Archive: Woodhurst-the club’s one & only O scale layout?

A layout description from 2004(?)

 used when it had its first &  only full exhibition visit to Midhurst. The layout was scrapped in 2016, but some buildings & track-work was saved

This is our new 1:43 “0” scale layout representing a fictional station on the Didcot, Newbury & Southampton Railway, (DN&SR) near the Hampshire / Berkshire border.

The DN&SR was mainly a single line, with earthworks for double track, but each station having passing loops.

It was opened in 1891 to form a vital link between the Midlands & Southampton, becoming part of the GWR in 1923, after a precarious existence for most of its independence.

There were many early plans to form links with L&SWR (later SR) main lines at Whitchurch, Micheldever, & Winchester Junction, but none were actually built & it was also forced to abandon its plans for a separate Southampton station near to Bargate Street & settled for a junction with the L&SWR at Shawford, south of Winchester, with running rights to Southampton Terminus.

The layout is based on the premise that most of these proposed link lines WERE built & as results there were many joint services with the L&SWR (later SR,) leading it to be considered a “joint line” for the Hampshire stretch.

The real DN&SR was extensively upgraded in 1944 in preparation for post D-Day traffic, with more & extended double track sections with signalling improvements & finally a junction with the SR main line  in the up direction at Winchester Junction.  As a result the line played an important role in bringing war supplies to Southampton, for the sea journey to the Allied Forces in France.

Post War all this investment was mainly wasted as the Western Region of British Railways perpetuated the GWR tradition of diverting suitable freight & passenger traffic onto more circuitous routes.

Later the southern section of the line was transferred to the Southern Region who were more proactive, but too late.

 

The line was closed, first to passengers in 1960 & finally to freight in 1966.

 

Work on upgrading the adjoining A34 road was commenced, with perhaps indecent haste, as soon as the track was lifted in 1967, leading to some local conspiracy theories about the lines closure. Dualing of the road proceeded at considerable cost, including finally the  more recent Newbury By Pass section, to provide a “through route to & from the port of Southampton to the manufacturing areas of the Midlands & North”- the reason the railway line was built in the first place.

Paradoxically the later-day road builders used the majority of the lines disused track bed as the basis for the new A34 , & thus little of the route survives.”

Read “The Didcot Newbury & Southampton Railway by Paul Karau, Mike Parsons & Kevin Robertson- unfortunately now out of print, but your local library should be able to source a copy.

There is a reconstruction of Winchester Chesil Station, the last DN&SR station before Southampton, at the HCC Milestones museum in Basingstoke

 

The following notice also appeared

“Liphook & District Model Railway Club

WOODHURST

The layout is having its first exhibition outing today & its likely, despite our best efforts, to have some teething problems.

Please be patient & encourage us!

The layout will, post-exhibition, have more work on the scenery, the signalling will be made operational & our members will need to construct even more rolling stock!

If you’d like to join us in this fun, by joining our club, please speak to any of the team today.

 

L&DMRC has amongst the team, members of

THE GAUGE O GUILD, the premier organisation for modellers in 7mm scale.

We would recommend membership of this organisation to anyone modelling or contemplating modelling in this scale.”


The layout is shown operating on the Dhansak123 YouTube site at our first open day for many years held in Liphook Village Hall in October 2005. Members from the O gauge Group at the South Hants are assisting in operating. (They later transferred to the Fareham & District Club & some are still members)


Little more work was actually done to the layout scenically and the transfer of the club to my garage in 2007 meant there was no room to erect it.  The layout was mainly  the work of member Alf Rolph (who died within a year or so of the move to the garage) & Martin Hill. The layout sections in fact remained in near open-air conditions near the old club room for several years (2011?) and then were brought to another members shed where they were stored until 2016 and then scrapped.

 

 Details transferred to this site January 2017