Jersey Model Railway Club
The home of railway modelling in Jersey
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During 1986 four members decided to construct a portable layout to display their steam powered locomotives and stock at venues other than their gardens. It was suggested that this should be constructed in 6 foot sections to produce a loop layout that could be configured in several ways. The construction proceeded quite quickly and produced a layout that could be formed from 26 feet long to 40 foot long and after adding several new boards over the next few years more configurations were achieved.
The layout provides two main lines with a station and storage roads at the front and a steaming bay on the inside. Two storage roads of 10 and 12 foot long were provided at the back. The track was constructed with Bonds brass rail and cast chairs mounted on wall board sleepers cut up on a band saw. Since then a bridge has been constructed from ½” light angle providing a way into the centre of the layout and an ex-military model Bailey Bridge kit was constructed to produce a more impressive version to add to the sparse scenic aspect.
The locomotives vary from modified Mamods to various Roundhouse, Archangel and Accucraft models. Some are fired with meths and some with butane gas giving running from ten minutes to more than 30 minutes at each refill. Some of the locomotives sport radio control. The rolling stock consists of Mamod wagons and coaches to quite large coaches and wagons constructed from scratch. The flavour is of the narrow gauge railways of England, Wales and Ireland and industrial railways from the last 100 years.
The layout has appeared at many shows and fetes throughout the island and many Charity fund raisers. It is transported in its own purpose built trailer - built on an ex army ammunition trailer that had seen several incarnations including a beach kiosk.
The layout still serves the club well and hopefully will continue to do so it also provides a lot of pleasure to the members who do not have garden layouts but love the live steam aspect and large scale of these models.
The Sand Pit
The layout was constructed in 1998 by Don Mathers and Ken Kemp to produce a large scale layout which could be operated in an automatic mode requiring little attention and no operator. This made it necessary to operate with electricity rather than Steam as is the case with the main SM32 layout. The final decision was to construct small industrial type diesel/petrol loco’s with internal batteries which could be re-charged. This came to pass by the donation of several battery Screwdrivers with battery packs that run at 4.5 volt and some rudimentary gearing.
The chassis of 3 loco’s were constructed using simple brass side plates to carry the motor, gears, axles, and re-chargeable batteries. They incorporated a micro switch under the chassis to stop the loco on a ramp operated by a H&M point motor under the track. A side tag was added to operate external switches to detect their position and operate external equipment.
The baseboard was produced in two pieces of 5 foot square which was designed to house all the electronics underneath and all the scenic appearances of an industrial gravel plant and shipping point on the top. The requirement to have all the scenic parts removable so that the boards could be stored face to face was designed from the beginning.
The track was designed to form a folded figure of eight using coarse scale “O” gauge track constructed by hand from old track sections mounted on 5mm ply sleepers cut on a band saw. We added trailing points operated by the loco wheels and leading points operated by H&M motors triggered by the loco side tag operating a trackside micro switch which sets the route.
The layout incorporates a shipping dock with a coaster ship with open holds and a tippler mechanism to empty 4 side tipper wagons into the holds. This then led to a problem as ordinary sand jammed the loader. We used silver sand which solved that problem but raised several more in the future.
The loader and tippler is also operated by the loco’s side tag detecting the trains position at each stop. First the wagons are loaded one at a time with a measured volume of sand and then unloaded two at a time at the dock. The intention is to transport the load under the layout with a bucket unit back to the loader but this is yet to be completed. The sand is at present collected in a half gallon container and transferred by hand to the loader at aprox 4 hour periods . The layout is designed to operate two trains at a time with four wagons in each train with one spare loco for recharge periods. The train at the loader is the initial sequence starter for one complete cycle discharging both trains into the coasters hold.