The club ‘OO’ scale layout is in the process of being rebuilt. The first sections were started in 1981 when the club met in temporary premises in a local school. At first it was a 16’ by 8’ run round layout, but by its retirement in 2015 it had grown and grown until at its longest, it was some 40 metres long. Towards the end, the first built sections were showing their age and the time came to replace them with newer (lighter!) modules.
Running an analogue layout of this size required at least three operators working in sections. Loops had been built into the ends to aid reversing and three evenly spaced stations (one at each end and one in the middle) provide the operating positions. We also used to have a Motive Power Depot, Quarry and Viaduct next to the middle station but this was replaced with a new reversing loop in 2005.
At one end, the station was surrounded by a town set-up with automatic trams and a fairground running, and at the other end there was a dock system with standard and narrow gauge trains. In the middle, near Griffin Road station, there was a small branch line that runs “in the background”, a coal mine with narrow gauge shuttles, and another tram system – all automatically controlled so that there is always something running.
The original Quarry scene featured two seperate narrow gauge trains (two identical trains, one full of stone and one empty) that worked up and down the quarry scene through hidden loops so it looked like the train was being filled and emptied throughout its passage around the quarry – ingenious for its time!
A lovely layout that has now been permanently retired. The terminus station (the second iteration of the terminus!) is now permanently resident in our clubhouse as part of the fixed layout, and the Griffin Road boards (again, the second version of this station) have been rescued by their builder and rebuilt into a stand-alone layout (see Griffin Road).
The rest of the layout has been deconstructed, with all salvageable parts (track, buildings, scenery etc.) being recycled into new projects (a bit like Trigger’s broom!).