Earlier this week Thomas and I had a lovely day in the Dales! We went to see a friend's progressing layout while we left Suzi in peace at home while she worked on her OU essays.
Once we'd made the seventy-five mile journey which seemed to take an absolute age we headed to Aysgarth station which isn't far from where Tom lives and a project with which he's involved.
The station is remarkably well preserved through what seems like good workmanship when it was originally built and sheer good luck that nothing has been demolished since its closure. And what a nice place it would have been work when it was open - a little remote perhaps but that's no bad thing a lot of the time!
It really does look that all that's missing is the track. Even on an August day in an appalling summer there were clearly plenty of visitors - could some be persuaded to use the railway if it was there? Only time will tell if they can be persuaded or if the railway will ever reach Aysgarth again...
A statement of intent sits on fallen rails by the old goods shed but who knows what the future holds for it.
After a very generous lunch (including chocolate cake where the icing in the middle was nearly as thick as the rest of the cake!) we headed to the railway room to have a good look at Tom's layout - 'Leaman Road'.
The layout is based on York shed, rearranged to fit the space and using many elements of the real location. The result, although not yet finished, is very good indeed. It has real purpose about it and isn't like many MPDs and TMDs which you see at shows. It doesn't exist to show off how many toys the owner has or merely to provided a backdrop for a collection of locos.
Despite what I've just said, the fleet of locos is a real highlight of the layout - a choice of very early British Railways means that there's a wide and varied range of liveries and styles on the layout - a mix which is quite prototypical too. Tom's weathering is very good good too, which anyone looking at the L1, above, will surely be able to see!
The layout kept Thomas very entertained for a long time! We only left as we really needed to get home before his bedtime! And even at two and a half, he manged under instruction to operate locos using a DCC handset!
A really lovely day all round! Even managed to get back at a reasonable time! To round things off, I'd been sent home with a piece of the chocolate cake for Suzi so she didn't miss out!