Kricar Valley Railway


The left hand section
The centre section
The right section
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The Kricar Valley Railway was something of an oddity.

In about 1981, long before 1/32nd scale on 16.5 mm track became popular (so far as I know, anyway) I found myself with a space for a small shelf layout, some old OO chassis and some 1/32nd scale figures.

The photograph above shows most of the layout overall (from three "stitched" photos). The layout was reasonably simple and reflected my predilection for passenger stock and locos. Effectively the 90" long and 18" deep board consisted of three sections.

The left hand section comprised the station with an island platform accessed by a footbridge from a high level station building. Reflecting the very short length, the platforms tracks terminated in a turntable which both enabled running around and a third exit track to the engine shed which was built into and deemed to extend into the rock face. The water tank was over this third exit road which also had the coaling stage adjacent. The engine shed line actually ran behind the rock face below the station building where there was also a point allowing one track to continue along the back while the other emerged in the centre section.

The centre section include the shed, again built into the rock face with the track from the engine shed emerging from it. This rejoined the main line which also included the points to the two platform roads here. The centre piece of this section, however, was the wooden bridge over a river pool fed from a water fall cut into the rock face. There was also a footpath up the rock face with a bridge over the falls. The river pool included a fisherman complte with net waiting to land a fish and a nude lady bather - right next to the sign that said "No nude bathing"! The single line disappeared into a tunnel after the bridge.

The final, right hand section contained no visible railway. There was, however, a 3 road traverser which slid all the way back and forth thus serving not only the main line but also that sneaky one from the engine shed that had run all along the back. All this was concealed behind more rock face - in this case including two climbers, one part way up the race and the other belaying him from the top.

Operationally the layout was clearly limited. Simply trains ran from the "hidden sidings" into the station where the loco uncoupled. It then either (depending entirely on my mood!) either ran around the train to take it back out, or more likely, another loco would emerge from one of the various potential hiding places to do this. In the interim a railcar would often pull into the second platform.

Nonetheless it was fun to operate for  a while and at least gave me the chance to "play trains" in a house infested by three uninterested teenagers! And it was fun to build.

Apologies for the rather poor photos.  I was lucky to find them but they had not been kept well and the scanning process did nothing to help this!