Ladeside Diesel Depot is designed primarily as an extension to St Marnock Engine Shed. However, it can also be exhibited as an independent layout.
In the BR days of the Sixties, many steam sheds become overrun by the influx of new Diesels. The authorities soon discovered, to their cost, that rundown dirty,smokey steam sheds were not the ideal environment for the new generation of motive power.
So, before the construction of new purpose built diesel depots, many former steam sheds and workshops were hastily converted to provide basic servicing and fuelling facilities for the diesels.
Ladeside is typical of such conversions, and following the G&SWR theme of St Marnock, it is based on the former steam shed at Ardrossan in Ayrshire.
For added viewing and operational interest, Ladeside also features a railway related engineering works with a warehouse and loading bay.
The locomotives that can be seen at Ladeside, reflect the variety of classes which regularly used the Nith Valley route from Glasgow to Carlisle, through Kilmarnock. Most would be based at Glasgow’s Eastfield and Polmadie depots.
The construction methods and trackwork are as used on St Marnock. To reduce the overall weight, the core material for the buildings is foam board, rather than the surprisingly heavy sandwiched card.
Unlike St Marnock, Ladeside is DCC wired. However, the track running along the rear of the layout is the access route to St Marnock which has both analogue and DCC locomotives and therefore, this track alone is switchable between DC and DCC.
The layout comprises two 5 foot x 3 foot scenic boards. When exhibited with St Marnock, the two layouts are connected via a 2 foot linking board. When exhibited on its own, Ladeside has a four foot fiddle yard at each end.