Chris Burch's Model Railways


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My first exhibition model fits on a B&Q chipboard shelf, 4 ft x 9 inches. (Another 9” shelf, this time 3’6” long, serves as a hidden siding to take the trains waiting to arrive at Kirkagnes.) The name is pinched from Kirkoswald (on the Settle-Carlisle line), and honours St Agnes', my parish church for many years in Leeds. The layout was first exhibited at the Leeds show in 1996, just after we had moved to Coventry. After years of gathering dust (literally) Kirkagnes appeared at four local shows, in Braunstone (Nov 2009), Lutterworth (May 2010), the Leamington N Gauge Show (Sept 2010) and Hinckley (Oct 2010). It's small and simple, but others have said it is elegant. Kirkagnes has now been sold, but the pictures will remain on this site. Its last exhibition with me was at Corby on 8th and 9th October 2011.

The story...
The tramway was originally built (supposedly) to transport workers and materials to the site of a new dam for a reservoir. The villagers of Kirkagnes, just over the watershed (in the Eden or Lune valley?) seized the opportunity and gained access to the East coast. Gradients were steep, curves tight and trains correspondingly short. The station boasts a Settle and Carlisle station building and goods shed (courtesy of Metcalfe), a sheep dock (it's too high up for cattle) and a coal siding, the domain of “Aldrick's Coal and Coke Merchants”. (John Aldrick, N Gauge modeller at the Leeds MRS, has taught and helped me for years.)

So the only trains are an occasional 1-coach passenger train, a 3-truck sheep train and a 3-truck pick-up goods train. The latter gives the most fun – if you like shunting, that is. We ask spectators how many times the loco has to move up and down the line to shunt the station. Almost nobody guesses the answer, which is 36.

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