Question: How do you eat an elephant?
Answer: One bite at a time

The Farthing layouts are a series of model railway layouts in 1:76 scale that each depict a section of the Great Western Railway's station and goods yards at Farthing. The period is Edwardian, with occasional out-of-period operating sessions. The layouts are operationally independent of each other. In this way, I can explore my interest in larger stations in a limited space. In other words, I'm eating an elephant one bite at a time...

The station of Farthing is located on the GWR Berks & Hants line between Newbury and Westbury, and serves as the junction for the old "North & South Junction Railway" line from Swindon to Salisbury, now part of the GWR system. It is also the starting point of the local branch to Overbourne.

Design principles

Each layout draws on the following design principles:

One bite at a time. Each layout can be set up and operated in our living room in a short space of time. They show different parts of the same overall station, meaning that I can explore my interest in junction stations in a limited space, step by step. Some of the layouts use Peco track, others use C+L handbuilt track.

Into the scene. The layouts are designed for close-up eye-level viewing, seeking to place the viewer 'inside' the scene. 'See-through' structures (eg a canopy) at the front of layouts are used to enhance this effect.

Trying for atmosphere. The layouts have a focus on atmosphere rather than high accuracy, and tend to follow a 'less is more' approach. That's not a judgement on other approaches to modelling, this one just happens to suit my interests and skills.

The human dimension. Hardware is great, but railways are also a lot about people. In my view, there is still some un-exploited potential in the way we think about the human dimension on our layouts, and we owe a lot to the railway staff and their communities. I use human stories as a way of presenting the layouts, and creating the sense of a real place. All within reason of course: You won't catch me talking to the figures!

Time warp. If you can't expand on space, expand on time. Because each layout is independent, they can be set at different times. While all the layouts are set in Edwardian days, they show different years, allowing for variation in stock and liveries from layout to layout. Just to add to the scope, I also do occasional out-of-period running sessions. This is good fun, provides variation and allows some of my back-of-the-drawer stock to stretch its legs.

That's about it. Best not to take it too seriously, at the end of the day it's all mostly an excuse for a bit of laid back modelling :-)

PS: I have turned off the comments due to spam. If you want to get in touch, you can do so via the RMweb version of the blog.