About the blog

The concept of the layout is a rural station in West Dorset on the proposed direct Dorchester-Exeter route during the first four years of British Railways from '48-52.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Midland stranger on the D&E

 Like so many happy events, a chance comment has led to the return of a rather special model - a Hornby 2P that was one of the Child Okeford stalwarts.


Not too sure the reason why a SDJR loco has strayed so far from home but it will be very welcome.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Narrow cab T9s with six wheel tenders


30704 waits patiently at Padstow, date unknown. It must have been '48-51 as it was withdrawn in October 1951.

A 'bitsa' for Beaminster Road

The 'roundtuit' cupboard is getting a final rummage and clean-out, amongst the bits were a Hornby T9 chassis with a Peter's Spares upgrade, a Hornby narrow cab T9 body and a T9 6w tender. Hornby did offer a nice T9 narrow cab with 6 wheel tender 30726 R2831 but Beaminster Road is stuck in a '48-52 time loop and there is an image of 30704 at both Padstow and Yeovil Town in unlined black but carrying BR numbers with SOUTHERN on the tender. 

30704 at Yeovil Town, the distinctive gas works is in the background. Again, date unknown. It must have been '48-51 as it was withdrawn in October 1951.


T9 with narrow cabs and six wheel tenders 

281/282/704/726/729 were the only narrow-cab T9s with 6-wheeled tenders, all 14' wheelbase ones.

281 was withdrawn in October 1951, in plain black but with a BR number. I'm not sure of what type of lettering it had.

282 was withdrawn in 1954 in BR lined black, received November 1951 when it was renumbered from s282 (received Feb 1948 with BRITISH RAILWAYS spelt out on the tender, plain black, in Bulleid Sunshine lettering)

704 withdrawn in October 1951 in plain black, tender SOUTHERN in Bulleid Sunshine, cab side 30704 in Gill Sans, from March 1950.

726 withdrawn in August 1959, BR lined black from April 1949, initially with no crest.

729 withdrawn in March 1961, BR lined from December 1949  black, early BR emblem

All the above are 30729 Swanage, Bournemouth, Eastleigh

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Adams A12 Jubilees

English as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal water, nestling in green nowhere, armoured and effete, bold flag-bearer, lotus-fed Miss Havishambling, opsimath and eremite, feudal still, reactionary old, the A12 locomotives of the London and South Western Railway:
from Viv Stanshall.

They were built between the years 1887 and 1895 to the design of William Adams. Ninety of the locomotives were built, fifty at Nine Elms Works and forty by Neilson and Company, although the latter together with the final twenty from Nine Elms were officially known as the O4 class. They were unusual for their time, with a wheel arrangement of 0-4-2. This arrangement was used by few of the other railway companies, and never proved popular (although the Great Northern Railway had 150 such locomotives). They bore the nickname "Jubilees", because the first batch appeared in the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign.  

Withdrawals started in 1928 but four of the Neilson engines survived into British Railways ownership - just! One of these, 629, was one of seven locomotives withdrawn in January 1939 but reprieved in October of that year due to the increased demand for locomotives following the outbreak of war in September 1939. None of these four survivors carried a British Railways number.

555 dumped at Eastleigh July 1946


Nu-Cast offer a kit with a brass chassis whilst OO Works plan to release an RTR version in mid-2021 


Model Railway News, May 1967

Missing link-the L12

Dugald Drummond's twenty L12 class express passenger 4-4-0s, built in 1904-5, were an adaptation of his S11 mixed traffic class for express work, principally on the Bournemouth line -the main differences being 6' 7" driving wheels and a higher-pitched boiler. As with the S11, the frames are those from the earlier T9 class of 1899. Initially rostered to Nine Elms, Bournemouth and Salisbury, the class was later also shedded at Exmouth Junction. 

Once again built as saturated locomotives, they were subsequently superheated with "Eastleigh" superheaters and the accompanying larger smokebox that served to improve their somewhat "stubby" appearance. 

The class was fitted with both 6w and 8w tenders during their lives. 

The whole class survived to be taken into British Railways stock, but withdrawal began in April 1951, with only 30415 1nd 30434 were still in service beyond the end of that year.

Six wheel tenders



30421 leaving Salisbury westbound

30424 on the Tongham-Ash special

Eight wheel tenders

30400 Betchworth on the Reading-Redhill line



30420 Fort Brockhurst



L12 as models 

In 4mm, only LSWR Models and Jidenco/Falcon Brass are thought to have released kits of the L12, in 7mm Ace Models offer a kit.

There was a small batch of conversion kits using the Hornby T9 as a donor, see below. These included to show what needs to be done to convert a T9 to an L12.





Monday, 26 April 2021

Ironclad coaches of the LSWR - an album

 A few random images of the coaches of the LSWR known as Ironclads, the epithet was due to the use of steel in their construction.

A link to the SRG Phoenix Coach kit website CLICK HERE


Set 381 Seaton Junc early '60s

 The 57 ft ‘Ironclad’ stock was an LSWR design, so known because of the use of flush steel sheeting screwed to a wooden body frame with narrow metal strips protecting the joints and near flush windows giving a the appearance of smooth flush sides.
Previous LSWR designs had used wooden sheeting and panelling. Being built 9′ wide a characteristic feature of the the ‘Ironclad’ stock was the tapering in of the brake part of the coach, to 8’3″, to allow for a guards lookout within the loading gauge.

 The first sets of Ironclad carriages appeared in July 1921 and being the most modern design available to the SR in 1923, continued in production until January 1926. The Ironclads included a range of the usual coach types but also slightly more unusual types such as Pantry thirds, Pantry Brake Firsts and dining saloons.

 The initial batch was formed into five coach sets for the Bournemouth Line (with some longer sets for the Central Section) and allocated to the most important services until superseded by Maunsell stock.
The original 5 coach formations as numbered by the Southern Railway were Sets 431-434 (the original LSWR set numbers were 1c to 4c) and 435-444.

 The Initial batch were formed into five coach sets for the Bournemouth Line (with some longer sets for the Central Section) and allocated to the most important services until superseded by Maunsell stock.
The original 5 coach formations as numbered by the Southern Railway were Sets 431-434 (the original LSWR set numbers were 1c to 4c) and 435-444.

The above was copied from Graham Muspratt's excellent blog.


Set 384 Bordon

Set 384 Brockenhurst
Tool van DS225 (ex Maunsell Ironclad TK S724S) at Bournemouth Central 130766 

The initial liveries of sets 381-385 when converted to Pull-Push were:-

381  12/1948  Malachite
382  7/1949    Lined Crimson
383  10/1948  Malachite
384  6/1949    Lined Crimson
385  3/1952    Plain Crimson

 A truly excellent description of building Ironclads by 145 Squadron can be found on RMweb CLICK HERE


Sunday, 25 April 2021

Diversion - 2

Of the three options, Wenford is the most scenic (better suited to me) but has been almost done to death, the Army camp would be rather austere however I do have a number of suitable models, finally, the pottery at Parkstone would be a personal favourite. 

Time spent sitting on the parapet of Lower Parkstone's Osborne Road bridge watching George Jennings re-arrange the wagons were well spent, Dad had hold of me by the belt! Watching Bulleids ascending the bank with 11+ was an education, though I secretly admired the visiting Halls that would walk away even from a signal check. Dad was not impressed by my treachery but it wasn't helped by the fact that they were invariably immaculate and their bark.........  


Osborne Road bridge, the yard was visible from the eastern end of the parapet

  Someone has tried to make a model of the yard but no one has bothered. AFAIK. with t'other end of the line. Skytrex offer some nice resin castings for a pottery, they will come in handy as will Hornby's Peckett, though not quite right, it'll do. The plan below would fit in the space and it is only slightly altered from the trackplan taken from an old map. In the storage area, a Peco Locolift will comfortably accomodate two wagons and the Peckett

A diversion -1

 Until last week, there were two RUB 77ltr Christmas Tree storage boxes lurking in the garage, they are now being fitted out with two baseboards to create a 84"x13.5" micro layout.

There is no intention to rush but time waits for no one and it is intended to a simple 'universal' trackplan, these are the options:-

1. Forest of Dean - isn't everyone doing one of these?

2. Quayside - another 'favourite'

3. BLT - No, no, no and again no

4. Wenford - Not quite done to death but very nearly

5. Army camp - Early '50s National Service 

6. Parkstone Pottery - the pottery end of the line

 The 'one size fits all' trackplan - plain and simple

If 1, 2, 3 and 4 are non-starters then 5 and 6 maybe be worth consideration:-

5. Territorial Army camp, one of many reminders of the early '50s, they tended to be tucked away in rural locations whilst still easily accessible for rail transport. A neglected subject.
King George V inspecting the Royal Loamshires at Ryall Camp 1932.
6. Parkstone Pottery - the pottery end of the line, all is described here
All the options have their merits but the last two are of particular interest, both require the use of just one loco and a few wagons. There is great contrast between the pristine neatness of Army life and the everyday bustle of the pottery.

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Another exLSWR van

As if two exLSWR vans are not enough, this will complete the trio. 

A Diag 1409 10t van, these lasted into the '60s, unlike the two plastic Cambrian Diag 1410 examples, this is a all metal kit once available from David Geen. Just waiting for the kit to pitch up.

The completed example is not mine, it should be dark brown with a black underfame, although it would be rather careworn in '48-52. The underframe of the model does not look correct, it will need attention.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

30119 - By royal appointment

Sunday morning is layout time
LSWR/SR 119 later BR 30119 was used by the Southern Railway and early British Railways as a Royal engine and as such was painted in malachite green livery. The last years of it life were spent at Dorchester which makes it perfect for Beaminster Road.

Below, when the Royal Train that visited both the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway and the Salisbury and Dorset Junction Railway. A Royal occasion at Broadstone on 15th May 1940. 

The empty stock of the GWR Royal Train having been brought from Blandford back to Broadstone behind 'Black Five' 5289 departs behind T9 SR119 towards West Moors and Downton, Here their Majesties will rejoin the train following their visit to Blandford Camp.

First coach is a brake third,probably either diagram D87 ex-ambulance stock, 57' long with flat ends (1924); or D107 or D111 bow-ended stock; 61'long (1930). This is a general service coach. 

The second coach is a G59 first class saloon, either No 9004 or 9005 (there were only two). 61' long, bow-ended. These coaches were completely self-contained, with kitchen, pantry, guard's compartment and coupe end windows and were for private hire. 

The third coach shows too little to identify, but is also late 20's/early 30's stock.

Despite being 'on' Southern territory, the GWR royal train was used, possibly as the Pullman (the Southern had no dedicated Royal stock)  stock used by the SR for was elsewhere in 1940
Hornby's R2889 is exceptionally good.

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Working the Dorchester and Exeter line


*Please note that the Dorchester and Exeter (D&E) line was never built

As the blog seems to be focused on the models and runnng sessions are about to recommence, maybe a description of how the D&E line may have been worked just after the the transition from Southern to British Railways.

Through trains

The D&E was a useful diversionary route for the West of England mainline however the single track west of Bridport would have been restrictive.  

The only regular through train was the Plymouth to Brighton which would have been routed via the D&E and WoE mainline on alternate days, with Fridays and Sundays always via the D&E for Naval personnel to make connections at Dorchester and Poole. When running on the D&E, Exmouth Junction locos would have worked the service to Bournemouth where a Brighton loco would have completed the journey. The service was in the capable hands of D15s and H2s, both replaced by Bulleid Light Pacifics by 1956. 

Local Services

These originated at Exeter and terminated at Dorchester until complete closure of Dorchester Shed 71C in 1957 after which they terminated at Bournemouth West. Most services were served by two car sets whilst a push+pull set ran between Axminster and Dorchester for both workmen and school/shopping services.

Goods traffic 

To relieve pressure on the WoE, all daytime goods between London and the West Country ran via D&E, the line was also used to transport fuel to the Esso depot at Cattewater, Plymouth.

Fast van traffic of both agricultural produce and meat, the latter from the abattoirs at Halwill, was a daily regular.  

No words necessary


Wednesday, 14 April 2021

D15 - small details

David's attention to detail is amazing.

The D15s (and the L12s) had a different pattern of injector, mounted below the cab: 

The model looked a bit bare without them, so David has rigged up something that vaguely looks like them, from the rather small and shadowy area of the prototype photos. 

The ingredients are odd lumps of whitemetal, 1/16" brass tube, .7mm copper wire, and various bits left over from Markits Clack-valve kits.

Markits sell a pack of copper wire, some stuff as comes with the clack-valves.

Bits of Markit clack valves