New Sodbury

‘00’ THORNBURY MRC

The once bustling station of New Sodbury, situated on a busy main line, is now only a shadow of its former self. While the station building is being refurbished, from a dilapidated state, it has been replaced by a temporarily cabin to serve the passengers using the local services, usually handled by DMUs. The main traffic now using the line is freight with the occasional fast passenger service, some of which may stop at the little wayside station. The former goods yard has been taken over by a cement company that brings in raw materials via its rail link.

This fictional layout is based on Chipping Sodbury, which was the original layout on these baseboards. Operation was not satisfactory, so the club took the decision to rebuild the layout to represent a station somewhere just off the West Coast Main Line. The track plan was amended and set it in a period from late 60’s to the present day. As concrete sleepered track to the standard we required was not produced by UK manufacturers at the time of construction, we had to use continental track with Code 82 rail. Likewise, most of the point work is also from the continent with the remainder either being Peco (in the fiddle yard) or, where the track geometry dictated, the points are hand built. Point operation is by Tortoise motors. To improve fiddle yard operation the point motors were added with route setting being via a diode matrix.

To allow the use of either DCC or analogue controlled locos, the layout wiring has been installed to permit both forms of operation.

Fully functional colour light signals have been provided. The signals are by Absolute Aspects, with Eckon ground signals. Automatic control is facilitated by Heathcote Electronics’ infra-red train sensing units mounted under the baseboards. Signalling is operated, as far as is feasible within sensible limits of complexity, replicating prototypical practice, via additional switches added to the point motors.

The scenery is formed from cardboard on wooden formers, covered with plaster.  Originally carpet underlay was used to represent grass, but this has now been covered with electro-statically applied materials. Bushes and trees have been added to replicate the modern, rather overgrown railway.