A hundred-year-old dream to run a railway in the Clyde Valley will finally become a reality - in miniature.
In the early part of the last century a company was formed with the aim of building a railway line all the way from Kirkfieldbank to Hamilton, a scheme which came to nothing due to lack of cash to overcome the huge engineering problems involved - plus the major challenge of connecting the line to Lanark up the steep valley side.
However, this year the Valley WILL finally get its own train service - in the form of what will be Scotland’s biggest permanant model railway layout.
Its one and only ‘station’ will be the Dobbies Sandyholm Garden Centre, just outside Crossford, who have joined forces with The Clyde Valley Model Railway group to create, according to a spokesman: “the first multi-sensory, G Scale model railway visitor attraction in the UK.”
The locos and carriages - considerably bigger than those in the classic Hornby sets that sat in boy’s bedrooms - will meander their way along over 1,000ft of track through miniature villages and countryside populated by tiny people and animals,
For those unable to see the display, there will be authentic loco sound effects to listen to, plus specially scented plants in the countryside layout landscape to smell.
Project Director Ken Burnside said: “We’re delighted a prestigious company such as Dobbies has asked us to create the Clyde Valley Model Railway within their Sandyholm Garden Centre in the beautiful Clyde Valley.
“Personal experiences of working with youth groups, special needs groups and care homes and also having friends who are challenged visually or aurally made us realise that a visitor attraction should be more than fun and entertaining but also engaging and stimulating regardless of age or ability.”
It is hoped the first ‘services’ will be running o n Crossford’s new ‘line’ by this summer.