North Shore Model Railway Club
Realistic operation is more fun


Static layouts


This page describes the club's two static layouts. As the name might suggest, static layouts are those that are fixed in place. The club has two such layouts


    Waitemata and Chelsea Railway

    The Warren Stacey Layout


Waitemata and Chelsea Railway

The club's main layout is the Waitemata and Chelsea Railroad (W&C), named after oneof Auckland's two harbours and a local sugar refinery. The construction of the W&C began in 1985 following a design largely due to Rob Web. This initial layout has since undergone significant changes that include the addition of more tracks, conversion from DC to DCC control, and the upgrading of Amberley Station.


The layout has a single deck with two layers. It is 11.6m by 9.2m and covers all of the upper floor of the club rooms. There are two long peninsulas that jut out from the opposite ends of the room and extend to within a metre and a half of the far wall. Both peninsulas have a full-length backdrop that extends to the ceiling. These backdrops also act as dividers and mean the operators in different aisles receive no visual cues from one another, making operating sessions more realistic.The benchwork varies in width from less than 0.5 metres to 1.3 metres. The maximum width occurs where there is a one and a third turn spiral.


The W&C has a mainline and a branchline of 16.5mm gauge, both single track, and a short unfinished single track branch line of 9mm gauge that will be a narrow gauge track serving a mine. Twice around the room is one complete trip on the mainline. This is a distance of 151 metres, equivalent to 13.2 kilometres of prototypical track. The mainline has eight stations, one industrial siding and one passing siding. The HO branchline has one station and a coal mine depot. There are 25 industrial spurs on the layout. Trains typically take 60 to 120 minutes to make a complete trip in an operating session.


Three scales run on the layout: OO scale, HO scale and Sn3.5 scale. OO scale is used to model British prototypes for which the track gauge is four foot eight and a half inches. The size of models relative to the prototypes in OO scale is 1 to 76.2. HO scale is used to model American and Canadian prototypes. These use the same track gauge as British prototypes. The size of models relative to the prototypes in HO scale is 1 to 87.1. Sn3.5 scale models New Zealand prototypes for which the track gauge is three foot six inches. The size of models relative to prototypes in Sn3.5 scale is 1 to 64.


The layout is intended as a point-to-point line running East-West. There is a loop line that creates a circuit if required, but this is rarely used. The stations on the mainline from west to east are Santel, Waimarino, Glydebourne, Walnut Crossing, Amberley, Waro, Southport and Indian Hill. This is also an industrial siding called Mounts Siding between Walnut Crossing and Amberley, and a passing siding called Kopuawhara in the middle of nowhere between Santel and Waimarino. During operating sessions, Glydebourne and Santel are treated as subdivisional points, and Amberley, Indian Hill, Southport and Waimarino as major stations. Walnut Crossing and Waro are usually treated as yards of Amberley and Southport respectively. The branchline has the minor station Arapito and the coal mine depot Taihoa.


Although there is just one layout, the scenery on the layout has three distinct sections. The largest section models New Zealand in the 1960s. The other two sections model the US from the 1950s to the 1990s, and the UK in the 1960s. The stations model a mix of British, American and New Zealand prototypes. Amberley is a British station, and Santel, Indian Hill and Mounts Siding are American stations. The remaining stations are New Zealand.  The design of the yards among the stations varies considerably. Santel, an American station, has a near prototypical yard that includes an arrival and departure track, caboose and engineer tracks, a run-around, a six track classification yard and tracks for storage. Amberley, a British station, is less prototypical.


Like almost all layouts, the W&C is continually being changed and improved. The two current projects are greatly enlarging the station at Indian Hill, and adding signalling and automatic detection of trains.



Warren Stacey Layout


The Warren Stacey layout was donated to the club. The layout is a 7 1/2 metre long shelf layout in the bottom level of the club house. The scale is HO and the track gauge 16.5 mm. The layout models some of the railways around Durango in the 1920s and 1930s. The modelling in the layout assumes the prototypical track gauge was four foot eight and a half inches. In fact, the track gauge was significantly smaller. This modelling variation does not detract from the layout.


A significant change in the use of the Warren Stacey layout is planned for 2017. A new operating schedule will be introduced and a shunting competition run. In the competition, five or more freight and passenger cars will be placed throughout the layout. Competitors will attempt to move the cars to new, pre-specified locations in as few moves as possible.