The original Fenditavalat Layout

All the photographs in this section have been staged on the new layout but have been arranged to replicate the original layout as closely as possible.
Fenditavalat was described almost incidentally in issue 14 of Narrow Lines (the 7mm NGA magazine) as a part of a series looking at operation. Even in the layout's  birth pangs the intention was to simulate realistic operation.

This 1982 description is given below.
Fenditavalat is a small hilltop cathedral town situated at the end of the Altonia Ferovojoj Komplementaj, a 50 kms line from Lacono on the Tomalian coast. The railway station is situated in the main town square with a goods yard outside the walls. It is quite untypical of the standard continental station, a situation rendered necessary by real and imaginary spatial limitations. (For the uninitiated Tomalia is a country found on the infamous Danish/Yugoslavian border with Spain, and the Tomalian language bears a strong resemblance to Esperanto.) The line is set in period (iii) and rationalisation has resulted in the closure of the engine shed. Fenditaval is operated to timetables constructed using the principles developed in this series of articles.
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since this first description was published and it is interesting to reflect upon the similarities and changes between the original and current arrangements.

The most evident similarity between the old layout and the current version is its location in the middle of a street. In the current version this was a deliberate rather than an enforced decision. The need to have an exit halfway along the layout to access the fiddleyard meant some sort of viewblock on the first layout. It can be difficult to arrange the disappearance without it becoming too contrived, especially as the minor lines often avoided the cost of an overbridge. The kick back into the goods yard was arranged to add operational interest and the yard was reached by an obvious breach in the walls. My antipathy towards model loco sheds was reflected in the fact that Fenditavalat's was closed and replaced by a garage. The dairy provided a local industry within the walls. The access siding acted as visible staging.
The cited period (iii) was a reference to the historical development of train services outlined in the article, re-iterated in later NL articles and on this website. It refers to the period when the NG had begun to decline as the primary means of transport in rural Europe and was used to explain the presence of diesel railcars on the layout.

Fenditavalat is still a small hilltop cathedral city (rather than town) at the end of the AFK, although rather than being an insignificant settlement out in the boondocks it is now reconceived as the former Roman and medieval capital of Marronĝaco province and is connected to the north by the CFS, which is electrified on the three phase system. Lacono (the editor mis-spelt it as Lacomo) has been moved 30 or 40 kms away from the coast. Esperanto is still the basis of Thalnian (using the only dictionary that I have ever seen, bought in a University bookshop in 1981!). The country's name was later changed as I felt it was too similar to Somalia, although the eagle eyed can see that the Post Bus is lettered for Tomalia, rather in the manner that Swiss stamps use Helvetica, the Roman name for the country.

Few photos were taken of the layout and to the best of my knowledge none have survived. A selection of views is included below to show that some of the original buildings were recycled and that others have been replaced by more recent models.

 An article examining how the original layout was operated can be accessed by pressing the buton at the bottom of the page.

A celebratory photograph. This is a photo of the first train ever to traverse the whole length of the AFK mainline, immediately after its completion in May 2011. The stock was deliberately chosen to be the original equipment (built during the late 1970s) which typified the small scale NG lines of rural Europe. With reference to the townscape, the original gate house and chapel still survive but the buildings to the left are new, although some items such as the cafe's awning are recycled. The youngsters by the table football machine are still there and they do not look a day older!
A better view of the gate chapel. Part of the left hand wall has been demolished and the doors have finally been completed. The road signs are the original hand painted versions and the kilometres are wrong nowadays, by some distance!
The goods shed is new but the warehouse building to the left is an original. It is still incomplete 40 years along!
As can be seen the original roof tiles were hand carved from half round dowel beading which does not seem to be available nowadays. The windows are also incomplete.
A more recent model has replaced the old gate into the inner city as the original was not felt to be imposing enough. The tiles on the farm building at the right are recycled and augmented with sliced up plastic drinking straws..The mocked up dairy is shown in the original position, currently in grey card. The original pissoir fell apart and has been replaced by another from the same source, the Wills 00 gents convenience. It is the same scene as the original but a total new build.
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