Trenance

Trenance is a model of an imaginary joint GWR/SR terminus, which could have been built at this small North Cornwall town. The town is located on the coast north of Newquay and it is assumed that it gained an importance similar to Newquay and hence gained a GWR branch from the Par to Newquay line at St Denis Jn, past the airport at Newquay, together a route from Wadebridge on the Southern Railway, North Cornwall route from Okehampton to Padstow.

The layout has had an interesting evolution, originally planned to be a high level terminus in a much larger layout built on three levels. A house move to South Africa(!) prompted the dismantling of the original layout, but this section was retained and completed.

The station is a 3 platform terminus and features a canopy over most of the platform lengths. Although based on the Wills canopy kits, it has been substantially modified with brass supports and includes full lighting.

The goods yard includes a scratch-built goods shed including interior lighting located at the edge of the baseboard, allowing an easy view inside. The yard also features a number of sidings for loading and unloading traffic, with crane and coal staithes.

There is an oil terminal inspired by the one at Micheldever in Hampshire. The history behind this assumes that a naval refuelling point was established at Trenance during the 2nd World War. As a result this new facility was built together with the road bridge which spans the tracks at the station throat. Aviation fuel is also brought in to feed the airport at Newquay, assumed to have had an enhanced role during the war.

A locomotive yard is provided complete with Fleischman turntable, scratch-built engine shed and a water tank, based on the Dapol model.

As the main line curves round towards the fiddle yard, it passes an old wharf, no longer in use. A dismantled branch can be seen curving onto the wharf, replaced by the oil terminal. The line passes over a small bridge before disappearing under a footbridge before entering the fiddle yard.

The fiddle yard features the use of aluminium and wood cassettes for the storage of trains. This eliminates the need for a lot of track and pointwork in a fiddle yard and allows more stock to be stored in the space available.

The trackwork is all Peco Code 100, with some sections hand made from code 100 rail. Points are powered by SEEP point motors. Buildings are either scratch-built (e.g. the goods shed) or modified kits (e.g. the platform canopies). Internal lighting and layout lighting is fitted throughout the layout, although this may not be obvious at exhibitions. Scenics are mainly Green Scene or Woodland Scenics material over a plaster shell supported by aluminium mesh. The water features are created using a product called “Magic Water”. Buffer stops are also a feature with around 7 variations visible on the layout, either scratch built, from the Mainly Trains kits or modified Peco/Hornby versions.

The layout is signalled with working GW lower quadrant signals controlled from a signal box based on the Hornby model of Dunster signalbox (now located at Minehead on the West Somerset Railway).

The stock is mainly proprietary stock suitable for the South West appropriate to the period portrayed. Some is modified, rebuilt and all has been weathered. Unusual visitors may also be seen depending on the stock provided by the operators today.

Control of the layout is conventional DC using either Pentrollers or H&M Walkabout controllers. The control panel features route setting indicators, which, as an operator energises a section of track, reflect the route set up. This is achieved by the use of locking relays inside the panel. There are 3 controllers with the aim of keeping trains moving as much as possible during an exhibition.

Since the first exhibition in 2010, the layout has been the subject of a continuous evolution to improve the operation and appearance. Examples of changes are:
• New control panel which now also indicates which of the 3 controllers has been selected
• Replacement signals from brass and MSE parts
• The wall behind platform 1 has been rebuilt lower to allow uncoupling access
• Telegraph poles added
• Replacement trees fitted
• Wider fiddle yard boards built
• Permanent way hut and surrounding area included

A timetable has been created for the layout which combines services from Par and Padstow to provide a mix of Western and Southern trains. The layout is operated to a sequence based on the 1956 timetable for a summer Friday and Saturday. Services from Par are a duplicate of those trains from Par to Newquay, either portions off through trains, or independent local trains. Services from Wadebridge are portions or independent connections from Exeter line trains or extensions of the Bodmin to Wadebridge/Padstow service.

The layout appeared in the May and December 2010 editions of the Hornby Magazine.

An exhibition data sheet for Trenance is available in pdf format.

Photos of Trenance and construction of a stock tray.

Click on a photo for a larger image.