East Hants Link (Liphook, Bordon & Bentley) light rail 1:150 (N) UK

One of the Liphook U3A- Building a Model Railway Group layouts


A fictional light rail system in real places

In the initial proposals for the “sustainable new town” of Whitehill-Bordon in Hampshire, much was made of linking the area to the nearby Bentley railway station, using the old track bed of a long closed branch line.

Once consultants got hold of it, the scheme became a hugely expensive set of proposals, one of which was to move one of the nearby main lines to serve the area. Not surprisingly the light rail proposal got lost and in reality we have a “sustainable development”, which is rather perversely, entirely reliant on the motor car!

So this is another “might have been” model railway layout.

On the layout we have linked the area to both nearby main railway lines, the Waterloo/Alton and the Waterloo/ Portsmouth line and in so doing have also improved its transport links to the large village of Liphook and the intermediate villages of Lindford, Standford and others. The scheme also shows the potential light rail gives to improve the local environment and reduce traffic problems, caused by school and shopping trips, without intrusive road expansion. Your attention is drawn to the pedestrianised areas created around Liphook station & The Square.

There are five “modules” each built into Ikea style toy boxes, representing how a light rail link might look in Liphook, Whitehill-Bordon and at Bentley railway station, based on systems in mainland Europe and in some UK cities.

The layout is built to N scale using ready to run Japanese tram models to a scale of 1:150 and British kit and scratch-built models of buildings & road transport vehicles scaled at 1:148.

As a means of “selling” new local transport plans, the role of an operational diorama is rarely seen. Many UK citizens have never ridden in a modern tram or seen them in a UK town. They can’t imagine it in their town, so they easily can dismiss it as a viable option.

The “Baseboard”

Each module  comprises one Ikea type Toy Box. Each box contains one layout scene

Ikea toy box
A box on its side. For only one module- Module 3  will the toy box be used this way round. Generally the  top will  not be used. LED lighting units will be fitted on a narrow support bridging the open top


Each module will have a plan area of 655 x 225. The back-scene height will be a little under 300 .The overall plan area required for 5 modules in a “U” shaped arrangement will be 1400 x 1300

The following descriptions refer to the scheme as envisaged for the tram layout. There is no  real life scheme for  a light rail line, so no “Stop the Tram Groups” please! There will be maps accompanying the modules to explain the scheme, when exhibited.

Module A- Liphook Railway station

Model layout plan


Tram platform adjacent (at right angles) to the up platform alongside station building

There will be a low relief model of the station facade facing into the station yard. The tram stop is a simple modern structure with a long covered low platform. I have obtained a kit of one from Japan- it is very similar to those in Europe and on British systems.

Liphook station as at May 2017
The space to the right is where, on the model, the tram terminus platform will be.  The taxi office and the old (now unused) gents urinal will disappear from its current location to form a “concourse” between the current railway platform  and the light rail terminus .  The footbridge will be replaced with lifts and  ramp from the terminus across to the down platform.To give space for the light rail terminus, cars will not enter or exit from this direction, but via a new entrance/exit to the car park from Midhurst Road. The light rail line will bear left out of this are into pedestrianised Station Road, before turning right into Portsmouth Road.


Module B- Liphook Square– street running through pedestrianised area past the Royal Anchor

Cars will disappear from these views with large traffic free area in front of Lloyd’s Bank and the Royal Anchor

Model Layout Plan

East Hants Link Module B Revision A

The centre of Liphook complete with rush hour traffic
The tram line would appear from the far right- along Portsmouth Road, and would then travel through a  complete pedestrian area in front of the Royal Anchor (i.e. no through traffic route) Tram stops will be located, with car parking off Portsmouth Road, in the area currently occupied by a lay-by,Village Surgery and Lloyd’s car park .( This area may be modelled instead of the Square)
Liphook Centre
The tram will turn left into Longmoor Road. London Road  is dead ahead. This junction will become a T road junction with mini-roundabout removed. Next tram stop will be at Bohunt School. Previous tram stop off Portsmouth Road on site previously occupied by Village Surgery-with  linking footpaths to Sainsbury’s  and Millennium Centre


Module C- Crossing the A3

The  single track light rail line over the A3, will be carried on a bowstring bridge- www.scalemodelscenery.co.uk laser cut kit. The A3 is assumed to be in a cutting at this point.

Model layout plan

East Hants Link Module C

Module D- Tram depot/stop/ Park& Ride at Bordon/ Whitehill                                                                      The tram depot will be a Peco diesel loco shed kit or similar with pits etc. Multi-storey car parking, bike racks,bus interchange. Shopping units, Office buildings and Industrial units.

Model layout plan

Module E- Bentley Railway station

Bay platform on down side (as used originally for Bordon branch line trains)



The station building as seen from the bay platform will be modelled in low relief. The footbridge will be replaced with lifts or ramps.

This picture was taken some time after the branch line closed and the track had been reclaimed. The area is now quite heavily wooded. (temporary photo)

The track level for the new tram system will have to be somewhat higher relative to the platform, as the trams have a low, virtually step free access from platform/street level


bentley-station-on-the-alton-to-london-waterloo-south-west-trains-D8ER2K Bentley looking north
Station looking north (In Farnham direction). This is a more recent photo but still doesn’t represent fully current situation. The bay platform is on the far right beyond the blue barrier (Temporary photo)

Model layout plan

The model won’t get such a system built, but it might spread the word about trams-It’ll be fun to build anyway!

As such a line would be operated by modern European/ Japanese designed stock the scale chosen for the model are  Japanese (N) 1:150 which is extremely close to British (N) 1:148. This will enable me to mix & match with British building kits, model vehicles, road signs & main line railway stock

Feb 2017 I have ordered a two car set from Japan to see how it works out. This is my first exercise in purchasing direct from Japan  & my first try at N scale (I’ve just got a new pair of glasses so should be alright!)

Late March 2017 Subsequently have ordered and received from Osborne’s Models  in the UK another similar two car unit.

Mid April 2017 This is one of two proposed layouts selected for building by the writer and followed by the Liphook U3A Building A Model Railway Group 2017. An additional Ikea type toy box has been ordered to complete the 5 required.

11th May 2017 Received Kato tram stop kit from Japan- this or part of it will be used at the Liphook terminus

30th May 2017– Simple form of “Automatic” tram control we may use on this layout http://www.gordonstrams.net/ATSpage0.htm

30th July 2017- after a break- too hot in the garage/railway room is one excuse-I built 2 Ikea toy boxes- (modules 1&2) Module 3 was built previously –see photo at top of page so, I should be able to build the remaining two tomorrow. One of them is a non-Ikea copy so hope it lines up!

By late August 2017– All five “boxes” complete – Three are ex Ikea with one side panel omitted; One ex Ikea with one side panel to be cut out; One non-Ikea with more substantial material forming side panels and dowels and screws used to join  main frame together (Ikea -screws only).Unfortunately it also has slightly different dimensions so will be used for Module 3 to keep some semblance of symmetry.


We have  Facebook pages covering

Trams /https://www.facebook.com/Milland-Valley-Tram-259743164472462/

Building a Model Railway Group 2017  https://www.facebook.com/Building-a-Model-Railway-Group-2017-407075119638615/

Tramway and Light Railway Association- for UK national club for Light rail & tram modellers in all scales.They also have a Facebook page  http://www.tramwayinfo.com