Morfrail was an idea that was first seeded when Ian Wilson gave me a Walthers HO gantry crane. Having visited Scunthorpe and Workington Steelworks and seen this type of crane working together with the hive of activity under them it seemed the ideal catalyst for a new layout.
The initial layout (8ft x 18inch) was built as a peninsular design added to the inside of my 'round the wall' home layout. A connecting track linked it to the existing track, this enabled trains to be run on and off the steelworks onto the existing layout.This worked very well utilising the station yard as a fiddle yard for interchange with the BR line, at the same time running trains around the room. Having now converted to DCC this operation was easy and rewarding.
It's taken seven months to get to this stage, but it will never be finished.
The baseboard is 40mm insulation foam with a ply wood frame standing on trestle legs. Track and points are PECO code 100.
Point operation is manual by wire in tube.
Control is by Digitrax system.
Operation is basically steel Billets in, finished rail sections out.
Other loads in include coal, oil, sand and replacement rollers for the mill.
Steam and diesel locomotives work the yard, with no set timeline, but mid 1960 -1970 would accommodate my ideas.
Eventually the decision was made that it would make a good exhibition layout this meant adding a fiddle yard at the left end at right angle to the layout.
I was lucky that Phil Baggley once worked at the Workington rail making facility and kindly helped with the design. Phil also made all the support beams, pylons and ladders using laser cut card.