After much playing on Anyrail I came up with the following track plan.
All track is Peco Finescale Code 55 as this gives a more realistic profile.

F i d d l e - Y a r d

< - South -------------------------------------------------(each grid square = 1 foot)--------------------------------------------------- North - >

The features of this plan are better described with some idea of scenery, so with a bit of wizardry in MS Paint . . .

O p e r a t i n g - S i d e

V i e w i n g - S i d e

In a departure from the norm the entire board area is effective scenic area, as the fiddle yard is hidden under a sloping hillside and the back part of the town. The sharp curves at the north end are hidden by hills, and those at the south end by the town, shown as a blank white area above as the exact positioning of buildings has yet to be decided. The dominating feature of the south board is a typical ECML station loosely based on Hitchin with the four tracks through the centre, but with the addition of two bay platforms. Initially the branch line met the mainline at a level junction just like at Hitchin, but to give some height to the layout I changed this to an over-bridge – funny that Railtrack/Network Rail/whatever-they’re-called-this-week planned something similar for years and only recently got round to it long after I designed the plan! The industrial area on the North board is a rail-fed dairy – this is a nod back to my truck-driving days, a large part of which was spent driving for dairy companies. I also thought it would make a nice change from the ubiquitous cement works that seem to be a favourite at exhibitions.

The name I chose for the layout incorporates my other loves: Firstly our classic cars - since they're Fords it made sense to use this as a lot of places end in -ford due to them growing out of settlements around river crossings. Our cars are like children to us, and our original two have been christened "Helen" and "Sophia" . . . don't ask! So Helen and Sophia and ford gave me "Hasford". This didn't sound that memorable to me, especially if the layout was ever to make it to an exhibition, so I needed a second name. My other half's surname is Blacklock, which sorta sounds like a place in itself, and again places the layout on a river, so I adopted this as the second word. I also thought this way the name would live on after we're married (I'm sweet like that). Hasford Blacklock was born.

I also thought there should be a "potted history" for my chosen location to explain the name historically, why everything was where it was, and hopefully make the layout more interesting to the viewer if they knew where trains were coming from and going to. I decided to write - a Background ! (now there's a lame link to the next page)



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