Over the years R&D MRC has established a reputation for building entertaining and quality layouts. A number of these that have been retired from the exhibition circuit are listed below under Previous Layouts heading.
However layouts that are currently, either under construction or available for exhibitions, to our same high standards, are shown under the Current Layouts heading.
The concept for Okehampton was to build a layout in O Gauge which all members can be involved in, both in construction and operating. The size of the layout is dictated by a number of factors. The main one is that a layout should have space for the longest train to come into the layout, be in the layout, and exit. Therefore the entrance space, the central space and the exit space should each be roughly as long as the longest train. In 0 gauge, an 8 coach train and a Bulleid pacific is about 13 feet long, so thus a reasonable layout should be 39 feet at least. Okehampton fits this criterion with a length of over 40 feet along the main line. The width of the layout is a result of the depth of track and required a board width of some 6 feet.
The layout was orginally built by Geoff Williams and his sons.
Aylesbury Town is the latest in a long line of P4 layouts built by the club for exhibition.
Setting the layout in the BR Era of the 1950s/60s will allow a mix of stock from the Great Central, Metropolitan, LNER and GW, through to BR, comprising both through trains and stopping services (north & south). Local trains for Amersham and branch trains to Princes Risborough provide further interest . Measuring 32' by 12' the layout is a ‘roundy roundy’ design. By minimising the handling of stock, it is hoped that the layout, will provide greater interest to those operating and viewing.
The main scenic board plan is shown above.
Conversation among members occasionally turned to the possibility of the Club building a second, smaller, gauge 0 layout that could be transported relatively easily and exhibited at smaller exhibitions such as 'Risex'. A dockside scene was one idea mooted, but the concept took on a practical form when it was suggested that a 'shunting puzzle' would be a good choice. This would be very small, cheap to build and give visiting public the opportunity to 'have a go', perhaps in a competition format. It could also be a challenge to Club members to see who could complete the puzzle in the shortest time/number of moves.
This is a large oval board system that can be put up or taken down in a matter of minutes, for the use of club members to run in or test their stock.
We have an established history of building entertaining layouts. These have included: Chiltern Park, Saffron Street and Ddault based on the famous Ffestiniog Railway spiral, was a popular exhibit at exhibitions across the UK.
Chiltern Parkway depicts an intersection between an established mainline and a newly built continental line. As the name suggests it is set in the Chilterns and uses a number of local features to give a realistic setting.
The Aylesbury canal runs along the rear of the rail lines. Buildings have been “borrowed” from Bulbourne BWB workshops and relocated to Marsworth. The Chilterns escarpment forms the scenery to the right of the layout with its characteristic woodland hillside. The modern station to the left hand end forms a transport interchange between the trains and the local bus services.
Set in the late 90's there is a variety of passenger and freight stock, both diesel and electric. Both class 66 and 92 are present as well as the older classes of loco. The continental mainline has the Eurostar, TGV, ICE2 and high speed UK trains. EWS livery locos are present but do not dominate as many BR liveries are still to be seen.
Stock is a mixture of Graham Farish, CJM, N-thusiast resprays, N gauge society, Roco, Kato, Minitrix and Fleishmann.
Photographs by Paul Wright
Every narrow gauge modeller will happily reel off (should you be foolhardy enough to ask) a list of reasons why they’ve chosen the smaller prototype; reason of size, space and charm will probably top the list more often than not. Having modelled the modern Festiniog Railway for the past seven years I’ve found the primary attraction and satisfaction lies in the real opportunity to model the entire locomotive and rolling stock fleet of a prototype railway.
Modelling a real location has always involved much research, on the ground as well as through written and pictorial sources. Tackling the FR’s unique Dduallt spiral, setting a nominal prototype date of 1988/9, our research has necessarily been extended to the railway’s entire locomotive and rolling stock fleet; and allowed us to spend many hours wandering around the Festiniog’s Boston Lodge Works on the pretext of modelling research. Modelling a real location is immensely challenging; especially when it’s a tourist railway as well known by the general public as by us self-appointed Festiniog experts (not forgetting the many volunteer “Deviations” who built the line in the first place and who appear out of the woodwork at nearly every exhibition). Inevitably, compromise will raise its ugly head everywhere, and at every stage, on any layout; although more significantly when tackling a real location.
Saffron Street was a model of a fictitious station in north west London in about 1964 where diesels had replaced most of the steam workings.
The station was all but closed, only remaining open to this point to serve a small yard and industries. Most of the workings were freight, although infrequent passenger train or a multiple unit working may have been seen at times, trains from most regions could have been seen including London Transport. The railway was on arches with streets below, the area was smoke stained and dirty but pastel shades on cars of the period add a touch of colour. This is the year of the Profumo affair, The Beatles Hard Days Night and a general election, a time of change indeed.
The layout had been constructed by members of the Risborough & District Model Railway Club, to see if a small layout built to P4 standards within an urban location and diesels as the main motive power could be achieved, as this was thought to be something that was rarely modelled. The focus of the design was to be on the atmosphere and period, the opening paragraph above hopefully gives an idea of what we were trying to achieve.
All stock was either kit, scratch built or heavily modified and re-wheeled R.T.R. which was either compensated or sprung using tiny leaf springs which was now the favoured method for any new stock built. Alex Jackson automatic couplings were used on each rake of two or four wagons, these were operated by electromagnets. Control was via two Pentrollers and turnouts were operated by both mechanical linkages and slow acting point motors from a 12 lever frame.
The layout measured 15 feet by 2 feet wide and was free standing at 3 foot 10 inches. It was built to a scale of 4mm to the foot running on a gauge of 18.83mm (P4).