“Private and not for publication”

For some time now I have been working on a project to write timetable for Mortimore’s Yard. Obviously much of the background was thought out long ago when the layout was first conceived, but this project has meant that much more of the detail has had to be worked out, much more “history” written and “geography” mapped out.

I’m gradually approaching the conclusion of the project now, and will hopefully soon be running the layout to the timetable, with a purpose, rather than just shunting trains and wagons about on a whim, or at best a vague idea of where consignments are travelling from and to.

As part of this project I have been trying to develop a few facsimile working documents, based on those used on the real railway, documents which were always branded with the severe instruction that they are “Private and Not for Publication”

So here is an extract of the appropriate Working Time Table:


There is still some work to do, besides a few conflicting movements over the single line, the layout of the timetable needs a few tweaks too. But I’m pleased with the overall look of it, although it’s best not to compare it too closely with the real things – Excel spread sheets have let me get this close, but a few style features aren’t quite “there”.

Having said that, a series of minor sidings on a network of decaying dock lines served by trip workings were unlikely to have a page in the Working Time Table book. More likely a locally produced version, hand crafted on a typewriter. I might change the style of mine, but for now I rather like the look of the “official” version.

Besides the Working Time Table, be it properly printed or locally typed and copied, another useful working document is that containing the locomotive diagrams. This contains very little detail of the actual timings, but has more detail of work between hauling trains, especially where trip working and shunting is concerned.

This document is much less developed at the moment, and indeed the timetable above has developed and changed since the prototype diagram book was laid out. But hopefully this gives and idea of what I am aiming for.

Trip Extract

Finally, it has been useful to work out what goes on at each of the private sidings and terminals around the area. This document was a one off and is part of the survey which was carried out before the implementation of the TOPS computer system in the 1970s.

TOPS pre-implimentation survey extract

Of course none of these facsimiles would be possible without sight of the real thing. I have managed to collect some original documents via a well-known on-line auction site, but a huge amount of information and equally large volumes of inspiration have come from the W.R. Freight Services in the 1980’s thread on RMWeb. This thread is fascinating to me, and while Mortimore’s Yard is set a decade earlier, the information Kevin Redwood and other railwaymen are willing to share with us in this way is extremely valuable. I am very grateful to those who give their time to record history for posterity.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2014

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