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

One of the layouts Milland Valley Railway Modellers work on*
MVRM is an afternoon special interest group of Liphook u3a / Midhurst u3a

*The layout is owned by the group leader and no group / u3a funds have been used in  purchasing materials, components or rolling stock

Layout construction photos are being added progressively into this section- keep on coming back to see which photos have been added.
To compliment this model there is also a fictional bus company and later there will be a fictional bus fleet- both will be registered with the Model Bus Federation

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!

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 being 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 1:148/1:150.

The tram units are generally of Kato manufacture and are fairly typical of modern single deck trams throughout the world. To add rolling stock diversity to the line and provide opportunities for tram enthusiast “specials” new and historic trams are being added to the East Hants Link fleet. The first of these is a replica of the Hannover tram presented to the city and people of Hiroshima in 1988. This is a single car – 4 wheel unit.
( In reality this is a new Kato N – 1:150 scale model manufactured in Japan recently introduced into the range)
Received before Christmas 2020 two model trams with motorising units . The tram models  are of a Mainz type 200 a 3 car unit and a Jena type GT6M- both are of German outline with 3 cars each. The tram models and motorising units are by Tomytec, a Japanese manufacturer.
In transit, having been received in the UK over the Christmas/New year holidays is one  HER Hiroden 1000LEV Green Mover LEX Tram with motor unit fitted.This is a modern 3 car unit operated in Hiroshima currently and marks the 100th year of operation of the local operator

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.

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



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 slightly increased 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 overall size  is 1950 x 1230

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

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

There will be descriptions accompanying the modules to explain the scheme, when exhibited. Each module is also designed to be exhibited and  operated on its own with either one or two small fiddle-yards which make the layout especially suitable as a small exhibit at non-model railway events 


Module A-Liphook railway station

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 building will disappear  to form a “concourse” between the current railway platform  and the new  light rail terminus .                                                                                                                                                 The model will show the original  footbridge replaced with a new covered structure with steps and lift to reach each railway platform from the tram terminus. ( This will generally be in line with the latest Network Rail scheme approved in August 2020) To give space for the light rail terminus, taxis  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 small retail units/offices on the ground floor “end on” to the tram terminus and residential accommodation on 2 storeys over, with garden areas and garaging behind. There will be local residents only parking, to encourage local commuter/railway users  use of the tram/park and ride facilities from  the outskirts of the village or nearby.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 model will show a new modern station building with the existing  platforms  raised to meet modern standards of virtually step free access onto main line trains   There will be a new  single storey  station area  in a building of three storeys with flexible office accommodation in the two upper stories, with a concourse  waiting area, railway, tram and bus ticket machines , taxi office,  and public toilets at ground floor level. A small HQ office building for the light rail operating staff will bridge the current approach to the station forecourt, which will be cycle/ pedestrian/light rail access only. The existing tree planting will be enhaced 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 a famous railway contractor of the period. 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 (taxi/bus) and pedestrian access to the community centre and offices . Another tram stop will be located in The Square. The planned replacement/re-location of the Village Surgery will give an opportunity to provide a pedestrian/cycle 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 (not modelled) 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

There will also be a depiction of a 1930;s estate of houses who have suffered by the reduction in the length of their back gardens by the construction of the A3 in a cutting. 

Module DTram 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.

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 track-bed will  used to form the ramped  pedestrian interchange

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. We understand that to enable a dangerously positioned pedestrian crossing just north of the platform  to be closed, the old LSWR design footbridge will be removed and replaced by a new Network Rail standard footbridge -with lifts (as recently installed at Liphook). The locals don’t want this to “ruin their lovely old style country station”  but prefer to retain the current arrangements which are unsafe particularly for those in wheel chairs and has a recent fatal incident!!  -Our model will have a new style footbridge with lifts (similar to that recently installed at Liphook)                                             (Temporary photo)

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

Modelling Notes

All tram stops will be provided with refurbished GPO type telephone kiosks fitted with defibrilators.Seats and shelters will be fitted with solar panels. 

At rural tram stops not served by a regular bus /tram link service, a small car park for say 3 cars is to to be provided, with one space fitted for electric car charging. At these stops, cycles can be carried on trams to and from, without charge, as long as a special day ticket is attached to the cycle, which must be held in the trams cycle rack for the whole journey. All other acompanied cycles are subject to a standard charge and must be kept in the spaces provided on the tram or if on peak services, a separate tram trailer.

Covered cycle storage racks are only provided at Liphook Railway Station, Bentley Railway Station and at park & ride facilities at Bentley(A31), Liphook/Whitehill/Bordon (A3)

Cycles left at any  other Tram stops will be removed and will subject to a penalty charge upon reclaim


With the current situation suggesting that the Government may be willing to invest more in public transport, The East Hants Link is considering possible extensions of its system to Alton, Basingstoke, Midhurst and Winchester using in part new infrastructure in towns and using abandoned former railway routes elsewhere.

In modelling terms this could mean three or three  more layout modules or dioramas to cover these additional routes. There may be a possibility of operating these modules together under exhibition conditions


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


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  Milland Valley Railway Modellers. 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

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

Early/late August 2020- description of station area and Brassey Square extensively revised/updated. Update of  Liphook and Bentley modules description

October/Nov 2020- addition of Hanover type tram descriptionintroduction of new u3a logo. Decision taken to no longer consider this as an excusively exhibition layout, but to adapt where necessary to a mainly home layout. This will mean the layout will be mounted on cupboard/drawer units at home and on tables supplied by the venue at an exhibition. Re-ordering of certain sections- deletion of some repetitive content Dec 2020 Future possibilities section added

January 2021- description of new stock recently added

July 2021revised wording for expansion plans

October 2021- Rewording text to clarify

January/February 2022 /March 2022 General tidy up/re-wording