‘Lacey Dale’ is The Model Railway Club's new N gauge layout, inspired by the viaduct and surroundings of Monsal Dale in the Peak District of Derbyshire with the Midland main line to Manchester. The period depicted is from mid 1950s to mid 1960s. Although this part of the railway was double track, to provide greater interest we have added long lie by sidings on both 'up' and 'down' lines, as provided a few miles away at Darley Dale. These enable faster trains to overtake the slower freights, and sometimes, local passenger trains.
Trains are DCC controlled, with micro processor frog switching and servo operation of both points and signals. Construction of the layout began at Christmas 2012, and it was shown with the upper level ‘under construction’ at the 2013 Festival of Model Railways at Alexandra Palace. The upper level is now at the detail stage, and we are busy working on the low level part.
This lower level station is based on a 'might have been' route of The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway (eventually part of the Great Central Railway) with a line bored through the limestone to Lacey Dale, en-route to Chesterfield. Following the rationalisation after the formation of BR in 1948, the former through station has been cut back to a terminus, and owes its continued existence thus far to the traffic from one of the limestone quarries. However a regular service is maintained for the local community, with excursion trains in the summer.
Today’s ready-to-run N gauge locos have greatly improved in accuracy and detail. DCC enhances their performance allowing them to run smoothly at realistic speeds - from a Black 5 or Jubilee hauling a passenger express to a 9F heavy freight loco crawling by with a long mineral train. The observer may well see some early diesel locos, as well as DMU's and the crowd puller at our 2013 show - the Midland Pullman in all its Nanking Blue glory.
We welcome anyone with a particular interest in N gauge, and if you would like more information about this developing project do please contact Team Leader, Ronaldo Fagarazzi at the MRC.