The finescale group’s previous layout, Walford Town, was EM gauge. Several of the group were already P4 modellers, so we decided the new layout would be to P4 (4mm/ft) standards. Walford had been a diesel layout set in what was at the start the contemporary mid to late ‘80s scene set on the ex Great Eastern in London. This had worked well in that it was neither the area nor the era of any of the group. However, individual interests varied from the GWR to LB&SCR, LSWR to LNWR and eras varied from late nineteenth century to the 1960s and beyond. We were wrestling with how to use the interest and expertise of the various members when it was pointed out that Addison Road on the West London line saw trains from the LNWR, LSWR, GWR and LBSCR. If we picked 1908 then there was quite a lot of stock already available from group members, and others, whose interests were elsewhere, would be happy to build stock as a diversion from building for their own layouts.
However, Addison Road (Kensington Olympia as it became) was far too large. At that time the club rooms were in a basement with limited scope for such a large undertaking. The solution was to develop a feasible branch off the West London line to a small but busy terminus not far from Wormwood Scrubs and, so, Clarendon was invented.
Baseboards were constructed from 4mm thick plywood with internal cross bracing and are strong, rigid and light-weight. The hand built track on the main station boards is mainly ply and rivet and there is full point rodding and working signals. The buildings are constructed of wood, card, and plastic card in various combinations, and architectural effect sheets from various ranges are used. The main station building is based on that at Canonbury, and the station master’s house is based on another local (and still existing) relic from the railway in North London.
As the build of Clarendon was nearing completion, thoughts turned to a development of the line back towards the fiddle yard / main line. With all the re-marshalling of trains, there was a need for carriage sidings. We also wanted a gas works (off stage) to provide more varied goods working and accompanying exchange sidings. A goods loop was also a desirable feature, especially on this busy line, and provide more interest. Thus Scrubbs Lane was devised as our current project. Four additional boards have been built to allow the three long carriage sidings, along with the other sidings. A road over-bridge hides the entrance to a fiddle yard (cassette deck) and flies over the carriage sidings. Thus the far end of the carriage sidings and goods loop are off-stage. Track on these boards is made using Exactoscale/C&L components.
For Clarendon we decided to operate more like a real railway and have a dedicated signalman. The signalman sets the route, switches the sections to a driver, and then operates the signals. Drivers must obey the signals, and the only form of safety protection is the provision of catch points to protect passenger lines. The only points and section power switches controlled by the drivers are the goods sidings which are controlled by the equivalent of ground frames. We also have a shedmaster who has complete control of the engines shed, and is allowed by the signalman onto the main running lines as required.
The finescale group’s previous layout, Walford Town, was EM gauge. Several of the group were already P4 modellers, so we decided the new layout would be to P4 (4mm/ft) standards.
Walford had been a diesel layout set in what was at the start the contemporary mid to late ‘80s scene set on the ex Great Eastern in London.