Warley Model Railway Club

Railway modelling in most scales and gauges

Warley Model Railway Club, Unit 1F Pearsall Drive, Oldbury, West Midlands, B69 2RA

Registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) Charity No: 1153792

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Ellerton Road - Scale 7

In 2004 we were challenged to build a new layout for the 2006 Gauge 0 Guild’s 50th Anniversary show at Telford by the then Exhibition Manager Mike Williams. At that time the S7 South Staffordshire Area Group comprised a small number of modellers, most of whom were new to Scale 7, and after six months of deliberating we all agreed upon a plan.

The layout was called Ellerton Road, which is a fictitious name and is in reality based on the IIkeston Town branch line, built by the Midland Railway and later merged into the LMS. This branch line was connected to the Midland Railway Erewash line that was part of the main line between Derby and Sheffield.

The services that worked over the line were passenger trains between the junction on the main line and the station at IIkeston Town. Other passenger services were from stations in the area, Nottingham being the most important. Freight traffic was both coal and merchandise. The coal traffic was for the gas works that was close to the railway and connected by a short line that crossed the road; one end was in the gasworks sidings and the other in the railway sidings close to the station. The other coal traffic was for domestic coal merchants who unloaded the coal and carried it to their coal yards in horse drawn carts and for industrial users who did likewise. Private sidings on the branch were not common but there is one on the layout. This is behind the bay road and was originally used by the Corporation. The inwards traffic came from the mainline junction and was worked by local freight trains that returned to the mainline junction with outwards traffic. The Local Instructions for the branch allowed a limited number of goods wagons to be propelled from the junction to the terminus. This train did not have to include a Goods Brake Van.

The layout was originally 24-foot-long with an 8-foot fiddle yard and was built in the garage of one of the members. We only had sufficient space to erect 2 base boards at a time giving an 8-foot section. A few years after it was built a change of circumstances led to the layout being based at the HMRS building at the Midland Railway Centre. Whilst at the HMRS we gained a few new members and decided to extend the layout to include the river, canal and junction as we had more space. Few changes were made to the station and goods facilities but the siding, now known as the long siding, was extended. It is used to hold passenger trains. After the passengers have left the train the engine runs round and draws forward onto the long siding. Prior to departure the train is propelled into the platform where the passengers and any luggage join the train.

After a couple of years the layout outgrew the available space we had and since some members of the group were already members of the Warley Model Railway Club, we approached the WMRC to see if the layout could be based at their club rooms. This was granted and opened the opportunity to change the fiddle yard, which enabled us to correctly model one of the roads and we changed to double track as prototype.