CRAG Meeting 12/1/17 - Liverpool Lime St

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Ian Everett
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CRAG Meeting 12/1/17 - Liverpool Lime St

Postby Ian Everett » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:58 pm

This was a very special and memorable meeting, a visit to John Holden's house to operate his staggering EM scale model of Liverpool Lime Street.

I had been following his thread on RMweb - ... t-station/ so had a good idea of John's project but this did not prevent me being totally amazed by the scope and excellence of John's achievement. Work on this, his third attempt at modelling Lime Street, has been underway for thirty years but progress during the last few years has accelerated following John's retirement and the creation of a small team of appropriately qualified helpers. Together they have created one of the most impressive layouts I have ever seen or operated.

The pictures in RMweb tell part of the story but they do not show the cleverness of the design for operation. Although it initially seemed daunting, we very quickly learnt how to run the trains in the correct sequence.. The two control panels work on the "entry - exit" route selection system. Each operator has a geographic plan of the layout. To run a train one presses a button to alert the computer. Then pressing buttons on the start and end points sets up the whole route automatically as long as it does not clash with a conflicting route. Turnouts are set, signals pulled off, power connected to the appropriate tracks and the route confirmed by illuminating a row of lights along the chosen tracks. The controls were conceived before the availability of DCC so wiring is much more complex than it would need to be with DCC.

But there was much more: echoing station announcements tailored to each train, road traffic all running automatically, superb buildings, cctv to let operators and viewers see hidden corners (invaluable when spotting a train on an uncoupling magnet) etc., etc.

If all the above seems like an extended exclamation of "WOW" then so be it.

The CRAG crew of Stuart de Boer, David Dredge, Steve Paulin and myself had a wonderful day. Unfortunately Steve Griffiths and David Smith had to pull out at the last minute with medical issues. Our hearty thanks go to our very welcoming hosts, John, Steve, Rob and Noel.

Lime Street will be at the Glasgow exhibition on Fri-Sun, 24-26 Feb, along with Burntisland and lots more - see

At our next meeting on Thursday 8th Feb we will again be operating a city terminus but sadly my Bradford North Western is rather smaller beer! As always, enthusiasts in the Wensleydale area will be very welcome. P.M. or email me for details.

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