The Building of Yorkdale Part 1, Initial design

How cheaply can you build a model railway?

Building a model railway can be an expensive business so how do you get a good start for minimal money? I have chosen to build a traditional; 6′ by 4′ layout on a pre-made baseboard. This gives scope to run a few trains and there is some operational potential.

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Track design

The design is a variation of Hornby track plan 5D, with the sidings moved to the inside of the loop. There is a factory siding on the right. this will add interest.

Control Panel

I have also gone the DC route, again for cost reasons. The control panel will be housed in a commercial slope front project case. Points are controlled by Hornby passing contact point levers. The only electric points used are those that cannot be reached from the front of the layout. I am using cab control with two controllers and, on – off – on, toggle switches to control each section.


First of all you need a good solid base to build on. Don’t skimp on the baseboard. This was obtained from Model Scenery Supplies for £185 shipped. There is a long waiting time of 10 weeks, but they are well made and save a lot of hassle. The board comes in two halves and has a plywood top.

Period and Location

The location is the Yorkshire Dales, I have always wanted to use the Metcalfe Settle and Carlisle buildings! The era is now. The outside loop is a heritage line that has a link to the main line. This allows for steam charters to come off the heritage line.

PO336, 00 scale, Settle & Carlisle Goods Shed


Track is a mixture of Hornby and Peco code 100. most of it is second hand.


For now, I am using a couple of Hornby train set controllers.

Whats next?

Part two will be on fitting Peco point motors and wiring. I will also make some videos of progress on the layout.

I was looking for something to make soldering easier and found this on Amazon. This is great value and very useful if your eyesight is not as good as it used to be!

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