|Given the simple track
layout and the basic operating principle of simply
picking up and dropping off wagons, the thought that this
layout may not be very prototypical, i.e. far removed
from what really happens on the railways of this world,
could well come up. However, the really nice thing about Inglenook
Sidings is that, in fact, it is perfectly
prototypical and highly flexible at the same time.
Any layout based on Inglenook Sidings will be prototypical in as much as any railway needs sidings somewhere which serve the sole purpose of providing the space to temporarily store rolling stock out of the way of the rest of the railway (which can also account for a very motley accumulation of different rolling stock which normally would not be found together on the same piece of track). From time to time, some of the rolling stock will be picked up again and moved on while other wagons are dropped off again. In fact, even the chance element of which wagons are to be picked up is quite possible in real life (where, of course, the logic and logistics of making up a train will dictate which wagon is to be picked up), although this will only seldom happen in a strict order of which wagon is to come first, second etc.
|But all in all,
this last point doesn't weigh too heavy in terms of
modellers' licence. The fact that these sidings are
rather short is simply a reminder of the amount of
compression almost every model railway layout represents.
Railway modelling, after all, is the art of compromise.
The essence of the track layout of Inglenook Sidings can be found in many prototype locations, sometimes as a set of sidings used to temporarily store rolling stock, sometimes as a set of sidings serving one or more customers.
|A perfect prototype example for this classic English shunting puzzle could be found on the Epsom Downs branch in Surrey in the form of the goods yard at Belmont.|
|This 1930s view
shows some open goods wagons being shunted by what
appears to be a Southern Railway E4 0-6-2 tank engine - a
scene which could be replicated with ease using any
ready-to-run SR tank engine.
|Belmont Goods Yard closed
in 1969, with goods trains seemingly operated by steam
right up to the end of freight services on the branch,
but with just a little bit of modeller's licence it could
be argued that the yard survived into the modern era as
storage and stabling sidings for civil engineering
* * * * *
Anyone intending to build and operate a model railway layout along the lines of the Inglenook Sidings mould has a wide choice of location and is by no means restricted to running British motive power and rolling stock. The following examples from different countries are intended as an illustration of the flexibility and prototypical diversity offered by a shunting puzzle layout based on the Inglenook Sidings trackplan, combined with examples of motive power and rolling stock which could be used.