A RETIRED Clacks engineer has completed a scale model of the Dollar Mine, having started the project during the first Covid lockdown.

Mick Rice unveiled his finished work at the Dollar Museum, a 1:148 scale replica of the surface buildings and underground workings of the mine.

Mick, who used to work for Mercedes Benz, said he got the idea during the 2020 Covid lockdown.

He told the Advertiser: “The model came about because we have a huge exhibition in the museum permanently of the Devon Valley Railway.

“This ran from Alloa to Kinross, through Dollar.

“We were given hundreds of photographs from it from a railway enthusiast.

"During the first lockdown, I designed and built the station and that was a relatively small model.”

Mick's model station is built as its real-life counterpart was in 1963, just before the line was closed to passenger traffic.

After that, the track continued to be in use for the mine only, carrying coal from Dollar Mine to Kincardine Power Station until 1973.

The layout of the model was extensively researched using archive photographs at the local museum as well as advice from the Scottish Mining Museum and eyewitness accounts from former employees still living in Dollar.

“I had never been a railway modeller,” Mick added. “I got side tracked into this station during the first lockdown and thought it would be good to show that the main railway use in Dollar was for the mine.

“I developed the mine in the second lockdown and then last winter, I decided to join the models together as they were in the real world.

“The model is condensed, but now it is all continuous.”

The completed model is now 3m in length and nearly 1m wide. Wagons are operated from a computer-controlled system that shows them being hauled up the ramps from the mines.

The final phase of the project saw the station model linked up with the mine, allowing the main line locomotives to travel from Dollar Station to Westerton Crossing, traversing the full length of the model.

The Dollar Mine model can be viewed at the Dollar Museum on Saturdays from 11am-1pm, 2pm-4.30pm and on Sundays from 2pm-4.30pm. Admission is free.