Whilst the planned layout hasn’t got a piece of track laid yet, there is still a lot going on to get this large Derbyshire station up and running. Have a read about how the idea – and the name – came to be, along with some rough sketches of the planned track plan and some 3d renders of the main station building.
“The whole concept of Billingsley came after my first DCC sound purchase and quickly realising that my old DC layout wouldn’t give me the chance to use all functions. My old layout I’ve had since I was about 11 and built it with my Dad and brother. It was a Hornby trackpack set modified slightly to give three circuits rather than 2 on a 6×4 foot board. Whilst great while younger, the short straights would limit my length of trains I could run. I took the plunge and bought a DCC sound HST and realised that if I wanted to run anything of length, I would need a new layout.
It was here I had the beginnings for a new layout – DCC controlled with sound, lighting in coaches and the best detail I could do. I wanted to build an exhibition layout, and I wanted to base it on stations I visited while at University. East Midlands was the theme. Now for the name. This took me some time to come up with a suitable name for the station, but this came by accident while watching ‘DIY SOS’ with my Dad, where I noticed one of the crew members’ surname was ‘Billingsley’. This was the name.
I am planning on the layout being a ’roundy roundy’ but only for the purpose of getting stock to appear from either direction – only the front will be modelled, and the centrepiece will be my main station. This is going to be modelled principally on Sheffield Station, but taking inspiration from Nottingham and the surrounding area, and will be modelled. My interest in IT led me to the decision that when it comes to building the layout (once suitable room is found), rather than buying ‘off the peg’ for my station I will create something truly unique. I am drawing the station in SketchUp, and will get this converted into a card kit to construct.
At present, the main station concourse has been drawn, and I am in the process of procuring stock, which is mainly East Midlands Trains and Northern, while getting a couple of freight locos for intermodal sets and such like. There will also be some steam locos and heritage diesels which will come out for charter excursions.
For those interested, please feel free to take a look at our website Billingsley Central .”