A member’s view of the club…

“The club’s major asset is its very large layout in its own building. A multitrack staging area leads into the layout itself, which is HO/OO gauge. The layout is 135 metres along the mainline. There are also extensive sidings including a branch line to a coal mine. The mainline has two levels, formed from a stacked figure 8 track plan. It takes about half an hour to run around both levels and back to the chosen starting point when running at realistic speeds. The layout is DCC with wireless capability, operating on MRC Prodigy equipment owned by the club, however, many members bring their own MRC controllers. Most members run their own locomotives and rolling stock in various combinations on the different operating nights. The club also owns a large collection of American and British trains for members to use.

There are three scenic sections, New Zealand, British and American. The New Zealand section (S, 1:64) has four stations, including one on the branch line. It is about half the total mainline length. The American section (HO, 1:87) is next largest with one large urban station and yard, and a large marshalling yard and engine shed that forms the division point.

The OO, 1:76 British section has one station, Amberly, plus a large coal burning industry and its village on a branch line. This factory provides for a ‘loads in – empties out’ continuous flow of coal waggons. Full coal wagons are pushed through the factory powerhouse from the British side then taken down the long New Zealand branch line as full loads from the mine before being routed back around the main for delivery to Amberly again.

The New Zealand scenery is particularly impressive. It includes a spiral which is so characteristic of New Zealand railways. Other New Zealand features are the branch line running along the steep edge of a river, a characteristically New Zealand town, and a small port facility with moored ships. The British section includes a bridge over a river with a particularly well modelled village along the riverbanks. The British section includes extensive use of Scalescenes buildings. The American section is mainly urban, including impressive high-rise buildings.

The main club layout has been built by the members over many years. It is under constant refinement. The most recent work has been on a operational signalling system, and replacement of all the control panels with modern miniature components and touch switches.

Providing miniature lighting for the stations, houses and factories of the layout is being undertaken too, creating very atmospheric effects when the layout overhead lights are dimmed.

The basement of the club’s building contains an extensive workshop for use by members, and other smaller layouts. Equipment in the workshop includes soldering irons, the DCC test track, as well as heavier equipment for woodworking etc.”​​​​​​​