The idea with Silverbury was to create a modern image layout of the Great Central Railway if it had been made 4 tracks into London after the 1st world war, and if Beeching had not closed the line, but instead reduced it to two tracks.
What would it have looked like?
Silverbury is a combination of Silverstone and Aylesbury a “WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN” layout.
The period modelled is BR Blue to the present day, and to achieve this we are producing interchangeable buildings and industries which can be dropped into place.
Silverbury is placed at the edge of both Network South East (BR blue) and Chiltern Railways (Network Rail) so many trains would terminate at this point. It is also a mainline for long distance and Cross Country Passenger, and through freight trains. This is to create plenty of interest for both operators and viewers.
It has been built in a modular construction which has allowed a more flexible and versatile approach with each base board being 4’ x 2’6” – (1.22m x .76m) and there are two half length boards.
The layout can be put together in FOUR basic formats.
1. Hidden Yard to Hidden Yard with a station in the middle (36’ x 8’ – 11.5m x 2.5m).
2. Hidden Yard to End Station, (28’ x 8’ – 8.6m x 2.5m)
3. Similar to 2 but in the form of a 'U'. (28’ x 12’ – 8.6m x 3.7m)
4. A full round and round layout. (35’ x 12’ – 10.7m x 3.7m)
The hidden yards are two symmetrically opposite ends.
The additional boards can be added to give a full round and round layout 9' x 29' which gives a nominal footprint of 35' x 12' (10.7m x 3.7m) as mentioned above.
We have found in practise that the additional time taken in every detail of construction when building the layout over many years has ensured that it runs reliably. Even after many months in storage it has always worked near perfectly every time. The track work and electronics are standing up well to the less than perfect environment of our Clubroom.
We have decided to use truncated pyramidal box legs (towers) for this layout that are independent and NOT LAYOUT SPECIFIC, this is so they can be re-
For transportation, storage and maintenance we fit end boards and 40mm x 20mm timber stretchers across the top which creates a box to protect them and because we’re using tower legs, it also means they can be used to support the boards when they are turned UPSIDE DOWN, without fear of damage to the scenery when we need to work on the under side and gives us easy access for upgrading and maintenance.
Erection and dismantling of the layout is easy achieved by the small team even when dealing with the full round and round version (17 baseboards).
We use MERG’s Cbus system to control and sense the points and we’re able to set routes i.e. into and out of the 11 road fiddle yards with one push button switch. The layout can also be changed from a standard DC control to DCC at the flick of a switch.
We’re also using MERG’s DCC equipment and JMRI to operate the locomotives, several of which have sound units.
The next phase is to complete the scenics on the layout, add more buildings, people, lighting etc and to create realistic signals.
We only have a small team so why not come and join us as you would be made most welcome, and as the layout is nearing the stage to exhibit at shows, all help would be appreciated.