Valley Central was the club’s N gauge layout. It was donated to the NSRMA by David Hulme and family in 2011 and had previously been seen at many exhibitions in the late 1990s. After having a prolonged period of storage in a basement and having unfortunately suffered extensive water damage, it has been a major restoration project for the club, led by Alby Anderson. In 2018, following a decision by the Association to dispose of the layout, Alby Anderson’s tender was accepted and Valley Central is now Alby’s private layout.
Valley Central is an American layout, set in the 1970s, depicting a very busy industrial area based around Black Rock coal mine and Hinton Chemical Plant, located on the North Eastern border of Utah. The layout features extensive bridges, river valleys and waterfalls as well as a town, the coal mine and chemical plant.
During the restoration of the layout, the modules have been made into similar widths and fiddle yards added to the rear of the layout. Most of the trackwork has been re-laid and aligned across module boundaries. Several operating features have been added to provide interest for exhibitions.
The layout is based on three tracks :
- An Outer Loop which is a single track around the outer perimeter of the layout with trains operating in either direction,
- A West track which normally runs counter-clockwise and includes a station siding on Modules 2 and 3,
- An East track which normally runs clockwise and includes a section on Module 4 with several sidings for the Coal Loader, a siding on Module 3 near the Chemical Plant and a branch line that spans Modules 3, 2 and 1.
The West and East tracks are formed into a double mainline on the layout.
Most of the lines are directly connected to power buses under the layout fed directly from each of the three controllers fixed to Module 3. However, there are some sections of track which may be isolated and these are controlled from the switches on each module control panel. A fourth controller may be optionally plugged into Module 3 or Module 1 control panels and used for shunting local sectors on those modules, or for independently operating passenger services to shuttle workers from the station to the Chemical Plant or Coal Loader.In addition, an auto reversing controller is connected to the Valley Floor track (laid on the floor of Module 4), to have a small engine such as “Thomas” appear and return to amuse younger viewers.