Strathmore Town and L.I.P.
‘Strathmore’ is the combination of ‘Strathmore L.I.P’, which has been on the exhibition circuit for 3 years, and a brand new extension, ‘Strathmore Town’ which debuted at the SWING Model Railway Exhibition on Saturday 18th May 2019. Both layouts were designed by myself – ‘Strathmore L.I.P’ at the age of 14 and ‘Strathmore Town’ at the age of 16, and then my dad assisted in the building of both of these layouts.
Starting out with a Digitrax DCS51 when we first started exhibiting, both layouts are now controlled entirely through the Roco Z21 operating system, using our phones as handheld portable controllers – this goes from the stock to the points, signals to small details such as station information displays, level crossings and lights on non-motorised rolling stock. A project in the upcoming year to is upgrade the layout further, to allow the addition of detection devices to know where items of rolling stock are located on the layouts at any one time.
Seeing as most of my original model railway collection, along with my dad’s modelling preference of Scotland, it made sense to continue this theme with the rolling stock used on ‘Strathmore’. Even though the theme of the layout is in Scotland, various items of rolling stock from other areas of the country also appear from time to time, as well as things from the more modern era of British Railways.
Around 80% of the locomotives running on the layouts are DCC Sound equipped, and all of these have upgraded speaker kits to allow for the best sound quality available. Most of the sound files come from the likes of Legomanbiffo, Coastal DCC, YouChoos, and Jamie Goodman, along with some other files. To accompany these files, the speakers range from iPhone speakers to large metal driven mega-bass speakers and ones that fit into the fuel tanks.
Almost all of the scenic items found on both layouts are either kit or scratch built – the depot building on L.I.P and carriage siding platform on Town being Gaugemaster kits, the carriage siding platform and fuelling points on L.I.P being Knightwing kits, as well as various buildings and the bridge being print-at-home kits. As well as these, the platform on Town and concrete base on L.I.P are scratch built with just imagination as instructions. It would take a whole page to list everything not bought ready-to-place, but only the smaller detailing items, level crossing, signals and vehicles are not kit or scratch built.
In British Rail days, the Loco Inspection Point (L.I.P.) concept was developed to allow locomotives to be checked and fuelled away from their allocated main depot. Additionally, they had the facilities to replace smaller consumable items such as brake shoes, oil, water, along with various other smaller tasks and maintenance – thus allowing greater availability of the fleet.
Strathmore as a place doesn’t exist, but if it did, it would be in the area around Glasgow, therefore, seeing a mixture of passenger and freight locomotives as well as the occasional DMU and departmental stock.
You will see some locomotives arrive only for stabling, others for fuelling, others for maintenance and fuelling, passenger services arriving running round to depart again, passenger services terminating to shunt and small freight services to shunt into the wagon sidings.