Hall Royd Junction Signal Box Nameboard

Heaton Lodge in 7mm scale

In early December 2021 Simon George's 'Heaton Lodge' layout had its first public outing in Wakefield. The layout represents approximately 1.25 miles of a major junction on the Lancashire & Yorkshire's Calder Valley Main Line. The original pair of tracks were joined by what became the London & North Western Railway's line to Manchester via Huddersfield and Stanedge. The section of line eastwards experienced considerable congestion, for not only did it handle a considerable volume of traffic, but also had a multiplicity of flat junctions.

Simon was a keen trainspotter, and Heaton Lodge, even in 1983, was still seeing high levels of traffic, with passenger and freight services heading towards both Huddersfield and Sowerby Bridge. The layout starts in the west with Copper Bridge  station just off scene, and then crosses the River Calder before the lines from Huddersfield sweep in. In 1983 the underpass previous housing the New Leeds Direct Line tracks had been repurposed, and allowed trains from Huddersfield to pass under the Calder Valley and join the northern pair of tracks about quarter of a mile eastwards. The scenic part of the layout ends at the unclassified road overbridge, beyond which Mirfield loco shed was located on the northern side of the line.

Mr George was quoted by ITV News as saying: "I just wanted to recreate the place I used to go to as a child, being back in 1983 when Maggie was in No10 and Duran Duran were in the charts, so it is just an eccentric way of reliving my past." Although some of us might think that was a perfectly reasonable thing to do!

The layout utilizes some three miles of track and eight miles of cable and cost around £250,000.

The following images were captured on 7 December 2021, and are grouped by topic. Enjoy!

Bridges

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: River Calder bridges

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: River Calder bridges

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: underpass originally built for the Leeds New Line

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: underpass originally built for the Leeds New Line

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: Wood Lane underbridgs

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: Wood Lane underbridgs

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: Wood Lane underbridgs

Note the lit lamppost under the nearer bridge.

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: Wood Lane underbridgs

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: culvert and associated bridge

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: culvert and associated bridge

Note submerged items in the bed of the brook.

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: overbridge

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: view under the Mirfield overbridge

Not the clearest of shots, but taken through the curved Perspex protective barrier to prevent trains leaping into space as they enter the staging at the back of the layout.

Cameos

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cabinets

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Note illuminated headlight on the BR Bedford lorry.

Heaton Lodge 7mm scale layout: location cabinets by Calder bridges

Buildings

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: footbridge

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: PW hut

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cameo

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: factory

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: factory

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: factory

NB: Not sure about a Deltic on the Calder Valley via Todmorden but could be a train diverted from its regular route via Stanedge at this time.

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: ballast bin

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: coppice

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: cottages

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: relay room

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: Portacabin

Track

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: double junction with switched diamonds

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: pointwork

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: switched diamond detail

The realism of these two close up shots of the double junction in the centre of the layout is stunning: and this in a layout that keeps up detail over a considerable length.

Heaton Lodge 7mm model railway: track detail

Tree

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: tree

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: trees

Signals

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: signal gantry

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: signal gantry

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: signal gantry

Sewage Work

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: sewage works

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: sewage works

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: sewage works

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: sewage works

A bit of artistic license here as the sewage works is on the other side of the line.

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: lane

The lane forming the scenic break at the western end of the layout is fictional, but beautifully observed.

Staging

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: staging yard

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: staging yard

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: staging yard

This looks like the empty vans for the Heaton - Red Bank newspaper train but the BG and GUVs are still awaiting Simon's weathering to be applied.

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: staging yard

A view from the rear

One joy of this layout is that you can walk round it, and see what is happening in the staging.

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: rear view

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: rear view

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: rear view

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: rear view

The Calder Valley tracks: in real life this would be the site of Cooper Bridge station. The Low Moor Tramway, coming down from Ox Close and Hartshead, would terminate be behind the photographer at Three Nuns colliery!

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: wiring

I have included this rather undignified shot because people often ask about bus wiring. This is heavy duty and reflects the amperage that the fleet of sound fitted 7mm scale locos will be drawing.

Trainspotters

Heaton Lodge 7mm layout: three likely lads

So when Mrs George let her son out that fateful day, did she realize what a day's trainspotting might lead to?