Tolkein's book The Hobbit, the town of Dale had been destroyed
by the dragon, Smaug. After Smaug was killed near the end of The
Hobbit, men returned to rebuild Dale. On
the expanded LT&S, Dale occupies the location originally occupied
by Hobbiton before 2005. All the original buildings were moved to
the new Hobbiton site except the engine shed and the coal loading
facility. Three new larger-scale buildings (the right size for men
rather than hobbits) and a temporary station are seen in this photo
2006 photo of Dale taken from the other end of town. If you compare
this photo with photos of Hobbiton on the original layout, you will
see that the ventilator on top of the train shed is missing. It was
destroyed during a storm.
||This is how the
Mirkwood Lumber Company sawmill located near Dale looked in 2006. Damaged
by a falling tree limb, it was replaced in 2013.
|In 2008, the temporary
station was replaced with a new structure. The coaling facility was
damaged and has been removed. It was repaired and reappeared at the
Rivendell engine facility some years later.
||By 2013, the station
in Dale had been repainted in LT&S colors and a water tower had
been built. There was also a new building between the station and the
train shed. The return loop that went through the mountains on the original
layout was converted into a separate loop, and a small warehouse and
station can be seen on this loop above and behind the town. This loop
takes passengers and freight to the resort at Lonely Mountain. Notice
that the original cedar roof on the engine house is being replaced by
a tin roof.
|The new Mirkwood
Lumber Company, built in 2013, includes both a sawmil and a lumber storage
||A wye with a caboose
track was built behind the Dragon Toy and Chair Company in 2013. The
loop was used to teach new operators how to switch cars. It was taken
out in 2016.
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