Fence Houses

2mm/N  Scale finescale, 
Owner -  Bob Jones
Contact Details - rvjones@lineone.net
Dimensions - 11.7m x 2.7m (38'6" x 9')
Control Method - DCC

Fence Houses, in north east England, was once part of the original east coast main line. In 1872 this status was lost, when the present main line was opened further west, through Durham City, Fence Houses opened in 1844 and was closed in 1964.   The layout is to scale in the station area, including the exchange sidings. Victoria viaduct is also to scale but is set to a 1.8m (6ft) radius curve as opposed to the real thing, which is straight. 

The village & station of Penshaw (between Fence Houses & the viaduct) have been omitted due to lack of space, though we have included a very much reduced length of the four track section that lay between the over track  signal box of Penshaw North, and that of Wapping bridge, at the A183 road bridge, north of the colliery.The prominent double junction at Penshaw north was such an integral part of the track layout that it could not be ignored, and was modelled, though on the layout it’s going nowhere. In reality the line went to Sunderland, so please use your imagination! The Leamside line on which Fence Houses is sited was extensively used as a diversion route when such as engineering works were in progress on the main line. Our ultimate aim with the model is to show one such period when all main line traffic was being diverted during one weekend, sometime in the period 1957 to 1962. From time to time however, you may see some of our pre-grouping rolling stock that some members of the group indulge in making. This period is even more flexible (1890 to 1922). Obviously we are still at an early stage in the layouts development, with many 
finishing touches to the scenery still to do, plus signals etc. etc. to finish off, but one thing has helped in the form of the original Plastikard buildings from 30 years ago, still being available, and in reasonable shape, although maybe in need of a repaint! A few new buildings have been made since the original ‘N’ gauge version all those years ago (Penshaw North Box etc.) Stock is another area where we are in need of a great deal more. We have kit and scratch built locos, along with a number of ‘N’ gauge loco conversions, all DCC fitted. Dapol and Bachmann Farish coaches have been converted, and we have some of Chris Mills’ superb 2mm kit built hopper and mineral wagons on loan. In the meantime you may well see a number of unfinished / unpainted models being pressed into service.

Our roving operators use ESU radio control units working via the command station, for more 
flexibility (and fun!) of operation. Most model railways take years of refining to get the model looking realistic. At this early stage in the layouts life we have a long way to go, especially on the scenic side, but the start has been made. Eventually working signals will be installed. The original ‘N’ gauge Fence Houses layout was exhibited in the early 1980’s, and some of you may remember it. We hope to be back in the future with a more finished layout for you, but in the meantime we hope you enjoy what we’ve done to date, with our second attempt.