Aylesbury Station and Shed
Saffron Street retires from the exhibition circuit at Railex on the 23rd and 24th May first ambitious plans were drawn up for a replacement P4 layout, the problem being the time it would take to get to a finished state therefore a smaller layout that could be built in a shorter timescale would be built as a test bed to a larger layout postponed to a later date. Various ideas for a depot or a yard were discussed before the idea of modelling Aylesbury shed were developed. At first it was thought that just the two road shed and Risborough branch platform could be modelled but after discussions putting the two main through lines and associated platforms would add increased operating potential.
The model will be built without compression but will be cut short at the south end through the platforms and at the north end just after the public footbridge. The layout will be only nine foot in scenic length by two and a half feet wide, with cassette fiddle yards at either end. The layout only has five turnouts two on the mainline for access to a loading dock and three to the loco yard including a quite interesting catch point built into one of the turnouts.
Those unfamiliar with Aylesbury the station and engine shed had quite a varied development. The shed opened at first as a GWR single road broad gauge shed and following extensions and rebuilding with a saw tooth roof ended up as a two road shed by the 1890s. The ownership of both the engine shed and the station from 1894 being shared with the Great Western, Great Central and Metropolitan. In the late 1950s the Midland region of BR took over and therefore the range of locomotives and regions we can run in very extensive, for example we can run locos as diverse as GWR 14XX and Parrie tanks to LNER A3s, V2 and tank locos, plus LMS Royal Scots, Jubilee, and B.R. standard locos. Unfortunately BR diesels are a little less varied but photographic everdence points to class 24s, 25s, 40s and Westerns.
We plan to set the model in the period 1946-1967, with various alternative details drop ins to account for some of the changes in this period. Also we have deigned the layout to be viewed from either side, time will tell which provides the best viewing.
We hope to have the basis of the layout complete within twelve months with the entire track in place and the engine shed and some other buildings finished, although the layout is built to P4 standards one of the main platform lines has no turnouts in the so therefore we can accommodate EM gauge through this line.