We are now embarking on the biggest and most complex project to date – namely a complete renewal of the main terminus station. We had previously considered doing this as a two stage process; however after much consideration and many alternative proposed track plans we have now decided to retain the existing loco yard and turntable and renew the entire main station in one go. The renewal of the station will improve the track layout making it more efficient to operate, enable longer trains to be accommodated in re-profiled platforms, and give more capacity for a greater variety of trains to run on the layout. The diagram below shows the new track layout in red, with unaltered existing track in black:
As the new station will now be built as one project on new baseboards, it will enable us to continue using the existing station while its replacement is built. Some remodelling will be required on the approach to the turntable from the station but the loco yard itself will remain unchanged. Likewise on the approach to the station from the circle, similar remodelling will be required but this can be carried out as stage works between exhibitions.
The new station will be built as a GWR station as this is more appropriate to the adjacent GWR loco yard. Full signalling with GWR lower quadrant signals will be provided and the main station panel will be renewed with a push button route setting panel to considerably simplify operation. The diagram below shows what the new push button route setting panel faceplate will look like: