Station building

Until recently I thought I had the plans for the station building sorted, but looking through some of my books changed that.

Lets recap for a second. The HLR was proposed by a group of wealthy London businessmen who also ran the locomotive manufacturer Dick Kerr. The documents I found at the National Archives stated that they were to help fund the line’s construction and that they’d agreed with the North British Railway to take on the provision of stock and to operate the line.

Previously I’d thought of building a small West Highland Line style building, like those at Banavie or Glenfinnan (see photo below), when actually the NBR wouldn’t have been involved in the building construction. So this design is quite unlikely.


So I revisited the documents from the original plan for platforms and station buildings. There seems to have been no requirement for any shelter at all!


It seems a little harsh to expect passengers to stand in the cold weather of a Scottish winter, so I decided to look at cheaply constructed buildings. I’ve always liked the Welsh Highland Railway, and have a soft spot for the station building at Beddgelert, so something like this seemed ideal.


I’ve fancied a bit of kit bashing for a while, so here are the ingredients;

  • A Wills station platform building
  • A Wills wayside station building
  • Some South East Finecast corrugated iron sheet
  • Evergreen strip

The building kits are widely used, with many 009 layouts making use of the platform building as a halt, so I thought it would be an interesting challenge to see if they could be made into something less easily recognisable.


I used the two lots of wall sections in a slightly different order to normal, only one needing chopping down in length to suit.


The door mouldings all represent doors that are shut, but I always think it adds a little bit of life to some buildings to have doors partly ajar, or someone coming through them. So I cut the mouldings about to enable this. The narrow door moulding didn’t make it easy for it to be glued open with much support, so I cut some of the sprue moulding off and used this to make a more rigid joint.


The gents from the wayside station kit was added to the up end of the building, and the two building sections were glued to the timber planked bases from the kits to add some rigidity. One of these was shortened by 4 planks to allow an overlap under the walls of the larger portion of the building to make it stronger.


One of the first decisions I made to alter the appearance was to avoid using either of the roof mouldings from the kits, and substitute them for corrugated iron. This meant I had to build a new roof base to glue the panels to, so I used some L section strip glued inside the walls to form a rigid support at the apex of the roof.


Some plain plasticard sheet was added over the L section, and the weatherboards, guttering and downpipes from both kits were added.


Individual panels of corrugated iron were cut from the SE Finecast sheet and added overlapped with each other, but this just looked wrong as there was too much of  an angle on each panel caused by the material thickness when overlapping. So I removed the three or so panels done using this method and decided to just butt joint them and hope for the best. Fortunately being individual panels has added enough differentiation in level of the panels to look like it might be overlapped anyway.

I also added some of the evergreen strip to the ends to alter the design slightly. To do this  neatly I fetched a very useful tool from the railway room – see below. Further additions were the chimney mouldings and the ridge tile moulding to finish it off. Where I altered the roof I changed the way the chimney mouldings fit to the section of brick chimney breast fixed to the wall, so I need to add a little filler into the gap and then scribe it to match.


The tool used to accurately cut the plasticard strip is an NWSL Chopper II which allows for various different angles of cut using a razor blade and some inserts for different mitre angles. A very useful tool for scratchbuilding!

So, here is the finished article:



I’ll have plenty of buildings to scratch build around the rest of the layout, so a bit of kitbashing was very welcome. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out, and given that it was based around some simple kits with easy alterations, it only took a couple of hours to build. I’d still like to add some finials to the ends, some fire buckets etc. and them I’ll prime and paint it.

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6 Responses to Station building

  1. rhydddu says:


    Looks good. Doubt its worth priming as you don’t want too many layers of paint to obscure the detail.



    Sent from my iPad

    • Tom says:

      Hi Colin.

      Thanks. For things like this I normally just give it a very light dusting with a rattle can of primer, so should have very little impact in terms of covering detail if I’m not too heavy handed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Looks superb Tom, the origins of the kits aren’t immediately obvious. Nice touch in using the corrugated iron for the roof.

  3. Ian McKay says:

    Hi Tom
    Just a quick thought about your astonishment that there is no shelter for passengers in your Isle Ornsay plans of 1898.

    From what we have been able to learn locally, I think it likely that your idea that this would have been a passenger based rail service may be incorrect and that there never would have been a need for any station buildings. At the same time as the original plans were made for the railway there was a petition signed by many local fishermen requesting that a fishery pier and salting station be built as Isle Ornsay was very widely considered the best natural harbour on the west coast – far better than Kyle or Mallaig. The existing (still existing) pier at Ornsay dried at half tide and could not be used successfully for an enlarging herring fish fleet. A new all tide pier was requested and was just about to gain funding when the mainline got through to Kyle and, regardless of the qualities of the harbour and awkward journey south via Inverness, all the trade went there and salting went through the roof. When the line to Mallaig arrived subsequently, with its near direct access to Glasgow, the trade collapsed in Kyle and moved to Mallaig – many of the salting firms staking their claim on pitches for their business premises long before the first train actually made it there..

    There appears also to have been some awkward politicking carried out by MacBraynes (Mallaig-Skye ferries) who were able to use the old (existing) Ornsay pier for free while any new pier would have brought high landing charges. It is also thought that they may have already been looking at Armadale as a better option for them with a much shorter crossing time and their own pier arrangement – it is also notable that while fishing vessels from all the Hebredian isles, the east coast (Fraserburgh etc) joined the Ornsay/Camuscross/Loch Hourn boats in the request for the pier, none from Armadale, Ardvasar or Aird signed; perhaps they too liked the idea of Armadale as a base!

    So, it seems that the railway was never conceived as a passenger based service and was principally a way of moving various goods to Ornsay for shipping to the mainland.

    Hope this info is of some help.

    • Tom says:

      Hello Ian, I’m sorry it has taken some time to reply to this, I’ve not been paying much attention to this site for some time.

      Thanks for your thoughts, they do make an interesting read, and I can see why you would reach those conclusions. However, in the documents I’ve researched it’s plain that the intention was to create a ‘common carrier’ railway for both passengers and goods traffic. This was quite commonplace with narrow gauge lines – serving the community needs rather than a specific industry in many instances. There are many parallels with Irish 3′ gauge lines to be drawn from these plans.

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