Thursday, 25 December 2008

Happy Christmas!

I just wanted to wish everybody who waunders by my little corner of the web a Happy Christmas!

And the picture? 66 025 heading past Hessle Road Junction light engine bound for Hull Docks on Christmas Eve 2008.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Hornby Magazine Yearbook

I must admit that I don't actually buy Hornby Magazine. So it may seem odd that I decided to the the 'yearbook'.

The book has a nice, high quality feel to it being hardbound and the paper has a nice glossy feel to it. The content too is of a high quality. Bearing in mind that Hornby Magazine's own brief is to help beginners in the hobby, the material in the yearbook doesn't patronise and provides even more advanced modellers drawing inspiration from what is in the book.

The track plans in the book look good at first glance but when you begin to work out the radii, they start to be quite implausible - Mr New seems completely unaware of transition curves! This is a shame as those who might fancy tackling one of the plans for their first 'big' home layout may loose faith in the hobby if such schemes just don't work.

However else where within the book there are some real gems. Firstly Tim Maddocks' Enginewood is always good to see - a layout with a real 'railway like' quality which reflects its builders own involvement in the rail industry.

Elsewhere there's an excellent section which gives a wonderfully useful advice for those wanting to start weathering. Paul Marshall-Potter and Ian Fleming, of the Hull MRS.

PMP's guide are pretty good - though his approach for weathering diesels is different from my own it nevertheless provides a good grounding for those starting with such matters.

Paul Marshall-Potter's guide to basic weathering of steam locomotives.
Ian Fleming is a god in the field of wagons. It might be a rather strong way to describe someone but his wagons are absolutely superb. I still remember being blown away by his models when I saw his articles in early issues of BRM. His guide is very easy to follow and is a wonderful piece of work.

At £16.99 you'll have to decide if you can justify spending that on the book but I felt it was worthwhile and there's plenty to read over the Christmas period.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Getting there!

One long term project has been my North Eastern Railway P1 which I have been building over the last year. Just a quick post tonight as I'm playing with the big train set each night this week - a couple of photos for you tonight to show the result! The loco, 2035, can be seen posed on Botanic.

The loco just needs lamps (and a new decoder) before it's ready for service.

I'm rather pleased with the result. I hope I've got the right look for a hard working loco during Edwardian times early in the last century. I have a pair of Class C's (LNER J25's) on the cards next. Oh and an A7, N10, J71, etc. etc.! I'm getting there, albeit slowly!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Dick Turpin

This has nothing to do with railways at all but I just felt the need to share!

Click here for a full review!
One thing which I believe everybody must do before they die is go and see the pantomime at York Theatre Royal!

Whereas many pantomimes seem to feature fading stars trying to prolong their careers the York Pantomime is a world away. With all due respect to the cast, their are no 'big name' stars but a regular core of actors who have appeared in it for years.

However for those who attend regularly Berwick Kaler is a star. And along with Martin Barrass and David Leonard, the ultimate villian, provides an evening which is unforgettable and immensely enjoyable. However once you have seen the York Theatre Royal's production, no other pantomimes will ever match it.

If you have never seen Berwick Kaler's Patnomime you're life will never truly be complete.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The Ultimate Library!

North Eastern elegance; Aerolite in the Main Hall of the National Railway Museum
I went to York today.

It must have been one of the clearest days I've seen for a long time. The Wolds were bathed in glorious winter sun and over the top of the Wolds you could see for miles and miles. York too was illuminated by the same intense winter sun. I popped to The Barbican Bookshop on Fossgate, which is an absolute gem of a bookshop! It's easy to loose track of time in there; their selection of new books is pleasing covering areas which mainstream book sellers wouldn't normally deal with. Their second hand section is very comprehensive and worth a careful look.

But if you're like me, no visit to York is complete without visiting the National Railway Museum. One of the recent additions to the museum is the Search Engine

The Search Engine and the view over the Great Hall.
It makes the NRM's archive easily accessible by all. At the simplest level this has seen a huge number of books being out on shelves allowing all visitors to browse through them. But further to this there are rooms available for meetings and research. Volumes upon volumes of railway magazines fill shelves in part alongside the books - for anyone with an interest in railways this is the ultimate library!

Saturday, 6 December 2008


I had a quick look at couplings recently. A friend and I have been debating by e-mail as to which couplings would be best to use for a future project. We've discussed the idea frequently over the last couple of years - a large 'modern-ish' layout in P4. Since we both work in the rail industry we should be at an advantage when it comes to getting details correct! As it currently stands we've not in a position to start any layout construction but careful planning is very easy when you have plenty of time!

Couplings may seem to be a low priority for some; indeed for some modellers they don't even think about it as they're quite happy with the couplings which come with their locos and stock. This is fine, but we not happy with tension lock couplings, and I don't think they're very 'finescale'! So what were the options?

  • Three link couplings
  • Kadee couplings
  • Sprat & Winkle couplings
  • Alex Jackson couplings

We discounted three links as being a bit too fiddly for exhibition use. Kadees are ultra reliable but are expensive and we felt don't look right on most British stock - though for the large EWS hoppers may provide a useful and prototypical solution. Alex Jacksons are brilliant in operation but require careful set up and maintenance - not something I'd fancy on a large fleet of wagons. We are considering using them on Botanic for stock which will be required to shunt the coal yard though.

The final option we have are Sprat & Winkle couplings. My dad and I have used them on Eastmoor for some time and have found them to be rather good. They are discreet and only work out at forty odd pence per vehicle. I hope you'll excuse the lighting in the photos - I was using the kitchen lights at my parents' house! At this time of year East Yorkshire seems to have a distinct lack of sunlight and when we did get it, it was snowing so not ideal for photography!

As you can see the coupling is quite small in its appearance - I used the 3mm scale/4mm 'finescale' version (AC3/3). The couplings are quite subtle too, when vehicles are coupled it is quite hard to see the couplings! As the following demonstrates -

I used 0,33 mm handrail wire for the coupling loops - it's quite thin but in this application will be fine. It's also near invisible to the naked eye when stock is viewed at 'normal viewing distances' - this is especially pleasing for diesel locos where a feature of models is the full compliment of bufferbeam hoses and jumper cables.

So we'll see how the small selection converted gets on before we make a final decision.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Western Brakegear - The Conclusion

Just a quick this evening.

The brakegear from yesterday assmebled and painted. I do think it's worth the effort and really adds to the character of the locomotive.

The buffer beam and valance needs to be properly refitted; I only fitted it for the photograph! With the brakegear in place, you almost don't ntoice any problems with cab! I'm rather pleased with the result!


I know I mention my work and employer from time to time here, but today was quite an important day for GrantRail. Today saw the announcement that we are now wholly owned by VolkerWessels. This is significant step for the company and could be the start of exciting times for GrantRail - I even gave up half of my annual leave for today to hear our CEO speaking about it at head office - that's dedication isn't it?!

If you want find out more about it click here for the press release.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Western Brakegear

This loco has been awaiting a solution for a while now. The plastic brakegear which is supplied by Heljan with their loco is quite poor really and once fitted is no where near the wheel treads! The loco is in 00, so the supplied brake gear may work in P4, but I haven't tried it with P4 wheels. Either way, whatever gauge is required I think this will look much better -

Heljan Class 52 Western with new etched brakegear.
I've begun to fit etched brakegear from Brassmasters. The detailing etches are intended to be used with the Lima Western but still provide useful parts for this example. It's not the easiest thing to fit to the Heljan model as the Heljan bogie base/keeper plate requires careful modification to remove the protrusions which cover the axle gear wheels. This leaves the bottom with holes which could allow dust and dirt in but thankfully the new etched plate for the brakegear covers the holes perfectly!

Friday, 21 November 2008

All in the details...

My office!
I haven't managed much of a contribution to any blog of late. As ever my big train set has taken up a lot of my time, so much that I found out that I have three weeks worth of holidays which I need to take before Christmas! So plenty of modelling time lies ahead. And I have a lot to do too! Varying from finishing off (finally!) the Class P1 for Botanic, which has been in a very-nearly-finished state for some time now, to finishing off brake gear on a Heljan Western using the parts from Brassmasters plus a few things in between!

Being slightly odd and looking forward to going to work, I tend to use my time out and about, as well as working, taking in the whole railway environment. So much so, that 'modern' layouts which don't have troughing routes present, for example, are really grating for me now! It does amaze me how little some modellers actually know about the railway - I'm still learning and I am aware just how little I know! But absorbing all this information makes me want to model things to a much higher degree of fidelity.

Have a look at the photo which accompanies this rambling post; first glance many people won't see anything other than a single track line. But look closer. Notice the signal in the background and the warning of a TSR (Temporary Speed Restriction)just in front of it. Heading back towards the photographer you'll see the troughing route winding its way along the line and the mileposts, both old and new. There's so much out there to inspire modellers, it's just a shame that so many miss it.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

A Multitude of Wagons

The eagle eyed among you may have noticed the complete lack of updates here recently! It's all been very busy recently - not helped by not having a my own transport. Thankfully my car is currently being repaired! The driver who hit finally admitting liability for it all. I've also spent a fair bit of time playing with the 'big trainset' at weekends which has seriously reduced anytime available for sharing my thoughts here.

Because of my lack of transport I haven't been able to assist with Botanic Gardens as much as I wanted too - however, I have used the time when I would have been there to good effect...

This shows just half of the current batch! This includes the original hopper I built, but I have retro-fitted it with the outside axle guards. The hoppers are a key part of the stock for Botanic so we'll need many more after these! But we're beginning to get somewhere with them.

One hopper was still without wheels at this point, but they'd be coming out for painting anyway. Another new item of stock can be seen in the photo too, a typical birdcage brake van from a Slater's kit.

I have carried out a few modifications to the underframe as the moulder solebars wouldn't allow Bill Bedford W-irons to fit. I'm going to replace the running boards as the plastic ones may, I fear, be too fragile for exhibition use.

My birthday a couple of weeks ago brought this very useful book -

Suzi knows exactly how to look after her railway enthusiast! It's an excellent book and highly recommended. It's also beginning to prove an invaluable source of information for wagons for Botanic. It's providing information for this project -

Those in the know will know what it is, but the rest of you will have to wait just a little bit longer!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Scaleforum 2008

Today the East Yorkshire Area Group of the Scalefour Society made the 500 mile round trip to Scaleforum. A trip which was a very enjoyable one! And I didn't actually confirm I was going until late last night!

One of the features of the this year's even was the Society's Diesel and Electric Layout Challenge. The selection was very interesting with some excellent entries. It was quite nice to wander around and see my locos running on various layouts too! One of the locos has featured here recently. 37 501 can be seen at the top and and in the photo below - the latter is courtesy of Tim Easter and seen on Si Bendall's rather nice layout, Ravenscroft.

Nice to see one of my locos in its intended role!

Also on show today, on Brian Hanson's stand was a truly magnificent model, a Deltic by Chris Pendelton using Brian's bits and featuring his new bogies! This model, more than any other shows the direction in which D&E modelling should be heading. It also highlighted one problem with a number of the D&E Challenge layouts; far too many had locos which had simply been rewheeled and very little else carried out. Is this really in the scalefour or finescale 'ethos'? I really don't think it is.

One layout which was very much in this 'ethos' is Longcarse West by David Furmage. It's a wonderful depiction of a run down and rationalised yard.

The layout has some delightful little touches, especially with its permanent way. The removal of one of the yard's turnouts is a particular favourite of mine.

And finally, one layout whcih is bound to become legendary is Jim Smith-Wright's Birmingham New Street. This was the first time I have seen it 'in the flesh' and even the size of just a third of it is very impressive! Jim may be mad to attempt such a project, but it is very impressive indeed!

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Getting Older

I think I'm starting to get old. I've found recently that I have spent a lot of what little spare time I have, often before bed, reading in the bath and other brief moments, reading books which cover the 'sectorisation' era of British Rail. In the same way my dad reads books about BR in the 'fifties and 'sixties, I too have found myself reading about what I remember from 'my youth'! In a couple of weeks I'm twenty five. Now for many who read what I post on here, I don't suppose that will seem old - it's not really I suppose, but a quarter of a century is a landmark nonetheless. I'm married and in my own house with a 'grown up' job! So life is pretty good! However, I do find myself thinking back to long summers and freight locos running around in many shades of grey.

To this end I have decided to satisfy this bout of nostalgia by building myself an RfD class 47. It won't be a high priority but should be something I can sort out and work on away from the workshop at home. I have a freshly stripped Lima 47 body all ready! For some, the use of a Lima model will, in itself, be a nostalgia trip!

It reminds me of one of the first diesel detailing articles I can remember, which appeared in ModelRail, before EMAP used the name for a totally different magazine... Andrew Donnelly was the author and he is responsible, I reckon, for so many people trying this diesel modelling lark. The articles were always well written and the models were superb. The other supplement in the photo was, as far as I can remember, the first article where I tried what was described in it!

Although the magazines are fifteen years old now, they are still a wonderful source of information for 'modern' modellers - of course when these issues appeared the subjects were very much current. There are, in some ways, 'of their time'. This isn't a criticism, but an observation, and very much a positive one at that. We are spoiled for choice with the parts we can get now - Brian Hanson's range of parts shows just how good we have it - but then diesel modellers were very much the poor relation and these articles show just how much was left to the modeller's own resources.

My 'nostalgia trip' 47 won't need too much in the way of extras, I will, however, make use of the Heljan Class 47 bits which can be had from Howes. I will of course update you when it makes any progress, though it will be taking very much a backseat as all things North Eastern are my current priority!

Friday, 19 September 2008


Life isn't always easy...

You may have noticed that I haven't updated my blog for a little while - it all seems to have been rather hectic recently! Someone ran into my car while I was waiting at traffic lights as I mentioned a little while ago. Accidents happen, but the other driver's dishonesty is making the process very slow (he gave false/inaccurate details at the scene but thankfully my insurers have traced him). Not having a car does make you realise how much you come to rely on them, especially with such irregular hours! Anyway, life continues, albeit in a slightly different way!

I've been catching up with a few things lately, one of which has been this -

It's based on the 'older' Class 56, a Dapol example in this case. It still requires handrails, windscreen wipers and couplings but we're just about there... The main work was the painting and weathering - something which can make or break a model. Very little is needed with this model, unless you want to rebuild the underframe details to add more depth.

I was very pleased with the contrasting roof panels, where the repaired panel's new paint stands out next to the loco's faded roof. Hopefully its new owner will like the result.

I find it strange how this 'old' model does far more for me than 'new' version which I described previously (though the 'new' model in triple-grey does look much better!). So maybe the old body on a new chassis would provide a nice combination with the right look and superb chassis and running qualities? Or perhaps I am just complicating matters?

Either way, there's still a lot of potential to assemble an accurate fleet of grids using bits from a whole variety of sources.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

B1 Progress

The B1 has come on ever so slightly, well a few of the castings are now in place.

I think the difference made by the new smokebox door is very noticeable - this is the 'face' of a steam locomotive, and it is where our eyes tend to be drawn. this is why it always pays to make sure that you get the door on straight! Hinges at angles can ruin an otherwise decent model.

Speaking of such things, another example is a wonky running board! The driver's side running board is at a slight angle - a wide angle lens doesn't help matters either! I found that the footplate had come loose from the boiler; at the moment it is all held together by screws, but I want to realign this area before it is finished.

That brings us up to date with this project; it isn't a high priority but it's quite a good one if I only have a few minutes spare!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

1968 and all that

It's forty years since BR finished with mainline steam. I had hoped to to see the recreation of the Fifteen Guinea Special, but sadly I was working and was unable to go.

The end of steam fascinates me, it has done for a long time. I would dearly love to model the end and give a true reflection of the motive power in use. So many books do give the impression that steam was everywhere 'til August 1968 and then all of a sudden it was diesels instead! Though it is understandable in books on the subject to focus on steam and not diesels in this instance!

There have been a few publications appearing recently to mark this fortieth anniversary, some quite general about steam in Britain, others look at not just the end of BR steam but the preservation movement, which whilst an important development for the scene as a whole, but they do rather dilute the issue in this case.

One publication, which is a 'magazine special' which WH Smith's have taken a liking to, is a superb piece by Alan Castle - Steam - The Grand Finale. It is subtitled as as a tribute to the men and the machines, which is a nice touch as the railway is all about people, and in many ways is what makes railways such a rich subject. The photos are superbly reproduced and for £7.99 is it superb value!

My only real criticism is that it is produced as a magazine when really, something to this standard should really have been a book - bound in a similar to the British Railways Illustrated and Railway Bylines annuals. For all the work that has obviously has gone into the publication, being a softbound magazine seems to cheapen it slightly. However, the fact that such a superb piece has been published is the main thing and I can't recommend it enough!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

More Waste Not Want Not!

It's been a little while since I updated my blog. I've not much modelling time this last week - lots going on at work, working most weekends on the Hull Docks branch and the situation wasn't helped by someone running into the back of my car when I was waiting at traffic lights!

Anyway, I had a bit of time to mess about with the B1, even if it was just a few minutes. I've taken some of the major components off ready for replacements to be fitted. You may also notice that the loco has acquired a set of Gibson bogie wheels - these were knocking about 'in stock'. Not sure why they'd be purchased originally, but they came in rather useful with this! The cost of the project is quite low, once the castings have been paid for there's very little else needed. Even the new buffers cost very little - the A7 I'm building for Botanic comes with a very nice set of sprung 'group standard' buffers which are perfect for the B1. The A7 doesn't need these as these are a later addition and 1126 will be as built. One thing which will finish the loco off nicely will be the etched brake gear which Mainly Trains produce - this is a huge failing with cast loco chassis when compared with newer offering. The presence of brake will really enhance the overall look of the model, without too much effort either!

My dad and I have had some discussion as to which B1 this should be; a few choices have been mentioned, all Hull engines, and we're thinking that 61306 may be the front runner... It was a Hull loco for most of its existence and worked on the York - Beverley line on the line's final day of operation too. However I've realised now that I'd have to sort out the electric lights and the generator too if this is the final choice!

The final decision on wheels may cost a bit extra - the loco works fine as it is, but the solid mazak wheels on the non-insulated side aren't ideal and need a lot of attention to keep them clean - plus it would be useful to have an electrically dead chassis in case Eastmoor becomes DCC at some point in the future. Gibson wheels would be nice and Markits do something that would suit the B1 I think... But I don't want to spend money for the sake of it, and Romford wheels do look OK on LNER prototypes providing you cover the axle nuts.

I do suspect that many people will think that this is a lot of fuss over an old model which does lack a lot of finer detail which we now take for granted, even on RTR offerings. My original post will say why I think it is worthwhile, but if compare these two castings and think of the difference it'll make to the 'face' of the model you'll perhaps see what I'm getting at! The difference between the two is huge! The original is on the right by the way...

The castings from Dave Bradwell are superb, as you can see. I'm looking forward to this project progressing. As always, I will let you know on here how I am getting on.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The Sleeping Giant

Cutting its way through the Beautiful Yorkshire Wolds and out into the Vale of York, the York - Beverley ran for just over a hundred years.

People who find their way to this site regularly will know of my huge interest in the line. It always fascinates me to see the remains, and how they can still have a huge prominence within the communities they served (see Stamford Bridge for more on this). However the line has also left us with some much less obvious. Just near Fangfoss, one section of the line heads across the relatively flat floor of the Vale of York. To the casual passer by all it will be is large hedge line separating the fields, but to those of us in the know it is much much more. At one former occupation crossing, the crossing gate posts still survive (above). If you walk onto the trackbed and look up the line, back to York, you can see exactly where the line was.

Quietly waiting for trains to return one day maybe? Well, you never know... but the line sits there as nature has slowly reestablishes itself.

Whereas Stamford Bridge and Pocklington are still obviously railway stations, just now devoid of track, other stations have settled down into their retirement. Londesborough station is just on the edge of its adopted village of Shiptonthorpe. With no hint of the former level crossing or, indeed, any former railway boundaries it is not obvious that this was once a station serving the local area. If you know where to look, it is easy to find and the architecture is unmistakable.

Further down the line at Market Weighton, the station didn't get the same easy retirement that others received, it is long gone and very little remains of the railway at this once important junction. A new devlopment which is just near the former station, Hundson Court, makes a link to the past. However on the site of the station, houses now reside where trains once ran. There's only one building which helps the observer indetify where the line once was.

They houses which were on the edge of the station site by the level crossing at the west end of the station - the line would have passed through the scene just in front of the photographer. However for most people, it will just be a pair of rather nicely proportioned cottages and not part of the railway which was once a huge part of the town.

Just a short distance away a small sign indicates that we're are at the start of the 'Hudson's Way' to Beverley which uses the trackbed between Market Weighton and Beverley - the journey is now, of course, on foot...

Friday, 1 August 2008

An Old Friend

Class 40, no. 343, as photographed by Jim Smith-Wright.
Sometimes models can take on a life of their own. One model which has featured briefly on here before was like that. It was a major rebuild of a Lima Class 40 which turned into an incredibly satisfying project where the result was extremely pleasing. It always seemed to get a good reception and good feedback.

In many ways, modelling a class forty has now moved on greatly (watch this space!!!) but somehow it still seems a real milestone for me. It did take on a life and identity all its own too, especially once it had sound! It seemed to cease to be a 'model I made' and become a little locomotive - if you know what I mean!

So with this in mind, you'll understand why I was so pleased to see a recent photo of the model. It was taken by Jim Smith-Wright and posted on the How realistic are your models? thread on RMweb. The result is amazing! Even if it more Jim's photography and photoshop skills that really bring it to life. I'm very pleased with the result.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Best RTR Diesel?

Over the last few years there has been an increasing amount debate about Ready-To-Run (RTR) locomotives and stock. Steam RTR has improved out of all recognition in recent years. Diesels have improved much more subtly.

There are, I think, three contenders for the best four mil' RTR diesel. My criteria for this is simple - the basic outline of the model does not require altering in order to provide a good likeness of the prototype - even the new Bachmann Class 37 needs some work in order to achieve this.

The first contender has to be the Heljan Hymek - it lacks some of the fine separately applied details which later models have but the overall appearance is absolutely spot on. Although the model still needs its headcodes and couplings fitting (both of which I've always fitted both at the very end of the process) it still looks completely 'right'. The designers were very much on to a winner with this one - something is just so right about the shape of the body. The only real issue is that the buffer beam valances are moulded in plain black plastic and require painting in order to get a result which looks right.

The Hymek just requiring headcoes and coupligs - even without these you can see that the overall look is spot and and very convincing.
For me one of the most convincing RTR diesels of recent years has been the class 66 from Bachmann - it captures the look of the common 'Shed' perfectly - I do think it can be hard to capture something with which people ares o familiar. In the same way the 16T mineral wagon captures the fifties and sixties railway scene, the class 66 is a key component of the post privatisation railway. Bachmann have done themselves proud with this and they created a perfect workman-like model which captures the shape of the class 66 perfectly.

Another key piece of motive power has to be the class 60; Lima did an excellent job in the nineties with their version of this type - however it was held back ultimately due to its old-style mechanism and lacking some of the finer details which we now like to have, but it did capture the look of a sixty very well indeed. However, when the new class 60 from Hornby arrived it immediately knocked the Lima model into touch. It looked right, had a whole host of separately applied details, opening doors, etched grilles, interior details behind the grilles, fully detailed cab interiors in fact everything one could hope for.

An example of the Hornby 60 - how things have changed - this is just how it came, with transfer changes and new wheels (EM). I weathered it for a friend of mine and the result is most pleasing.
The Heljan Hymek doesn't have opening doors, etched grilles, interior details behind the grilles nor fully detailed cab interiors. But I still think it's one of the best. When it goes past on a layout hauling a train, you can't open the doors anyway! I would always take a model which had the right shape and look to it over something with lots of 'extras' that doesn't look right. Hornby sixty's manages to fulfil both of these areas magnificently, but somehow, their Class 31 just doesn't do it for me. The Hymek doesn't have any gimmicks, but captures the look of the uniquely shaped prototype to perfection. This must, surely, but worth more than any number of opening cab doors? I'll leave it for the reader to decide...

Sunday, 27 July 2008


There's something special about Goathland station. Not that it's been on the television or featured in films, but something of the station itself - which may, of course, be the reason why producers and film makers have been drawn to the place. Of all the stations I know, it seems the archetypal North Eastern Railway country station to me. In East and North Yorkshire we are spoiled for choice when it comes to surviving North Eastern Railway structures, but the quality Goathland station is hard to beat.

The completeness of station is a big appeal for me - goods yard, goods shed, coal drops, all things which were once common at virtually every country station. The goods shed is now a cafe and tea room. This is an award winning project, and rightly so, which makes wonderful use of the existing buildings and facilities. All too often 'preserved' railways sacrifice things for the sake of making money. Now I realise that they have to make money to survive (all the 'enthusiasts' who turn up purely to take photos contribute very little) but sometimes things are lost for the sake of money. Here the goods shed has been used very cleverly - it's obviously a goods shed in appearance but also provides wonderful accommodation for visitors.

We were up at Goathland this last weekend - the weather was perfect and it wasn't too busy either. We had lunch in the goods shed too! My dad was pleased to have an excellent view of the K4 hammering up the bank towards the station - you get a grandstand view from the footbridge.

Finally, one last part of the station which I think has a charm about it; the signalbox. It's a classic little NER 'box, still performing its original function. It's lovely just sitting watching the signalman going about his duties in such surroundings. Definately worth a visit if you haven't already been.