Contrary to the scribings of Iain Rice in his book on building small layouts, New Hey does exist – indeed I think the inhabitants of the small village at the foot of the Pennines may be a little dismayed to find that they have been erased from history!!
The railway through New Hey is on what was known as the “Oldham Loop”, the line that ran from Manchester Victoria, up Werneth Bank to Oldham, then on to Rochdale and back to Victoria. The line through New Hey (from Shaw to Rochdale East junction) was singled in the late 70’s but one part of the infrastructure still exists, the large cotton warehouse that is now part of the New Hey Carpets factory. The route closed to heavy rail traffic on 3rd October 2009, and is now part of the Metrolink tram network. All remaining traces left of the old station have been demolished.
The model is of New Hey as it was roughly in the period from 1960 – 1968, and it is always the last two weeks of June on the layout. Why then? Because that’s when the local “Wakes” were. (The annual 2 week shutdown of the cotton mills in Oldham and Rochdale). As a result there were daily excursion trains, usually double headed if they were coming from the Oldham direction, and with coaches cobbled together from anything available. In addition there were regular local passenger, freight and parcels workings. The station was serviced by a twice daily pick up goods train working (Target 36) from Moston to Royton Junction and back. All the locos and stock are modeled on photographs of prototypes actually running on the line, and span the period modeled – therefore odd spots of blue in the DMU fleet may start to appear!
The layout is “conventionally” controlled by DC. I originally built the layout for DCC operation but found that it compromised the operation for exhibition purposes. Construction has taken approximately 6 years from start to completion (this does not include the research time!) and a variety of techniques have been employed in the building of it. Just ask if you wish to know anything about the layout.
Whilst the project ownership is basically mine I owe a lot of thanks for help and support from other club colleagues from both the Rochdale and Manchester Societies, and in particular Ian Worthington, Martin Edmondson and Phil Taylor. Kevin Tong, Pete Rigby, Tony and Graham Bucknell. Any questions, please ask.