I am looking for pictures/diagrams of harbourside, docksides, quaysides or
wharfs that have a railway facility to get some ideas for the modelling of
the branchline aspect of my layout.
I have googled and searched the internet but ave found little of any use.
If anyone has any information as to where I may get some ideas, I would be
Viewed side-on, so not very clear (except for the battered buffer stop),
but I've a picture of a small dockside-with-branchline at:
Mid-1870s, most likely. The branch was probably horse-worked.
Andy Breen ~ Not speaking on behalf of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth
Feng Shui: an ancient oriental art for extracting
Look at this from the model boating perspective as I have lots of books
littered with quayside railway pictures. Also the book 'West Cornwall
Mineral Railways' has some nice pictures of wharves and docksides at for
example Albert Quay Siding Penzance or Portreath and Falmouth. I suppose
it depends on the period that you want to model.
Try a On Fri, 03 Feb 2006 13:28:08 GMT, "Eddie Bray"
Try and get hold of a copy of "The Weymouth Harbour Tramway" by John
Luckin (Oxford Publishing Co)
Loads of ideas, pix and diagrams including some fascinating info on
Sorry you can't have my copy...I'd be lost without it.
On Fri, 03 Feb 2006 20:05:46 GMT, jasper firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Non enclosed dock (as seen on rivers)
Could be timber faced - heavy (foot square) piles driven into river
bed, quite closely set, perhaps six or eight feet appart max, set out
from the bank, timber 'planks' added to the shore side and earth
in-filled behind. Posts should be fairly closely spaced as you do not
want the ships rubbing on the planks.
NO horizontal baulks, these would catch the ship as it rose and fell
(tides or loading/unloading), common mistake (see below)
From 1960s interlocking steel strips.hammered into river bed and
in-filled with more widely spaced heavy timber vertical baulks, more
difficult to model so avoid unless prototypical accuracy required.
Stone faced - Smooth 'ashlar' (rectangular blocks), may be irregular
in size but outer face must be smooth (print using computer, if you
have access to (a) Teleprinter roll and (b) a program that allows you
to define page size you can make long strips that do not require the
Poured concrete - Bit posh and not common on river berths (the only
examples I recal were all on post war specialised berths such as oil
terminals and container berths - The dock walls of the Royal Albert
Docks in London were built using a mass of poured concrete in the
1880s, this was closely followed by the first significant all-concrete
building in Britain, the Weaver & Co Ltd flour mill at Swansea in
To avoid ships rubbing against dock walls one option was to cut a
vertical channel into the dock wall and fit a chain into this attached
top and bottom. Steel rings run up and down this chain, to which are
attached floating timber baulks, typically a foot or so square. More
common in enclosed docks.
Common sight is a steep 'slipway' or shallow flight of steps, this was
to allow horses that fell in to be got out. Also a recess with a steel
ladder set into it might be provided. These were also used by small
boats so people could get ashore or back on board at various states of
From about 1900 common practice to have holes in the top of the dock
side into which steel or timber posts could be fitted. These had holes
in to allow a chain (usually two) to be run through to stop drunks on
their way back to the ship falling in.
Similarly there was often a timber baulk running along the dock edge
to prevent barrels rolling into the dock.
On the quay itself you need somewhere to tie up your ships, on older
quays they used iron rings anything from six inches to a foot or more
in diameter mounted on the dock side. These are technically a kind of
'cleat' and they could hold a small sailing craft or barge safely but
they would be too light to take the loads of a steam coaster. To hold
larger vessels you need a bollard, which is some form of post, usually
with a flared top to hold the rope securely in place. In some places
heavy timber beams were set into the quay with perhaps two feet
showing above ground level and in the eighteenth century several docks
had old cannon barrels buried muzzle downwards into the dock with
about three foot sticking up. By the eighteenth century cast iron
bollards had appeared, often these were hollow castings but in later
years the centre was filled with concrete, at intervals of about fifty
feet or so along the dock. Since the war ports handling larger ships
have used a system of quick release hooks in place of the bollards,
this is basically a labour saving device.
Docks on rivers often fronted onto a street on the far side of which
would be warehouses, ships chandlers and the like. If you can get a
copy of J H Ahern's 'Miniature Building Construction' take a look at
his work on Madderport (you can see the result, but not take photos,
at Pendon Museum). This is a lovely little docks at a river mouth.
If near the sea a you would be likely to see customs house (office
often with small 'bonded warehouse' attached). This does not apply to
small berths used for specific cargo (timber for example).
Coal can be loaded into ships by lifting the wagon with a crane,
lowering it down and tipping it via the end or side door (lowered so
the drop is reduced and the coal doesn't get broken up, which reduced
its value). At canal berths a simple tipping platform could be used as
there was no tide.
Coal was often landed using coaling baskets or 'tubs' the latter were
cylindrical containers about four feet high and three feet in diameter
with a steel lifitng bar attached to pivots on the sides (see the
picture called 'coaldrop.jpg' from the earlier post, this shows a
Clyde 'puffer' using one of these with its own tackle to load rail
Cranes are not required as the ships are faster
Ships/boats secured with ropes not chains (you occasionally see chain
used in Victorian times and possibly more recently but this was not
common and will attract negative comments at exhibitions and the
like). Older ropes made of manilla or hemp fibres were brown in
colour, modern ropes are often made of man-made fibre and will be
light grey or even orange in colour. Steel wire ropes are sometimes
used as well as the fibre types but wire ropes are heavy and difficult
to haul ashore so some ports do not accept them.
A minimum number of lines for a small coaster would be four ropes, two
from each end, one leading away from the ship and up the quay (head
and stern lines) and one leading right ashore (breast lines).
Anything larger would also have 'springs', which lead back towards the
middle of the ship, often crossing each other. Springs are -
essential - for all craft in a tidal or river berth.
If it is a tanker have two wire ropes hanging on the outside with the
spliced loop just above the water - These are the fire lines so a tug
can pull it off the berth in an emergency. Also a tanker (or any ships
handling a dangerous cargo should fly the B flag (a plain pillar box
red rectangle with a V shaped cut away at the outboard end). Visiting
foreign ships fly their national flag at the stern and a 'courtesy
ensign' at the mast, small coastal ships in their home country
sometimes have no national flag on the stern but most do (or used to)
as it is a requirement.
Sailing craft would typically leave the anchor hanging from the cat
head to be washed before bringing on board and securing. Ships are
normally clean and tidy although when working cargo there is likely to
be a bit of clutter about.
Noch offer a waterline model of a 'barge' which serves well for OO,
not a canal type more a sort of lighter (but similar in size to the
Keels used in the North and sailing barges from the South East, could
possibly be modifed to represent one of these but I havent tried it
In N life is comparatively easy as there is the Frog/Novo/Eastern
Models Shell Welder which serves as either a tanker, a small bulk
carrier or general cargo ship or even a small 'feeder' container ship
(although that does require a but of work on the accomodation block to
raise it up higher).. You can use the hull of the Revell (?) light
ship for a coaster and there is a 'north sea' trawler which can also
be used to build a cargo type craft. I built a fair copy of a 60 ton
steam coaster from a photo using an Airfix Pontoon Bridge pontoon as a
basis, cut down in height and with a bit of a rounded stern added. The
old Ertl Thomas the Tank Bulstrode barge is no more though, which is a
pity as it had a really useful hull for this kind of thing.
To cut down a kit hull glue it to the supplied stand then find a block
of wood of suitable size, lay a set of pointy scisors on to this with
one blade out and run this round the hull to mark - cut with razor
saw. Or use a set of compasses, or drill a hole in a scrap of 1 x 2
and fit a 6" nail - Anything that will remain at a steady height (not
for example a modelling knife with a pointed blade and round handle).
If you do not wish to cut the hull it would be perfectly acceptable to
allow the vessel to ground at low tide, coastal craft were flat
bottomed to allow this (they often beached on the sands to be loaded
from horse drawn carts).
Avoid warships as the basis for a model, wrong hull shape entirely.
For information on how to rig loads for cranes or ships gear see
Go to Wagon Loads & Materials Handling - Down the page a bit you will
find Materials Handling - 'Crane Hooks and Lifting Aids'
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