Building a New Station – Part I

If you follow my Instagram then I’ve probably already bored you half to death with the updates I’ve been posting as I rebuild the train station in my LEGO town. The project started a couple of months back when I realised all my train mocs were too big to get through the old narrow tunnel which runs under the town’s main road.

This was one of the first features I built into the layout back in January. Since I was a kid I’ve been hooked on the idea of having a train running between rooms in my house — it’s not quite there yet but this this will do for now.

Shortly after I’d finished the first round of construction back in January. Didn’t even have baseplates down at this point!

This little tunnel worked great for the trains I was running back then but shortly after I built my 4564 engine redesign it was pretty obvious some upgrades were going to be needed. The old tunnel was modelled as if it was cut straight into the rock with a large overhang covered with nets. I really liked it but it was an absolute nightmare to build and required a load of reinforced technic beams to stop it collapsing.

Version 2 of the original tunnel with nets, scenery and – drum roll – baseplates

I was pretty happy with how everything looked at that point, though soon after I added the table extension which gave me another row of baseplates to play with. I filled all that with track, giving me enough room to park a couple of trains and run another without manually moving anything.

My original plan was to tear the whole thing out, lose the branch line entirely and convert the area into a big undercroft for a larger, improved station. A nice idea on paper but the more I thought about it the more I started to love the old quirky tunnel! It’s just a really nice feature and adds a lot of interest to what is otherwise two fairly boring parallel tracks.

Taken shortly after I’d finished the island platform, before it was widened. You can just about make out Platform 1 in the background

I usually freestyle my builds but sometimes it does pay to do a little planning! Some ideas are too big to fully fit in your head and my plans for the station needed some careful thinking. The first thing I wanted to do was make better use of the dead space under the road. The original Platform 1 had about 10-12 studs of empty space behind.

The “shelf” on my layout is made up of three modules built out of, shelves. The top boards are from an ancient IKEA freestanding unit and the vertical supports are £2 Burhult shelves joined together with angle brackets. To get access to the space, I pulled out the third module and cut some legs to size out of a scrap bit of wood.

With the module back in position, I could start work on the new platform area. Most of the layout is made to look like it’s sitting on top of steep rocks, but with this area I wanted to give a bit more of a man-made feel with clean walls and a small row of shops for passengers waiting to board the train.

Building up the new platform area

Over the course of a few days I finished building up the rest of the structure and kitted out the shops. I had a lot of fun with these and it was a good excuse to use some DOTS and other random bits. I was originally going to have four shops but ended up turning the first unit into a waiting area leading into a small ticket office.

The shops starting to take shape – there is a basement passage running between all of them

I’d totally forgotten about the drawing I did before any of this started but it’s a great feeling looking back and seeing how stuff has changed!

I love it when a plan comes together

So with the platform area more or less done, it was time to turn my attention to the tunnel. Read about that in part 2!