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Layout Description

The layout is loosely based on Sandford & Banwell station on the Cheddar Valley line in North Somerset. The line was known as the strawberry line due to the amount of strawberries grown in the local area. The layout is not meant to be an accurate model of the station but a base for running various trains seen at this period, although the general layout and style of the buildings are accurate. Also included is the quarry line running south from the station.

Station Platform Building

The layout is 18ft x 12ft with approx three quarters scenic. There are 10 baseboards made using a laminate of 4mm plywood for the sides and 12mm cross members. The surface is 6mm ply, with a T section created to stiffen the trackbed where necessary. The surface only covers the track area, so as to keep the weight/cost down.

The layout has its own lighting. The trackwork is constructed directly on the cork, after marking out all the important details. Trackwork is ply sleepers and functional chairs, with soldered construction around crossings etc.

Control is by a NCE Powercab Digital Command Control (DCC) system which has been used so that we can do away with section switches all over the layout, and a control panel, especially in the fiddle yard so you are not restricted to where you stop trains. Also we are adding sound to the layout so this system allows us to do this. We haven't added the signals and turnouts to the system, they are controlled via the lever frame mounted on the rear of the layout. A bit of avoiding the "all eggs in one basket" syndrome.

Scenics are the usual mixture of scatter materials but we have used the static grass system extensively to give a quick all over surface, to which details have been added, and will be added to as time allows.

Stock is a mixed bag, everything from modified ready-to-run to scratch-built items will be found in many trains. The rolling stock uses 3mm/ft Sprat & Winkle couplings to allow "hands free" operation.

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