MMRS Layout

The railway is HO scale (1:87) with a single track main line running over six stations. There are also two branch lines.   It is an end-to-end layout, with the option to run in a continuous circuit, bypassing both terminal stations.

On most nights we run according to a specified timetable. The two branch lines are optional, and only operate when we have enough members to operate them in addition to the stations. If we have a lot of members we will have four drivers controlling individual trains, while the station master simply performs local shunting duties, plus setup signals and routes for the drivers.

The layout is signaled in accordance with VR practice and has about 78 interlocked colour light signals which are operated by the station masters. When the station master offers a train to the next station, the receiving station master sets the signals to allow the train to proceed. As the train travels, the signals are cancelled automatically. There is a four metre long signal repeater board on the back wall of the clubrooms which displays the aspect of all signals on the layout to assist the train drivers and station masters.

Communication between stations on the mainline of the layout is by means of bell code messages created using a tapper situated on the operating console.  Each Station has a unique bell/buzzer tone so that Station Masters can distinguish which message is for them.

At the start of a running session, the Station Master will open the station’s signal box by sending a “Signal Box Open” message to adjacent station(s).  Similarly, after the last train movement of the session the Station Master will send a “Signal Box Closed” message to adjacent station(s).  After the close message has been sent, no further trains will be accepted or dispatched from the station.