Builder: Manchester Model Railway Society Issues it appeared in: MR129 April 2009, MR130 May 2009 Chosen by: George Dent, Deputy Editor
Manchester MRS’ ‘Dewsbury Midland’ is a perfect example of a layout that instantly captures a sense of place and time. Just a quick glance tells you it’s set somewhere in a gritty northern conurbation, most likely West Yorkshire, at any point between 1950 and 1980. Seeing the layout for the first time, at the 2004 Manchester show, it genuinely took my breath away. In fact, I’ve yet to be enraptured by another layout to the same degree since. I must have spent a couple of hours poring over the scenic and architectural detail. As with some of the best layouts, the trains become almost incidental, as there’s just so much else to grab the imagination. Every area of the layout makes me feel like I could step into the scene, walk under the damp stone viaducts and climb the steps to the platforms. And yet, the layout is a work of fiction, which makes it even more incredible!