Hall Royd Junction Signal Box Nameboard

Last call for Arkville...

Some time around 2010 a set of buildings were offered on eBay that had been taken from a Model Railway Club layout somewhere in East Lancashire.

These comprised a LYR signal box, station building, and various terraced houses. Although relatively crude, they have bags of character, and I often wondered who built them, and what happened to the layout they featured on.

Arkville Model Railway, East Lancashire: Arkville Town Station Building

Arkville Model Railway, East Lancashire: Arkville Town Station Building, three quarters front view

Arkville Model Railway, East Lancashire: Arkville Signal Box, based on Dewsbury East Junction, as per plans in the September 1964 issue of the Railway Modeller.

Arkville Model Railway, East Lancashire: Arkville Signal Box, based on Dewsbury East Junction, as per plans in the September 1964 issue of the Railway Modeller. End view.

Arkville Model Railway, East Lancashire: Arkville Signal Box, based on Dewsbury East Junction, as per plans in the September 1964 issue of the Railway Modeller, showing build date of 20 July 1990.

Arkville Model Railway, East Lancashire: houses and back yards

Arkville Model Railway, East Lancashire: terraced houses

Arkville Model Railway, East Lancashire: terraced houses and shop

And what of those models now? The far end of the layout was a bit of a no-man's land, in that I had created a backscene looking up the Calder Valley, with Todmorden centre stage in the distance, but the baseboard in front of the backscene had become an all too convenient shelf containing the usual miscellanea of tools, glue, old track, etc, etc. Dusting the houses off, and looking t them afresh, it appears that the longer terraced blocks are more to HO scale, and so are assumed to have formed a set of buildings at the rear of the original layout to give a forced perspective. There are some brick houses in Todmorden, and are not so out-of-character for this part of West Yorkshire, although I suspect they would probably be more at home at the other end of Summit Tunnel in Lancashire. But for now they allow the backscene to play its part, tying it more effectively into the layout proper.

Arkville Model Railway, East Lancashire: terraced houses forming a backdrop to Hall Royd Junction