I’ve talked to members of other clubs quite often at shows and have found that the length of time it takes to produce an “Exhibition Standard” layout varies from less than six months to about six years or more. I put the exhibition standard in quotes because some are far from it IMHO. They are though, a reflection of the members of their club, who all have different backgrounds and skills.
The essential thing is that it was a club project because when you are involved in one of these layout projects you tend to learn more in one night than you can struggling at home on your own for months…
Yeovil Model Railway Group have balanced “having fun” at the club nights with a very high standard of exhibition layout. There is nothing quite like the pride you feel whilst at an exhibition and running the club layout, when praise comes your way from the public. The team aspects and camaraderie are just two of the pleasures you can get from this lovely hobby of ours.
We have a number of club layouts – why not take a look at them and see the diversity of projects. Normally the statement from older members is “we don’t do stations” because the club tends to want to build exhibition layouts that continuously run and keep the public interested. Evercreech New is thus a major deviation from that historic approach.
Our ‘Settle and Carlisle Masterpiece‘ is a very large layout that can be permanently erected in our very large clubrooms. This represents the DC persona for the fiddleyard that is now shared with Evercreech New.
This superb model pictured before it was re-homed in our clubroom. The move has required a host of changes to adapt it to its new home, these have given us the opportunity to add cameos for Prestleigh Viaduct, Pecking Mill Viaduct, and Cannards Grave Cutting. This is the DCC persona for the fiddle yard shared with ‘The Summit‘. It had its first outing at Taunton Rail-Ex in 2019 as a ‘Work in Progress’, where trains were DCC operated via a selection of personal Android and Apple smartphones and tablets in conjunction with a couple of wired controllers with knobs. There were plenty of converts to DCC sound and lots of competition for driver slots.
Our first 0 Gauge layout, still a master class in cameos and weathering.
Our venerable EM Gauge layout first exhibited as a work in progress in 1983 at ExpoEM South West then held at Taunton Cricket Ground. Continually developed since that first show and now on its third fiddleyard, it’s a scale mile circuit and great fun to operate. This layout was the major project from the first decade of YMRG.
Our hugely ambitious finescale 00 gauge layout with our interpretation of Aynho Junction, where baseboard construction is complete and tracklaying has started. We have copies of the plans for the girder bridge as built in 1906, but to complicate matters we will be portraying it as it was after being upgraded in 1961 to have the track laid in a ballast trough. Our cunning plan is to use 3D printing for this bridge as opposed to the laser cut temporary bridge shown above at our 2019 Open Day.
Ratcliffe Street is six feet long, fairly narrow, and is designed as a diesel depot of no specific era or location. The layout has a few quirks. Firstly that it can be transported in a Fiat Panda and secondly it is our only club layout that is configured for DCC operation via wi-fi. An app on an Android smart phone or tablet is used to control the engines and point work. This has caused consternation at exhibitions with remote operation being employed from across the hall!
Tottington Hall Estate Railway
Tootington Hall Estate Railway is our Youth Section’s Wallace and Grommit themed narrow gauge layout. Seen above at SWOON 2018 it is in the process of being extended.
Our merry and growing band of mini-modellers are producing an extensive N gauge layout based on the ex-GWR Hemmerdon Bank in Devon. Work has progressed to track laying and scenic work. Expect plenty of HST action!
Our test track with N gauge, 00 gauge 2 rail and 3 rail Hornby Dublo circuits. Both DC and DCC operation is supported.
This test track saw a lot of use during the construction of The Summit to test locos and stock that were being constructed for the layout that many predicted ‘would never be finished’!