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Phoenix Park


The main club OO gauge layout


In the 25+ years of Bingham Model Railway Club we have never had a 4mm club layout that could be permanently erected in the club room, thus, after all the club’s layouts had been ‘lost’, when we moved in to new premises we determined that the new layout would have to fit within the clubroom walls. Having done some research the track plan from Thorneywood on the Nottingham Suburban line was put forward and the decision made to make this the basis of the new 4mm exhibition/permanent club layout. The name Phoenix Park was chosen in view of the Club’s having survived the fire and emerging to start again. As with all things there are some compromises, but in essence we have tried to be true to the original. There are 12 baseboards in total, of varying shapes and sizes, but all made of 9mm and 12mm ply supported on trestles of planed 2x2 and secured together using pattern makers’ dowels. The viewing height, a topic still regularly debated, is 51 inches.

To avoid watching locos disappear round a tight curve at both ends some thought was given to the overall shape of the layout. As a result we have a unique footprint where the back measures 17ft, the left side is 14ft, the right side 10ft and the front of the layout runs on the diagonal between the corners giving a viewable length of 20ft.

All the pointwork in the viewing area has been relaid using Peco code 75 but in the fiddle yard Peco code 100 has been laid.


The control of locomotives on the layout is either analogue or DCC and is easily swithable between them.


We have tried to re-create a number of details from the Nottingham area, but not necessarily from Thorneywood station itself. Thus the tunnel mouth may well remind viewers of the tunnel entrance at the North end of Nottingham Victoria. The terrace of houses running just in front of the back scene are recreating the feel of the area rather than being any particular street.




It should be noted that as of January 2019 there is an intention to retire Phoenix Park during the course of 2019 and replace it with a new layout yet to be named although baseboards are being cut at the time of publication.


There is also a second 4mm layout under construction which will be named Newton Folly.


Both are intended for exhibition in the future.


Before the scenery is installed, the layout doesn’t look much (except big!), So here are a couple of pictures of two of our better looking members.

More soon… Watch this space!