Ratcliffe Street was originally designated as a private layout within the YMRG but when its owner decided to change scales the Group took it on and it is now a club layout. It 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 (yes there is still room for the driver) 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. For those in the know we are using the Z21 black system along with an OC32 circuit board to change the points.
The layout was displayed at the Yeovil Model Show in March 2018. This was its first public outing and we discovered a number of operational glitches which will be fixed over the coming months. The scenery needs to be completed but on a six-foot long layout that should also not take too long. Despite the fact that it was a bit of a work in progress the layout still encouraged some interesting conversations such as “Are you using your phone to control the engines”? A couple of sound-fitted engines also caused a few raised eyebrows.
So what is the future for Ratcliffe Street? We must fix the glitches and complete the scenery and then who knows. Perhaps we might receive an emergency call from an exhibition manager who’s had a layout pull out of a show at the last-minute and “Could you help”? We have no further show commitments for the layout in 2018 which gives us the time we need to complete it.
Please keep an eye on this or our Facebook page. If you have any specific questions about this or any of our other layouts please direct them in the first instance to the club Secretary, the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.