Ash Valley-O gauge

0 gauge 7mm \ ft. Control-analogue DC. Size: 26ft x 26ft

The Layout

The layout is a small village terminus set in the midlands, in the early 1930’s. The country is just beginning to come out of the recession and Ash Valley is starting to show the green shoots of recovery.

No 5 on shunting duties
No 5 on shunting duties

Skip to the end, if you want to know more.

Future Plans

After wiping the board at the Club’s 2018 Exhibition (best Club layout and the Mike Hunter award for scenics) we decided we needed a new challenge.

We had always noticed that despite the size of the layout (26’ by 26’ in an inverted L shape), all the attention focussed on the station end because there was more “action”. To spread the attention, we have decided to remodel the end boards at what was the level crossing end to create a “factory” section, keeping but enhancing our iron fabricator Flash, Spark & Burn, and the timber yard, and adding a dairy in an Art Deco style suitable for the 1930s era we are modelling. We are adding some other buildings and will have a canal section (as existed on an earlier version of Ash Valley).

We are using laser cut plywood baseboards and for the time being will continue with DC wiring. The track work is now laid and the wiring is about to start. The new buildings are taking shape, and the aim is to create a busy scene for the viewer.

In the longer term, we know all the baseboards will need replacing. What we are now aiming for is to create 3 layouts in 1: the full layout, the station end and the factory end, the latter 2 being about 20’ in length. We hope this will mean we can take some or all of Ash Valley “on tour”, as our visit to the O gauge show in Leigh was warmly received.

During lockdown we lost Arthur and Billy, two of the Club’s oldest members. We will be naming two of the Ash Valley loco’s in their memory.

The Ash Valley station throat area and warehouses.
The Ash Valley station throat area and warehouses.
Station Square, the Ash Valley townscape, showing the Butcher's and the Swan Hotel Public House.
Station Square, the Ash Valley townscape, showing the Butcher’s and the Swan Hotel Public House.
Railway worker’s cottages, overlooked by a passing train.
Railway worker’s cottages, overlooked by a passing train.
The coal stage
The coal stage

The Back Story to Ash Valley

Set in the 1930’s, Ash Valley is the terminus of a branch line which connects to the main line at Ash Valley Junction. It was constructed towards the end of the 19th century just before the passing of the Light Railways Act of 1896. The line was used to move agricultural produce to large conurbations around the country. An agricultural machinery manufacturer and a meat products factory were built as Ash Valley was given rail access. Passenger traffic rapidly followed bringing visitors and residents to this rural area, resulting in the Midland Railway negotiating running rights over the branch line.

The railway remained independent and escaped ‘The Grouping’ of 1923 with the LMS continuing to have the running rights to use the branch. Occasionally an LNER tank engine can be seen visiting the branch line. The AVR obtained locomotives from many of the pre-grouping companies and the architecture also bears a similar resemblance to the goods shed at Rowsley and the station at Oxenhope, both influenced by Midland design.

The track in the station area resembles Amlych and was hand built with rails soldered to brass pins, the remainder being Peco™. All buildings and structures are from areas within the Midland Railway region and are scratch built.