The layout represents a typical Southern Railway/BR Southern Region seaside terminus in the 1950’s, when most people went on their seaside holiday by train. The fictional location is on the Dorset Coast between Weymouth & Lyme Regis. It supposes that the L&SWR extended its line from Dorchester westwards to meet its West Country main line just east of Axminster, & built a branch line line down to Weyford on Sea which was fast becoming a holiday destination. The GWR also got in on the act with a branch of a branch to reach with running rights the L&SWR station close to the sea front.
In the 1930’s the Southern Railway built one of their art-deco stations with long covered platforms to accommodate holiday & excursion traffic on a grand scale. A small loco depot was also constructed, which later was “home” to many West Country locos before their return to Exmouth or Nine Elms.
The layout is L shape, Terminus to fiddle yard. The station has 4 platform faces & a goods yard with a goods shed & a wartime cold storage warehouse, based loosely on one that existed near Shalford Jct on the Portsmouth line- one of many built to disperse food stocks in time of war.
The loco depot has a turntable & a loco-shed to accomodate 4 express locos modelled in part low relief.
The layout has considerable potential for operation, particularly if using a sequence based around a Summer Saturday timetable of BR(S) in the 1950’s which is being developed.
The layout was exhibited in an incomplete form at our open day in 2005 & in a more complete form at the Midhurst Modellers Show in 2006.We hope to add a sea-front section including an esplanade & operating trams in the future.
To enable the layout to be operated in the temporary club room, plans are being developed to modify the layout to a U shape, with a new “Weyford Docks” station to hide the fiddle yard from public view.
To add to the fiction, Weyford Docks will be the Southern’s major railway to ship connection to the Channel Islands for both freight (mainly fresh vegetables and flowers) and passenger traffic.
This will add to the operating potential of the layout, with boat trains & seasonal perishable freight trains to be reformed in the main station with only smaller locos permitted on the docks branch.
The changes will involve the construction of five new 1,200 (4′) baseboard sections, the majority of which will require scenic treatment. Four existing baseboards will not be used in this format.The new track layout should still enable a loco turntable to be retained, but possibly a much truncated engine shed. The new layout size will be approx. 5.000 (16′) x 3.00 (10′) inclusive of operating space and access space at one end. Although the main operating panel will be inside the “U”, we expect to have the “Docks” panel on the front of that layout section.
No allowance has been made for barrier space in the sizes given.
The target is to have the layout complete in its revised format for the 2009 exhibition season of which the Feb.2009 Midhurst Modellers Show is part.
Update 2 -October 2008
The revised loco depot is virtually complete with track, electrics and scenics done.
The station approach pointwork has been modified to provide a separate “main line” to the fiddle yard and the docks branch. A board with the branch falling to the dock has been constructed, track laid and the scenics for the cutting well advanced.
The existing goods sidings have been cut back to allow for the docks branch. The government cold store building has been removed as there is insufficient space.
Three “new” 4′ boards are being constructed out of material re-used from some old boards to form the fiddle yard and dock area.
As soon as these are available, track laying in the fiddle yard will commence immediately.
The N gauge team have volunteered to assist with a range of tasks including scenery, operating sequence and electrics.
Work on refreshing the scenery and buildings on the “existing” section of the layout will commence immediately.
Photos, map & layout drawing to follow