Farington Road '00' gauge layout

This layout was started many years ago and has gradually evolved. Bernard and JohnB had done most of the wiring, Roger had built the Control Panel for the station area, and Geoff had installed the station platforms. But members were keen for improvements. It was decided at a special meeting that this layout would no longer be considered for exhibition. It is very large and would need substantial transport to shift it - we just don't have those resources. So the focus changed to creating a club layout that was able to be used for running sessions for either a minimum or a lot of members. The eventual aim is to be able to offer both analogue and DCC control, even simultaneously - by splitting the track layout into two separate halves.

The first change was to rebuild the fiddle yard into a 19 road set of storage roads. The old fiddle yard was completely rebuilt with new larger baseboards, which hinged upwards for maintenance. MikeB built a new control panel for this with some semi-automatic control, and sensors showing the state of each siding. Loading and unloading lines were added so on busy running sessions there is room for members to add and remove stock without tripping over each other!

Attention then turned to the lift-up flap at one end of the layout. This had been a source of annoyance as it was often difficult to close, and was quite narrow, restricting who could come into the centre of the baseboards. Malcolm came up with a hinging mechanism that lifted the flap clear of the surrounding scenery, so small trees etc could be installed without having their tops knocked off by the lift-up flap!

Then it was agreed the same treatment of new baseboards and new track would be applied to the station area. It was a hard decision to scrap what members had got used to, but faults were starting to show up and there were some issues with flexibility of operation when a lot of members came for a running session.

So work has now started on the station. Geoff and Malcolm made up the new baseboards on generally the same principle as the storage sidings, that is they are wider than the originals and hinged on one side for maintenance access. The baseboard at one end of the station has had a dropped section built in to it to create some contours to the otherwise flat boards. A road winds its way down and under the approach loop into the goods yard and up to the back of the station building.

This goods yard was the original and will have a new expanded layout, making use of a corner board recently added across the inner curve at this end of the station. It is called West Yard and will be mainly a coal delivery area.

At the other end of the station another board has been added across the inner curve, this will become East Yard. JohnB has built a cattle dock, and this yard will also have a goods shed and a timber store. In other words suitable for mixed traffic - this should give us scope for some varied shunting moves.

MikeB has planned a control panel similar in style to that of the storage sidings, but this time it has to be able to switch one of 4 controllers to each section depending on the route over that track. Wiring has started on the central control unit.

Some time ago Fred and Bill built the embankment for the branch and the tunnel into its own fiddle yard. With Gerry, Fred has also completed the scenic entry into the fiddle yard.  Some buildings are recycled from the previous layout, other buildings are a mixture of kits and scratch built.  Dennis has built a magnificent row of cottages. Geoff has started at the west end with carved foam and plaster gradually putting into place landscape shapes that Fred then paints and applies static grass. Platforms for the main station area were made up of mdf and blocks, with brick papers applied to the edges. Before they have some fine wet and dry abrasive paper glued to their tops to represent a tarmac surface, they will be removed to allow us to paint the rails and apply ballast.

The road that wanders up from the west side has been extended across the goods arrival loop line so vehicles can access the East Yard.