the large white square that is the unloading building (which has a track running right through it).