St. Neots Model Railway Club


Haven Yard

Haven Yard is a small freight facility that is part of the large rail complex that serves the Port of Boston in Lincolnshire. The 1970s see Haven Yard served by a morning and afternoon trip from Boston yard. The trip freights are usually in the hands of one of the local shunting locomotives. Although the yard itself is old and the infrastructure somewhat dated it still manages to cope with the traffic on offer. Not surprisingly agricultural products form the bulk of the freight in the form of fertilizer and animal feed ,but a local engineering firm who specialize in precision engineering receive rough castings and dispatch their finished product by rail in the vans that are regularly seen in Haven Yard. Haven Yard is the last port of call for the trip freight and traffic from the previous stop at Pilgrim Street in the shape of empty tank wagons and 16 ton mineral wagons can also be seen in Haven Yard . These wagons add variety to those at Haven Yard without actually having to model the facilities and potentially overcrowding the available space and of course they add to the shunting moves required when combined with the limits imposed by the cassette length. One gate of Pilgrim Street crossing serves as the scenic entrance to Haven Yard and the branch line is flanked by the backs of factory units on one side and Haven Yard on the other. It appears that a program of sleeper renewal is underway on the approach line. This is something I can relate to as it was the first job I undertook when I joined a B.R Permanent Way gang in 1990. If you have read this far you may have realized that this is a complete fantasy but if I have convinced you that Haven Yard existed then great ,if I didn,t then I hope you enjoy watching it .

The scenic part of the layout is constructed on an old control box which also acts as a stock box giving a scenic area of 21 inches x 10 inches .The cassette table adds another 21inches . Much use has been made of card kits for the main structures although they have not been built as intended. The factory units which form the back scene are an example of this Many of the wagon loads are also from card and I found them to be very effective. Tacky wax is used so that the loads can be changed or moved around depending on the nature of the traffic being depicted. The rolling stock is the normal mix of ready to run and kits. Figures are kept to a minimum and those that there are stand in non committal poses so as to avoid people running for non existent trains for example. Haven Yard is intended to be operated at eye level as I find this reduces the impact of its small size and the non scenic cassette table. No attempt has been made to separate the cassette table from Haven Yard by a vertical screen as I found it reduced the visible impact of the layout rather than enhancing it . Further scenic work on the cassette table in the shape of a view blocker at the front and warehousing at the back ,will I hope give yet more visual interest. Haven Yard sees constant development and I am always looking at ways to improve it both visually and operationally. I think that one of the best ways to judge the success or otherwise of a layout is to see how often you want operate it. With only the approach line and two sidings modeled you may think that operation is very limited , and for many people you would be right , but with a liberal dose of imagination and reliable stock and I have found that a very pleasant operating session can be and it,s so easy to set up. Digital control and the use of sound adds an extra dimension to the operation of what is after all a working diorama . As with any model railway project it is of course your own interpretation and I realize that it,s not a one size fits all hobby ,so what you see in Haven Yard or indeed what you don,t is something that suits me .No room for a railway? Try thinking outside the box or should that be on the box?.

Contact 01480 384518


SCALE 4mm to 1ft

GAUGE 18.83mm (P4)

SIZE 4ft x 1ft