Ridings - the layout's early days


The following pages trace the layout from its origins as a few bits of timber to an operating railway, trolley and bus layout. This page shows the beginnings - the construction of a self-contained portable layout comprising four baseboards (with expansion plans to seven) including the railway, the first board nearing completion and the start of the second. Look at the pages on 'development' and 'recent' for more up-to-date work.
The operation is based on Yorkshire, the station building and footbridge access being modelled on Armley, for example. The trolleybus system is based on Huddersfield practice, and although none of the locations are prototypical the layout extends from the runs out to the moors, through the suburbs of the town into the centre and out the other side.
The roadway on the first board is simple with a turning circle at the end. I made this as small as practical, making sure that buses would be able to turn round it. The second board was a gamble in terms of its complexity of roadway, the first attempt at pointwork. I had no idea whether the guide system would work with so much pointwork and angled crossings. Fortunately it did, with a bit of adjustment on the crossings.

Layout1.JPG (14431 bytes)
In the beginning......the first two baseboards. I planned a small-ish self-contained section that would be expandable later.
Layout3.JPG (18361 bytes)
Here there are 4 baseboards with the track laid. The pointwork at front and back shows the planned extension this way, the loop this end will become a Branch.
Layout4.JPG (26353 bytes)
The railway control panel mimic diagram. The switches are for the Cab Control. Gaugemaster controllers have since been added.
Layout6.JPG (15886 bytes)
Scenery formers added and the roadway base laid on top of the tunnel. A scratchbuilt model trolleybus gives some idea of scale.
Layout7.JPG (14759 bytes)
The tunnel mouth and river bridge in place. A Transpennine unit emerges from the tunnel.
Layout8.JPG (11124 bytes)
The three-track station with one platform in place and trial card formers on the second board. These were later altered.
Layoutno10.JPG (30548 bytes)
The chicken-wire is added to the tunnel end of the layout to form the hill and valley profile. The bus guide strip has been inserted.
Layoutno11.JPG (16254 bytes)
...and the same view after addition of the bandage and plaster scenery. It is difficult to appreciate the height variation in this view.
Layoutno12.JPG (22051 bytes)
From the other side, with a few rocks in the streambed and retaining walls added.
Layoutno13.JPG (17213 bytes)
The first scenery at the moorland end appears...
Layoutno14.JPG (18260 bytes)
...and even some small buildings. This one represents a sub-station near the moors.
ModelTrolleyTest.JPG (7742 bytes)
The original test track to check out the trolley steering and the overhead construction.
LayoutR01.jpg (11177 bytes)
The second baseboard with guide tracks cut. These are wide so that different vehicles would follow slightly different lines. The railway track has all been ballasted.
LayoutR02.jpg (10314 bytes)
The guide wires have now been fitted. I started by cutting steel sheet, but found laying several steel wires easier. The points are a piece of shaped steel sheet.
LayoutR03.jpg (11621 bytes)
View from the other side. The slope is discernible, and was probably greater than it should have been. The buses just make it!
LayoutR04.jpg (13060 bytes)
View from above the tunnel mouth with road surface in place.

View of the road bridge and tunnel.

From the other side of the road bridge.
PA140031a.JPG (137185 bytes)
On Board 2, attention turned  to the station area, with the building of the retaining walls, a road bridge over the station and detailing and scenic work. This is a worms-eye view of the station approach, taken from the tunnel entrance, after scenery had been applied.   (>>)
PA220054a.JPG (138995 bytes)
Detail view of the abandoned siding area underneath the new retaining wall.
On the right is a birds-eye view looking along the station towards the overbridge. To the right of this is a plain area where the station building will be. Left-hand platform still to be built, as is the footbridge from the station to the platforms.
PA140034a.JPG (159563 bytes)
Station area starting to take shape.

go to shots of the layout under development        return to main Ridings page