December 14, 2013

Quintessential UK Exhibition Layout

Work has been progressing steadily on the book. I am very pleased with how it is coming along. Hopefully work on the Aquia line can restart next month.

In the meantime, check out this video of a very elaborate UK exhibition layout. One thing I find interesting is how much infrastructure this layout entails. It is quite a job to move it to a show.
I also wonder much much simpler the electronics would have been with DCC.


  1. Actually for the kind of computerization they have used for this layout, DCC would not make a big difference. From what I have read about this layout, they use something like Bruce Chubb's CMRI. Incidentally, you can read all about this layout on this layout thread:

  2. Dear Bernie,

    Given a number of operational factors, DCC may well have made the raw track-buss wiring simpler, but would have brought quite a number of other practical, deployment, and operational issues to the table.

    "RH Rail = + volts = forward movement" has some inherrently-simple-solution benefits over DCC for reliable dead-reckoning/"blind" operations, particularly under mission-critical show-pressure conditions... ;-)

    Happy Modelling,
    Aim to Improve,
    Prof Klyzlr

  3. Readers of my blog will know of my aversion to elaborate electronics. While I admire their work, it is not my kind of approach. I do follow that layout on RWWeb, but I have not studied their electronics in detail, but here is what I think.

    Adding DCC to all those locos would not be simple, but it would provide sound synched to the drivers. Then they could have used frog juicers to simplify all the power routing circuitry for the frogs, especially for the double slips. It would also have eliminated the need for the progressive cab control, which I gather they use even though the layout doesn't really need many blocks, unless you have to detect each siding. It is a fairly simple track plan. Is detection really necessary. Is a track occupied? Why not look and see.

    As to the signals, UK signals are bit more involved then ours, but I bet they could have arranged the signals to work without any track detection, since all the downstream blocks will be empty. Interlocking the signals with the points can be done with one set of a dpdpt connected to each track.

    The automated sector plate was over the top.

    BTW I have a digital subscription to BRM magazine. I also have a small thread on the RMWeb forum in case you are curious. But if you read this blog, you already know very thing I have posted there, except for some stuff on WWI.

  4. Wow!! A fine example of fantastic craftsmanship and detail. These modelers are doing some very high speed work. To be honest I cannot believe this is a portable (!) exhibition layout but I would love to see it in person. My only concern would be how much it all weighs.

    For whatever reason this strikes me as the type of layout you would expect to see in a TARDIS.


    Gerard J. Fitzgerald
    Charlottesville, Virginia