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History In the 1880s the North British Railway built several lines across rural Northumberland in an attempt to tap into the lucrative mineral and commercial traffic along the east coast and Tyne valley. One of these got as far as the village of Rothbury before the proposed route was blocked by the North Eastern Railway. This layout supposes the North British actually got another ten miles further up the valley of the River Coquet to Alwinton before construction ceased.
The Model Construction of this layout was started by the late Mike Scott and it was his wish it should be completed. Tony Lambert has continued construction, rebuilding parts of the layout from the ground up to test new ideas and electronics that were not available when the layout was first designed. The layout features DCC operation, full signalling and computer assisted control using MERG and home designed circuit boards. JMRI software connects the layout to a computer. This provides interlocking for points, signals and route control and reduces the load on operators. All points, signals, uncouplers and the shed doors are operated with servos. A touch screen is used with virtual switches instead of a normal control panel. The layout has full day and night operation, the computer handles all layout and building lights on a fast clock with appropriate sound effects.
The layout depicts a typical small Ex North British branch line station as it might have looked in the early 1960’s era of British Railways. It consists of the station buildings themselves and associated facilities for handling the military traffic including troop trains generated by the nearby Otterburn Ranges and Training area. Ammunition, foodstuffs, mail, vehicles, coal and oil comprise the inbound traffic, with mail, ammunition salvage (Expended shell and cartridge cases together with their associated packing materials), and weaponry comprising the outbound traffic. Local traffic consists of agricultural products, livestock and associated local passenger traffic. Locomotives and stock are typical of those used in North East England during early 1964 when steam and diesel worked together. The locomotives are propriety models in most cases heavily modified and repainted. Stock is a mixture of Hornby, Bachmann with some kit and scratch built models.