Scale/gauge: 16mm scale, 32mm gauge
Motive power: Live steam and battery

Yorkshire Area Group & Phil Thompson

On this layout, the trains don’t go round and round a circuit, they run in both directions between two return loops. When we have two or more trains on the single line, all operators have to keep a sharp lookout to avoid a possible “cornfield meet” – by making use of the many passing places. This creates a bit of a challenge for the operators, whether the home team from Yorkshire or any youngsters who ask (nicely, please) to have a go. I’ll leave you to guess who is better at this: the youngsters or the oldsters.

As you watch the trains go by, look for the many scenic cameos around the layout. Firstly, the drift mine where minerals are hauled up from underground onto a gantry, before being tipped into a waiting wagon; listen carefully and you might hear the sound of working miners as well as explosions underground. Then there’s the biofuel factory, where real rapeseed is brought in from the fields, to be tipped and processed into liquid and solid biofuels.

See also the headgear which lowers a cage into the deep mine, then hauls it back to daylight. Nearby is the explosive store, where a small accident appears to have just occurred – smoke is still rising through the hole in the roof. And on the subject of smoke, can you smell the aroma from the kipper smokery? Then there’s the beam engine which works the pumping rods, the horizontal steam engine powering the biofuel factory, the boiler houses emitting steam and many buildings all full of character.