Knowl End

Our Dundle layout was very popular with youngsters but was "time served" and had several electro-mechanical problems. A new layout was necessary. Many of the buildings and scenic effects have been saved for re-use but the old Dundle layout has now been dismantled and disposed of. Sadly, after so many years, and with so many problems, it was not fit for resale.

Following a competition at the recent Peterborough show, the new layout (which sadly was not in a fit state to be displayed) was named Knowl End. The winner has been notified and we look forward to her both seeing and operating the layout in due course.

Under Construction

Layout Facts

Scale/Gauge OO

Overall size: 8' x 6' on 4' x 2' bolted together baseboards

For exhibition: Yes, when finished

Anticipated Completion 2017

Layout Background:

Knowl End is more complex in some respects than the original Dundle. However, some aspects are much simpler as it is designed to cater for a wide age range of operators. It also allows for two operators at once: one has a simple "run around" option with stations to stop at; the other (the inner ring) has more complex operations possible with head shunts, sidings and a run around. The idea is that for those youngsters with greater experience, Knowl End will offer the chance of a wide range of operation.

The Team

Leader: Peter Davies

Assisted by: Peter Creigh, Brian Driscoll, Allan Brown with advice and support from many others in the club including Mick Quinn, Brian Norris and David Hildred. We very much work as a team, drawing in expertise as we need to. 


Built on 4' x 2' baseboards, the layout was designed using Anyrail software. To ensure accuracy, standard Setrack curve radii were used but the track is all Code 100 Peco Streamline with Streamline Electrofrog pointwork. Having agreed the design on screen and A4 printouts, the layout was then printed full scale (on scrap paper), sellotaped together and used as the template for track laying. A few minor changes proved necessary 'in real life' and some additional options were included (an additional head shunt and run around).

All track board junctions have been secured using "copper clad" soldered to the track, appropriately insulated and screwed into the baseboards. The track is all laid on a cork underlay but, otherwise, directly onto the baseboards with no inclines. Hills, a quarry, tunnel and bridges will all be incorporated into the scenery. The full scenic design will be completed once all track and pointwork is fully tested.


Following the design, track laying was quite swift and electrical testing proved everything worked as planned. All track has now been cut at baseboard divisions and electrical connections are being inserted. Point motors are being installed. Peco point motors are being mounted under the baseboard using extensions to connect to the points above. Following agreeing necessary operating protocols, wiring and switching will be completed, with testing taking place "as we go". Ballasting and scenery are some way off and will not be completed until 2017. The club was very generously donated two outstanding dioramas which will be incorporated into the layout. These will form the basis of "Knowl End". Both can be seen in the photographs.

A control panel has yet to be constructed but, along with scenery, that will be later in the project once we are sure we know all the switching and control options necessary. Point control will be "point and touch" utilising a capacity discharge unit to ensure swift and full movement, especially on crossovers. Control panel options are being discussed as to whether point direction indication and section "live" indications should be included. Switching will also be included for station lighting and other scenic effects.

Currently, for ease of working, the layout is on its side so that access is possible both to track and sub-baseboard electrics without having to lie on the floor and wrench backs and shoulders in the process! The dioramas are in safe storage.