By Joe Loftus
ROCKVILLA GOODS HAS NOW BEEN SOLD - Please click here for Joe's new project...
Rockvilla Goods is a layout set in an urban/industrial enviroment on the Forth & Clyde Canal in the Possil area of North Glasgow, in the early 1970's 'pre-TOPS' era. The layout feature a parcels depot, general warehouse and a flour mill amongst other goods facilities. The urban atmosphere is compounded by the surrounding overbridges and industrial buildings, built to 4mm scale with OO gauge trackwork. Control is DCC, provided by NCE PowerCab.
Rockvilla is a small area of North Glasgow on the north bank of the Forth & Clyde Canal, next to Hamiltonhill (within the general district of Possil). This area around the canal in North Glasgow was a busy place with an abundance of sawmills, distilleries, foundries and general warehouses. Rails reached Port Dundas from the east via St Rollox on the Caledonian Railways network of lines in the area.
It has been assumed that the CR extended the branch past Craighall Goods Depot, under Possil Road and Applecross Street to reach Rockvilla, a small yard was built here serving the various industries alongside the Forth & Clyde Canal. The facilities at both Craighall and Rockvilla grew and as such they have in effect become one yard. Further branches from this line were provided westwards to Western Sawmills and Firhill Iron works on the canals Firhill Basin.
Rockvilla Goods is located north of the Forth & Clyde canal, west of Possil Road. The track work in the area includes a siding each for the flour mill, parcels depot, general warehouse and ther steel unloading point, along with 2 sidings feeding the loading dock. All of these are tied together with a run-round loop. A sector-plate handles theoff-stage movements, hidden behind the parcels depot.
Baseboards, Trackwork & Electrics
The 2 baseboards, each are 4' by 21" in size, framed by the traditional 2” by 1” timber, covered in 6mm plywood. At baseboard mating surfaces the frames are faced with 6mm plywood for a flatter, more accurate joint. They are held together using coach bolts and nuts. A layer of 5mm thick foamboard has been placed on top of the entire baseboard surface as a track bed (pierced to allow the glue to dry without de-laminating the foamboard).
All trackwork is Peco Code 75 with live-frog points, operated by tried and trusted H&M point motors with their built in polarity swtiches. Under-track magnets for Kadee couplers are positioned as appropriate. As the layout will be DCC operated, every piece of trackwork has dropper wires attached to a main ‘bus’ cable.
The 34” long sector-plate consists of a single length of track mounted on foamboard, pivoted near the baseboard end by a screw long enough to go through the baseboard to a block of timber below. Very simple, very reliable and very cheap, I tried this on a previous layout that was never completed!
Buildings and Scenics
All of the buildings on the layout scratchbuilt, weathered and bedded in place before ballasting and ground cover are laid. The flour mill is loosely based upon the Spillers Scotstoun Mills buildings that existed in Partick, west Glasgow. The chosen ballast is the Woodland Scenics Fine variety, and the greenery is simply a teased out hanging basket liner. Street furniture and road vehicles are from a variety of manufacturers and are appropriate to the era modelled.