Main station at Nairdrey
Main station at Nairdrey


Nairdrie, as its name suggests, was inspired by, and based on, the layout of the former Caledonian Railway’s station at Airdrie.  This was the station at the Eastern extremity of the suburban route from Glasgow Central Low Level and is not to be confused with the former North British Railway’s station which is still in use, served by electric trains from Glasgow Queen Street Station Low Level.  The station lost its passenger service in 1943, and latterly, the site has been occupied by a supermarket and bus station.

Pic of Nairdrey
Station Throat


The attraction from a modelling point of view, was that the area of the station and goods yard was compact and could be reproduced at a manageable size without too much compression and omission, whilst at the same time giving the layout operators plenty to do.  In addition, the topography of the line meant that ground level was below track level for much of the area, enabling the model to be operated at a comfortable height and giving the viewing public an acceptable view.  The section of the layout between the signal box and fiddle yard is not based on Airdrie, or anywhere for that matter, but provides a length of railway to watch approaching and departing trains.

Using modellers’ license, we have assumed that the station never closed, and consequently, a service of passenger and freight trains is operated with steam and diesel locomotives.

Exit from station at Nairdrey
Leaving Nairdrey Station


Each baseboard is constructed from 2.3/4” X 3/4” [70 X 19] dressed pine making up and “L girder” frame topped off with 1/4" [6 mm] plywood.  Peco streamline track, on a cork track bed, has been used with predominately large radius turnouts.

The station building is made from card, and is based on drawings of the original station reproduced by The Caledonian Railway Association.  Both goods sheds, also made from card, are modelled on Scottish prototypes, the larger being based on that at Largs.  It was built using drawings reproduced by the Glasgow and South Western Railway Society.  The smaller came from measurements made of the structure still standing on the site of Larkhall East.

The signal box is of a standard Caledonian Railway design, and is made using Plasticard.

Signals are Ratio, and were designed and constructed to suit the operation of the model, rather than representing the original signalling arrangements.

For full operation of the model, three persons are required, one of whom oversees the fiddle yard, which consists of a turntable holding up to ten trains on five pairs of tracks.

Electrically, the layout is divided into 12 sections wired through switches to two control positions, either of which is capable of operating the whole layout.

The layout was sold in 2001.