Our Ruddington Layout
We started the OO-gauge Ruddington layout in 2002, and it
has become an important educational tool in showing visitors what
Ruddington station and the surrounding area were like in the late
1950s and early 1960s when it was of course part of an important
main line. It is primarily aimed at the general public rather than
other model railway enthusiasts, but naturally it has to be of a
standard acceptable to both model and prototype railway enthusiasts
since they do form a significant proportion of our visitors. In
fact it is our local visitors who are often the most stringent
judges of the layout, looking very carefully at our handiwork.
The sheer size of the layout makes an immediate on visitors. The layout is 32 feet long so we are able to run expresses realistically at a scale version of the 70mph they regularly passed Ruddington, with the windcutters also running at an appropriate speed.
The locos and rolling stock are a mixture of ready-to-run and kit built, whilst the buildings have been custom-built (and in this context I must mention the artistry of Richard Tilden Smith, whose buildings do so much to set the scene)
We are fortunate to have more rolling stock available than can be accommodated on the layout, so we can ring the changes regularly. Some of the locos have stood up to our regular high-speed running and heavy-duty operations better than others: we would mention the Bachmann K3 and J39 and the Hornby 9F as having proved particularly durable, as well as being appropriate for the layout. There also has to be a special mention of a Silver Fox Models Co-Bo which sometimes makes an appearance (presumably thrown out by the Midland), and has shown itself to be infinitely more useful than the prototypes.
It is interesting to find that there is less enthusiasm for the P2 2-8-2 on its occasional visits than for the local A5 4-6-2T or the B2 "Sir Sam Fay" 4-6-0.
Perhaps this is something to be considered by those people contemplating new-build locos (and if anyone does win the lottery...).
There are a few mistakes: there should be a crossover under the 50 Steps Bridge, but it was not shown on the Ordnance Survey maps we consulted (we did not have access to the railway plans at the time) and by the time we spotted it on photos it was too late to modify the track without total disruption. Above all, we are very grateful for the help we have received from Gee Dee Models and Sherwood Models, and we would be more than happy to see anyone who is interested in joining us - we do have a number of thoughts for future projects.