In 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 from 2006.

Here's another 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 shed.

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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