The model portrays a small town gas production plant in the midst of extensive industrial development. It is set in a broad period from the mid 1930’s to early 1950’s. There is no particular attachment to one railway company, but there is a strong London Midland and Scottish Railway bias due to the availability of that stock.
The right hand scene contains the “Gas Works” and surrounding industry. The works is small compared to those in cities. In Britain there were many such plants producing town gas on a small scale. The model incorporates features from several plants. The main building houses horizontal retorts, these were typical of the smaller works. Coal is delivered on the upper line; coke is removed on the lower. Tar oil is discharged into tankers from the storage tanks. To the right of the retort house are the gas purifier boxes, to left there is a governor house and two small gas-holders concerned with pressure regulation. A canal cuts across the railway scene requiring extensive bridging; it disappears under a warehouse. The railway disappears off-scene beside other industries.
The left-hand scene contains a canal basin, warehouse and a foundry. This scene can be considered to be quite remote from the other even if it is only a few inches away. It serves to hide the storage yard.
A number of features have been incorporated to bring additional life to the layout. The gas-holders rise and fall, the wagon turntable operates and wagons enter and leave the foundry. At the Gas Works coal wagons arrive full and leave empty, for coke wagons the reverse happens. The enclosure of the scene permits changes in lighting levels; day fades into night. The night time scene reveals detail not apparent by day.
The layout comprises three modules constructed from 6mm. ply stapled and glued together. All the visible track-work is by C & L, laid on a full-size plan drawn on a CAD system. Points are operated by PFM/Fulgarex motors. Control is basic DC using controllers from Gaugemaster.
The layout has appeared in the British railway modelling press twice, first in the “Model Railway Journal” No.87 and the “Railway Modeller” April 1997 edition. It gained the “Railway Modeller Cup” for that year.
12′ x 6’. Note. The layout does not now match the track plan above. A recent revision to the fiddle yard has widened the layout.
PLUS ROOM FOR OPERATORS IN FRONT AND BEHIND AND A STOCK TABLE FROM THE VENUE (6′ X 3′ nominal.)
ELECTRICAL POWER REQUIREMENTS
LIGHTING……………1.2kW INCANDESCENT 220/240VAC SUPPLY
LAYOUT……………….OUTPUT 12v DC CONTROLLED
ACCESSORIES 15V AC
EACH IS PROTECTED BY A 1Amp CIRCUIT BREAKER.
AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT – SOLDERING IRONS 100W max.
THE LAYOUT IS PROTECTED BY A RESIDUAL CURRENT DEVICE (R.C.D.)
Number of operators
4 minimum – 6 preferred for the longer shows.
Transport for exhibitions
- The layout travels in a long wheelbase Transit van or similar.
- Hire and fuel costs will be required.
- Hire costs- budget £200 for a weekend (Friday night to Monday morning, or £50.00 per day). We aim to come in under this price.
- Fuel to be costed at 20 MPG (diesel)
- Allow fuel for a second vehicle with the remainder of the operators.
Basic layout – £5500
Rolling stock – £8,000 this includes stock with an individual value in excess of £250. These will be advised upon request.
Exhibition history (as far as we can remember)
Ipswich Model Railway Exhibition – Northgate Sports Centre – 13-14th November 1999
Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust – 7-8th January 2006