Abbey Park
'00' scale London Underground model railway layout

Updated 31 December 2016

We are busy building our new London Underground exhibition model railway layout 'Abbey Park'.
It is scheduled to be exhibited from 2018. Under construction images below.

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Our previous London Underground model railway 'Abbey Road' 
has now been retired from the exhibition circuit & has been sold to a private buyer.

Abbey Road on You Tube
BBC Sherlock crime drama 'The Empty Hearse' -  January 2014

Short clip featuring Abbey Road

Model Rail magazine - January 2014
'ITV London news/The Telegraph' newspaper - December 2010 'Metro' newspaper - December 2010
'Hornby' magazine - Sept. 2010 'The Tube' - ITV & Sky television series - 2005/2006
'Railway Modeller' - DVD Xtra no. 5 - Dec 2008 'British Railway Modelling' - Annual - 2009

Abbey Road is a fictitious location somewhere in NW London on the  London Underground network.  The station building is based on the classic 1930s Charles Holden design. This sits over a split level four platform station. On the station road over-bridge are various buildings including a McDonalds restaurant, Marks & Spencer store, and a Tesco supermarket. To the left of the station area, the tracks head south, over reverse crossovers, passing Abbey Road signal cabin before disappearing underground into deep tube tunnels heading towards Central London.

A selection of trains on 'Abbey Road' - images courtesy Trevor Jones (Hornby Magazine) & Ray Lightfoot (BRM Magazine) Abbey Road - train diorama - Dec 2010 

Layout & track plan:-

Abbey Road - layout plan



Abbey Road - aerial view from above - Mar 2004 (750590 bytes)   Abbey Road - aerial view from above - completed layout March 2010 (25988 bytes)

Abbey Road aerial views - under construction (Mar 2004) - following completion (Mar 2010)

The layout is built on four plywood base-boards each measuring 5ft wide x 18 inches deep. Each of these boards are joined together, using brass alignment dowels and wing nuts/bolts, to form an 'end to end' layout that occupies a space of 6m x 0.5m (20ft x 18in). This consists of a central 10 foot scenic section and two 5 foot sections at each end which house the hidden fiddle yards. 
Trackwork is Peco Code 75 Finescale which has been glued to a plywood track base and then ballasted using Woodland Scenics ‘N’ scale ballast. The ballast has been painted with various shades of brown modellers enamel paint. The prototypical conductor rails and insulators/chairs are also from the Peco range.

Scenic detail:-

Abbey Road - Under construction - Jan 2004 (282119 bytes) Abbey Road - The station platforms under construction - Feb 2004 (273419 bytes)Under construction - Jan 2004

The grass is made from the now obsolete brown hessian backed carpet underlay. This has been glued down using white PVA wood adhesive and then sprayed using various colours of green/brown aerosol auto paint. Trees and bushes are generally Peco and also include our own Metromodels hand made trees. Buildings are a mixture of kits and scratch-built. The station building and signal cabin were scratch-built using plastic sheet, clear plastic and brick paper whilst the ‘Canon’ warehouses were made using old Airfix garage kit parts together with additional scratch-built items. The trackside retaining walls and tunnel mouths are from the Exactoscale range of embossed engineers blue brick paper. All other weathered brick surfaces were produced from scanned images which were then printed onto on photographic quality paper using a PC and colour ink jet printer. The line-side cable posts are from the ex Harrow Model Shop range whilst the line-side section switch cabinets, the LU station name roundels and the overhead cable gantries are by Metromodels.  The station platform posters were made using digital pictures of the real advertisements or were scanned from magazines, etc.

Rolling stock:-

Most of the rolling stock is from the Metromodels range of etched brass, ready to run tube trains. Battery locomotives are from the ex Harrow Model Shop range whilst the ‘Heritage Trains’ are EFE models. All trains are powered using Tenshodo SPUD motors and have extra weight in the form of old roofing lead fitted to the underside of each chassis, to ensure smooth operation. Some trains have interior and directional head/tail lamp lighting fitted whilst others have driver cab mounted train cameras which transmit the driver's eye view to an LCD screen on the layout!

When we are exhibiting the layout we operate a variety of trains including normal passenger trains & various engineering trains.

Abbey Road - the split level station platforms - Feb 2005 (583088 bytes)  
Station building and platforms - Feb 2005

1992 Waterloo & City Line Tube Stock - Mar 2006  
Metromodels 1992 Waterloo & City Line Tube Stock - Mar 2006 (image courtesy of Ian Turner)

1995 Tube Stock & graffitti 'tags'- Mar 2006
Metromodels 1995 Tube Stock & graffiti 'tags'- Mar 2006 (image courtesy of Ian Turner)

A veteran 'Ever Ready' tube train made in the 1950s makes occasional outings on Abbey Road. 
More details of the Ever Ready train.

An Ever Ready tube train - the first commercially made London Underground train!  
The 'Ever Ready' battery company tube train - the first commercially made '00' scale London Underground train!  - Aug 2006

'Victoria' from the Underground Ernie family of tube trains! - March 2007
'Victoria' from the Underground Ernie family of tube trains! - March 2007
Victoria has been converted into a working model from a 'push back' childrens toy purchased for £5 on EBay!

'The Beatles':-

Abbey Road would not be complete without them...

The 'famous four' with the 5th Beetle up on the pavement! - Feb 2013 The 'famous four' with the 5th Beetle up on the pavement! - Feb 2013

The white metal figures are from the Aidan Campbell range of '00' scale miniatures

Electrics & control:-

The layout is, in effect, two layouts in one. The upper level and lower level tracks are operated totally independently of each other. In normal use, two operators will control the layout, one controlling the top level and the other the bottom level. This enables us to keep the trains moving! Power & control is provided by 'Clipper', 'Duette' & 'CU1' hand held units from the H&M range of transformer/controllers. These were produced over 30 years ago and are now only available 2nd hand. More information is available via this link.

Platform building work is underway - Mar 2006  
Platform building work is underway - Mar 2006 (image courtesy of Ian Turner)

Each section of track is individually powered allowing trains to be isolated via a switch as required. This is known as ‘CAB control’, a tried and tested means of operation. At busy periods trains are held in section awaiting the passage of a preceding train. 

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Abbey Road wins the 'Most Appealing Layout' trophy at the Farnham Model Railway Club annual exhibition - Aldershot, Hampshire - October 2006

Abbey Road won both the 'Visitors Choice' trophy (as voted by visitors to the show) & also the 'Pete Lindsay Shield' (as voted by the club members) at the Exeter MRS - June 2007 (image courtesy of Kevin Staddon, Exeter MRS)
Abbey Road won both the 'Visitors Choice' trophy (as voted by visitors to the show) & also the 'Pete Lindsay Shield' (as voted by the club members) whilst exhibited at the Exeter Model Railway Society's 2007 exhibition (image courtesy of Kevin Staddon/Exeter MRS)

Weed-killer train formed of converted 1938 Tube Stock as built by Roger Tuke - Mar 2006  Schoma diesel loco no. 4
Weed-killer train formed of converted 1938 Tube Stock - Mar 2006 (image
courtesy of Ian Turner) & Schoma diesel locomotive no. 4 - March 2007 - both built by Roger Tuke 

The colour light signals are prototypical, fully operational LU signals hand made by Roger Murray Signals. They are a mix of semi automatic, automatic and junction types each having a unique signal number, including a cabin code, based on LU practice.

A train of 1992 train waits underneath the station over-bridge  
1992 stock waits in the platform underneath the station over-bridge - April 2006 (image
courtesy of Aryan Snowsill)

In the late summer of 2008, we decided that the time had come to undertake a complete re-wire of Abbey Road. This was due to the increasing number of electrical faults that we were experiencing. Three of us removed all the old wiring & installed over 150 metres of new wiring in only 4 days. It is all out of sight underneath the layout - the layout runs a lot better as a result!

The re-wiring team at work - October 2008 Re-wiring work by Roger & Howard - October 2008

Golders Green Alstom Traincare Centre Our 00 scale 1995 stock & behind the real 1995 trains! Golders Green Alstom Traincare Centre Alstom Golders Green Traincare Centre's 100 year anniversary open day - June 2007

At Upminster LU depot In the spotlessly clean wheel lathe workshop at London Underground's Upminster Depot 50th anniversary open weekend - Sept 2009

The 'Abbey Road' gang at the Blackburn, Lancs model railway exhibition - October 2010 The 'Abbey Road' crew at the Blackburn, Lancashire model railway exhibition - October 2010

revenue_matters_1.jpg (115241 bytes) revenue_matters_2.jpg (216908 bytes) Abbey Road as featured in TfL 'Revenue Matters' staff magazine - March 2011

ad_1.jpg (307553 bytes) ad_2.jpg (332707 bytes) Digital advertisement frame installed on Abbey Rd - January 2012

1973 stock DM car in action on Abbey Road - March 2012 1973 stock prototype in action on Abbey Rd - March 2012

Return to 'Abbey Road' Exhibition diary

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