Mervyn Turvey's layout "Alston"

 

This is the latest of a series of layouts carrying the same name. The first was exhibited way back in 1970. The name was originally derived from Bere Alston and has no relation to any other location of the same name. As well as a common name each has been modelled in a gauge of 12 mm to the foot and 3mm scale, originally known as TT3. None of the layouts has been created with a prototype in mind each having a plan that is related to the space available for modelling. The latest example is a double track mainline passing through a series of interesting aspects, a quarry feature with narrow gauge trains, open countryside and a viaduct crossing a creek. It is designed simply to satisfy the owner's interest in building trains and providing a scenic test track for these to run through. A variety of trains run. There are examples of models of pre-nationalisation in the case of steam trains. The modern diesel era is demonstrated by a collection of diesel trains painted in liveries covering the original green period through to current practice. In essence this layout is a rare insight into the history of 3mm scale modelling established in the late 1950's by the introduction of Triang TT3 model railways. Many of the locomotives and items of rolling stock are conversions of original Triang models or have been constructed from kits produced by the 3MM Society.
 
On the occasion the photographer, Jon Stokes, was visiting ,Alston was in L.M.S. mode. It is possible to operate the layout with locomotives from my collection covering the Great Four, British Railways and a large collection of diesels.

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4F No. 4560 trundles past the quarry sidings as two workers wander home after a day's work. The locomotive is a standard BEC kit scaled down in width on a narrowed Triang Jinty chassis.

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The "new" Alston Mining Company is one of the features of the new "Alston" layout. 4F meets Jinty 7312. The latter is a standard Triang locomotive with L.M.S. lettering and numbers.

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Alston Mines Junction signal box is scratch built using 1mm ply etc., and is based upon the signal box at Kilby Bridge, M.R .

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Narrow gauge saddle tank No.2 of the mining company heads away from the quarry with a rake of tippler wagons. It is a Joe-Works kit and runs beautifully.

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A glimpse of the mine works behind the narrow gauge train. All L.M.S. locomotives on the layout carry numbers associated with the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway.

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Pug shunter No. 11120 stands in the small servicing area at the end of the quarry exchange sidings. It is a Standard Society kit.

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A close up view of the Pug beside the coaling dock.

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The 4F begins to cross the viaduct which carries the main line tracks over Alston creek.

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Mervyn Turvey

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Last updated: 21-01-2006