Wyke River is a fictitious small town somewhere in Colorado, USA, close to the Rocky Mountains that can be seen in the background. It’s main industry is the Wyke River Wood Box Co that manufactures crates from planks of fir that come from a nearby saw mill. On the outskirts of the town is a small silver mine from which the ore is transported to a smelter in side tipping wagons.
Wyke River is a home layout that is also capable of being taken to exhibitions as it dismantles easily into three scenic sections and a fiddle yard. Being dual purpose it does mean that all the operating controls are on the viewing side but this also facilitates conversation with the viewing public and I am always happy to answer questions and discuss features.
It is built on lightweight base boards constructed almost entirely from 6mm ply held together by yellow glue. Track is laid directly onto the board but as speeds are low, gears are plastic, and many locos have sound, running noise is not a problem. It is wired for both DC and DCC running although Digitrax DCC is the normal system. Wiring has been kept simple by mounting the switches for both sections and points on the facia. Track diagrams are pasted nearby as are tables of function numbers for the various sound systems used.
At present all the rolling stock is ready to run and consequently a variety of road names can be seen. Eventually I aim to devise my own style and apply it. Most of the items are by Bachmann as it is the only range readily available in the UK. All the buildings are wood and are a mixture of Banta kits and scratch builds using Mount Albert lumber and Grandt Line windows. Scenic materials come from a variety of sources but mostly Woodland Scenics. The river is Magic Water and the hillsides are Sculptamold on a cloth covered, expanded polystyrene base or Sculptamold on a paper covered card former base. Brown poster colour is mixed with the Sculptamold and artist’s acrylics are used to finish the surfaces.
All photographs on this page © 2015 David M Riches