EMPIRE ROAD
OO gauge layout

The layout measures 20′ by 7′ and is a continuous run oval, scenic at the front and a fiddle yard at the rear.

The basic concept is Inner-London, with the railway confined within a brick arch cutting. As well as the “main line”, being London, the Underground also makes an appearance – but at a higher level; not an unusual situation in reality. The time period is somewhere from the 1950’s to the early 1960’s – all rather smoky and sooty compared to London as we know it now. It does not, however, stop us from also running “1930’s style” if we fancy something different.

It represents a railway crossing London from East to West, serving more than one Railway Company. It is as if the currently proposed Cross-Rail route had been built 100 years or more ago. Although built as a joint owned line with the old L.N.E.R, the old G.W.R. had prominence at this station.
As well as passenger facilities, the Bombay Brewery dominates one end and a typical city railway goods warehouse the other. These provide some local goods traffic, but most services, be they passenger or goods, are through trains. Pickfords City depot is also much in evidence, although not served by the railway.

To the rear are the houses and shops of the edge of the City of London, whilst the main station building sits on a bridge over the platforms, with stairs leading down to give passengers access – a common feature in and around London.

Trackwork is Peco code 75, laid on cork. The baseboards are made from plywood and are quite lightweight despite the large individual size of each board.   The electrics are by that great duo Trial and Error (buddies of Ham and Fisted) – sorting out the live frog slip points was an experience in itself !
The Civil Engineering and the Buildings are a mixture of scratch built, modified kits and “ready to plant” resin – but you will not see much grass or any trees when it is finished, after all this is London in the days that everything was in black and white. The only puzzle will be how to create some authentic Smog !!!

The 3rd and 4th rail on the Underground section was causing running problems, but one of our members has painstakingly re-laid it all – including installing the wooden ramps at pointwork which you see on the real thing. We are now moving on with the installation of all the various bits such as lineside cabling, relay boxes, sand drags, etc.

The configuration of many of the non-railway buildings are currently being reviewed and changed, to come up a more pleasing vista. This includes installing a lightweight baseboard above the right-hand Underground fiddle yard to increase the amount of “Townscape” on view. A number of new buildings, including a small London Transport bus garage, are being installed.

There have been modifications to the original goods yard track layout and the “scenic” side of things at track level has been enhanced with additional items. There is still, however, plenty to do to complete this work.

Whilst the layout is “portable” if necessary, it is not intended to exhibit the layout and it is very much regarded as a permanent layout. Great fun is had from it at our once a month running nights.

 

 

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