“If the railway had come to the valley”- 1:76(OO) UK

Diorama Base 3- 430 x 500

UK – A 1940’s scene – at “Linch & Redford ”,  near a railway bridge at the cross roads to Linch & Redford  (as if the proposed railway line  from Midhurst to Haslemere had been built)+ allotment, war memorial. The village waits for the afternoon train carrying shoppers & school-children home from Midhurst & an Army truck waits for new recruits to the training camp at Cartersland. They have travelled from Waterloo to Haslemere where they changed onto a  train to Midhurst.

The scene is set near where Fernhurst & Linch roads meet. I have assumed a station to serve Linch & Redford  near to Linch Church. On the proposals held at West Sussex Record Office* a station was proposed at Redford. As the line appears to be in a deepish cutting on an approach to a tunnel  I have assumed a move to a more convenient location for the railway builders if not for the Redford passengers.

*(   http://www.fernhurstsociety.org.uk/memory2.html    )

 

Taking further liberties with history, I have assumed that the line had been electrified as an add-on to the Portsmouth/ Alton scheme (completed  1937), connecting through Midhurst to Pulborough.  (None of the lines passing through Midhurst were ever electrified.)

As part of this electrification project, which was completed in early 1939, the Southern revamped the provision for passengers with standard SR concrete construction for a new island platform, provided electric lighting and an access subway and stairs to a new small station  building built at ground level onto the side of the embankment. Provision for a lift was made, but not installed.

In an architectural style reminiscent of the Chessington line, a new concrete tower was built on the Linch Road side of the embankment, containing the  staircase from ground level to connect to the subway to the island platform. The only feature is lettering SOUTHERN ELECTRIC- LINCH & REDFORD affixed in a similar style to that used on SR signal boxes of the period. At ground level a station building similar in style to Seaton (Devon) but smaller and with concrete rendered finish, rather than brickwork, was provided. (The Southern management possibly engulfed in WW2 planning unusually let this by their normal economical rigour)

I have also assumed that the SR have carried out additional works, with war threatening, so that the line could be used as a diversionary route for freight & troop trains during WW2 and had extended the passing loop originally  planned to 300 yds. with an austerity signal box* to allow for the increased  traffic to be be handled over this single line. The passing loop at Linch & Redford  was  therefore  considerably longer than needed for the 2 or 4 car  car trains that would have been the regular fayre for this line. The new island platform was however kept to around 250 ft., as the longer trains would be either freight or troop trains not stopping at the station.

*The signal box will be a modified SR type 14,(similar to that used at the Froyle WW2 food depot- a wartime standard) & will be mounted near the  platform. It is not currently to be shown on the diorama, awaiting more details.

The Southern  no doubt expected the area adjacent to the station to be  soon filled with modern detached houses, to provide Guildford, London or Portsmouth commuters for their trains. Unfortunately, within  weeks of the works being completed, the Second World War was well underway with the line providing routes for Dunkirk evacuation trains. Planning restrictions after the war stopped any likelihood of suburban development in the area.
The station, even in the 40’s, stands rather incongruously in  its very rural surroundings, awaiting more commuters than ever appeared.

 

7th August 2016   Work is underway on the diorama- the base from some old scenic sections of Weyford, cut down & joined together to form a reasonable size, with a new top using s/h ply and reclaimed screws.

The embankments across the Milland Valley would I believe be quite high, which gives much the same impression as the Winchester to Alton line did as it crossed Springvale Road, Hookpit near where I was born & lived for my first 9 years.

These high embankments are being formed of Ikea packing cardboard as are the line of the local roads, at the modelled road junction

Ikea packing cardboard being stuck together after cutting to shape
Ikea packing cardboard being stuck together after cutting to shape
Overview where bridge will fit. The road system is also seen
Overview where bridge will fit. The road system is also seen
Another view of the basic embankment form - sloping sidesto be added later
Another view of the basic embankment form – sloping sides to be added later

9th Augustbase work for the embankments. Bridge structure etc- quite urban in treatment due to the proximity of roads church etc

10th August Found an old Metcalfe  tunnel mouth ex Weyford & have used this plus its sister- (unmade)  to form the road  tunnel through the railway embankment.

11th/12th August – base for station constructed. Foam base for track constructed and strip ballast laid.

Late October/Early November

As I am now free of my commitments to the Liphook club, now for modelling. To get me back in the swing to complete this diorama and then get it photographed to form the basis of my 2016 Christmas card. See also post http://www.millandvalleyrailway.co.uk/2016/11/27/

February 2017

I’ve used a Metcalf single track tunnel kit- some bits taken from newer sections of Weyford- to use as  the method used to take roads under railway lines on high embankments. There were several like this in the Winchester area (Kings Worthy/ Headbourne Worthy) and at least one on the Meon Valley line (A325 Petersfield to Winchester road near West Meon Hut. Retaining walls & all copings now in place together with some pastels weathering.

Close up of road “tunnel on Linch side
Milland side of railway “tunnel”- wing walls in place
Road “tunnel” under railway by Fernhurst Rd/ Linch-Redford Road Jct. War memorial will be to right of greenhouse at road junction ( The greenhouse is there to give scale only & will probably not be on completed model)

PROGRESS REPORT

Well there hasn’t been any for months. I want to complete it so that it can be on display at the Milland Memories weekend on 21st/22nd October as a “conversation piece”. I might use it as “R&R” while the pressure is on for the East Hants Link layout!


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Updated – name of blog changed; progress script & photos added August 2016/23rd October 2016/ November 2016/ March 2017/Sept 2017