My 3-Rail Hornby-Dublo layout - and tips and thoughts
Scroll down for copies of H-D instruction leaflets, advice and tips.
This happened quite by accident. Hornby 0 and then Hornby-Dublo three-rail is what I had as a teenager growing up in Yorkshire, England. (See About my Railway Interest.) The fortuity is that just a few years ago, the son of a former model railroading buddy from back in the '70s offered to donate his father's boxed, brand-new Hornby-Dublo ELG17 goods set "to a good home". How could one refuse? Well, I set up the simple oval on the dining room table, and the memories started to come flooding back. My introduction to Hornby-Dublo came when I was about 14 and I was at a cousin's home for the summer - he had a GWR goods set (the engine I remember had the gold-leaf "button" GWR emblem - so it must have been pre-war) - he had a simple double track layout with a crossover pair of points and that was it - just on a green plywood-type board - no scenery - nothing else - but that was total fun for a whole summer - amazing isn't it? In those days, teen happiness was a bicycle, a cricket bat, a soccer ball and an electric train. (The first three were relatively affordable, but an electric train often remained a dream, especially in the years just before and after WWII.) My, how the world has changed.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I decided on a "memory lane" 3-rail 00 expanded venture - tinplate rollingstock, metal wheels and couplings are "de rigueur", but with a concession to mostly Superquick for some additional buildings.
NETHER SCRIMSHAW and the hamlet of LONGLEY SUTCLIFFE
This layout is a double track oval that wraps itself around the country town of Nether Scrimshaw, with a branch to the hamlet of Longley Sutcliffe. The original plan was to have all the points manually-operated, with total reliance on isolating points to create the necessary block sections, but the notion of having to walk around the layout soon wore thin when passing loops and a goods yard were added on the far side, so that remote-controlled points became de rigueur.
Power is handled by a Hammant & Morgan "Duette". Unfortunately, remote-controlled points do not come in an "isolating" version, so some additional wiring became necessary, which is always a good work-out because the layout is only 24" off the floor for convenient operation while sitting on the adjacent sofa. The overall dimensions are 9ft 9 inches long and 44 inches wide, with a partial 50 inch width at one end for an outer goods train loop and access to the branch. A 38" width is the minimum for double track operation, but the extra six inches allow for two sidings off the outside (UP) circuit, one for an alternate 3-coach passenger train at the island platform bay, and the other for a one-stall engine shed.