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Scaleforum 2009 - Clarendon - Leamington and Warwick Model Railway Society

View of layout - Clarendon In the early years of the 20th century a railway station in West London was served by four railway companies, which was unusual in those days of fierce rivalry between the various railway concerns. The four railway companies were the London and North Western (LNWR), the Great Western (GWR), the London Brighton and South Coast (LBSCR) and the London and South Western (LSWR), a combination unique to this one location. All four ran trains to the station because it provided passengers with a rare opportunity to journey across London from north to south or vice versa with but one change of train.

The station was called Addison Road. It still exists today, although the name has been changed to Olympia to reflect its current purpose of serving the well known exhibition halls. It is the great diversity of locomotives and rolling stock from the four companies that makes the station attractive as a subject for a model, particularly so to those club members who individually have an interest in one or other of these companies. Addison Road provides a subject for modelling that satisfies the interests of many more members that a single company station ever could.

View of layout - Clarendon Unfortunately, Addison Road was a very large station, and the Club's resources could not stretch to the building of what would be a large layout. So we have changed history. We have imagined that the LNWR recognised the nascent industrial and commercial development in west London, and the importance of the West London Railway (as the Addison Road line was known) as a north - south artery. The company therefore built a spur off the 'main' line to a compact terminal station, to establish its presence in the area.


The railway crossed the southern fringes of Wormwood Scrubs and ended in the area of Acton known as Clarendon. The station serves the same purpose as Addison Road, that is as an interchange between the same four railway companies.

Additionally, the station was itself a huge source of traffic. The ready access to the railway network - north, west, and south - assisted the growth of industry which made west London so economically important in the first half of the twentieth century.

View of layout - Clarendon The layout is very much a first attempt at modelling in P4. Indeed, it started out merely as a test track on which members could develop their finescale skills. Encouraged by the progress of construction on the permanent way and buildings, and not wanting to 'waste' the good work carried out, thoughts began to turn towards enlarging it into the "proper" layout.

Additional space was allotted in the clubroom, and plans were soon drawn up and budget agreed. Thus Clarendon, the substitute Addison Road, was born.

The baseboards are constructed from 4mm thick plywood as open bottom boxes some 220mm deep. With internal cross bracing of the same material, the units are extremely strong, rigid and light weight. The top surface of most of the boards is 6mm plywood, but the two oldest boards have 12mm chipboard surfaces. All boards were constructed as pairs with the same dimensions to allow them to be boxed up, face to face, for transportation. Legs and trestles of several designs support the layout, ranging from conventional A frame trestles to an innovative plywood cone leg. All supports have height adjusters to permit the layout to be leveled on uneven floors.

Track is laid on 3mm cork sheet. Black foam underlay was also tried, but found to be unsatisfactory at board joins as it allowed the rail ends to wander. The track itself is mainly Brook Smith ply and rivet construction, with C&L cosmetic chairs. Some Ratio plastic track base is also in use, mainly in sidings. Proprietary 'granite' ballast is used on running lines and reclaimed sand blasting grit in sidings. Full point rodding is modelled using Brassmasters components. The layout is (will be) fully signalled.

View of layout - Clarendon The electrical system incorporates a four-cab control system. Any of the four controllers can be selected to a track section by means of banks of interlocked 'radio' buttons on the main control panel.

Points and signals are controlled by a lever frame of switches, referenced to an annotated track diagram. Additionally there are three smaller control panels that permit local control of the goods yard, engine yard, and factory sidings respectively.

Landscaping is formed on a base of expanded polystyrene, which is surfaced with a composite of "J Cloth" and a proprietary filler (such as Polyfilla) to which PVA is added for additional strength. This is treated with an earth coloured paint before adding texturing from ground foam (Woodland Scenics) and a variety of fibrous materials such a plumbers hemp.

The buildings are constructed of wood, card, and plasticard in various combinations, and architectural effect sheets from the Slaters, Wills, Exactoscale, and Howards Scenics ranges are used.

The operation of the layout is designed around separate drivers and signalman. The idea is that the signalman (and only the signalman) will set the road and the signals, and the drivers will then drive as controlled by the signals, as per prototype. Drivers will, of course, set their own turnouts in sidings. "The rest of the railway system" is represented by a cassette type fiddle yard.


Callowland track diagram


Model railway layout - Clarendon Model railway layout - Clarendon Model railway layout - Clarendon
Model railway layout - Clarendon Model railway layout - Clarendon
Model railway layout - Clarendon Model railway layout - Clarendon
Model railway layout - Clarendon Model railway layout - Clarendon
Model railway layout - Clarendon Model railway layout - Clarendon
Model railway layout - Clarendon Model railway layout - Clarendon Model railway layout - Clarendon
Model railway layout - Clarendon Model railway layout - Clarendon Model railway layout - Clarendon