More from Alan and his wonderful layout

Alan got lots of comments on his layout – in particular his canal scene.

(You can see the original post here).

Alan has kindly got in touch with some more pics – and more importantly – how he did his canal.

“Hi Al,

This shows more of my railway and how it’s operated.

There are two branch lines which merge at the main terminus, Bryncoch. It is set in 1955 ish and at that time the canal system had been superseded by the railways and improved road infrastructure. But a few did keep going for several years as was the case with my fictional South Wales Union Canal Co. It survives by transporting coal to remote areas and where there are no suitable roads for deliveries.

Also it transports timber from the forrests to the local timber merchant. There is a creamery from where milk is transported to the towns & cities, a brewery and a mill. Most of the fleet are tank locos, 2 panniers, 2 praries, a 0-6-2 South wales tank and a B.R. standard class 3 tank. I also have two Somerset & Dorset locos, a 2-8-0 7F and a B.R. standard 5 No. 73050 which worked on th S&D. ( was going to model the S&D ) Can anyone come up with an excuse for an S&D 7F to be in South Wales!!?

I prefer to model small branch lines as I find the large layouts with lots of trains going round & round at speed very boring and unrealistic. But everyone has their own opinions likes and dislikes. I also operate on DC as I do not think DCC would be worth the expence for a smal branch line. I can operate the two lines independently with my dual controller anyway.

The water in the canal basin is only picture mountboard painted a muddy green/brown and given 4-6 coats of polyurethane varnish.

kind regards


(Images are clickable.)

A big thanks to Alan. A superb layout! Have a look at the comments below.

And if it’s inspired you, the Beginner’s Guide is here.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

56 Responses to More from Alan and his wonderful layout

  1. robert coe says:

    The chara! could give the Post Office quite a smack if not careful. Goes to show that a model railway need not be large or cover the attic of a 4 bed house..

  2. anhel says:

    i like that i m a beginer on this

  3. Tom Pica says:

    The row of stores and signage really shows realism and perfection.

  4. Paul in Golden says:

    Very nice detail, especially with the blending of the backdrops.
    I imagine it looks even better in person!

  5. Tom says:


    Superb layout great detail! Job well done.


  6. Tom M Jones says:

    Outstanding. A wonderful view and perspective of the English countryside that we Americans seldom see. From colorful landscapes to inter action of people, I found the photos quite enjoyable. Meticulous work I’d say!

  7. kimo says:

    WOW, this layout is so real, fantastic

  8. John Coffey says:

    I realy like these pictures as I am a beginer also just do more pictures it realy helps me with ideas.

  9. Nice pictures of a very nice layout

  10. Rob M says:

    Some amazing angles and vistas. Really top notch stuff.

  11. vince says:

    A beautiful layout. So realistic in every way.

  12. chris says:

    lovely photos, thanks for the update on the canal, please keep pictures & tips coming

  13. Paul Brady says:

    Great detail could be a real scene.

  14. K Cunningham says:

    Look’n real nice young fella

  15. Ralph Berry says:

    Great to see “behind the scene” as well. Where did you get that marvelous yard crane, did you make it, or is there a kit?

  16. paul Otway says:

    one excuse for S&DJR locos to be in South Wales would be a loco exchange.

  17. Alan Batcheldor says:

    Great layout.

    Re the S&D 7F issue with S Wales I know that they definitely worked the Midland line out of Bath Green Park with goods trains for Westerleigh so S Wales would not be out of the question occasionally.

  18. Cameron Davies says:

    Fantastic Layout and beautifully made. Keep going!!
    Thanks for sharing

  19. Ray Appenzeller says:

    I like it very much! Great attention to detail and use of space! Good job, thank you for sharing!

  20. Raymond Bove says:

    Absolutely splendid. Bags of the kind of atmosphere that makes a layout realistic. Nice touch to use ash-material on the ground in working areas around the shed and elsewhere.
    Can we have your track plan please? A sketch will do fine.
    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  21. WoW! you have created some really great aspects to your layout, I like how you’ve used the split points to send your line in different directions, giving the affect of a junction in the layout. Very nice and I can see plenty of enjoyment comming from yourlayout in the time ahead, thanks for sharing.

  22. Ken Goldenberg says:

    Wonderful detail Alan! I especially love the scene of all the shops lit up along the frontage road – makes me want to take a stroll down the street for some fish and chips! I’ve never been to England, so it’s neat to see your vision of it (I assume it to be a time when you were young).

    Ken Goldenberg
    Orange County, California

  23. THOMAS says:


  24. Max Dosser (Australia) says:

    A little ripper of a layout. Congratulations on a magnificent job.

  25. Ian Mc Donald says:

    a very realistic layout the detail is unbelievable keep the photos coming i believe its giving alot of pleasure to people starting out in this hobby thankyou.

  26. David Morris says:

    Great layout. Perhaps there was a loco breakdown and the only available one was an S&D 7F.

  27. Willie Kerr (Glasgow) says:

    Great scenic detail. The pictures are so good I can copy a few of your ideas. Keep them coming.

  28. Colin Pryce says:

    Very realistic countryside views, the urban views suffer from what a lot of us have trouble with – that lived in look. Maybe some rain/dirt weathering on the building facades and roofs would help. Lots of great details for us to try out, well done Alan!

  29. Fernando gomes says:

    Always astonished

    Can you send me , please the link for the sound with a Kaider mini speaker?
    I lost it. thank you
    Fernando Gomes

  30. Alan Batcheldor says:

    I have just found another photo of another S&D 7F west of Bath. This one is of 53808 and it puts it at Avonmouth. Not far away from S Wales!

  31. robin biles says:

    This layout is simply breathtaking ! You are a true star and everything about your layout is stunning and your backgrounds are brilliant. Only one point and that is for anyone aspiring to perfection this is a very high level to set!!

  32. Kevin Mccloy says:

    Beautifully done hope mine looks as good

  33. Phil Pennington says:

    Superb layout. Has really given me a few ideas as to how to proceed with scenery.
    Am I just imagining it or are the backgrounds of hills etc. hand painted?

  34. Stuart says:

    That is a brilliant layout and so well done, it looks just like a real picture. Brilliant.

  35. Brian Clauser says:

    Excellent detail.

  36. Roland Burch says:

    What great detail! Please send more pictures.
    Thank you,
    Roland – Nashville, TN

  37. Max Thompson says:

    If I can offer Alan a suggestion for his S & D 7F. How about an enthusiast’s excursion? There would often be a variety of motive power on these trains.

  38. ed says:

    One of the very best I have seen

  39. jim morris says:

    Very impressive.

  40. John says:

    Alan a video of your layout working PLEASE!

  41. Richard Sappelli says:

    wonderful photos of a really super layout. You certainly built one heck of a model railroad.
    Thanks for sharing.

  42. Jimmy STORRIE says:

    A1 layout

  43. Jim says:

    Really like the rural scenery. And the attention to the details. Overall, very nice.

    Jim AZ

  44. Linda H says:

    Great job on a wonderful layout. The details are well done and very realistic. Thanks for sharing.

  45. Bruce says:


    Have the coppers caught the bloke who ran down poor Mr. Spraker? Appears he bonnet caught him middle legs. Hope he survives.
    I like the “bridle” at storage tracks end. Neat way to contain a run-a-way.
    Great and very nice handy work of the trackage and scenery.

    And, as ever, thanks again for your daily postings.

    Bruce in SC USA

  46. Joe Wright says:

    Thank you Alan gets better all the time. Looking forward to your next chapter

  47. Antony says:

    A lovely layout. I know it’s a little later than when your layout is set and may not be of much use but 2 S&D 7Fs 53808 and 53809 were stabled in South Wales at Barry Island for many years courtesy of Mr. Woodham. Happy modelling.


  48. John Gwinn says:

    Alan! Remarkable detail. I have never been in Wales, though family originated there.
    Especially intrigued by the wire fences in the country with the blackberry brambles climbing the fence! Oh! and I perceived (or maybe imagined) the wavy rails of track looking down the rail line! I enjoy watching a loco swaying in the dips as it approaches.
    The scenery of the background blended with perfection the standing modeling of the foreground in a way that is beyond modeling…it is artistry!
    Thanks for sharing, John Gwinn, Bloomington, Illinois, USA.

  49. Mike Walsh says:

    Once again no mention of the scale of the layout, a vital piece of information to us modellers. Please remember to tell us.

  50. Herman Crauwels says:

    Fantastic leyout and scenery.
    HC Treintje from Belgium

  51. J S Friedman says:

    Exceptional detail of terrain, wonderful, almost like riding thru the cut to the tunnel.

  52. Roger Vipond says:

    Brilliant. Inspirational!

  53. Will in NM says:

    Alan, You have created a very impressive layout. I am learning to appreciate the English countryside from all you Brit’s layouts. Coming from a lifetime in the US southwest deserts, England always looks too green and lush to be real to me. You’ve done a wonderful job of representing South Wales in small scale. Is that first photo a rotating table that allows you to stage and turn whole trains? If so, please supply more details of how it works and was built. Thank you for sharing.

  54. Britt says:

    Very fine layout! I like the backdrops, I seems very real

  55. Neal Jeffrey Perry says:

    Very nice scenic areas uncluttered by too much track.

  56. william j plmer says:

    excellent detail

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