Traditionally we name our layouts after local places, most of which never had a railway, and as such they are not generally affiliated to any particular railway company or region – being designed to allow stock owned by club members a chance to be run at exhibitions. After all, the object is to have fun and entertain visitors.

We do not run to timetables, and do not mind which region or type of rolling stock is run, although we do try to maintain some consistency in what is running at any particular time.  At exhibitions we are much stricter with this rule (we tend to either agree with exhibition organisers, or decide before going which period/stock we will be running) than at club running nights, when virtually any stock owned by members runs.

A freelance 00 gauge layout, 22' x 5', which is half station area and half ‘train in the country’.

The back story has it that an ambitious company began to build a railway from Compton to link up with another main line. They got as far as Priorsfield, put in a branch to Holloway Road, then ran out of money. The station therefore has the appearance of a junction between a branch and a twig, with run-arounds and goods facilities on both sides, even though it is in fact a terminus on one platform. Track is Peco code 75, so it looks much finer but it will only accomodate members’ more modern stock with the finer wheel profiles.

A particular feature of the layout is the long viaduct, which was lengthened from its original ‘bridge’ status to provide a focal point at the scenic end of the layout. Beyond this, and hiding the fiddle yard is Alvin's End village with its Saxon church and quaint village houses and pub. Local visitors may recognise one or two buildings from villages around Guildford. The use of false perspective in the road leading away from the village provides depth to the scene.

There is another fiddle yard at the other end of the station allowing for through traffic on both the goods line and the passenger line. Both of the fiddle yards have recently been extended to allow more and longer trains to be run. The layout has also had its signals upgraded to operating lower quadrant semaphores including an impressive 4 doll bracket signal near the signal box.

A freelance N gauge layout, 12' x 3'.
The layout has a continuous run, via a fiddle yard, on a double main line through station. Additional terminal platforms at one end of the station are intended for branchline traffic and surburban traffic to the "big city". The track plan includes a goods yard and locomotive depot and fully automatic turntable. The layout is designed to be operated by 2, 3 or 4 operators.

Our next OO layout has now been given the go ahead for design and construction. It is to be based on the two stations that used to exist at Savernake near Burbage in Wiltshire. Currently in the baseboard construction stage, it will be a mainline loop layout with a single line branch and a single line loop. See the details of this exciting project on the new Savernake information page.