Alteration work starts on Chesilford (formerly Weyford on Sea) layout to fit its permanent home.

It’s been a long time

After much preparing of plans, head scratching, changes of mind etc., I had come to the conclusion that it was “mission impossible” to fit Weyford into our garage without either major surgery (destruction?) of the layout as built, or not being able to use the garage for anything else. The latter is the foremost reason for a decision to be reached, as it is not the layout size per-Se, but it appeared the access needed around it’s perimeter was the most problematical to resolve.

I was very loathe to scrap it and I think I now have a solution which retains virtually all the main features and adds some as well.


The layout will be renamed Chesilford ,  a fictional seaside location with cliffs and pebble beaches as it was when called Weyford-on-Sea. An archetypal Southern Railway West Country branch line with direct services in the summer to Waterloo with the addition of cross channel steamer services and a flying boat terminal for services to the Mediterranean, Egypt, Africa and Australasia.

The main terminus station, at the end of a single line branch, is  called Chesilford  and the harbour -Chesil Docks which is a departure point to France (St Malo) and the Channel Islands. The BOAC flying boat terminal is as a result of a wartime move from Southampton  and it is coming to the end of its glory days.

The layout will be converted scenically to face into the operating well, instead of facing outwards as hitherto. Upon investigation this appears not to be difficult, but adds to the workload! In addition on all sides of the “U” shape the layout will be pushed out (enlarged) slightly to either be hard up against the wall (at the rear of the cutting) or to give a 700 mm wide access corridor to the new fiddle yard and existing wall racking and a 500 wide access corridor to the room’s fuse board and to the rear of Chesilford’s turntable.

New fiddle yard arrangement-it’s a London terminus! (see December notes for update) 

A new fiddle yard, in fact  a “Minories” type terminus, called Memorial, will be constructed as if approached on a south London brick viaduct  with part over the River Thames (Not unlike Blackfriars). The layout will be of total dimensions 4880 x 500,  on the existing fiddle yard boards (3660) + 1 new board (1220) and  will be reached  by trains straight off the high level single main line,  with a curve across the dock area. This curve, on a viaduct, will replace the tighter radius  curve  on a bridge passing over the docks branch.  The Memorial station boards will be located physically behind the docks  relative to the operating well. Operator access to the station boards will be off an access corridor to wall racking. The station will have a fiddle yard 1220 x 500 of its own, (the new board) which could  act as an additional stock storage area for the whole layout.

Memorial will be able to operate as a  self contained (to and from fiddle yard) Southern Electric suburban service, plus main line services to and from Chesilford and will incorporate  features from the original proposals for a separate south London terminal station layout  and the Bennett’s Mews shunting layout . Buildings designed for these  layouts will will be incorporated in the Memorial layout. This arrangement will  re-use  all baseboard sections of the existing fiddle yard. New legs will be required  as the baseboard top will be at the same level as the  docks, although the track will be on viaducts about 50 mm or so higher.


Chesil Docks

The current baseboards constructed to contain a Docks station, freight sidings, BOAC terminal etc., will  be re-used on the layout, but with the current back becoming the dock edge, facing into the operating well. All of the former docks boards will be re-used without alteration to the track layout.  The track route  to the docks will similar to the original , but will not be crossed at high level by the main line; (see fiddle yard description).The revised arrangements will require  new buildings and scenic treatment to be constructed for the rear of the area, together with new double sided back-scenes. The docks station and continental passenger ferry terminal designs will be modified and new models of them created

The current arrangement showing the line going off left to Chesilford Town
The current arrangement at the “corner” board”  showing the line going off left to Chesilford . In this view the “front” viewing side is on the right and the backscene is on the left. In the new arrangement the trackwork will remain unchanged, but the right hand side will have a backscene, beyond which will be the new fiddle yard/Mansion House Station. The viewing side will start left of where the camera is standing



The existing corner baseboard (1220 x 900)  containing main line rail bridge, tunnel mouth and road tunnel access to docks, plus level crossing and the existing board (1220 x 810) containing the approach cutting will  be retained, but the main line route will no longer cross the docks branch line,  but will be revised  to run nearly parallel to the docks branch, then  on a concrete viaduct crossing the L.H. end of the dock diagonally , to get to the  new Memorial section of the layout. The high  level rail tunnel entrance,  which gave access to the original fiddle yard, will disappear, as will the railway bridge, but the road tunnel feature will  be retained.


The main line passing over the docks branch
The main line passing over the docks branch as the current arrangement. In the new proposal the main line will follow a straightish path after passing under the road bridge (the formation  will be cut back on the right hand side)  and will pass into the middle foreground  and cross the docks are on a concrete viaduct (at a height approximating that of the current bridge) to reach the fiddle yard. The rail bridge shown in this photo to the left will be removed.


The current main line disappearing into the entrance to the fiddle yard
The current main line disappearing into the entrance to the fiddle yard. The bridge on the right and the tunnel mouth will disappear under the new proposals and the scenic treatment will be altered.


Main Station

For the Chesilford  station area, goods yard and MPD it appears the changes can be achieved simply. The main change will be to the location of station buildings above the buffer stops as there is insufficient space to repeat the previous arrangement. The present scenic treatment will be replaced at what becomes the front, and new low relief features and scenic backboard at the “new “rear. The terminal end board will be shortened by up to 260 mm to fit the location. Points on a run round loop  will, it is hoped,  not need  to be repositioned. Platform capacity will be unchanged.

Other Areas

There will be a 800 mm wide gangway to one side (RH), to give access to existing wall racking and  particularly to the new location for the fiddle yard/ Memorial station and on the opposite  side a narrow access way to wall racking, fuseboard etc.

The operating well will become a dual purpose area used for draughting, modelling activities and storage of other layout sections, when the layout is not being operated, sized 4000 x 2180 (8.8 sq.m)

The wiring will be replaced virtually throughout. The old main control panel has already been stripped down and components salvaged.

The sketch has been prepared of the  revised  layout  to aid understanding of the numerous changes. (This sketch does not show the racking and narrow access way to be created on th LH side to give access to an electrical distribution board.)

Click on image to enlarge to a readable size

The plan compares proposed baseboard arrangements (bold lines to existing(broken feint )
The plan compares proposed baseboard arrangements (bold lines) to existing (broken feint )


Not to be exhibited away from home

It is not intended that the layout will be exhibited, but it may be used for small groups to visit to see the layout operating (for a donation to charity). with club members assisting. Also if L&DMRC members wish there could be up to four operating sessions a year


Revised August 2013/September 2013