|Date Commenced:||1998 - 2009|
|Size:||30' x 12'|
This is the story of a model railway designed and built in the time honoured way of model railway clubs: 'by committee'. Who were the 'committee'? Well, almost all of Cleveland Model Railway Club's members in varying degrees since about 1998, including a few former members. A notable contribution of much of the scratch-built station by our late member Don Jowett, remains as testimony to his skills and hence the naming of this club layout.
It all began at a meeting in 1997 when our chairman asked for ideas for a club layout. A blank list was posted on the notice board and many of us put on our ideas, all of which were rejected at a subsequent meeting!!! As a result, a list of required features was drawn up and a plan prepared to meet these requirements. At the next meeting the overall plan was debated and a second plan (50% larger!!!) was approved at another meeting as an intended running and exhibition layout of a fictitious junction with a North-Eastern flavour.
Good progress in baseboard construction was achieved over 1999-2000 and track-laying progressed well in the new millennium, but this slowed a little as other members had commitments with other projects. Some members continued with the electrics. The first building to appear on the layout was the magnificent scratch built station building modelled by Don Jowett assisted by a few others. Seemingly endless ballasting of track was completed around this time. From 2005 impetus was regained aided by new members with new energies. This enabled us to exhibit the partially completed layout at the first club open day in September 2007. Sadly, in June 2007, Don passed away suddenly. All members agreed that his contribution to the club layout and the club should be marked by naming it 'Jowett Junction' in his honour.
Since that time, completion of the layout scenery, revamping electrics and creation of lighting have been pursued with renewed energy by both old and new members. At the end of 2009, we can say that it has at last been completed to exhibition standard and ready for members to run trains. The finished layout has fulfilled the original intentions with few amendments and depicts a scenic progression from country, through suburb and town streets to industrial area. Its scenery and track-work allow both steam and diesel era stock of members to be run in a realistic way. 'Jowett Junction' will take pride of place at our restarted annual exhibitions. We hope that this will be the start of many more and some members are discussing the next club project. Here we go again! Let's hope the next one doesn't take as long!
The layout track plan, as it is today, consists of a main station with both up and down main line and platform avoiding lines. There is a 'double-ended' branch line; at one end it terminates in a bay platform and the other has access to the goods area and engine shed facilities. It is possible to circulate 3 trains around the layout at once. The rear of the layout has a 14-road fiddle yard, (6 in the Up direction, 6 in the Down and 2 for the Branch) each loop can store 2 trains. Track used is 100% Peco code 100 Streamline as it was felt that since it was a club layout, all wheel standards had to be catered for. Every point is motorised with Peco solenoid-type point motors.
In the last year or so the layout has come on leaps and bounds in the scenic department and has had a complete re-wire. Control is now provided by 2 main panels and a slave. The slave panel will repeat the LED indicators from the main control panel to the opposite end of the layout and provide feeds for controllers, so that during an operating session the main panel area will be less crowded. The principal used is cab-control to sections with 6 position rotary switches (4 controllers and two 'Off' positions). The layout is designed to be operated by a minimum of 3 people, but 4 is probably the ideal.
Signals are all of the colour-light variety and are partly interlocked with the pointwork so that a 'green' cannot be obtained unless the route is also correctly set. The fiddle-yard control panel has control over some signals to allow interaction between that operator and the drivers so that they know when a train is ready to leave or it is clear to be driven into the loops.
All main railway buildings have some lighting installed in them and there are some special effects installed in the large steel-works foundry. Listen out for the works warning klaxon which sounds just as they are about to pour the steel.