It’s three or four years now since the stock from our 0-16.5 layout Upper Creek was stolen in a break in. The frequently exhibited layout was showing signs of age, and so it was finally retired, and a new project was needed. Some club members hadn’t shaken off the narrow gauge bug, and coincidentally we had acquired a few items of 009 stock, together with a handful of turnouts and some lengths of peco track. So it was that the Dufftown came into being.
The original plan utilised the fiddle yard from Upper Creek, a board measuring 3’6″ by 2′ made from a 4″ plywood frame topped with sundeala. The specification included the following requirements:
- The layout would be modular – that is, it the first board would be self contained and could be finished before the next board was added; this could be finished and form a complete layout with the first while the next board was developed and so forth….
- The finished layout would incorporate a loop for round and round running. 009 stock, particular that which we had inherited, can be temperamental in running, and a circuit would allow good “running in”. It’s also one of the advantage 009 offers and we wanted to use it!
- Points would be motorised to allow full operation from either the rear of the layout (for exhibitions) or from the front (for recreational running). It was to be a club layout, despite the fact that relatively few members have 009 stock!
To a greater or lesser extent all of these aims have been realised.
The setting of the layout was chosen to be Scotland because there are many narrow gauge models featuring Welsh lines. It is true there are fewer Scottish prototypes so a little modellers’ licence was applied, of which more will be posted soon… But the temptation of modelling a whisky railway was too great to resist, and so even at this stage it was clear the next board, whenever it was built, would have to include a distillery…