Phil Mason

Layout size: 8ft x 2ft6in (plus operating space) 

Pictures here:

This layout has resulted from the frustration expressed by a visitor to our exhibition a couple of years ago who commented that, while many of the layouts were beautifully modelled, “nothing much seems to happen”. 

So this is unashamedly a round and round ‘tail chaser’. The other design constraints were that it would: provide a setting for an  interesting variety of trains, utilise as many existing materials and structures as possible, be relatively quick to build and fit in a VW ‘Up’!

To these ends, the layout shares legs and lighting with a TT layout, the proposed length was reduced from 12ft to 8ft and many of the buildings have been salvaged from layouts build as much as 45 years ago! All the curves and The inner track circuit are ‘set track’ from my son’s layout. It’s taken me 50 years of modelling to realise that flexible track doesn’t work well round corners but set track is great!

‘Culthwaite’ doesn’t exist, but is inspired by the less frequently modelled northern part of the Settle – Carlisle, particularly Culgaith but with a bit of Armathwaite (including the curved platforms and standard S&C buildings). 

Set in the recent past before the demise of coal traffic, look out for (shortened) model versions of the regular performers. These include the 6K05 engineering train, empty cement wagons for Clitheroe and logs from Scotland to Chirk on the ‘up’. On the down there’s the long standing coal empties from Milford to Ayr, china clay to Irvine and ballast from Mountsorrel  to Carlisle.