Waterman prepares for Making Tracks 2

A brand-new ‘OO’ gauge layout is under construction by Pete Waterman and the Railnuts group for a two-month long exhibition at Chester Cathedral this summer. Doors open on July 18...

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Above: Pete Waterman cuts away the scenery to install the A6 road bridge in front of Kilsby Tunnel.

PETE WATERMAN and the Railnuts modelling group are set to launch a brand new ‘OO’ gauge West Coast Main Line themed exhibition layout at Chester Cathedral on July 23 2022 for the start of the summer-long Making Tracks 2 event.

The event is open seven days a week, 10am-5pm in the cathedral until September 11 and builds on the success of the first Making Tracks exhibition in 2021 (HM171). Pete Waterman commented: “Making Tracks 1 was so successful and broke all records at the Cathedral, so we asked the Dean if we could build another one.”

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Above: Making Tracks 2 models a four-track section of the West Coast Main Line on the approach to Rugby and includes grade separation to cross the Northampton Down line over the Up Fast.

The all-new ‘OO’ gauge layout is based around the storage yard from the first layout and occupies 64ft x 12ft, but this time models a completely new stretch of the West Coast Main Line.

The area chosen for the new layout is the approach to Rugby station from Kilsby Tunnel in the south through to Hilmorton Junction at the north end of the scene. It features a four-track main line throughout the scenic section, but impressively it also has grade separation to cross the Down Northampton line over the Up Fast line at the big junction which occupies one corner of the layout.

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Above: New train detecting control panels are being built for the layout to assist operators and the viewing public.

Scenic work was in progress during the first half of 2022 to meet the July 18 opening date with the Railnuts group creating bespoke laser cut structures, laser cut electrification masts, rail over road bridges, road over rail bridges and more.

The era for the new layout will be the modern day on the West Coast Main Line, but with a few nods to its past around Hilmorton Junction by including the lattice bridge faces.

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Above: The Railnuts group have been busily working away on Making Tracks 2 to prepare it for the summer event in Chester Cathedral.

In addition to building the scenic section, the team has also rewired the layout with new modules from Megapoints Controllers to introduce train detection around the layout to allow operators and the viewing public to keep an eye on progress of trains as they move around the layout. Rolling stock is also being prepared for the show including long container trains, Pendolinos, parcels trains and more.

Hornby Magazine will be following the Making Tracks 2 story through the summer both in the magazine and at KeyModelWorld.

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Visit Chester Cathedral website for more event information.