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Hawthorn Dene



Hawthorn Dene

The layout is set on the North Eastern Region’s Durham Coast mainline, somewhere around Easington at the start of the sixties.  The old Hawthorn Dene Colliery no longer winds coal.  Its winding gear has been removed but the washery and screens are still in use, mainly preparing household coal for merchants and for the nearby landsale yard.  Waste is still sent to be tipped on the beach, both by conveyor belt and aerial ropeway.  Indeed “Get Carter” will be filmed in a few years’ time at Blackhall, a few miles to the South.

Buildings are typical of the area.  The underbridge is based on the one at Easington Colliery- the different parapets are a result of a partial rebuild, possibly following a derailment.  Other local features have been incorporated, though the total is a representation rather than a specific real place.  Structures are a mixture of ready-to-plant and kitbuilt, chosen to fit the location.

Control is digital, a pair of NCE Powercabs running the layout, though all pointwork is manual.  The working signal is by Dapol and is really an excuse for sound-fitted locos to stop and show off!  Locos are mainly ready-to-run by Dapol, Farish and Union Mills, the exceptions being the colliery Peckett and the Tyne Dock O1 class, which are “bitzas” on Farish chassis.  Most locos have been renumbered to represent local examples and weathered- Gateshead shed’s finest were often uniform grey with unreadable numbers.  Rolling stock is the usual mixture of r-t-r and kits, again with a deal of weathering as appropriate.

Featured in Railway Modeller, August 2015, and BRM Spring 2016.

Winner of the Millholme Cup for Most Authentic Layout at Nottingham East Midlands Exhibition 2015

Winner, best 2mm/N layout, Bristol 2017