About the blog

For the past forty-odd years I have pursued an interest in the Railways of Germany however as the end of the line beckons, I have returned to the railway that has always run past my home - the Southern.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Scenery upgrade - 1

It is excellent advice was to avoid flat baseboards or at least introduce subtle contours. The baseboards had some scenic shapes, which have been retained and it was important to create other contours.

This was December 2013 work had stopped.

 Clearing the layout in 2014.

Rebuilding in December 2018.

The track has been singled and the station moved to the far end of the layout.  Layers of 5mm foamboard have been used to create the road and base for the Stationmaster's House which is some 15mm deep. The abrupt changes of contour are blended with lightweight Pollyfilla and smoothed with a wet brush.

It is really messy and time consuming.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Wonder lamp

After some difficult searching, a pack of SR Barley Twist lights have been procured. They are simply superb tho' just a tad too high but by using the shortest base they are very nice. A pack of six including two wall bracket lamps was less than one Viessmann lamp and they are supplied with a special circuit board - wonderful.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Unwanted loco - 2

The model has arrived and it far exceeds my expectations, it looks wonderful and the motordrive is an RG4.

It will be a shame to repaint it in BR mixed traffic lined black livery.

 U1 leaving Southampton Central 1957

Monday, 3 December 2018

BR(S) colour accuracy

The early 60s image of Verwood illustrates how standard Southern colours fade and deteriorate, although the ambient springtime light does make a big difference. 

It is the ‘real’ railway as opposed to what modellers want to see, especially on lines that are declining / due for closure.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Goods yard - 1

The surface of the old goods yard on Beaminster Road was a layer of ordinary cardboard box, selected as the same height as Peco sleepers, it was painted concrete to both seal the surface and represent the surface upgraded during WW2 when 'dirt' yards, such as Seaton Junction, were paved to allow rigorous use by the military. The weedy lines represent the expansion gaps to prevent cracking of the concrete surface.

Another cardboard box is being re-cycled under heavy objects in preparation for another goods yard surface.


Unwanted loco -1

The DJH kit of the U and U1 class have been long out of production, prices have risen and even an incomplete kit recently sold for £160. When a completed U1 popped up on eBay described as a U, interest was aroused despite the SR livery and uncertain provenance however it had been built for Alton Model Centre and they have a good reputation

There is a precedent for U1s on the Western Division.

U1's 31901-4, were tried out by Exmouth Junction (72A) for 5 months from May to October 1961, after which they were returned to Norwood Junction, as unsuitable. For example, Yeovil's 31902 on 1.00pm from Padstow 4 Aug 1964. 31903 at Padstow (between May - October 1961).  The three U1s were also tried out at Salisbury (72B) from 5/61 to 9/61, they were:- 31898, 31899, and 31900

Sunday, 25 November 2018

20t Oil tank wagon

On Saturday, a pair of Bachmann 20t anchor mounted tank wagons were purchased from Shillingstone station

They are intended for the miscellaneous goods train and represent two tank wagons for the Cattewater Oil Depot in Plymouth. 

Shell Mex and British Petroleum introduced a large fleet of anchor mounted 20ton capacity tank wagons in 1948 - 49. They were built by a number of manufacturers. Many were later lagged for heavy oils and had a side heating coil. 

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Milk for the milk train - 2

Mike has made remarkable progress with the creamery - can you spot the origin of the kits?

A Commer milk road tanker has been sourced.


Friday, 16 November 2018


The creation of the platforms required a certain amount of excavating the existing scenery because rather than installing the track to pre-cut platforms and I had to create the platform shape to the existing trackplan. 

The first problem was the down platform, a business card placed against the sleeper edge provided a uniform distance, which was followed with the circular saw in the Proxxon drill into the foamboard, finally an old bread knife broke the glue under the foam - first image.

Thinking about how to do the task took several cups of tea but about five minutes to accomplish.

The all important clearance on curves is simply fixed by a small 10mm wooden block against the sleeper edge and fixed in place with a dressmaker's pin. Repeat this every 55mm along the intended length of the platform, a bead of PVA and install the balsa stripwood platform wall. The balsa was held is place by a row of pins on the inside of the curve and the combined weight of some handtools.

The remaining platforms uprights are balsa stripwood with a 2mm ply top, all cosmetic platform facings will be Wills.

The square end of the platforms is due to the short siding on the left, steps will be added for railway personnel - see the image of Hayling Island. 

Passengers will cross the track by a barrow crossing (not yet installed) at the opposite end of the platforms, access will be supervised by the signal box and a warning bell - see image of Exeter St. Davids

Wednesday, 14 November 2018


This is Verwood, a small rural station that provides much of the inspiration for Beaminster Road, albeit on the other side of Dorset. The station is typically Southern - rudimentary but adequate, comprising a booking office, storeroom and platform shelter, whilst the platforms are just long enough for local traffic.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Recycling the backscene

The backscene that hides the fiddleyard has been recycled from an earlier 1:45 layout, it needs some TLC but it works well.

 The trackwork in the foreground will be the local creamery that sends dairy products to London.

Geoff Forster's creamery at Penhydd

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

The end of the beginning

Upgrades to the track plan are finally completed.😀

The vast white space is the foamboard raised area, there are just two sidings - storage and a goods store (the tin box shows its location) The recent change was to increase the length of the passing loop and move the entrance to the sidings by 50cm. The result is a less cramped goods yard. 

Testing to ensure smooth running will commence followed by  ballasting and dummy turnout control runs.

Peco buffer stops

Peco buffer stops are excellent, the wooden beam is two layers of a coffee stir stick that has been stained with ink.

Drummond's final fling

The D15s -They were Drummond's last design, a return to 4-4-0s after his disastrous 4-6-0s. These successful locomotives worked, in the main, out of Waterloo, after the Direct Portsmouth electrification they worked semi-fasts to Waterloo, empty fish vans from Bournemouth to Brentford and Portsmouth-Salisbury/GWR trains. Eastleigh D15s worked through to Brighton after Ford bridge was strengthened in 1941. Then an Eastleigh engine went down in the afternoon, spent the night on Brighton shed and returned next morning.

The Salisbury trains were taken over by BR4mt 2-6-0s in 1953 and some D15s were scrapped. The survivors worked various main line trains including but not exclusively, the Saturday Waterloo-Lymington boat trains and were replaced by Maunsell Schools.

30465 on an all stations Soton-B'Mouth in April '53 near Ashurst. The stock is mostly exLSWR 58' Maunsell rebuilds

 Down Lymington boat train near Byfleet-New Haw
photo from Ben-Brooksbank

The rebuilt Drummond D15 from OO Works

Milk for the milk train - 1

Railway Modeller December 2012 featured 'Milk by Rail' presumably a staple traffic from the West of England and through Beaminster Road.

On the opposite side of the workshop, there is a short spur to a loop - ideal for a milk depot siding.

Something a bit like this at Torrington.......

Or this......

Inside the milk depot at Seaton Junction 

Steam era links

Beaminster Road isn't just about building a layout, occasionally something crops up that really should be shared.

This website has some interesting info on BR steam era wagons (like the one above, exAir Ministry 14t)

 My knowledge of BR steam era wagons is woeful, I rely on the various release notes in the media when a new wagon is announced but the above website has lots of info. Plus this guy, Paul Bartlett, a link to his excellent website.

Finally, John Isherwood at Cambridge Custom Transfers.

Lost ballast wagons - their return

Thanks to John H. Edge some old photos have returned home, no guessing the subject. Martin Jones might find a couple to be of interest?

With the exception of the Tunney and Dogfish, the wagons are still part of the Beaminster Road stocklist.

Links to Southern details

For the past few years both Hornby and Bachmann have produced some excellent stock for those of the Southern persuasion, what is missing is the infrastructure of Southern Railway buildings. However not is all lost, there are a few excellent books that provide plans and views of buildings, whilst amongst the archives of Railway Modeller and Model Railway Constructor there are a few gems to be found- John Charman and Frank Crudass were prolific contributors to both magazines, the latter featuring his layout Wadebridge.

Frank Crudass

RM 11/68 Building a super-detail tank wagon, pages 336, 337.
RM 08/69 N Class Locomotive 2-6-0 SE&CR Maunsell Design
RM 06/70 LSWR Rail Built Buffer Stop
MRC 06/65 SR Platform barrows
MRC 03/66 Building 30200 - building the Wills 4mm scale kit
MRC 07/66 SR Platform seats
MRC 04-5/67 Modelling the Beattie Well Tank
MRC 07/66 SR Platform seats
MRC 1980 Annual Wadebridge Island Platform

John Charman

MRC 08/71 LSWR Loading Gauge - John Charman describes the prototype and the model

Beaminster and its bus

The Southern National Omnibus Company had a North Devon and Cornwall area centred on Bude, Bideford, Barnstaple and Ilfracombe and a Somerset and Dorset area centred on Seaton, Yeovil and Weymouth. 
Along the coast from Weymouth and inland to Axminster via Bridport, route 42, served Bridport, Lyme Regis and Axminster, plus everything along the route. 
In the 50s, the road conditions would have restricted the choice of vehicle to single deck Bristols.

Notably the Bristol LS5G from the 40s

Unfortunately, not available as a 4mm model in Southern National livery, it is available from Corgi as a similar green Bath Services vehicle that will need modification.

Freaky Friday

In an odd corner of the station forecourt.

Beaminster Road has very few road vehicles - but this is one.

The eponymous Ford Thames E83W Royal Mail van.

Push + Pull Set from a Blacksmith Kit

These were built from a Blacksmith kit sold by Cove Models,  unfortunately, the excellent shop is long gone.

The dull and weathered finish was entirely intentional.

Tatty buildings for Beaminster Road

A small selection of mundane buildings for Beaminster Road

The goods lockup inspired by Ringwood.

 The yard office inspired by Axminster

The 'eyesore' found in most villages

A legacy of WW2