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John M Upton
The Coppertown, Davenport & Lancaster Railroad – Coppertown Terminus

Another plank project, this came together because I found a useful looking piece of MDF and thought, why not make a small layout on it.

A basic rule was established, wherever possible this was to be built using whatever spare parts or bits I already had, recycled materials and rolling stock that was old second hand items that could be easily upgraded and repainted, being in the UK, reusing old materials and stock was even more essential.

The Coppertown, Davenport & Lancaster Railroad was duly born, set at the small diminutive terminus of a twenty mile short line branch somewhere in the US.

I envisaged a shed, a couple of small ancillary buildings, simple track setup and a small one coach length platform for the local passenger traffic.

The shed was the first part tackled, scratch built in wood using lolly sticks and tea stirrers:




The first rolling stock for the short line came in the form of a cheap spares/repair Athearn Blue Box SW7:


It was completely stripped down, cleaned, primed and sprayed into the chosen livery, dark green with grey sills/chassis as No.24, with the name COPPERTOWN along the hood.



As that was coming together, the plank was also worked on. The track was scrounged from a box of old bits, put together and tested, a homemade backscene, printed onto sticky label paper and applied to a foam board surround, enclosed the plank, an unpowered Athearn Budd RDC was acquired mainly for gauging purposes and a Blue Box boxcar body became a grounded ancillary store shed.



The second bit of motive power to arrive came from Hattons scrap pile, a very old Mantua 0-4-0ST that someone had modified to 0-4-2ST format at some point, old, cheap and tatty, but suitable for this project:


This next shot taken a few weeks later shows an additional building, sourced from a box in the garage since being removed from an old layout twenty years ago, again reusing what I already have and the second diesel to arrive, a Athearn Blue Box Baldwin S12 that was acquired cheaply and received the same comprehensive overhaul treatment as the SW7, becoming No. 21.



John M Upton
The backstory of the fictional CD&LR is that they ran a simple passenger service the full length of the branch from the junction with the main line at Davenport to Coppertown but how to provide that on the plank was presenting a bit of a problem.

The Athearn Blue Box Budd RDC which I was using for gauging purposes during construction, was unpowered and so returned to the spares box. A Walthers EMC Doodlebug unit was also trialed but it’s archaic rubber band drive (Seriously? Who still makes these things?!?) meant it was operationally hopeless.

Then quite by chance as I was working on finishing the S12, No. 21, I came across this photo:

A Pennsylvania Baldwin S12 running a single coach in push pull operation in a seemingly homemade kind of way, driving controls (presumably) being located in the corridor connection door and clearly fitted with a large headlight.

A cheap old Athearn coach was found on eBay for a few pounds and I got to work.


The doorway was blocked off and a window set into it, horn, lamp and radio aerial fitted and a coat of the company green and grey applied plus lettering above the windows (Admission, only on one side, the other side in theory will never be seen!!) and paired with the SW7 or S12, it works and fits in the scratch built platform, another wooden lolly stick and tea stirrer production, perfectly.

The following two pictures show the platform, some shrubbery now added and the shed roof still not fitted!



The next few weeks saw further scenic materials added, a fuel tank has now appeared adjacent to the shed along with some trees and ground cover. Also arriving is a third diesel locomotive, an Atlas undecorated Alco RS3 that has been sitting on my to do shelf for years was finally brought into the workshop and adopted for this project, emerging as No. 29.


Further pictures show the work up to date with more scenic material added although the shed roof is still not finished!!






Next up will be finishing off the scenic, wiring in all the lights, a small plank added for a fiddle yard off to the left and finish the roof of the shed!

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