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Scaleforum 2011



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Longcarse West is based on a few run-down sidings in the Alloa area of Central Scotland in the period 1975/6. This was once a busy area, with both the Caledonian and North British Railways building lines to tap into the local coal, glass making, brewery and distillery businesses. Although traffic remains buoyant, the threat of closure is looming ever larger as local firms either turn towards road transport or shut down completely. Many sidings in the area have already been abandoned or lifted as a result. The nearby dock lines will soon close and within ten years the railways of Alloa will almost all have disappeared, although many locals hope for a return of passenger trains at some point in the not too distant future.

The layout was my first attempt at building a model railway, although I have been an armchair modeller for at least the last thirty years. Dissatisfaction with the look of OO gauge trackwork and tension lock couplers were the main reasons for holding back, although I did take the time to build a few plastic wagon kits, improving my skills with the help of books by Iain Rice and Geoff Kent as each wagon was attempted. In late 2004 I joined the North East Area Group of DEMU and became involved with the building of Round Trees Sidings, an EM gauge layout that was shown at the DEMU Showcase in 2005. Around the same time Exactoscale brought out their P4Track Company range of points and trackwork. These two separate events combined to give me the push that I needed. I bought a P4 Track Company point, managed to put it together reasonably well, and started work on designing a small layout that could serve as a diorama for my wagons and maybe attend a few exhibitions.

The announcement of the Diesel and Electric Layout Challenge by the Scalefour Society provided a reason to build a functioning layout, and it was awarded a Commended certificate (4th place). Since the competition, the layout has been exhibited extensively around the country, and although it has performed very well I have decided to retire it, to concentrate on something new, which hopefully will be a little bigger, better and more carefully planned.

Presented by David Furmage.

All images:
David Brandreth