Layouts 2019

The following layouts are expected to be at our 2019 exhibition:

Burdale Colliery (O)

29th Street Wharf (HO) is a freelance, “box theatre-style” layout representing a West Coast USA city sea-front railroad, although it could just as easily be Great Lakes/Chicago area. The primary objective is to both retain some heritage and strike a balance between old, run down, and new.

Industrial and commercial structures require hopper and box-car handling. A small servicing area and a timber landing/pier are featured, together with a stone/aggregate loading terminal, fed by a conveyor system, to support 2 harbour-side tracks and a river barge loading facility. Most structures are based on modified Cornerstone kits and all have been weathered to reflect gradual wear and tear around railroad operations. Whilst rolling stock is generally in the period 1970’s to 1990’s, later era stock can also be seen. Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, and Union Pacific are predominant but other railroads (e.g. CSX, Norfolk Southern) have been given operating license.

Operation is by digital command control (DCC), using a Lenz system. Many locomotives (Atlas, Athearn Genesis, Kato) are sound-enabled. All track has been recently upgraded to code 83, with remote point control executed using Tortoise and Cobalt motors.

Ashbury Wharf (OO9). Ashbury Wharf was the first layout built by Astolat MRC in 1968. Originally in OO as a simple circuit and named Wanborough Docks, it was rebuilt into a more complex trackplan in OO9 with all track handbuilt and name changed to Ashbury Wharf. It was exhibited at many shows in the last century until retirement around 2000, when it went into storage at a members home. In 2018 it was retrieved and put on display in a static form at the 50th AMRC show in January of that year. After the interest shown at that exhibition some members suggested that it be refurbished and once again offered for exhibition. This entailed a complete rewire and some scenic work and currently two working circuits, with still some work to be done.

Bear Creek Junction (HOn3). Colorado became the 38th state of the Union on the 29th December 1876, only 25 years after the first settlement was established in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. However during the 50 years up to 1900 the area boomed thanks to silver and gold strikes around Leadville and in the Front Range, San Juan and Uncompahgre Mountains. This in turn led to boom times for both the Narrow and Standard Gauge railroads of the area, especially after the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad reached Leadville in 1880.

To say that construction of the railroads in the Rockies was difficult is a massive understatement. Indeed no other railroad construction in the Old West, even in the mountains of Washington State and Oregon, faced the hazards and difficulties of the terrain tackled by the Rio Grande in the 1870’s. In their ongoing pursuit of the riches of the mountains the Narrow Gauge railroads built towering structures to scale the mighty canyon walls and tunnelled relentlessly through the bluffs and outcroppings to reach the work camps.

Although a fictitious location, the layout is set in one of the many canyons typical of Colorado where mining and logging proliferated. With steam predominant on both the Narrow and Standard gauge tracks, the marvels of late 19th and early 20th Century motive power will parade before your very eyes. Wonder at the intricacy of the dual gauge track where the model point work had to be hand built to suit the location, and look out for the 2ft 6in gauge mine tram. Listen to the working of the lumber camps and mines in the mountains and admire the laser cut wood and scratch built model buildings and structures in their working environment.

Bevois Park and St Denys (N). Set in the pre-privatisation era of the early 1990s, originally modelled from the station footbridge as far as the Horseshoe Bridge. St Denys was exhibited in this form between 1997 and 2005.

Since then the layout has been extended westwards where the four track main line continues in a sweeping curve towards Southampton. With the banks of the River Itchen in the foreground and part of the abandoned goods yard behind, this is rather different from the suburban back gardens around St Denys station.

The overall length to Mount Pleasant Crossing is around a scale half mile. Through this scene we operate a typical service of trains for the period. In addition to Network SouthEast electric multiple units these include the InterCity Cross Country and Regional Railways passenger services. Bevois Park Sidings closed in 1990 but there is still plenty of freight on the main line. Tank wagons bring oil from Fawley refinery and liquefied gas from Furzebrook. Steel bars for offloading at nearby Northam yard arrive on bogie bolster wagons. Freightliners for the two Southampton terminals pass through regularly and there is the occasional boat train to meet a cruise ship at the docks.

Blackgang (3) , famous for smuggling activities of years gone by, is on the most southerly part of the Isle of Wight at St. Catherine’s Point. There were several proposed railway lines that never got off the ground including one line from Ventnor to Freshwater. It is on this basis that I have arrived at Blackgang. The track layout is loosely based upon Bembridge and incorporates other Island characteristics.

Blackgang is unusual within the model railway shows as having no electrical supply through the track. All the engines used are radio controlled with onboard power supplies from rechargeable batteries. All the points are manually operated as on the garden railways that many of the Gauge 3 and 2½” gauge modellers have.

Brixcombe (P4) is  our club’s finescale 4mm layout. It depicts a busy fictitious seaside terminus located somewhere in the Torbay area, and catering for both freight and passenger traffic.

Burdale Colliery (O) is based on Burley Colliery in the North Staffs Field. Although it closed in 1926, we have imagined that it continued to operate until the 1960’s. It was a deep mine and also received coal from the Apedale drift mine by means of a tubway. Apedale continued working until 1969 but was reopened by a private company in 1971. It is now a museum in the Apedale Country Park and home to the Apedale narrow gauge railway. We are operating the railway as if it was the late 60’s.

The pit end fiddle yard represents the area where empty wagons arrive and are propelled under the loading screens. They are collected by the shunter and propelled across the weighbridge before being assembled for dispatch. The BR locos that brought the empties come into the yard for water before taking a return train of loaded wagons. Other traffic is seen with pit props and supply vans being shunted in and out of the yard. Pit props can be seen being cut and loaded into tubs which are transported to the pit by a mine locomotive.

The colliery has three shunters. “DUCHESS” is a Hudswell Clarke from an Agenoria kit, “QUEEN”, which is a Barclay from a very much modified Tower Models “starter kit” and “RUTH”, a Stephenson & Hawthorns, also by Agenoria.

The grassed areas use hanging basket liner as a base which has been treated with static grass. Buildings are constructed from either plywood or 3mm styrene sheet, covered with Slater’s brickwork. The colliery screens are produced from Plastruct. Most of the buildings are removable for safety in transport. Signals are Mackenzie and Holland which were used by the North Staffs Railway. Points and signals are controlled by Tortoise motors. Automatic coupling is achieved using Dingham couplers.

Calstock Halton Quay (On16.5) is an end to end layout, based on the new quay at Halton Quay. The layout developed on the Calstock theme to provide an alternative port to Calstock. Although some of the buildings come from Calstock, others are from other West Country sources. Stock is either scratch built or (much) modified kits, of actual items that ran in the area.

Club Modular OO9 Layout – Work in Progress! Last year a dozen or so Club members set up a new Group, modelling in the OO9 Narrow Gauge scale of 4mm but running on N-Gauge track.

The Group agreed to encourage each member to model in his own style and according to his own flights of fancy, but adhering to a joint physical and electrical specification. The chosen design is based on 14 laser-cut boards bought from Tim Horn Baseboards boards, each 4ft by 18 inches. The intention is that while each board can stand and operate alone, any board can be connected to any other to provide a continuous run. What you see in this display is a few of the semi-completed boards, joined together to enable trains to run. Eventually we will produce linking pieces between each pair of boards that will soften the visual impact of a sudden change of scenery. We hope to have all 14 boards interconnected and running at our Annual Show, here, in October next year.

Corwenna (OO) is a fictional location inspired by the line from Boscarne Junction to Wenfordbridge which was worked by the three iconic Beattie well tanks which arrived at Wadebridge shed in 1895. These vintage engines remained in charge until 1962 when they were finally replaced by ex GWR 13XX pannier tanks, which in turn were replaced by 08 diesel shunters then took over until closure in 1983.

The buildings at Wenfordbridge are much too large to be modelled in true scale but are included here with a large degree of modeller’s licence to give a flavour of operations at both Wenfordbridge and similar sites in Cornwall.

Dent Head (N) is based on the Settle and Carlisle Line and the area around the North end of Blea Moor tunnel, Dent Head viaduct and Dent Station. The area is mainly open Moor land with very few buildings. The bridge to the north of the station and the viaduct are all scratchbuilt. The track plan has been kept simple with no point work on this stretch of main line, with the only signal, the one in the Leeds bound direction which is always set to Amber . A fair amount of modellers licence has had to be used especially in the station area. The Layout is operated from the early 2000’s Up to the present day, and can see a vast amount of traffic from many operators. Passenger services are in the hands of Northern Rail, or the predecessor to Northern, Northern Spirit. Specials frequently visit the line including The Fellsman and Cumbrian Mountain Express these are normally steam haled. Freight services are operated by all of the private freight companies, anything can be expected to visit the line. Including services on diversion from the East and West coast mainlines.

De Tenderloc (HO). This small circular layout is packed with animations. At the centre is St. Hericus dairy. A dairy employee unloads the milk cans from the truck and places them on a conveyor belt. Other animations include “truck driving backwards”, “man bites dog”, a startled deer, and much more.

Durham Road TMD (O) is a modern image Train Maintenance Depot (TMD) set in the late 80,s to early 90,s. It is modelled in 0 Gauge and shows how a modern Diesel servicing depot operates.

Although the location is fictional it is based on Network South East located on the South London and North Kent borders. The track plan is loosely based on Hither Green depot including the fuelling shed and part of the main loco shed.

The depot can hold up to 20 loco’s and has also lots of scenic features including a rail over bridge crossing a river. A section of the mainline is also modelled, including allotments with an assortment of plants. Little cameos have also been added as well as animals and other assorted items of interest for the children to look out for.

Langston Bridge (N) is an exact scale model of the old wooden bridge that linked Hayling Island to the mainland. The line was closed in 1963.The right hand end of the model, as viewed from the front, represents Hayling Island, trains from the left come from Havant.

The bridge was very lightly constructed, so only the light weight Terrier locomotive could be used. The bottom of the vertical bridge supports were encased in concrete to provide additional protection from the sea, they can be seen to this day. The swing bridge, in the centre, opened to allow small boats through.

The track on the bridge section is entirely handmade, because the rails are laid on lateral timber beams with spacer cross members. There are about 1200 individually threaded chairs. The bridge is constructed out of Plastruct strips.

London Bridge Buildings (N). A static display of models of buildings around London Bridge Station in 1982 that Grahame has been building for his new home layout. All the buildings are scratch built models of buildings in the area, though some have been compressed slightly.

Mavins Hills (OO) is a lightweight 3 board layout intended to entertain my grand-children and hopefully give them a long-term hobby. Over the years they can add scenery, buildings, etc., even some points & sidings. It is a double figure-8, with some large hills into which trains disappear and different ones re-appear from the tunnel-mouths. It has: two operators, locos with sound effects and in-time a working tractor in the fields & farm-yard.

Midland Sidings (P4) represents a location on an imaginary Midland Railway line between Saltley and Walsall, on the north-east side of Birmingham in about 1920. There is a single main line; an associated goods line; a small goods yard; and a low-level canal interchange. There is assumed to be a connection with the LNWR on the Walsall side of the location. The marshalling yard is used to concentrate local goods traffic, canal interchange traffic and exchange traffic with the LNWR, as well as traffic for the adjacent brewery/maltings. As well as much goods working, there is a Midland Birmingham New St-Saltley-Walsall and a LNWR passenger service. The signals work, and operation is DCC.

Rolvenden (P4) is based closely on the station of that name on the Kent & East Sussex Railway. Whilst trying to capture the atmosphere of the line in the 1920’s, the track plan has been adapted to fit the baseboard and is not slavishly copied.

The K&ES is a light railway, which is reflected by the use of much light flat bottom rail, and sidings ballasted with ash. The through line was relayed with second hand bullhead track in the 1900’s as on the layout. The level crossing has a working single gate. Little maintenance means the sidings are overgrown with weeds, the through line has lost its cess-path; though the lime stone ballast is reasonably weed free.

Trains are run from a cassette fiddle yard to an automatic two-road turntable at the other end. Trains can cross in the passing loop just off the end of the platform, many are mixed and the passengers have to wait while the wagons are shunted.

Studland is a railway constructed out of Lego components, with an international station, harbour, and container depot.

Thornycroft Factory Sidings (N)  Thornycroft was a major employer in the town of Basingstoke in the 20th century. The firm manufactured commercial vehicles including the famous J class lorry of which 5,000 alone were made for military use in World War One. The sidings joined the Basingstoke & Light Railway so apart from goods in and out specific for the factory, passenger and goods trains serving stations along the line can be run past. Furthermore, whilst a single locomotive (O2 class) operated between stations another class of locomotive (G6 tank engine) shunted wagons between Basingstoke goods yard and Thornycroft goods yard. The model is set 1928-31.

Wickwar (N) is a small town on the important secondary main line between Bristol and Gloucester; modelled as it was around the early 1950s. The small goods yard was removed in 1963 and the station was closed in 1965, though the line is still heavily used.

As well as local trains, there were many long distance expresses with destinations such as Plymouth, Bournemouth, Manchester, Bradford, and Newcastle. Goods trains were were mostly to or from Bristol or Avonmouth docks. Motive power was mainly LMR tender locos, e.g. 4Fs, Jubilees, and Black 5s, with a few GWR and (later) LNER locos. We aim to reproduce a typical selection of trains and stock for the time.

All the buildings are scratch built, many from printouts of photos of the current buildings. The station building, designed by Brunel, was unique due to the narrow space. Next to the tunnel is the large brewery, built by the railway company to replace existing breweries whose water supply the tunnel cut through. At the period modelled it had become a cider factory, which later closed but has now reopened as the Wickwar Brewing Company. The backscene was “Photoshopped” from photographs of the real location and printed on vinyl.

The movement of trains in the fiddle yard is automated using MERG Train On Track (TOTI) detectors which work with both DC and DCC. The boards and control panels are connected via a MERG CBUS system. Points, signals, and the car system are

controlled by servo motors in MERG mounts, the signals are operated automatically as trains pass. Video cameras display views of the layout on screens at each end.

Lorries and buses run along the front using the Faller moving vehicle system (internal battery): the lady at the station puts her arm out to stop the bus! A third of the time the lights are turned down to provide a dusk running mode: trains have illuminated head and tail lights and illuminated carriages. Lighted signals and several of the buildings, and a bus with headlights.

Wickwar (Photo courtesy Chis Nevard/BRM)