BR Totem: Norman colliery

Norman Colliery was born out of Geoff Brain’s need to have somewhere to shunt wagons about with his growing collection of early design diesel shunters. The baseboards where originally made for a OO continuous run 12 x 8 layout which never materialised. They were converted to a 16 ft x 2 ft scenic O gauge layout with a 7.5 foot exchange yard.

The premise is that the colliery is at the end of its life, in the 1970s/1980s, with the lower screens closed down and only the top screens in use. The only problem is that the feeder road to the upper screens has been closed by subsidence, so a link line has had to be made to the lower line. The engines are all kit-built, from various manufacturers, except one 03 from Brassworks. The wagons are all kits, mainly Parkside Dundas with a couple of Slaters and Piercy.

The colliery buildings are all scratchbuilt from foamboard, with brick and stonework from Slaters and window frames from Highland Castings. The track is all Peco, the point motors are from Conrad.

Geoff decided to wire the layout for DC operation. He uses a Morley Vanguard Zero One unit, so that he can control two locos. These controllers have very long remote leads that reach both ends of the layout.

Dimensions           23 foot 6 inches x 2 feet (16 x 2 scenic)

Norman Colliery featured in the July 2022 issue of Railway Modeller. It can next be seen at the Modern Image O Gauge Exhibition, Crewe Heritage Centre, 23rd and 24th March 2024.