When I started to build the boards for this layout I was given some heavy duty
sundealer fibre board which covered an area of 12ft, this would be ideal to carry all
the tracks that I had intended to put down as I wanted a 4 track layout with a large
station & goods yard.
Little did I know how this would work out later, the rest would be countryside with
different cameos to make the finish a lot easier to reach.
Having already started to put the track down onto the base boards a new member
called John Stokes joined me. He was a 3mm member but decided to join the building
of the layout. I was glad he did as he had the electrical knowledge that I lacked and
would need as the layout progressed.
He looked at what I had done so far and said it looked a lot like Halifax and from then
on it was built with this in mind. The next part of the build was decided by what destination the trains would be running to, so like the real thing Bradford Exchange in one direction and in the other Salter & Hebble Bank where trains would spl it to reach both Huddersfield and Wakefield. In the other direction the route went towards Sowerby Bridge and West to Manchester and beyond.
Luckily for me, I had already built enough boards to give me a layout which would fill
a 30ft x14ft space, taking several years to build. Bradford Exchange was next to be laid with track just a bit different from the real thing but near enough to get the flavour.
Another new member Jeff Moston had just joined the club and although he tells
everybody he knows nothing about railways, he has a good eye for modelling and has
made some lovely models for me including the Bradford Exchange plus the
surrounding buildings which also includes a large viaduct, an engine shed, a coaling
plant and offices. Several other people t hen started to become interested and assisted
on the scenic side.
We were then joined by another new member, David Greenwood, who created a
working goods crane which went into the Halifax goods yards, also a footbridge which
is still in use today. To fill this large layout with stock you need a lot of friends with lots of money to fill the fiddle yards, which were built under the hillsides, each yard holding up to 20 trains not including filling any stations or yards.
In the earlier days of the Calder Valley the railway had a large quantity of L&Y stock,
but as British Railways took over, a more varied mix of stock became easier to acquire,
which for some members was great news, as they brought everything from ‘Brighton
Belles’ to Virgin HST's. Since we have moved to our new home in Melbourne House we require new members to help run, build and maintain this large layout as it is still not finished.