Leeds Weeklyn Hill MPD

A 1960's Steam/Diesel shed set in the heart of Leeds


This is where we will report on new locos, layout improvements, up and coming show previews and reports on shows we have done.

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Layout Repairs and Bachmann 2012 Announcements

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

We are currently in the middle of a quiet spell in the layout booking season (between late Jan and mid-May we have no shows) so this has given us time to tweak a few little problems that occured at the last show. The main casualty was 2 point stopped firing when instructed. Thankfully spare ports on the Lenz deoders allowed a quick movement of wires which saw the points back in use. Untill we can cure this 100% we have made the changing of wires easier on the decoder ports to reduce down time at shows.

The only other changes now are mainly scenic, namely finishing off some of the figures that need painting.

However the main news on the shed front is the new Bachmann 2012 release list. Once again Bachmann have rewarded us with more locos suitable for Leeds (see http://leedsweeklynhill.webs.com/apps/blog/show/8595941-show-rosters-home-or-away-team- for previous comments on the matter) with a Midland 4F and LNER J11 "Pom Pom". The 4F's really are one of the typical locos needed at Leeds so it is fair to see I am looking for someone who can supply me with a pallet's worth of these! Whilst some J11's were stationed at Copley HIll so they would have appeared at Weeklyn Hill.

Couple that with the return of the WD 2-8-0 and the Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2T both now fitted with a decoder socket and Leeds Weeklyn Hill will be supporting Bachmann well in the future. Suppose it is fair to say that praise given to the manufacturers will bring rewards, do not slag them off as you never know what that might do!

Show Preview - Bishop Auckland & new locos

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Hi folks - we are back on the road again! This time a short hop across town to the Bishop Auckland Scouts Hall for their now annual show. We are on of 4 layouts in attendance including a model based on Bishop Auckland itself.

A whole host of new locos have joined our line up in the last few months - 5 were chipped this morning in fact. As there is so many rather then write a blog for each one I will list them all here.

D6711 - Bachmann Hornby Magazine Ltd. edition with a Howes sound chip

34051 - Hornby Bullied Light Pacific fitted with a Howes sound chip. This loco is quite iconic as it pulled Winston Churchill's Funeral Train almost 47 years ago to the day of the show.

43474 - Bachmann 3F 0-6-0 fitted with a Howes Jinty sound chip

43762 - Another 3F with a Jinty chip. These 0-6-0's were the iconic Midland workhorse, well liked by crews and good steamers now available thanks to Bachmann. Just what we need for our frieght workings.

44871 - Hornby Black 5 with a Howes sound chip. One of the 3 Black 5's to work BR 15 Guineau special on August 11th 1968 (45110 and 44781 were the others) this loco grows our fleet of Black 5's to 3 - getting to an acceptable level now.

60093 - Hornby A3 with Howes sound Chip. A Carlisle based loco which would have worked over the Settle Carlisle taking trains such as the Thames CLyde in and out of Leeds.

72005 - Hornby Clan with Howes Britannia sound chip. Another Carlisle engine to improve our ties with the border city. Another welcome addition to the roster.

With these locos joining the ranks we are now in a position to select locos for each show so we can keep changing the roster. Do keep checking us out at shows as the fleet will most likely change again.

Behind the Scene's One - Pre Show Admin work

Posted on January 8, 2012 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

As 2012 is now upon us and the final prepaerations for the lines next show are mainly minor painting of figures and scenics. I thought I would try something new this year to keep the website updated and write some blogs about how we go about things before a show arrives. One of thethings that most appeals to me at shows is what is in the hidden sidings orstorage yard of the layout, I like to see what is there and how it works -sometimes even more then the front of the layout. Therefore it seems only fairI gave you all an insight into how our layout works and what we do and why.

The first thing we do is the boring admin work. You may not believe itbut a lot of work on a computer goes into this layout before a show takes place- this is not calculating pay figures for operators or anything like that it ismore the selecting of which locos to take to the show and how the sequence orthat show will pan out.

The first starting point is the selecting of locos, we have a fleet ofapprox 40 locos available based purely on sound fitted locos that had a (slim in some cases) chance of appearing at Leeds in 1960. However the line will if full to capacity hold 23 locos in the storageyard, 9 locos in the steam shed and 6 locos in the diesel shed. Obviously we want to keep some spaces free in all areas so we can move stuff around withou thaving to adopt a "one in, one out" policy all day as no shed in real life would be like that. Therefore you are talking about a max of about 35 locos for any one show.

The first job is to check out the show and see what links we might have to it. For example this year we are doing Middleton Railway in Leeds show so the first loco on the list for the roster will be BR Y1 Departmental 54 (not on our Weeklyn Hill database yet but now Howe’s do a sound chip for one it will be added) or if the show fell on a certain weekend (e.g. remembrance Sunday) we would try to find locos that mark that weekend to add to the roster.

The next set of locos to be selected will come from what would be the “home” team namely locos that were allocated to Holbeck, Copley Hill and Neville Hill,it is likely these will take strong preference over other locos as they would actually have been seen on shed. Finally the locos available from other sheds are whittled down to leave us with a fleet that will not overfill the yards.Those locos that did not make the cut might still appear if one of the selectedlocos fails and we can replace it in time.

Once all locos have been selected for operation the next stage is to decidewhat starts out on shed and what is out on trains. Normally the railways wouldbe mainly freight at night and passenger in the daytime, so we would start witha couple of express passenger locos on shed along with the local suburban tanklocos, with all our freight engines waiting to come in.

Now comes the tricky part – the sequence. We do not operate to a timetableas I personally feel that if you try to stick to a timetable at a show you canend up with problems whereas a simple sequence can take as long as you want toplay out and then you can go back to the beginning. The sequence has to involveall locos coming on and off shed in one “24 hour” session, however it is morecomplicated then just saying loco “X” on, loco “Y” off.  There is a limited space on each line at anytime so all movements have to be able to work.

Sadly we do not have the space to set up the layout and plan a full sequencebefore any show (the roster will change for each show so the sequence has to aswell) this is where the computer comes into play.


The above photo is a screen shot of a simple Excelspreadsheet which we use to plan all our movements, each line in the shed hasan individual line on the sheet with the correct number of spaces for locosallocated to it (the red squares are to stop us allocating more locos to a linethen we have space for)


Now all we have to do is plan each movement by inputting each loco number onto the sheet against the appropriate movement, as thesequence plays out on the computer the locos will move from the entrance roadto the coaling tower, then to the disposal road and finally onto shed (ifsteam) or the diesel fuel line and then the shed (if diesel) before they departagain later in the sequence. If a loco stays in one spot whilst the currentmovement occurs the loco will not move on the computer model.


While this is going on the sequence is typed into MicrosoftWord in a table format which will be printed off, each movement cut out and glued into the movement sequence card index book.


This allows up to check we have all locos planned. Inaddition we can be sure no loco will try to complete an impossible move (eitheronto a full track or driving straight through a loco in its way). The finalcheck is to see that the final movement in the sequence correlates to the startpoint so we are ready to flip over and start again.


Once this is complete the admin side of our preparations aredone and we can move onto the prepping the locos, this will be in part 2 of our“behind the scenes” guide.

Shed Update Four - Lights, Camera, Action in One Month

Posted on December 21, 2011 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Sorry it has taken a long time to upload these but hopefully they are worth the wait as here are the first views of the steam shed board in its lighted condition.


An overall view of the shed with shed, yard and street lights all light up. The shed is lit with Skaledale lighting (I am sorting out the guide as to how i did it at the moment). The yard lights are once again 12volts DC lights whilst the street lights are Viessmann lights.

Also to be seen are some of the new water cranes, this time we have 1 BR version to join the 4 Midland versions on site - I am sure some shed must have had some water cranes replaced whilst still keeping other older versions in use. The ramp that leads down from Brewery Lane that used to go nowhere now leads into the shed as a workers entrance whilst the previous hole in the fence has moved up the panel and is now bigger thus allowing kids a better chance of sneaking in undetected.


A view down Brewery Lane at night, must be late as there is not a soul around and all the house lights are off. Since this shot was taken we have purchased some zebra crossing beacons from Layouts4u which will be fitted on the crossing at the far end thus adding another source or lights to the scene.


A view from across the yard looking towards the public viewpoint, as can be seen we have added point levers next to the points to improve on the detail.



Now we move onto the diesel shed, this shot shows the latest overall progress with the board, ballasting is done with the excellent Knightwing tanks and fuel delivery point in position on the fuel road


A better view of the fuel tanks with the school behind, the school is a Metcalfe station made into a half relief building to match the rest of the street. The yard will be covered with a sheet of tarmac style paper with a football pitch and hopscotch patch painted on. The school is going to feature cameo's based on Greybridge School from BBC's Ripping Yarns so look out for a bear wrestling kids and the hopping contest winner.


The other end of the street scene, as with Brewery Lane the lights are Veissmann. To add some colour we have fitted Harburn Hobbies plant features to a small park between the road (Noch Roadways) and the shed.


Back to the middle of the board, this shows to good effect the excellent Knightwing fuel tanks, behind can be seen the new War Memorial (this is also Harburn) which looks a lot better than the old Hornby version we had. We now have a bike outside Arkwright's so watch out for Granville coming soon.


The new length of street brought new shops and with it more comedy roots explored. We now have Jack Jones the Butchers, Hodges the Greengrocers, James Fraser the Undertakers (all Dad's Army) and Green Midget Cafe (Monty Python Spam Sketch). As there was no backdrop in the Metcalfe kits we liked we took matters into our own hands. Just visible inside the cafe is a screenshot of the actual sketch - although the public will never see it it is nice for us to know it is there.


Another of the new features is a phone box, this is from Layouts4u which has a working light inside. The figure was a suggested addition by them to hid the wires to the top of the box.

Finally, the layout has now been moved to the attic for the Xmas period and given the fact that the only jobs left to do are minor jobs such as painting of figures there will not be any real updates on this thread now until the layout has been assembled in its entirety (for the first time since it has been "Finished") at Bishop Auckland Scots Show on the 20th January. Therefore I would like to thank you all for your support over the last year - it has been a pleasure to show the layout off to so many people and we are looking forward to going back out on the road and meeting more of you in 2012.

Finally I wish you all a merry Christmas and a Happy new year and hope that the jolly red suited man brings you all the model railway products you want - in fact he is delivering new goodies to Leeds right now.

These new diesel's aint all Duff, in Fact they are the Peak!

Posted on November 25, 2011 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Just to show it is not all hard work on the line, 2 new locos have been accepted into traffic by the Shedmaster.

First up we have Class 45 Peak number D27, this loco started her working life at Leeds and would have been a common sight on trains such the Devonian and Thames Clyde displacing the Jubilee's - although rest assured Kholapur and Drake are safe. This loco has a Bachmann sound chip fitted to it and provides us with some much needed diesel fleet expansion to make good use of the new diesel shed.

Following hard on D27's wheels is D1572, another Leeds based engine this time from the more common class 47 fleet. This loco would been a daily sight in the area untill its transfer to Tinsley but even then it porbably would have still come home. This loco has been fitted with a Howes sound chip which really brings this loco to life.

Both these loco's will be taking there place on the roster with the hope of making their first runs at Bishop Auckland show in January. Watch out for more new locos joining the fleet before then.

Shed Extension Update Three. Making light of the subject

Posted on November 19, 2011 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Time to let you all see the latest progress on the layout, first of all we start with the steam board...

All track work and electronics is complete, as are the concrete foundations ofr the shed, coaling tower and ash plant. The ramp that was at the back of the board leading into the town behind now leads into the shed as an offical route for staff to arrive on site. The back scene has also been completed with the same method as before - Gaugemaster sky with Peco town stuck on top. This provides some depth to the backdrop and also uses the better sky of Gaugemaster along with Peco's town (one of the few close up town scene's on the market).

The water tank that was at the back of the shed has now moved to infront of the double slip to hide the point motor, this should allow the addition of 2 clock faces to the tank, Holbeck shed had this and I have seen a photo of at least one not working so different times can be shown.

Now we look at the diesel shed...

This board also has its track complete with the concrete foudations for the shed and fuelling point complete, since this shot was taken the backscene for this board has also been finished and one other addition has been added...

We now have working lights! The shed has working lights meant for a coach (but they work well in the shed) and the yard has traditional yard lamps. These same yard lamps are also getting fitted to the steam board whilst the steam shed also has Hornby Skale Lighting fitted - look out for a guide on how to do this in the future. Although it was a lot of work to fit the lights we do feel it makes a big improvement to the quality, just a shame at shows they will not be overly visible.

Shed Extension Update Two. Relieving Tension

Posted on November 6, 2011 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Contrary to the lack of updates on here progress is being made, just not very quickly. This time last year we were trying to do jobs too quickly to get more work done and I think in the long run this cost us with the poor running quality we experienced so this time work is going at a slower pace to ensure quality.

We have now finished all the point motors and the track has been painted rust on the edges to tone down the shine. But the biggest improvement has been the fitting of Kadee couplings to the freight wagons and locos that will pull and shunt the wagons. These couplings not only look more realistic than the traditional tension lock couplings but they are easier to uncouple and recouple. The uncouplers allow wagons to be uncoupled and then pushed back to the desired spot, plus being hidden under the board the magnets do not detract from the scenics.

The only drawback is the metal wheels are attracted by the magnets and this can cause wagons to uncouple when not needed or recouple when trying to leave them behind but we are working on solving this problem. I would recomend them to anyone thinking of fitting them to their layout.

The fitting of the Kadee's has marked the completion of the trackwork and now it is time for scenic work to begin, starting with working lights in the yard, streets and shed.

Shed Extension Update one.

Posted on October 17, 2011 at 12:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Just under 3 weeks after announcing the extension  was under contstruction we have our first photos to show off.

Here we  see the deisel shed board showing the 2 shed lines (front left), the 2 diesel fuel line (rear left), the diesel fuel delivery line (rear right) and the steam loco cleaning road (front right) this line comes off the main board where the original diesel fuel line was.

Diesel shed in place compelte with 2 locos testing it out.

Diesel fuel delivery line complete with 2 test wagons and silos in place.

The diesel fuel line with fuelling facility in place and one loco on gauging tests.

All this work that has made this board get to this stage has put the steam shed board to shame so we have discarded the old one and made a brand new one to replace it, all points are now Peco Streamline which will improve the flow of the locos and the main movment line is straight as opposed to weaving about.

The shed storage lines have gained some length but the coaling tower sidings and disposal roads are now shorter. However the disposal road has gained an ash plant which will make up for length in giving something else to look at scenically.

More updates here when we have something to show.

Extension is go!

Posted on September 28, 2011 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The previously announced plans (see "All gone quiet?" blog) have been approved for work to commence and the following track plan drawn up to show the work to be undertaken.







The headshunt where trains reversed into the shed has gone, in its place is another 3 way point sending engines into either one of the 2 roads in the diesel shed or down into the fuelling area. In the fuelling area is a double slip to allow access to either of the 2 fuel lines or reversal into the heashunt for deliveries of diesel to the silos.




This extension will allow the diesels to move out of the other shed and away from all the soot, dirt and grime of the steam engines as well hopefully making it more interesting at shows.

The work is planned to take place between now and January when the lines next public outing occurs, please do pop along to Bishop Show if you can to see the work undertaken.





Show Rosters, home or away team?

Posted on September 13, 2011 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Whilst reading the latest Model Rail Magazine I noticed intheir review section it said the forthcoming Bachmann green 47 (D1572) wasdelivered new to Holbeck in 1964. This set me thinking, first of all that isanother loco and sound chip to buy and also that Bachmann must either:-

a)     Like Leeds as they keep doing Leeds engines.

b)     Like me as they do engines I want/need.

As it turns out the head of Bachmann is from Leeds so the answer is a. Since April this year we have seen a 24 (D5100), 45 (D27), 47(D1572) and Jubilee (45659 Drake) where the subject’s were Leeds based, this isin addition to at least 2 jubilee’s and probably numerous other locos in the last few years. With this in mind I am in the enviable position of filling Weeklyn Hill with engines that would have actually graced the shed if it had existed.

This then turned me to my next thought, just how much of the roster should be home based locos? During any working day a shed would befilled with home engines and visitors constantly coming and going about theirbusiness.

At shows we tend to start off with the shed full of Leeds based locos ready to start their day, at the start of a sequence we get freight loco’s arriving off their night time trains as the tank engines and shunters go off to work the local trains/shunt the yards. Then the express loco’s start to move off and arrive having brought trains down from London before the sequence goes (roughly – not all locos go out in the same order as they came in) backwards ending up with all engines back where they started.

Based on this logic the Leeds engines should not really turn up during the day much as it should be locos from outside the area that come in. However the prospect of a varied “home team” is tempting to allow rosters to change between shows or perhaps even have a roster full of Leeds engines.

What do people think? Should we have lots of Leeds engines or should the locos be from as many other sheds as possible or even lots of both?