0 gauge 7mm \ ft. Control-analogue DC. Size: 26ft x 26ft
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.
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.
Skip to the end, if you want to know more.
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).
Work on the new factory section of the layout continues. Work on the wiring has held us back but thank to excellent and needed help from a Founder Member, this is hopefully now sorted. We must complete this entirely new section of the layout in time for the Exhibition in October 2023 and there is still a lot of finishing work to be done.
We have been working on several new dioramas, and these are already looking outstanding. Below is the new canal section.
We have also created a new dairy in an Art Deco style, consistent with the theme of the layout being from the 1930s just as the country recovers from the Great Depression.
We also have re-purposed and extended the previous timber yard and are working on the old “Flash Spark & Burn” building.
Once complete we hope that this section of the layout will be available for other exhibitions, whilst we continue with the planning work for the curve section leading to the station end of the layout. The ultimate aim is to be able to offer 3 layout options, all of which will have lots to see, and plenty of train action as well.