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

One of the Milland Valley Railway Modellers* layouts

*MVRM is one of the Liphook U3A’s & Midhurst U3A’s afternoon special interest groups which meets on the third Wednesday afternoon of most months at Redford Village Hall (no meetings in July, August or December). From Autumn 2019 we have decided to have additional  layout building sessions at a private address in Milland, to provide somewhere where the groups project layout can be worked on as necessary without being taken down, transported re-erected, taken down and transported for each session.

Layout construction photos are being added progressively into this section- keep on coming back to see which photos have been added. We we are planning to show this layout  at the Liphook & District Model Railway Club’s 10th Annual “Model Trains in the Valley” event on Sunday 27th October 2019.


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  on the layout around Liphook station & The Square and the provision of park & ride facilities at Liphook, Whitehill/Bordon and Bentley on main roads- A3, A31 etc in the area.

There are a number of “scenes,” representing how a light rail link might look in Liphook (Railway station and The Square); Crossing the A3 bypass/Liphook Park & Ride; Whitehill-Bordon/Park & Ride and at Bentley railway station/A31 Park & Ride based on schemes already in place 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”- Original intention

Each scene built into one Ikea type Toy Box.

Ikea toy box
A box on its side. For a number of reasons each module was to  be this way round. (easier to join modules together is the main one)Generally the  top will  not be used. LED lighting units will be fitted on a narrow support bridging the open top

Each scene to have a plan area of 700 x 300 o/a. 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


EAST HANTS LINK-Description March 2019

The following descriptions refer to the scheme as envisaged for the MODEL tram layout.
There is no  real life scheme for  the changes shown on the model or for a light rail line, so no “Stop the Tram Groups”  or letters in the local press please!

There will be descriptions accompanying the modules to explain the scheme, when exhibited.

Module A- Liphook Railway station

Model layout plan- the plan will be updated shortly to show the new station building and retail and residential development

Tram platform adjacent  to the up (London)platform and station building

The current ex supermarket building is replaced with a modern development of apartments and shop/coffee bar and tramway company offices set back from the current building location to create a  tree lined square called Thomas Brassey Sq 

There will be a low relief model of a station facade facing into the station yard. The tram stop is a simple modern structure with a  covered low platform. All tram stops on the line will be of the island type with step free access onto trams, making them ideal for wheel chairs and buggies 

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 station will disappear  to form a “concourse” between the current railway platform  and the new  light rail terminus .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The current footbridge will be replaced with a new covered structure with ramps and/or a lift to reach each railway platform from the tram terminus. To give space for the light rail terminus, taxis and buses will not enter or exit from this direction, but via a new entrance/exit to the area from Midhurst Road.  The model will show on the right a three storey building with shops/offices on the ground floor “end on” to the tram terminus and residential accommodation on 2 storeys over. There will be reduced car parking to discourage commuter car use.The tram line which will will bear right out of this area into pedestrianised Station Road, before turning left into Midhurst Road(This section is not covered in the model)                                                                                                                              The existing railway station will be demolished and the existing  platform will be raised to meet modern standards of virtually step free access onto main line trains   There will be a new  building of three storeys with residential accommodation in the two upper stories with a concourse  waiting area, railway, tram and bus ticket machines , taxi office,  and public toilets on the ground floor.                                                                                                                         A small HQ office building for the light rail operating staff will bridge the current approach to the station forecourt, which will be pedestrian/light rail access only. The existing trees will be replaced with mature tree planting  around the light rail terminus and adjacent residential areas including Station Road.                                                               The square formed in front of the station will be tree lined on its boundaries and called Brassey Square after Thomas Brassey the railway contractor. His navies constructed the Portsmouth Railway line from Godalming to Havant as a private venture, which was almost immediately transferred to the L&SWR to operate.

Module B- Liphook Square

Street running through pedestrianised area past the Royal Anchor
Cars would disappear from these views with large traffic free area in front of Lloyd’s Bank and the Royal Anchor- The model will assume both premises have converted to residential use at least at the upper levels with some commercial use at ground level

The centre of Liphook complete with rush hour traffic
The double track tram line would appear from the far left- along Midhurst Road, and would then travel through a  complete pedestrian area in front of the Royal Anchor (i.e. no through traffic route) A Tram stop will be located,  along Midhurst Road, to give step free access to Sainsburys and Millennium Centre (not modelled) . The Midhurst Road car park would be partially redeveloped as a community open space whilst retaining  vehicular and pedestrian access to the community centre and offices . Another tram stop will be located in The Square. The planned replacement of the Village Surgery will give an opportunity to provide a pedestrian access from Portsmouth Road to Midhurst Road with some residential development.
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.

Module C- Crossing the A3

The double track tram line will continue on to cross the A3 at an acute angle on a concrete bridge containing an island tram platform which will serve a Park & Ride facility with direct access from Southbound and Northbound lanes of the A3.

Part of this facility will be on a bridge structure above the A3 and partially hidden by land formation and mature trees

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 to follow

Module E- Bentley interchange with main line railway

The track level for the new tram system will  be below the main  line  to Alton. The tram line will pass below in a short tunnel. Transfer between tram and train will be via ramps  from the tram stops allowing easy passage by walking or by wheel-chair. The old branch line interchange platform will not be used

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 old bay platform is on the far right beyond the blue barrier (Temporary photo)

Model layout plan to follow

Module E- A31/ BENTley Park & Ride

Terminus at a small park & ride facility linked to the nearby A31 road to Farnham and Alton and the village of Bentley, by cycle and footpaths over the main road, with small split level car park

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.(see August 2017 note)

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


I found building a layout into the confines of the boxes increasingly difficult, particular in getting close alignment between each “box” to lay track across. A complete rethink was required.

I had unused two 1200 x 500  and one corner unit in conventional baseboard frames, constructed in CLS timber. With only an extremely small additional section to construct, this provided a similar overall size but with only 3 baseboard sections to contain the 5 scenes and a much easier prospect for track laying and transport. Modules limits no longer always coincide with baseboard joints

The Ikea style boxes will be used for one off diorama scenes.

Work on track laying is ongoing and progress photos and layout drawings will follow shortly

We have  Facebook pages covering

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

Milland Valley Railway Modellers https://www.facebook.com/LiphookBAMRG/

East Hants Link https://www.facebook.com/East-Hants-Link-the-model-tram-system-1503107126404081/

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


Easter 2019/July 2019 Complete revisions to module descriptions; September 2019- addition of layout building sessions