FARKHAM4mm scaleFine scale OO gauge
Imagine that it’s Summer 1990, England have just lost to West Germany in the World Cup, but in the quiet Midlands town of Farkham life goes on as normal. The town is served by an occasional passenger service with freight being the main traffic on this secondary railway line. Beyond the station and town centre, the land opens out to reveal a small freight yard served by trip workings and Speedlink services, whilst the main line gently curves away with a mixture of old and new buildings following its course.
The concept behind Farkham was to capture the atmosphere of an urban scene with the railway passing through. This has been attempted, by locating buildings and trees at the front of the layout to break-up the direct lines of sight between the viewer and the trains, so when looking at the model the trains will come in and out of view creating a series of interesting ‘cameos’. This encourages the viewer to look into the layout and not just at it and the position of the twin tower blocks at the front, along with other large structures and trees, has created visual barriers to enable this. The yard on the layout is portrayed in a run down, but still functioning state, very much how a number of freight terminals were in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Finally to create a realistic scene and make everything visually blend together, each item has been weathered to differing degrees, just like on the prototype.
Trackwork on the layout is all hand built using C&L and Peco components and is to finescale 16.5mm gauge standards. The major aspect of the model is its buildings and structures and whilst some of these are modified kits, most have been scratch built. The rolling stock on the layout is detailed, repainted and weathered with a large number of kit and scratch built items.
Farkham is the main exhibition layout in the club and has been seen at a number of exhibitions throughout the country and even abroad at Utrecht in 2011.The layout has also been featured in Railway Modeller (April 2005) and more recently in British Railway Modelling (Oct 2011).
Exhibitions booked for 2012 include:
- Intermodellbau, Dortmund, Germany, 18-22 April
- Middlesborough 19 & 20 May
- Railex NE, Blyth, Northumberland, 25 & 25 August
- Huddersfield, 27 & 28 October
- Hull, 10 & 11 November
DUFFIELD4mm scaleOO Gauge
This is the second incarnation of Duffield as the main Club layout. After the move to the new clubrooms, it was decided to scrap the original layout (featured in Railway Modeller April 1995) and start afresh, following the same idea but the additional space available meant that it could be closer to the true size and incorporate more of the features from both the railway and the surrounding village area. As a result, the layout measures 36ft by 10ft and fills around a quarter of our clubrooms.
The layout is the result of a great deal of work by a small number of club members working a few hours each week. There are two up and two down lines as well as the branch line to Wirksworth which of course is now preserved and open for business. All of the wiring has been completed to give a running layout which is displayed to the public at each of our Mickleover Shows in October. The track has been ballasted and many building are now in place. Much of this work has been based on site visits and period photographs from a variety of sources.
The backscene is being painted for us by David Wright who trades as Dovedale Models. His techniques using our Duffield backscene are expected to be featured in an article for Model Rail magazine and the work will also be filmed for David’s next ‘Shows you how’ DVD. Further details are on his website here http://www.dovedalemodels.co.uk/
There is still a fair amount of work to be done on the scenery and it may be several years before it will be regarded as finished. Thank goodness we now have our own clubrooms and so we don’t have to dismantle the layout every week for storage!
WARNER STREET7mm scaleO Gauge
This layout is a double track main line terminus with two main platforms and a bay as well as a small goods yard. To create maximum operating potential the terminus tracks do not have a run round facility (saving space and allowing longer trains) so incoming locos cannot be released until the train they brought in has left the station behind another loco. The original train loco then makes a light engine movement to the servicing area to be turned on the 70ft turntable and awaits its next duty. The layout is fed from a five-road traverser, with a second turntable at the far end so that we don’t have to handle the locos. The period modelled is not fixed, as this is a club layout that has to cater for a wide variety of tastes although generally the bulk of operation will be BR steam and green diesels.
At the time of writing this, the layout is undergoing refurbishment mainly by a couple of our junior members and after altering the trackwork, they have now moved on to the wiring. A new control panel is being built as part of a school project with the track diagram laser cut into a sheet of Perspex.
NEVERWHERE3.5 or 4mm scaleHO/OO Gauge
This is our main running club layout and is an alternative concept in modelling for a group of club modellers with diverse interests. The design is a double track oval, 22 feet long by 4 feet wide consisting of curved track work on the front with storage loops at the rear. This allows viewers to imagine themselves in a field watching trains pass through the landscape. The layout is fully scenic, with no structures or signals that would fix a location or date. This allows us at exhibitions to change from 70's diesel scene to LMS in its heyday, as well as American and Continental stock so that we have a consistent theme during each session. Of course on club nights it’s a case of ‘anything goes’. The layout is being sold to a club member and will reside in his garage after its replacement is ready (see below)
NEW NEVERWHERE3.5 or 4mm scaleOO9/HO/OO Gauge
Following on from the success of the original Neverwhere (see above) this replacement follows the same concept – that it could be based anywhere, as this will enable our members to run whatever they wish. This time the layout is a little shorter, but much wider to offer sweeping curves instead of the tight bends seen previously. The track is on two levels – the upper has two HO/OO tracks plus another for HOe/009 narrow gauge, and on the lower level there are two further tracks for HO/OO although the clearances have been made large enough to accommodate Bachmann On30 stock which is over scale at 1:48 but on a club night, who cares!
At the time of writing, all of the electrics are in place and scenic work has commenced. As an additional feature we also plan to install DCC on the lower level to give our members using digital equipment a chance to run their stock especially those with sound fitted locos.
THOMAS4mm scaleOO gauge
This is actually one of the oldest layouts in the club as it was originally built in the 1980s by two club members long before Hornby (and later Bachmann) introduced their ‘ready to run’ ranges based on the popular books and TV series. The layout was later transferred into the Group’s ownership and following some damage in storage, it was fully refurbished and is again a popular exhibit at our shows. The latest addition is a ‘drive it yourself’ controller to keep our younger visitors entertained.
DERWENT VALLEY2mm scaleN Gauge
We have two alternate histories, depending on the stock to be run when the layout goes to exhibitions – either steam & heritage diesels or Modern(ish) diesels. The initial description is the same, but the later italicised section is different depending on circumstances and the stock available. The map for the modern image version is shown below – the heritage map is similar.
The Derwent Valley Railway was authorised in 1850 and opened in 1855 as a branch from the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway from Rowsley northwards. The section of the MBM&MJR from Ambergate to Rowsley was at this time completed, but the section to Buxton had not yet been started. The DVR was supported by the Duke of Devonshire to exploit the mineral resources of the Derwent Valley, particularly the millstone grit of Froggatt Edge and Curber Edge. The line originally ended at Grindleford Bridge, but when the Dore & Chinley Railway was opened in 1893, an extension was granted to connect to this line which opened in 1896.
Derwent Valley Preservation Society (Steam / Diesel gala)The line was closed in 1966, but remained essentially intact. Increasing traffic in the late 1990s and increasing tourism encouraged the reopening of the line in 1998, displacing Peak Rail who transferred their operations to the Wirksworth branch.
Modern Image alternative history