Mersey Division is the Society’s O Gauge layout, built to finescale standards of 32mm gauge 29mm back to back as specified in the standards published by the Gauge O Guild. The ruling minimum radius on curves is 6 feet.
The layout has a long history with sections dating back over 40 years and consists of a continuous run with testing gradients, built around the perimeter of the upper floor of Dean Hall. The layout is portable in that it is built in sections, however apart from dismantling for work in progress, making way for Dewsbury to exit the hall for an exhibition and maybe building work etc, it is permanently erected.
Whilst some parts of the layout are now quite old, a new terminus, to be called Ashton, is being built to extend operational possibilities. Progress has been slow and as with much else was further delayed due to Covid shutdown. However work has resumed and platforms are being built and ballasting is in progress at the time of writing. Most signals have been built and subject to some adjustment and tweaking are operational.
At present control is a version of “cab control” supplying 12v DC to the track with point control using a variety of methods over the years, mainly based on solenoids. However the new terminus is venturing into newer technology with points and signals being driven by Servos all driven from a MERG (Model Electronic Railway Group) CBUS control system. Facilities are also being included for DCC, however for historical reasons this is limited initially to the new terminus.
The intention was to have the scenery suitable for trains with a North Western flavour in the 1950/60s. In the outcome the scenery is limited largely to trackside and unfortunately some now requires some TLC and maybe replacement. Any new members interested in this side of railway modelling will be most welcome.
Visitors with suitable stock are always welcome and with the track normally erected are invited to have a run. The Group Leader is Les Fram and we usually meet on a Wednesday during the day from 11.00am to mid-afternoon.