Passenger depot improvements for the HO scale Petra Pizza micro layout.

Since I built the Petra Pizza layout, the Petra Depot area was a fairly basic ground level gravel area with a shed.

In the last few weeks I had a growing desire to do something to improve the scene. And in the last few days that desire translated into action. The first thing I had to do was remove the existing depot scene down to the baseboard including removing most of the ballast along the outside edge of the track.

I decided that I would raise the platform using some foam core. This meant I had to cut a piece of form core to fit into the corner where the old depot area was – not an easy task as the area had unusually tight radius track that isn’t a constant radius. I cut a triangle section of foam core, and then slowly trim off the foam core near where it would be next to the curve until I had the right shape. Eventually I completed this so the platform was the required shape. I then added a platform facing / retaining wall made of coffee stirrers and matchsticks along the edge near the track.

Next I covered the new foam core platform with PVA wood glue, and sprinkled a local sand mixture on it. I then placed the shed, a fuel tank, some foliage on it. At this point in the project, with the glue still wet it looked like this.

The last thing to do was to add some extra scenic detail to blend the new depot into the surrounding area including two stetson wearing locals, and ballast the track that had been un-ballasted for the first step in the improvement.

There is still a little more to do though. I want to add some decorative fencing on the platform area like what is often seen on passenger stations / depots to make it look a bit more pleasant to the eyes. But as it is now, it is ready to receive trains of 1:87 scale railfans and mountain dwellers.

While I was doing this redevelopment, I realised I could also improve some other parts of the Petra Pizza layout to include a freight platform and / or bulk transload area which will make operation a bit more interesting, but that’s a post for another day.


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