Melbridge Dock
Rolling Stock

If there is one thing this layout has too much of, it's rolling stock. 

Most of the locomotives are built from kits. Partly this is due to the fact that I enjoy building them but also because as a visitor to a show I want to see models that have been built, not just pulled out a box and stuck on the layout. Anyway, very little appropriate to a dockyard setting is available ready to run so if a new locomotive is required, out comes the soldering iron and off we go...



My first finished scratch built locomotive. All nickel silver except for whitemetal dome & chimney and some plastic detailing (sandboxes, toolbox and brake gear). I know this isn't a perfect model, but I'm happy with it. Mashima motor and very small gearbox drive Romford Wheels.

ex-LNER Z5

Crane shunter

Southern Crane Tank

A South Eastern Finecast white metal kit with etched chassis. Having always wanted a crane tank, when this appeared on the stand it just cried out to me. An easy kit to put together my only complains would be that the the tiny wheels mean a low gear ratio (around 20:1) and the overhung whitemetal cab results in poor weight distribution.As much lead as possible had to be packed into the front end to stop the loco doing "wheelies" !

ex-LNER Y3 Sentinal

A Crownline kit which runs on a Tenshodo SPUD. This needs plenty of lead to give it weight and even then the running qualities are a bit too "startled rabbit" for my liking. Officianardos will realise that it is a Y3 because of the extra vents on the sides.

ex-LNER Y3

ex-LNER Y7

ex-LNER Y7

This Steve Barnfield etched kit was actually build by the man himself. At the time I was replacing all my stock thanks to someone helping themselves to the old stuff from the back of a van the layout was traveling in. To be awkward I insisted on painting the model even though that's what Steve is known for. The model is Mashima powered and has a compensated chassis but runs no better than the similarly equipped 02 diesel.

ex-LNER Y8

Probably the oldest kit on the layout, this K's model was bought just after I started to get serious about the hobby. It then sat for years in a drawer as I couldn't find a suitable set of gears. Eventually Autocom came to the rescue with a new etched chassis and gear set. The loco normally handles the passenger train which is why it's cleaner than anything else.

ex-LNER Y8

L&Y Pug

ex-L&Y Pug

There is no more classic dockside prototype then the "Pug". My Dapol model has a blast deflector fitted as seen on Liverpool's system where the locos worked under the overhead railway. To be honest, everyone has one of these so it doesn't see much action on the layout but it's still a nice model.

ex-LNWR Dock Tank

I can't remember where this kit came from but I think London Road Models now sell it. A whitemetal body on a nicely detailed etched chassis, the model went together well. Sadly the radial truck is a bogie on the model and doesn't like one of our sharp curves.

Dock tank

ex-LMS Dock Tank

ex-LMS Dock Tank

Mercian Models etched kit. Not the easiest model build in 4mm scale but it looks fantastic. All the waggly bits work and after quite a bit of tinkering it's a very nice runner. A big prototype which dwarfs many of the other models, it's certainly imposing on the layout.

I've built another example and written it up on my blog.

ex-GWR Dock Tank

This model was rescued from a second hand stall as a non-working model. I stripped it down and rebuilt the K's body. The chassis is my first 4mm scale scratchbuilt flexi-chassis.

More details of the build can be found on my blog.

ex-GWR 1361 Class

Industrial Garratt
Industrial Garratt

An etched brass kit from Backwoods Miniatures. Two motors and complicated gearboxes just fit in the ends. This is my favorite prototype and although the kit was time consuming to build I did enjoy it. We even shunt the layout with it occasionally although it is not a regular performer. One of the real locos DID work Cardiff docks so this is not as daft as it may initially seem.


I got fed up with kids identifying an Avonside 0-4-0 on the layout as "Percy" from the Rev Awdry railway stories and decided to build a proper one. That loco is now on my model of the Hellingly Hospital Railway but we still have this to entertain the youngsters.

Percy is based on a Hornby model but with the mechanical parts replaced. A Mashima motor with flywheel drives a Branchlines 2-stage gearbox. Romford wheels and Gibson cross heads complete the mix. Annoyingly it is a superb runner and shunts beautifully.


02 Shunter

BR 02 Diesel

A Craftsman etched brass kit. The prototype was designed to be turned on a wagon turntable and replaced the famous L&Y "Pugs". A Mashima motor and Branchlines gearbox make this a sweet runner. If ever there was a beginners etched brass kit, this is it.

BR 03 Diesel

A slightly detailed (flush glazed, lamps, new horn) Replica Railways model. Traditionally this takes care of the first train of the day onto the layout.

03 shunter

04 Shunter
BR 04 Diesel

Not a kit this time but a detailed Bachmann ready to run model. There wasn't a lot to do to this apart from replacing handrails at the front, giving the rod a bit of depth at the back and replacing the air tanks as the prototype I was modeling had vacuum ones.

BR 06 Diesel

A Judith Edge kits etch brass model. Nice kit although the half-etched location lines for the chassis spacers might have been nicer as slots and tabs. The jackshaft was a pain so I fitted a Romford axle and bodged it a bit. You can't see the result behind the steps though so no-one cares.

06 Shunter

07 shunter

BR Class 07 Diesel

Built from a Craftsman etched brass kit and powered by a Portescap motor & gearbox. A very nice kit that is easy to build and VERY appropriate for the layout as the real things were the shunters for Southampton docks. The motor is fine if a little whinny. I have never used another one as they are so expensive and a decent motor and gearbox set will give results as good.

BR Class 08 Diesel

A slightly detailed Bachmann model. The doors have hinge straps (now available RTR but not when I bought this model) and the rods have been replaced with the much nicer etched versions. Whilst an annoyingly good runner, the model is too big for the layout. It towers over most of the other locomotives !

08 shunter

Clayton (Class 17)

BR Class 17 Diesel (Clayton)

This whitemetal kit from Dave Alexander is the most popular models on the layout. To be honest it rarely leaves the safety of the display box but it's not totally inappropriate for the model as they were designed to be able to shunt with one of the engines switched off. A friend who remembers the class has advised that I need flame marks on the louvers as they weren't known for reliability...

Planet Diesel

This Nonimenstre whitemetal kit was built because I fancied doing a 7mm scale version and couldn't get my hands on a plan. I never did built the larger model. Maybe one day. Anyway, power comes from a SPUD which has had Romford wheels fitted. This involved packing the axles a little to get smooth running.

Planet diesel

Fowler Petrol engine

Fowler Petrol locomotive

"Tich" is a Branchlines etched kit for the ex-LNER locomotive. The model is driven on one axle by a Mashima motor. The other is compensated to give the best chance of running. Although it does run and shunt, operation is usually limited to hauling things out of the permanent way siding when the operator has over-filled it.

Ruston 48DS

The smallest loco in the fleet, this is made from a TAG models etched kit fitted to a SPUD. It's not the greatest runner even with a bonnet full of lead. At some point the model is due for re-painting and detailing to match a period advert on the front of a booklet.

Ruston 48DS kit

Barclay diesel

WD Barclay Diesel

Mercian Models kit. The prototype was the first loco hauled up the French beaches during D-Day. More details on my build of this model can be found on my blog.

As a general rule, all the locomotives have Romford wheels, although some RTR ones have kept their originals where they are near enough the correct profile.
Construction is carried out using a mix of soldering and superglue. I am not the worlds best solderer and so the big bits tend to be assembled this way but the smaller detail items are attached with "Zap-a-Gap" superglue.

Please e-mail me if you have any questions.To read about my latest projects, visit my workbench blog.