Welcome to the Southern Cyprus Model Railway Society





             The layout of the Southern Cyprus Model Railway Society


-     Setting the Scene


 -     History and  Developments


 -    Goods and Passenger Services


 -    The Model


 -    Operation of the layout


Setting the Scene


As  many other modellers have done in the past, what has been created at Scarsdale is in fact founded in a one time railway operation. In the United Kingdom the railways - run down after a second gruelling world  war -  were badly worn out and  grossly under funded in a country that was largely bankrupt and heavily in debt to America. As a result a large part of the railway system was shut down.


You can’t really blame Dr Beeching. His terms of reference were to give the country a railway it could afford. That is what it got. In the mid 1950s it was inconceivable that anyone could envisage the developments and population increase which have led to the growth of the railways of today.


What’s that got to do with Scarsdale?  In common with many closed railway routes the answer is quite a lot. Because modellers tend to be rather imaginative people, having a closed railway line as a basis for a model can easily kick start a train of thought which develops into an interesting model as the Railway might have been at some future time.


Using information, plans and photographs of the chosen area it is not difficult to overlay the  conditions of later years and end up with the old railway as it would be now in your chosen era.


Just like the member’s models described in this website - Maldon East, Evershot, Lodbourne & Waukee Town Yard - Scarsdale, the club’s own layout is founded in fact and portrayed in a later age.


History and Developments


Scarsdale is a typical Yorkshire Dales village sitting beside the River Scoar. It might look a little like Hawes.  In 1960,  our chosen period, it is a thriving Dales community.



Scarsdale station is on a line created by the North Eastern Railway [ NER ] originally as a 34 mile branch line in the1850 - 1870 period from Northallerton running west.  The Midland Railway [ MR ] arrived at Scarsdale shortly afterwards on a line from Hawes Junction, later called Garsdale, on the Settle & Carlisle (S&C) line. The MR  had running powers into Scarsdale station adding a further five miles to what became an East - West cross country route in 1878.


From 1923 the line from Northallerton to Scarsdale was in the hands of the LNER and the route from the S&C was  owned by the  LMS  who operated a local passenger service and interchanged goods traffic with the LNER .


During the Second World War the wartime Ministry of Supply directed the LMS to create a branch to  Catterick Junction to enable soldiers and military equipment from Scotland and the  Western side of England to reach Catterick Camp by a faster route.


Upon nationalisation of the railways in 1948 new inter-regional services  started to improve passenger and freight mobility between the west and east coasts.


In 1957 the line from Northallerton to Scarsdale became part of the newly formed North Eastern region [NE] and all the station signs changed to NE Tangerine. The LMS  by now became the London Midland Region  [LMR] .


In reality the line had closed by this time.



Goods and Passenger Services


The original NER branch saw four passenger trains daily from Northallerton to Scarsdale with only one return trip on Sundays. Every day a milk train operated leaving Scarsdale at 13.30. This pattern continued until after nationalisation. The MR ran three trains a day weekdays only.


After Nationalisation inter regional through and stopping passenger services were introduced but the London North Eastern Railway -  later the North Eastern Region [ NE ] -  continued the stopping passenger services from Northallerton which were extended to Garsdale on the S&C.


We are now in 1960 and the model takes us forward.


Troop trains continued on an adhoc basis, although after the ending of conscription in 1958 these became less frequent.    A daily milk train is still in the working time table .. Each morning sees an early Newspaper train and the Postal service from Newcastle to Skipton and beyond, returning in the afternoon. 


Recently  diesel hauled workings have started,  substituting for steam and a new, small refuelling facility and crew room built. Four main line drivers and their Second Men have been based here to enable  diesel locomotives to be taken over trains from LMR  crews. Two Doncaster diesel shunting engines have been outstationed at Scarsdale for general station and branch trip duties as required                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               



Freight services have increased as interregional traffic has been routed over this section to try  to speed up deliveries using a more direct route. In addition to the continuation of sand traffic off the former LMR branch, fish and perishables on faster fitted freights interspersed with slower mixed goods and coal trains from the Yorkshire coalfield.


There is still a daily goods service from Northallerton to Scarsdale, again recently extended to Garsdale.



The   Model


The model of Scarsdale was built in Cyprus by Peter Watts a retired Surveyor with North Yorkshire District Council based in Northallerton . The attention to detail and the plausibility of the layout make it immediately attractive and compelling. There is an awful lot to take in and appreciate, with  detail of everyday life as it was in 1960 which has a charm all of it’s own.




In this time  period  we are starting to see the beginning of the end of steam operations and the introduction of diesel locomotives. We also see some strange workings as the recent regionalisation of the national railway network throws up some anomalies from a deeply rooted inter company rivalry between the LNER and LMS railways their staff and the unions.


For example a NE diesel multiple unit makes return trips now from Darlington via Northallerton terminating at Scarsdale. The eventual plan when union negotiations have been completed will extend the service through to other destinations via Hawes Junction.  In the meantime the DMU does a fill-in turn up the branch to Catterick Junction before returning to Darlington. However the branch working is a LM crew turn!! A crew bus brings the driver, second man and guard from Carlisle to do this. In an attempt to attract connecting passengers for the stopping expresses, a Park Royal railbus also works a shuttle service to the villages on the Catterick Branch from the Bay platform, Platform 3..


The layout as a whole is a model of Scarsdale station area and part of the village with the River Scoar or Scar running through it. There is a woollen mill - Low Mill - adjacent to the village and apart from that there are no other industries close to the railway. The village is surrounded by farmland and like Wensleydale is well known for it’s cheese. The local cheese co-operative loads a CCT each workday which travels with the milk train at express speeds to Kings Cross via Northallerton. The station boasts a loading dock which sees use for sheep and sometimes cattle loading for Northallerton cattle market days. Milk is loaded into 6 wheel tanks from Milk Marketing Board road tankers. Race horses travel in former Southern Region horseboxes by rail to race meetings at Catterick and other local rail served courses


Recently a crew building has been added at the south eastern corner  together with the installation of a diesel tank for loco refuelling on an ad hoc basis. This requires a fuel tank wagon which comes on the twice daily pick-up goods from Darlington via Northallerton.


The goods shed still sees incoming traffic from the same train - usually fertiliser, other agricultural supplies and equipment and foodstuffs.

Products from Low Mill are loaded for export via Liverpool and Hull in their own siding.






The principal services illustrated in the layout operation are:



Passenger services fall into the following types:


- Through non stop restaurant car express workings.


- Stopping Inter-Regional expresses


- Northallerton to Scarsdale [ NE ] all stations and Hawes - Scarsdale [ LM ]


-  Branch Services:  stopping passenger trains; milk tanks as required  &  troop specials



Goods and Non-Passenger

- Limestone from the quarry. ( Above )


- Express fitted freights. Mineral traffic


- Northallerton - Scarsdale [NE] morning  & afternoon pick-up goods inc diesel fuel.


-  Daily milk & empties to/from Catterick Branch villages .


-  Scarsdale Cheese .


- Scarsdale & Wensley to Northallerton daily milk & empties to/from Kings Cross


- Catterick Branch to Leeds sand train. [Su X]


- Combined branch and Scarsdale sheep/cattle as required.


- Pigeon vans [FO]


- Newspapers [Daily] ex Manchester Red Bank


- Postal Carlisle to Newcastle & return [M-F,SO]





Operation of the Layout


The layout has been converted from DC to Digital Command Control [DCC],  using Digitrax equipment. This enables the layout to be operated by radio throttles and smart phones from anywhere around the layout removing the need for anyone to stand at a controller.


The rebuilt staging yards have six roads in each direction with facilities to turn steam engines  back to the direction they have just come and store stock not in use.


Point motors driven by accessory decoders are linked to the DCC control station via a laptop. The laptop and associated hardware controls all the routes on the layout which is in the process of being fully automated with colour light signals.


Shunting of the Scarsdale Goods Yard and Goods Shed is done using  hand held throttles.


All trains on the layout are controlled through an operating schedule which is designed to ensure that each staging yard road is occupied  to the maximum . The  single main line is  bi-directional , but opens onto a west platform ( Platform 1) and an east platform ( Platform 2 ) within the station. This allows trains to pass . Platform 3 is the bay platform for the Catterick Junction Branch.


There are still quite a number of steam locomotive workings both former LNER types and LMS engines.


Diesel locomotives which have gradually increased in number include Classes 20,24,26,31,37,45 & 46




Finally we look forward to welcoming modellers visiting the island and hope you will perhaps enjoy an operating turn on Scarsdale and the other layouts located in our club premises.  Please see our "Contact us" section for details.


Please note that we are located in the western end of Cyprus in the Pafos area.