This layout began as a private venture and after a
year it was shared with members of the newly formed Workington Model
Railway Club. It went through several stages and materialised as
the station everyone knows as Workington Main.
Back in 1972 and before the layout was under
construction a few friends formed a group to research the railways of
West Cumberland and we called ourselves the Workington LNWR Group.
There was only a handful of members and all our meetings were informal.
We took our name from the title the London & North Western Railway chose
for the station they built at Workington. We would take photos of local
railways as they were going through several changes in 1972. This
group still survives today albeit after several name changes and we are
known as the Workington Main Railway Group or WMR-Group for a shortened
name.. One can find out more about the Group by clicking on "Other
Pages" in the floating menu
As more and more people joined our band of modelling
friends we decided to form a club who's interests were just railway
adopted as the club's running layout but it still remained the property
of myself and I could veto any proposals the club wanted to do where the
layout was concerned. For ten years I never had to use my powers
of veto. I supplied most of the materials that was needed to
progress with the layout in order to keep it within my control.
The original layout had heaps of electronic relays to make operating the
layout simple for a couple of operators, but as more and more people
joined the my band of friends the electronic devices made things more
complex. When I redesigned the track layout the relays were
removed and simple track section feeds were introduced and went from a
solid control panel that housed two Hammant & Morgan Duette controllers.
Pointwork was controlled by H&M SM3 pointmotors, protected by a
capacitor discharge unit.
The Workington MRC put on its first exhibition and
Workington Main made its first appearance to the viewing public.
From there the layout began its run on the exhibition circuit.
It has appeared at the Easter Barrow in Furness
exhibition two times.
Once at the Kendal MR exhibition
Two times at the Workington MR exhibition in the Carnegie Theatre
Once at the one and only British Rail Workington Open day
The layout was very heavy and took two members to
carry a single baseboard. This was a major factor why some
bookings were turned down. Too many people were needed to carry
the ten baseboards that made up the layout and other equipment such as
legs and the control panel.
After it had been exhibited at several shows members
were reluctant to dismantle the layout for shows and besides after
around six or more years use it was showing signs of old age. The
layout was eventually retired and placed in storage in a small room next
to the clubroom.
After the club disbanded the layout became in my
opinion, a liability so I removed the good trackwork to use on an
American outline layout and The Workington Main layout was no more.
The steel parts of the pointmotors began to rust and were not worth
recycling. so they were left on the baseboards and everything that could
not be recycled went to the rubbish tip.
A popular layout with its owner, club members and
public alike but all that remains is a few pieces of track and
pointwork, some LNWR pattern water columns and a handful of photos.
The layout had been compressed to fit into the premises and to build a
second layout of Workington Main was the last thing on my mind. I
think I once considered building it in N gauge but it was only a passing