www.EwhurstGreen.com

East Sussex Finescale

Ewhurst Green

Building a 4mm finescale model railway which has its basis on a planned (but never built) railway line that never actually served the villages of Ewhurst and Ewhurst Green in Surrey!

Ewhurst Green’s station building as repainted and detailed. The platform at this location is brick-faced with the concrete harp-and-slab construction making an appearance with both the later-built country-end platform extensions and Up Passenger Loop.

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Fellow Finescale Modellers,

This webpage is regularly updated as the layout progresses.

Moving house in August 2013 to a secluded bungalow just 440-yards from the beach (as the gull flies) brought an end to 4mm layout Apothecary Street (named after a short-lived London junction outside Holborn Viaduct station upon where the model drew inspiration) but provided the opportunity for a new layout, ‘Ewhurst Green’.

With my modelling deeply rooted in British Rail’s Southern Region, a design was needed that would permit operation of full-length trains at a location which could encompass traffic from at least two of the Southern Region’s divisions. Furthermore, the layout needed to be operated by just one person (if required) – mindful there is a limit to the number of trains that can be realistically controlled at any moment in time.

A tall order which led to ‘Ewhurst Green’; a model railway which has its basis on several planned (but never built) railway schemes in Surrey (from Dorking) that may have served the villages of Ewhurst and Ewhurst Green (as a junction for Cranleigh and Guildford) on its route down through Midhurst to conceivable join the railway along the coast near Havant, thence onto Portsmouth and Southampton. Ewhurst Green was also in an area with which I had many past associations several decades ago.

Had a railway ever served Ewhurst and Ewhurst Green, then it is likely these villages would have significantly increased in size and (by virtue of the station’s goods yard facilities) potentially attracted some local industry befitting this (otherwise) rural area.

With Up and Down Main Lines operational, the ‘Ewhurst Green running sessions’ were proving extremely popular with East Sussex Finescale group members; particularly following lunch at ‘our’ local beachfront café under a mile away – until the pandemic struck in late 2019!

However, many short video clips are regularly uploaded to Ewhurst Green’s channel on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/@ewhurstgreen

Enjoy – Colin!

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Visiting H2 Brighton Atlantic 32424 ‘Beachy Head’ heads south through Ewhurst Green. Behind the locomotive is a CCT fitted with cycle hangers.

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Some layout descriptions commence with baseboard construction but before any of this this happens it is important to decide exactly what one is intending to model and how reasonably prototypical operation could be achieved within the physical space available. In this respect it is necessary to consider the model, not in isolation but as part of the regional network within which it is located including its rail services, even a reasonably viable timetable. Accordingly, our ‘starting’ point is the Layout Concept. However, readers are welcome to head straight to any of the chapters listed below:

 

Contents

1.  Layout
Concept

2. Ewhurst
Green

3. Ewhurst Green &
the Southern Region

4. Station Operation
of the Model

5. Passenger Service
Pattern

6. Indicative Passenger
Timetable

7. Passenger
Traffic

8. Freight
Traffic

9. Ewhurst Green after my Modelling Period

10. Station
Layout

11. Fiddle Yard
Layout

12. Baseboard
Construction

13. Track
Laying

14. Test
Circuit

15. Layout
Electrics

16. Back
Scene

17. Trompe l’oeil
Deceive they Eye

18. Scenery
& Buildings

19. Horsham Lane
(London end)

20. Ewhurst Green
Station

21. Somersbury Lane
(Country End)

22. Rubber-Tyred
Vehicles

23. Signal Boxes
& Signalling

24. Rolling Stock
(Technical)

25. Rolling Stock
(General)

26. Rolling Stock (Passenger Coaches)

27. Rolling Stock
(Multiple Units)

28. Rolling Stock
(Freight)

29. Rolling Stock
(Locomotives)

30. Lap
Records

31. Layout
Construction Progress

32. Samples of
Running Sessions

33. Description of
Railway Route

 

 

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Chapter One

With Maunsell Pull-Push set 619 in the Down Headshunt, set 607 is propelled past on an Up service by M7 no.30051. Set 607 was damaged at Eastbourne on 13th September 1961 and subsequently disbanded. BCK 6682 was scrapped with the SO to ‘Loose’ working the rest of its days as a pull-push trailer on the Lymington branch.

Both expertly weathered by TMC, set 607 was additionally renumbered as this was not in Hornby’s range. Headcode discs are still to be fitted to these models. On branch lines these trains often sported both a headcode with a tail lamp!

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

1. Layout Concept

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Southern Region

With any model railway the starting point ought to be what does a railway-modeller want in terms of a model (whilst being mindful of constraints such as space and budget)?

As a railwayman who followed his grandparents onto the Southern (in my case British Rail’s Southern Region rather than the Southern Railway) my modelling interests are fairly-well cast-in-stone. The previous (terminal layout) Apothecary Street had been constructed as a parody of Holborn Viaduct with cross-London freights via Snow Hill tunnel and expanding this concept was considered.

However, in recent years the range of Southern models that have become available make modelling of the Southern Region’s divisions relatively straightforward, even before the many offerings by kit manufacturers is considered. So, when Bachmann had brought out its marvellous model of Thomas Myres’ 1880-1883 LBSCR station buildings the opportunity to utilise one of these couldn’t be ignored.

 

Geographical Location

In building a model railway, one really important factor is its geographical location; in the case of Ewhurst Green somewhere on the former Southern Region (obviously). Even then there were distinct differences between the South Western, Central and South Eastern Divisions and could a model which could realistically incorporate stock from all three Divisions (SWD, CD and SED) be created whilst using the Thomas Myres ex. LBSCR station building?

 

The Up Side waiting room and subway cover (as modified and repainted) awaiting completion of the station’s platforms.

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Thomas Myres

Thomas Myres was first asked to design the replacement station building at Hassocks (1880), thence those required for the ‘secondary’ railway lines built in East and West Sussex – Hailsham to Eridge (1880), Chichester to Midhurst (1881), Lewes to East Grinstead (1882) and Haywards Heath to Horsted Keynes (1883); a total of eighteen buildings. Ewhurst Green’s replacement station building could have made the total nineteen; perhaps more with other stations along the ‘route’!

Use of this building design would set the layout firmly in Central Division (ex. LBSCR) territory with some limited scope for South Western or South Eastern Division workings. However, ‘historical design’ along with a sprinkling of ‘modeller’s licence’ can push the ‘bounds’ whilst still remaining reasonably credible.

 

Visiting SR Malachite N15 746 ‘Pendragon’ hauls set 209 on an Up London service through Ewhurst Green.

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Credibility

The next stage was to identify a reasonably ‘credible’ location for the station and the potential services that could exist. Obviously, this isn’t an essential step, but it does help in terms of what type of services could have run and the rolling stock required. A credible backstory will assist in developing the layout and its design towards providing a model that will ‘look the part’. In this respect railways that were planned but never built provided inspiration.

However, any station (and the services it could have seen) would have to be operationally manageable by myself; there is no point in building a layout that takes a team of operators to run it. On that basis the favoured option was for a junction station where trains (circulating) on the Up and Down main line essentially form the backdrop for the branch line’s operating sequences.

In terms of appearance part of the overall concept was for none of the scenic track to remain parallel to the track-room’s rear wall and that a less-is-more approach was intended.

 

Era

Hassocks Gate station opened on 21st September 1841; now called Hassocks (code HSK) its first building was to a design by David Mocatta. However, it was Thomas Myres who designed its replacement which was built between December 1880 & August 1881 by James Longley & Co of Crawley. Sadly, this building was also demolished (by British Rail in 1973).

Accordingly, with Myres architecture this could suggest either an opening date of the model railway’s station as being circa 1880-1884, else a replacement station building being erected during this period. The date of opening for the railway does provide a degree of historical context.

Notwithstanding, the actual period being modelled would be essentially within the period 1954 to 1962 although concentrating within the middle of that timescale. As the model develops thoughts are collecting towards narrowing that timescale down to a specific year or even having two distinct running periods with slightly differing stock. Certainly, the scenic details would not significantly change across such a relatively small period.

 

An unlikely photograph for a ‘real’ Ewhurst Green. However, one of the joys of running sessions permits visiting early BR Blue liveried Merchant Navy 35024 'East Asiatic Company' to pass BR Green liveried 35011 ‘General Steam Navigation’; the latter being a recent metal-bodied release under the Hornby-Dublo brand (albeit in lined blue ‘3-rail’ packaging).

An unlikely photograph for a ‘real’ Ewhurst Green. However, one of the joys of running sessions permits visiting early BR Blue liveried Merchant Navy 35024 'East Asiatic Company' to pass BR Green liveried no.35011 ‘General Steam Navigation’; the latter being a recent metal-bodied release under the Hornby-Dublo brand (albeit in lined blue ‘3-rail’ packaging).

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Liveries

In terms of rolling stock quite a few coaches retained Southern Railway post-war Malachite green into 1956 (some even beyond) without receiving BR’s Crimson Lake (and Cream). Following the abolition of Second-class on 3rd June 1956 (at which point Third-class was immediately renamed Second-class), the following month (July 1956) saw significantly changes to liveries with Crimson Lake (with or without Cream) being rapidly replaced by Southern Region Green (instead of 2½ yearly varnishing; far quicker than would have happened under the usual ten-year repainting cycle at Lancing Carriage Works).

During 1956 /1957 there was quite a mix of post-war Malachite Green (with BR typeface), Crimson Lake (and Cream) and BR(S) Green. Occasionally it was difficult to see a huge difference between post-war Malachite carrying multiple layers of varnish and BR(S) Green.

1959 was the last year for Maunsell corridor sets to be seen running in Crimson Lake & Cream (CLC) livery; this also saw the demise of a lot of non-corridor stock with much still in Crimson Lake (CL). Nevertheless, on the Southern Region many Mk1 3 Cor & 4 Cor (corridor coach) sets weren’t repainted CLC to Green until 1961 (a few even lasted into 1962); this being in part due to the varnishing undertaken at Lancing Works every two years or so. 1959 also saw the first of the UIC yellow First-class cantrail bands.

A number of Southern Railway steam locomotive classes were withdrawn very shortly after nationalisation with more disappearing mid-fifties onward, thence with the stock associated for the 1959 Kent-coast electrification; these all being interesting periods of change.

With such a variation in rolling stock and liveries it has been decided to keep the period as a concise range (rather than a specific date) although this range can be narrowed for any given running session.

Notwithstanding, individual trains are normally formed of stock that would have run together both in terms of livery and division. For example few BRCW ‘Cromptons’ would have run with a CLC-liveried Maunsell corridor set.

 

With a tree temporarily removed from besides the LSWR wooden gates into the coal yard, an uninterrupted view is enabled of the bus shelter, Level Crossing, concrete footbridge thence Lavender House with its ‘H’ type television ariel mounted on its chimney.

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Less is More

The room housing Ewhurst Green has considerable length. However, in order to try and create greater realism, a ‘linear’ layout with scenic track parallel to the back wall of the track room was simply not going to happen.

Firstly, whilst the central scenic section of the layout is a straight 32”-wide baseboard, the other two-thirds on either side taper outwards to around five-feet in width (the baseboard design still places everything within arm’s reach – more on this later). This arrangement helps to break up the otherwise linear appearance of the scenic section.

At either end, the double-tracked main line curves around from the storage loops on tracks hidden from view (at the country end the double-tracked branch similarly curves – again out of sight). The scenery is designed to place these out of immediate view whilst avoiding the old cliché of disappearing into a tunnel.

However, once the mainline becomes visible, it comprises two long straights split by a large radius curve (position mid-way along the station’s platformed section). This design has a number of benefits with the principle two being:

(1)      the main scenic running lines are not parallel to the rear wall of the model room and

(2)      space is created between the main lines and the back wall for the station building, forecourt and Down bay platform.

Even the long retaining wall (with agricultural works atop) is constructed on a taper relative to the back wall. In terms of railway history the factory originally stood atop a cutting and (with the enlargement of the station) the cutting had to be replaced with a retaining wall in order to enable a headshunt alongside the Down Main.

Visually, the front of the station building cannot be seen but the (arguably) more interesting platform side can. In terms of operational accessibility, this arrangement allows the platform loop and goods loop to be on the operator’s side of the main line (and station). Furthermore, the tapering boards can be used for fanning out the station’s goods yard and sidings whilst leading the scenery into the two curved boards which hide the tracks are they curve round to the storage loops.

Finally, the decision was made not to crowd the baseboards with track; once again this was to try and improve the appearance of realism. As the old adage says, ‘Less is more’.

 

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Chapter Two

 

As construction progresses Ewhurst Green is starting to look more green and rural.

With the coal yard well underway, the headshunt leading up to the Signal Box has been laid. Lavender House sits beyond the Level Crossing now has its MacKenzie & Holland gates.

To the right of Cherry Cottage, just visible is the concrete coal bunker behind the half-buried and overgrown Anderson shelter with garden shed alongside. Washing is being put out whilst a boy plays with his dog. Flowers fill the greenhouse just visible on the far right.

Behind the greenhouse and tree there is an access road between the two wooden fences that leads to some lock-up garages & alley to the station.

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

2. Ewhurst Green

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Setting the layout’s location can assist in its design, so what should a railway-modeller consider?

Having ruled out modelling a real station (I admire those modellers who do) and based on what was wanted from the model versus the limited space available, the next best thing would appear to be a credible but fictitious station at a real location. In this respect it becomes quite difficult finding such a location, for most candidates already have or had a station. However, one possible location stood out in terms of a potentially credible location on a proposed but never built railway line.

Furthermore, the name Ewhurst Green ticked all the right boxes in terms of an appropriately sounding ‘Southern Region’ name! 

There are two village locations called Ewhurst Green – one in Surrey (near Cranleigh), the other in East Sussex (near Bodium); thus, providing the opportunity to be slightly indistinct with the location if ever required. Certainly, Ewhurst Green (and nearby Ewhurst) in Surrey could have fitted in with unfulfilled c.1884 plans to build a railway through Cranleigh down to Midhurst.

There is also a Ewhurst Park near Basingstoke and a Ewhurst Manor in the parish of Coneyhurst, West Sussex (along with a Coneyhurst Manor in the parish of Ewhurst, Surrey).

Whilst both Ewhurst Green locations provide opportunity for Central & South Eastern Division services, Surrey could additionally link directly to the South Western Division as well as forming an alternative route to several important locations, thus opening-up the traffic passing through the station.

It was equally surprising that the website www.EwhurstGreen.com was available!

 

East Sussex

Map

Description automatically generated

Courtesy of Ordnance Survey ©

 

Ewhurst Green (Sussex)

The East Sussex village of Ewhurst Green sits not too far south-west of the Kent & East Sussex Railway which at this location passes east – west along the Rother valley at Bodium; this being already served by a light railway built through relatively a sparsely populated rural area. The nearest main line to London passed through Robertsbridge between the sizeable towns of Hastings, St Leonards-on-Sea and Royal Tunbridge Wells. Accordingly, the scope for credibly modelling a mainline railway through this Ewhurst Green was sadly virtually nil.

 

Surrey

Ewhurst Green Surrey

Courtesy of Ordnance Survey ©

 

Ewhurst Green (Surrey)

The name ‘Ewhurst’ derives from the Old English 'hyrst', meaning 'wooded-hill', and 'iw' meaning 'yew tree'; the first recorded spelling appears to be ‘Iuherst’ from 1179.

Historically Surrey’s Ewhurst and Ewhurst Green may have come close to being served by the railways. In terms of routes to Midhurst, 1845 saw consideration to build a line from Guildford through Godalming, Haslemere and Midhurst to Chichester. However, LSWR’s Midhurst - Petersfield did open in 1864, LBSCR’s Midhurst - Pulborough (Hardham Junction) in 1866 and Midhurst – Chichester in 1881 (the first sod of the latter having been cut back in 1865 – passenger traffic ceasing in 1935). Passengers had to wait until 1925 for a combined Midhurst station (services to Midhurst were withdrawn in 1955).

With the SER considering a route from Betchworth to Portsmouth, Ewhurst Green could have been a junction station on a thirty-seven-mile LBSCR route between the existing railways at Holmwood and Westbourne.

Mixing historical proposals with imagination it is conceivable such a railway line could have left the Dorking to Horsham Railway at Holmwood passing through a stations at Forest Green to reach Ewhurst Green (due south-southeast of the village). In terms of railway construction this would have been built ‘late in the day’.              

A junction off the London-end of Ewhurst Green station would have permitted the line across from Warnham and Horsham (passing through Oakwoodhill station) to join.

Whilst there could have been a junction at the Country end of Ewhurst Green taking a double-tracked branch-connection across to the 1865 Horsham to Guildford railway and into station at Cranleigh (itself having become a passing loop in 1880 as those at Bramley and Baynards were proving insufficient) it is possible that the 1865 route was not built in favour of Horsham – Ewhurst Green - Cranleigh.

From Ewhurst Green this main line may have passed through Loxwood thence Gennets Viaduct across the valley (both Wey & Arun Junction Canal and the River Arun) to Plaistow station (actually sited close to Ifold). In order to avoid tunnelling immediately north of Midhurst the line had to approach from the north-east so serving the villages of Kirdford and Lodsworth.

Midhurst to Chichester would have been under construction at this time but with this new line now laid as double track through Cocking tunnel and Cocking station to Singleton (with its four platforms and nearby Goodwood racecourse) to a junction just west of East Dean. However, Singleton to Chichester was probably still laid as a single track providing a useful route towards Worthing, Hove [actually] and Brighton.

West from Singleton the line may have entered two further tunnels (under Heathbarn Down thence Stoughton Down) necessary to provide a fast alignment into Havant. This could have given rise two further stations (Stoughton & Walderton thence on a falling grade to Westbourne). The Brighton to Portsmouth Railway was joined just east of Warblington.

The possible route is described in detail here at the bottom of this article.

This made Ewhurst Green (Surrey) a respectable candidate for the model railway.

 

Map

Description automatically generatedEwhurst Green

 

Route map shewing the railway from Dorking through Ewhurst Green with the branch to Guildford via Cranleigh thence Bramley & Wonersh also the branch to Horsham via Oakwoodhill and Warnham.

 

Local Development due to the Railway

As a junction with a railway through to Cranleigh (thence onto Guildford and Reading via the SER route) Ewhurst Green could have grown significantly through being served by (in time) an electrified railway. So, it eventually became a starting point for suburban services into London (along with some freight handling).

Nearby Cranleigh doubled in size in the first forty years after the building of the 1865 Guildford to Horsham railway line and it is probable that Cranleigh would have grown much further had it been on a direct railway line /service to London (thus being attractive to commuters). With rail congestion in Guildford’s southern approach an alternative route from Cranleigh to London via Dorking might have been an attractive proposition post-grouping.

However, villages such as Ockley and Capel did not grow as significantly; perhaps their respective distances from their station and the slow low-frequency rail service made a significant contribution to this lack of growth, particularly when the London suburbs were still expanding.

A proposal for a branch to Holmbury St. Mary was never a credible prospect; even bus services were not that frequest.

Midhurst could also have grown significantly from having direct routes to both London and Portsmouth, it is also probably that a few of the villages with stations along the line would have experienced some increase in size. However, it must also be noted that it was only in recent years did many places served by the Mid-Sussex line (a.k.a Arun Valley line) south of Horsham undertake significant development.

Ewhurst and Ewhurst Green could have similarly expanded, particularly around a well-served station.

The building of such a route (including its subsequent early-1925 electrification as part of the Waterloo to Dorking scheme) could have led to interesting connotations in respect of railway service patterns although in reality Ewhurst Green (plus Ewhurst and Walliswood) would probably never have grown to sufficient size to be as busy as portrayed by the model.

 

Ewhurst Green model railway
BR(S) British Railways Southern Region

Route map shewing the railway from Dorking
through Ewhurst Green thence Midhurst and Havant with the non-electrified branch to Cranleigh.

 

Route Engineering

Imagination could reasonably assume this route was reasonably well-engineered being intended to provide a faster alternative (to the Mid-Sussex line) between London and Portsmouth as well as competing with the LSWR’s ‘Pompey Direct; - a 1858-built and privately constructed curvaceous and graded line south from Farncombe (that was offered for sale to the LSWR, LBSCR and SECR).

In determining the route (and with a background in railway /tramway alignment design) the topography was examined to confirm such a route would have been reasonably practicable.

In terms of distance this route would have been around ten miles shorter from Victoria to Havant than via Ford and only around three miles longer than Waterloo to Havant via Guildford.

In Southern Railway days this imaginary line could have also provided a potentially viable route to Fareham with trains terminating at either Southampton Terminus or Southampton Central. Post-grouping could have also opened-up limited services into Waterloo via Raynes Park (including as a useful diversionary route). Although quickly DC electrified, like many places in Sussex its branches were not.

However, with this line having been opened it is questionable as to how long Midhurst – Pulborough and Midhurst – Petersfield would have survived; probably closing earlier than they really did. Midhurst – Chichester would have probably survived having strategic use as an east-facing connection onto the Havant to Brighton line.

 

From White Down Lane overbridge, an unidentified Birdcage trio approaches Gomshall & Shere on the 5.31pm Redhill to Reading South train (1st June 1957) hauled by BR Standard 4MT no. 76054.
© Ben Brooksbank (Geograph/CC-by-SA)

An unidentified Birdcage trio ‘C’ nears Gomshall & Shere behind BR Standard 4MT no. 76054 on the 5.31pm Redhill to Reading South service (1st June 1957).

© Ben Brooksbank (Geograph/CC-by-SA)

 

Dorking connections

Holmwood to Cranleigh & the coast (proposed)

On more than one occasion, the LBSCR considered the provision of link between its Portsmouth mainline passing through the rather isolated district lying to the south of Leith Hill and Pitch Hill. The SER had similar aspirations of its Redhill – Dorking route.

In 1897, plans were prepared for a line from Holmwood to Cranleigh; a distance of about 8 miles. A bill was submitted to Parliament in the ensuing year but was withdrawn in the face of opposition from landowners in the Holmwood district. The scheme was never revived.

Ewhurst Green model railway takes much inspiration from this scheme.

Betchworth to Holmwood (proposed)

Early railway proposals at Dorking appear to have included a line diverging from the Redhill to Reading railway across to Cranleigh. However, there was never a connection linking Betchworth to Holmwood as traffic would have travelled via Three Bridges. The question is would such a spur been useful to connect to Ewhurst Green (etc) and the answer would have probably been not unless part of a scheme to give the SER a route right through to Portsmouth. However, there would have been great difficulty in obtaining a viable route that would have satisfactorily served the town of Dorking (including Deepdene station) given the topographical constraints of the area.

From Croydon, LBSCR passenger trains would have been routed via Sutton /Epsom /Dorking although for the SER the journey time to Dorking via Redhill wasn’t much different. However, if the SER had built the line, then this spur may have come into being although come SR days it would have probably found little favour with Waterloo providing the faster services to Portsmouth.

Freight from (say) Norwood Yard would just have easily reached Ewhurst Green via West Croydon. However, had there been direct connection ‘across the top to Tonbridge’ at Redhill then the situation may have been very different for traffic to /from Kent into Hampshire.

Deepdene to Holmwood (spur closed)

There was a spur linking Deepdene and Holmwood (closed 1900 /reconnected 1941-47). This only ever appears to have seen minimal use very early-on for South Eastern Railway race-trains to Epsom.

However, during 1941-1945 it’s reconnection onto the Redhill – Reading line (since 1900 it remained as a siding off the Horsham line) could have provided alternative routings in the event of blockages (including from enemy action); in particular, enabling the movement of breakdown cranes.

Was it therefore plausible that this spur may have been retained in 1900 to create a means of diverting freight traffic to Ewhurst Green instead of through Cranleigh?    Probably not as there would have been little or no commercial need. Furthermore, freight use would be restricted by the steep grades away from Deepdene up to Gomshall thence down to Shalford (each around 1 in 100); particularly with more practical routes being available.

 

LMS-type 2-6-2T at Horsham station 

LMS-type Ivatt 2MT No. 41301 runs around down Horsham’s platform 3 having just arrived on a service from Guildford on 5th June 1965.

© Ben Brooksbank (Geograph/CC-by-SA)

 

Horsham connections

The Guildford – Cranleigh – Horsham railway provided a cross-country rural railway with onward connections to London (and other destinations) at both Guildford and Horsham. However, with the building of and connection to Ewhurst Green would bring changes including potentially splitting the services from Guildford and Cranleigh between terminating at Ewhurst Green and Brighton (via Horsham). Such a layout would mean  any though traffic from Reading (and beyond) to Brighton via Horsham & Henfield was not constrained by the actual need in reality for changing /reversal at Horsham (else inconveniently changing at Christ’s Hospital) to continue onward to Brighton via Henfield.

Although there was a spur at Christ’s Hospital enabling trains to travel directly from Cranleigh to Ichingfield Junction thence to Brighton via Henfield, this appears to have been taken out of use before WW1. In addition, the spur could not serve Horsham or provide any passenger interchange onto the Horsham to Arundel railway which no-doubt contributed to its demise.

There were three stations between Cranleigh and Christ’s Hospital: Baynards, Rudgwick and Slinfold. In terms of Baynards Park estate this is located equidistant between Baynards and Ewhurst Green stations and there would probably have been minimal case for Baynards station. Passengers for Rudgwick could have changed at Ewhurst Green else Alfold.

It is therefore possible that one of five options that may have occurred:

1.    The line through Cranleigh passed to the north of the town tp Ewhurst Green and its main line. Immediately north of Ewhurst Green there was another junction for a line heading south-east passing through a station at Oakwoodhill before joining the Dorking to Horsham railway line at Warnham. This would provide a cross-country direct route (without reversal) from Reading - Guildford – Cranleigh via Ewhurst Green through Horsham and onto Brighton.

That the spur at Christ’s Hospital was taken out very early on the viability of such a connection without serving Horsham was probably highly unlikely. Rudgwick and Slinfold would have been served either from Horsham or Ewhurst Green or did the main line serve Rudgwick instead of Alford...

2.    From Cranleigh the railway would have simply been constructed to Ewhurst Green instead of reaching Horsham. With Ewhurst Green being close to Baynards the case for a station there could be much reduced; the actual need for Rudgwick and Slinfold stations also needing consideration.

3.    The Guildford - Cranleigh - Guildford railway (it was named Cranley up to 1867) was constructed with a spur from Cranleigh to Ewhurst Green. With Ewhurst Green close to Baynards the case for the latter station could have been much reduced.

4.          The railway would have provided a spur south off the Ewhurst Green – Alfold railway south-east down to join the Cranleigh – Horsham railway close to Baynards station. This option would have meant Cranleigh to Horsham trains could call at Ewhurst Green (albeit with a reversal) thence at Rudgwick and Slinfold. However, the viability of such a spur was probably questionable both operationally and in terms of journey times for Guildford /Cranleigh passengers to /from Horsham.

5.    The two railways would have simply crossed. However, it is unlikely that the potential for a faster Cranleigh to London connection would have been ignored by the LBSCR.

In respect of the model’s station operation, it is assumed option 1 had been implemented.

 

A group of airplanes on a runway

Description automatically generated with low confidence

Hawker Hunters parked outside the final assembly hangers situated on the northern side of Dunsfold Airfield.

 

Dunsfold Airfield

Built in just twenty-weeks during 1942 by the First Canadian Army (mainly the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Engineers), it is conceivable that Dunsfold Airfield could have served by a lightly-laid freight-only branch from a well-connected main line (in reality no such facility was ever provided off the nearby Horsham to Cranleigh branch line).

Accessed from Cranleigh, the branch curved significantly to follow the land topology (in order to speed construction and reduce cost) across Cranleigh Road (close to Elmbridge Road) in part following the route of the Wey & Arun Junction Canal (by 1868 canal traffic had virtually ceased with an Act of Abandonment passed in 1871) until it turned to cross Horsham Road near the northern end of the (then new) Alfold by-pass (itself built to accommodate the airfield) and into the airfield.

RAF - Dunsfold Airfield was used by the Royal Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force & the Royal Dutch Naval Air Service.  At the end of the war Dunsfold Airfield was used for the repatriation of PoWs (Operation Exodus) before being declared as inactive.

Skyways - In August 1946 the airfield was leased to Skyways Ltd as a 24-hour operations & engineering base. Skyways Ltd employed some 1200 staff (including 350 aircrew) at Dunsfold; its principal air-charter work being transportation of Anglo-Iranian Oil Company staff into and out of Basra and (from June 1948) the Berlin Airlift. Unfortunately, the end of the Berlin Airlift in May 1949 saw some 400 staff being made redundant and in March 1950 Skyways Ltd went into liquidation. It was relaunched but this failed in January 1952. Taken over by the Lancashire Aircraft Company in March 1952, Skyways moved to Bovington (presumably to make more room for the Hawker Aircraft Company). After further changes the final iteration of the company ceased in 1962 with the Skyways name disappearing in 1980.

Hawker - In 1951 the Ministry of Supply offered the Hawker Aircraft Company the lease of Dunsfold Airfield which was then used for the development of the delta-wing Avro 707B, Hawker Hunter and Sea Hawk jet fighters. In addition, Sea Furies, North American F-86 Sabres and Supermarine Attackers were refurbished at the airfield (the latter pair in two hangars leased to Airwork Ltd from 1953-58). In October 1960, Hawker Siddeley flight tested its Hawker P.1127 prototype (which led to the Hawker Siddeley Harrier). In 1961 Folland Gnat test flying and production moved to Dunsfold from Chilbolton in Hampshire.

Given the curving nature of this lightly-laid branch (a consequence of rapid construction) trainloads were inevitable small with suitable motive power limited to short-wheelbase locomotives.

As a rail-served facility it could have proven useful, particularly given its relative accessibility including MoD sites such as Bicester, Marchwood and Shoeburyness; the latter being via the East London Line (which saw freight use through to 1966). However, post-war saw a significant reduction in freight traffic on the Dunsfold branch; essentially now limited to occasional vans and aviation spirit.

 

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Chapter Three

Lord Nelson no.30863 ‘Lord Rodney’ on Down express formed set 247 strengthened with Loose coaches and ‘New Century Bar’ Pullman car.

Lord Nelson no.30863 ‘Lord Rodney’ on Down express formed strengthened set 247 Formed BTK-TK-FK-BTK set 247 is strengthened with ‘Loose’ TK and TO coaches plus ‘New Century Bar’ Pullman car (now replaced with a Maunsell restaurant car).

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

3. Ewhurst Green & the Southern Region

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Passenger Journey Times & Possible Services

For any credible train operation (including its timetable) the journey times to destinations served need to be fully understood, enabling Ewhurst Green to be considered in terms of the traffic that could be routed through it including realistic journey times.

 

Ewhurst Green station

When first built, Ewhurst Green had just two platforms on the double tracked main line with a junction leading onto the single-track branch to Cranley and Guildford.

At the request of the United Kingdom’s Postmaster General, Cranley was renamed Cranleigh in 1867 as it was often mistaken for ‘Crawley’ (and vice-versa).

As traffic increased, this route to Cranleigh was double-tracked and an additional bay platform (now platform 4) provided at Ewhurst Green, along with the new station (Myres) station building. With the 1925 electrification all the platforms were extended southwards and a new eight-coach platform 1 (Up Loop) provided for the electric suburban service that would be starting from there.

Accordingly, the station has its platforms and freight loop arranged as follows:

(a)

Up freight loop – used by freight traffic, shunting into the carriage siding and entry into the goods yard.

(b)

Platform 1 - Up Passenger Loop is used both for terminating /through traffic off the Cranleigh branch and terminating suburban electric services from London. There is also direct access into the 8-car electric siding.

(c)

Platform 2 – Up Main

(d)

Platform 3 – Down Main

(e)

Platform 4 – non-electrified bay platform used to provide a connection from London trains across the main line and onto Cranleigh branch services.

(f)

Dock - accessed from the Down Headshunt.

 

Note

Platform 1 is Ewhurst Green’s only reversible platform road whereas platform 4 is for departing services only.

 

Route to Portsmouth

Back in the real world, for many years some of Victoria’s services to Bognor Regis and Portsmouth were routed via Dorking North (some 2hr 15min to Portsmouth Harbour compared to 1hr 35min on the ‘Pompey-direct’ from Waterloo) until they included the stops at East Croydon and Gatwick Airport with the May 1978 re-routing of services.

A faster route via Ewhurst Green might have reduced this 2hr 15min Victoria time by some 10 or even 15 minutes; even more without many of the Arun Valley /Chichester stops. Certainly, some of the ‘fast’ trains to Horsham (and beyond) that used to run via Mitcham Junction (non-stop) and Dorking were around 10 minutes faster than the present services routed via Gatwick Airport.

It is therefore presumed that this imaginary ‘new line’ via Ewhurst Green might have just managed Portsmouth Harbour in 1hr 55mins for fast trains either from Victoria or Waterloo; the journey from Waterloo via the Pompey-direct being some twenty minutes quicker (1hrs 35mins). Whilst Waterloo to Dorking was 46 minutes for the fastest suburban services, like Victoria a non-stop journey could be 37 minutes.

The ‘stopping’ journey time to Portsmouth via Ewhurst Green would have been around 2hr 25mins, this being some 50 minutes longer than the ‘fast’ train from Waterloo (today’s services via Eastleigh and Fareham taking around 2hr 10mins). Obviously the ‘stopping’ trains served different communities.

 

T9 no.30119 hauls Mk1 set 876 on an Up Waterloo service; this set being released new from Eastleigh Works on 1st June 1952 in Crimson Lake & Cream livery.

T9 no.30119 hauls Mk1 set 876 on an Up Waterloo service; this set being released new from Eastleigh Works on 1st June 1952 in Crimson Lake & Cream livery.

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Route to Fareham & Southampton

Modern ‘Victoria’ services to Southampton are more about intermediate trips (in particular as they include the now-important interchange at Gatwick Airport) rather than overall end-to-end journey time (today’s trains from Victoria right though to Southampton being routed via East Croydon, Gatwick Airport and Horsham).

Until the advent of electrification from Farlington Junction to St Denys (in May 1990), very few trains ran direct from Havant to Fareham; this line would have provided a regular through service without the need to travel to Portsmouth & Southsea to change (the Waterloo fasts did not stop at Fratton). Operating a service via Ewhurst Green would improve this connection and give Fareham a London service but not at the expense of South Western main line capacity between Basingstoke and Eastleigh.

In terms of London to Fareham, a route through Ewhurst Green would have probably been achieved in 2hrs; being far quicker than changing at Eastleigh and marginally quicker than changing at Portsmouth & Southsea (today’s direct electric service via Eastleigh take 1hr 35mins). Accordingly, on this model there are regular steam services from London direct to Fareham thence onto Southampton; these also serve the Cosham, Netley and Woolston which were (then) comparatively large compared to other station-communities along this section of line.

Would such a service have saved the branch to Fort Brockhurst and Gosport? - probably not.

 

Cross-country Services

Ewhurst Green was one of several junctions on the cross-country route from Brighton through Horsham to Guildford and Reading with some services through to Alton and beyond.

Local cross-country services ran though Guildford and Tongham to Bordon.

Race days at Goodwood also saw regional and interregional services.

 

London Commuter Traffic & Cranleigh

Dorking North’s suburban services took around 37 minutes from Victoria (limited stops), 46 minutes from Waterloo and 53 minutes from London Bridge.

From London’s Victoria station, Ewhurst Green would probably have been around 5 minutes shorter than the 53 minutes to Horsham (timing for those trains that only stopped at Dorking North); 50 minutes from Victoria could have been achievable. This could have placed Cranleigh at just under an hour from London on the through service (50 minutes was just achievable on selected services from Waterloo changing at Guildford although this was often closer to an hour). Given the how busy Guildford station was (and still is) it is conceivable that Cranleigh – London services were routed through Ewhurst Green, including during the peak-hours.

 

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 Chapter Four

On the Branch reversible, Somer (12mm/1ft black /white ‘tuxedo’ livery) simply isn’t fazed by Schools class no.30913 ‘Christ’s Hospital’ (4mm/1ft BR Green livery) passing by on the Up Line with visiting Pullman cars.

On the Branch reversible, Somer (12mm/1ft black /white ‘tuxedo’ livery) simply isn’t fazed by Schools class no.30913 ‘Christ’s Hospital’ (4mm/1ft BR Green livery) passing by on the Up Line with visiting Pullman cars.

Somer often curls up in a little box just under the baseboards – sleeping quietly despite all the trains rumbling overhead!

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

4. Station Operation of the Model

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The larger the layout the more there is to control, and one can only realistically hope to control one or two trains at any given time. The station layout comprises Up and Down Main lines with an Up Loop (for steam services off the branch and the start of suburban electric trains into London) and a Down Bay essentially for starting steam services onto the branch to Cranleigh and beyond.

In terms of signalling, home signals are normally situated 440yards out from the station; this would place those for Ewhurst Green in the fiddle yard /storage loops effectively meaning there is only scope for having one train running on each circuit at a time.  With the branch operating from the Up Passenger Loop there is scope for a further train operating. However, such complexity would require multiple operators.

In essence, the main line (with its through trains) provides the ‘window dressing’ for the main operational side to the layout, steam services off the branch and the suburban services. A modest up-side freight yard also provides for a diversion of interest.

Furthermore, I anticipate the option of operating the layout ‘to time’ rather than a sequence necessary to entertain at exhibitions (neither my cats nor I get bored with the gaps between trains).

 

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Chapter Five

An unidentified 4 CEP unit undertakes conductor-rail clearance testing on a newly laid section of con-rail. Soon after this photograph was taken the section of con-rail was lifted, primed, painted and re-laid back in place.

An unidentified 4 CEP unit undertakes conductor-rail clearance testing on a newly laid section of con-rail. Soon after this photograph was taken the section of con-rail was lifted, primed, painted and re-laid back in place.

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5. Passenger Service Pattern

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In designing a layout, it is important to consider how it could operate in a reasonably realistic but interesting manner. Certainly, most of the Southern Region’s electric services operated on a half-hourly clockface pattern; this in part being down to the economics of DC third rail operation.

 

Portsmouth

About 50 minutes from Victoria, Ewhurst Green would sit upon a basic hourly semi-fast electric service from Portsmouth Harbour to Victoria; services serving Midhurst, Havant, Fratton and Portsmouth & Southsea (calling all stations between Ewhurst Green and Westbourne). Warblington was served by the Chichester to Havant services.

Set atop of this basic hourly electric service was an hourly fast electric service Victoria – Portsmouth Harbour via Havant, Fratton and Portsmouth & Southsea (which did not stop at Ewhurst Green). The platforms at Ewhurst Green are configured electrically to enable the splitting /coupling of electric units should the service pattern alter at some future date.

 

Fareham & Southampton

There would have been an hourly steam-hauled Victoria – Southampton fast service passing through Ewhurst Green running via Havant to serve Fareham; a significantly-sized town which (following the opening of the Pompey-direct) did not then enjoy a regular direct service to London. An additional peak-hour service ran from Waterloo. It is envisaged these Fareham /Southampton services would (at set times) contain dining facilities /Pullman car.

 

London Commuter Traffic

Situated at the end of suburban services, there was just an hourly off-peak stopping service to London Bridge (the other half-hourly suburban service terminating at Dorking North). With the exception of the London Bridge stoppers, rush-hour fast services travelling north would just call at Dorking, semi-fast additionally at Leatherhead, Sutton and Clapham Junction.

Forest Green station would only be served by the hourly London Bridge suburban service; Holmwood by Dorking to Horsham trains.

 

Cross-Country

Guildford, Reading, Horsham & Brighton

On the Guildford branch there would be a half-hourly service; one loco-hauled each hour from Brighton (via Horsham) through to Cranleigh, Guildford and Reading with the other rail motor (pull-push) from Ewhurst Green terminating at Guildford; prior to 1957 this having continued to Wanborough, Ash, Tongham, Farnham, Bentley and Bordon. Additionally, there was a rush-hour service (loco-hauled) from Cranleigh into London Bridge.

There was also a couple of through services from both Brighton and Horsham through to Guildford thence onto Alton, Winchester, Eastleigh and ultimately Southampton Terminus, although not advertised as such in the public timetable. These were mostly for the carriage of mail and newspapers, although still carried local passenger traffic.

All this is of course concocted simply to make interesting railway operations rather than any probable commercially viable service!

 

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Chapter Six

Against the backdrop of the single-story agricultural-based factory, E4-class no.32503 hauls BR(S) CLC-liveried Mk1 3-Cor set no.525 on a Down train

Against the backdrop of the single-story agricultural-based works, E4-class no.32503 hauls BR(S) CLC-liveried Mk1 3-Cor set no.525 on a Down train

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6. Indicative Passenger Timetable

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Time

Up Departures

Time

Down Departures

xx.02

Victoria calling at:

Dorking North

Fast train from Southampton Central formed two no. 3-car loco-hauled sets (Platform 2)

Some of these services additionally include a restaurant car or Pullman dining car.

xx.03

Guildford calling at:

Cranleigh
Bramley & Wonersh
Guildford
Ash
Tongham
Farnham
Bentley
Bordon

Stopping train starting here formed rail motor (pull-push) else 2 LAV set (Platform 4 Down Bay)

In later years this service terminated at Guildford.

xx.12

Arrival from Bordon.

Terminating here formed rail motor (pull-push) else 2 LAV set (arr Platform1 shunts to Platform 4 Down Bay)

xx.14

Portsmouth Harbour calling at:

Loxwood
Plaistow
Kirdford
Lodsworth
Midhurst
Singleton
Stoughton & Walderton
Westbourne
Havant
Fratton
Portsmouth & Southsea

Semi-fast train (headcode 50) formed three no. 2-car emus (Platform3)

xx:22

Victoria calling at:

Dorking North
Sutton

Semi-fast train (headcode 50) from Portsmouth Harbour formed three no. 2-car emus

xx.28

Arrival from London Bridge

Suburban stopping train (headcode 29) terminating here formed 4-car emu(s) having detached 4-cars at Dorking North (Platform 1).

xx.34

Passing time

Dorking North
Sutton
Victoria

Fast train (headcode 46) from Portsmouth Harbour formed two no. 4-car emus (Platform 2)

xx.34

Reading (Southern) calling at:

Cranleigh
Bramley & Wonersh
Guildford
Wanborough
Ash
North Camp & Ash Vale
Farnborough North
Blackwater
Sandhurst Halt
Crowthorne
Wokingham

From Brighton via Horsham formed 3-car loco-hauled set.

xx.42

London Bridge calling at:  

Forest Green
Dorking North (attach to rear)
Leatherhead
Ashtead
Epsom
Ewell East
Cheam
Sutton
Carlshalton
Hackbridge
Mitcham Junction
Streatham
Tulse Hill
Peckham Rye

Suburban stopping train (headcode 29) starting here formed 4-car emu(s) attaching at Dorking North to form 8-car to London Bridge. (Platform 1)

xx.43

Passing time

Havant
Fratton
Portsmouth & Southsea
Portsmouth Harbour.

Fast train (headcode 46) formed two no. 4-car emus

xx.47

Brighton calling at:

Oakwoodhill

Warnham

Horsham

West Grinstead

Partridge Green

Henfield

Steyning

Bramber

Shoreham-by-Sea

Hove

Semi-fast train from Reading South via Guildford & Cranleigh formed of 3-car loco-hauled set (Platform 1).

xx.54

Southampton Central calling at

Midhurst
Havant
Cosham
Fareham
Netley
Woolston
Southampton Central

Fast train formed two no. 3-car loco-hauled sets.

Some of these services additionally include a restaurant car or Pullman dining car.

 

 

Electric Train Headcodes

Southern Electric services carry a two-digit route headcode. Older electric units used stencils to display their headcodes and as each motorman’s cab only carried one set of number stencils, headcodes using duplicate numbers (such as 11 or 22) were not used until roller blind headcodes came into use; even then they were initially allocated to diesel-operated services.

Ewhurst Green’s services operated over both Central and South Western Divisions (they also ran close to South Eastern Division services at Victoria and London Bridge). Accordingly, the ‘designated’ headcodes needed to take this into account.

 

Code

Route

Notes

2

Dorking to Ewhurst Green

Morning peak-hour
service

16

Hoborn Viaduct to Ewhurst Green

Rush hour service

18

Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour (stopping via Mitcham Junction)

(Victoria – Littlehampton services ‘28’)

27

London Bridge to Ewhurst Green (via West Croydon)

Code not used on SWD.

29

London Bridge to Ewhurst Green (via Mitcham Junction)

Code not used on SWD.

46

Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour (fast via Mitcham Junction)

(Victoria – Bognor Regis
services ‘56’)

50

Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour (semi-fast via Mitcham Junction)

(Victoria – Littlehampton services ‘70’)

74

Waterloo to Ewhurst Green
(via Raynes Park).

No conflict with CD or SWD.

 

 

 

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Chapter Seven

In the autumn sunshine the Crimson Lake liveried pull-push set no.735 looks brilliantly bright. ‘H’ tank 31518 is hauling the set.

In the autumn sunshine the Crimson Lake liveried pull-push set
no.735 looks brilliantly bright. ‘H’ tank 31518 is hauling the set.

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7. Passenger Traffic

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Image of PD8 Seated platform passengers

Pete Goss’s catalogue
PD8 Seated platform passengers

Pete Goss ©

 

External Passengers & People

For the more-distant sections of the layout a few of Bachmann’s 4mm figures have been used as these were simple and straightforward to fit. However, for the station’s passengers and staff (in both the coal and goods yards) higher a standard of professionally painted figures were procured from by Pete Goss. Having rapidly exhausted much of Pete’s excellent range of figures (including differently painted duplicates to swell numbers), a further preparation and painting order was placed comprising unpainted figures (mainly) from the Aiden Campbell and Dart Castings ranges.

 

A group of people wearing clothing

Description automatically generated with low confidence

A group of toy figurines

Description automatically generated with low confidence

Selection of standing passengers
in preparation by Pete Goss
Pete Goss ©

Express Dairies milkman & crates
in preparation by Pete Goss
Pete Goss ©

 

Pete’s work starts with trimming off all those parts not required (much from the casting process), thence drilling, pinning and assembling figures prior to placement in wooden holed timber jigs. This enables the figures to be sprayed with etch primer prior to painting with acrylic paint. Ultimately Pete will be providing a large number of figures all with a significant consistency of appearance.

 

A green train on the tracks

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Mk1 CK fitted with Preiser’s seated people.
www.BloodandCustard.com ©

 

 Internal Passengers

Arguably one of  the most import features of a model railway are the passengers and people; these bringing the scene ‘alive’. Passengers within trains are reasonably straightforward and even with 4mm scale, Preiser’s 3.5mm seated people (cat. No.16328 – 120 unpainted figures) are ideal as they sit well within the often overscale interiors.

 

 

Loading Gauge

Although the LBSCR loading gauge was reasonably generous we will assume this route was out-gauged (along with Three Bridges - Redhill- Reading) during the Great War to provide the LSWR with an alternative route to Havant via Raynes Park and Epsom. Accordingly, with fewer curves and gradients than the Pompey Direct, this route offered a viable route to Southampton and Bournemouth; particularly for diversionary workings if (say) Winchester – St. Denys or Woking was blocked.

 

Diversity of Rolling Stock

Ewhurst Green (Surrey) could also provide a rare opportunity outside of London for the mixing of rolling stock of the Southern Region’s three divisions (SED, CED & SWD); some SED services coming down from Reading.

Accordingly, coaching stock could include SED Birdcage sets on services from Reading. Before the Second World War ex. LSWR Gate-Stock operated to Guildford and it is not improbable that other ex. LSWR coaches would have reached Ewhurst Green (either from Guildford or Waterloo to Cranleigh via Dorking). During the period modelled, Maunsell and Bulleid 59’ ‘multi-door’ 3 COR sets were used in the area along with other Pull-Push stock including the Maunsell pull-push conversion sets.

The main line would have used electric suburban units (terminating) and ‘lavatory’ stock down to the coast but needed locomotive hauled sets to travel west from Farlington Junction to Fareham and beyond.

The layout easily manages twelve-car non-stop trains on the main line (for example Portsmouth Harbour twelve-car train of 4 BEP /4 CEP /2 HAP units). However, visually eight coaches maximum appears to work best whether this be an electric train or a locomotive hauling (say) two number BR(S) three-car coach sets (perhaps with vans) or longer sets with a buffet /Pullman car inserted.

In order to achieve these services, the two main line through platforms (2 & 3) would be able to handle twelve-car trains although the actual platforms are only ten-coaches long; most trains usually being eight-car 2 BIL /2 HAL or 4 CEP /2 HAP formations. Used mainly for departing branch services, the non-electrified Down Bay (platform 4) comfortably handles six-coach lengths; branch trains being shunter across to clear platform 1 and provide a convenient interchange between platforms 3 and 4.

Electric Trains

4 SUB (inc. augmented units), 2 NOL, and 2/4 EPB (BR & SR types) units all operate the four and eight-car stopping services up to London Bridge and several peak-hour suburban electric services ran into Waterloo from Ewhurst Green, joining the South Western main line at Raynes Park.

The Portsmouth Harbour services utilise 4 COR /4 CEP /2 HAP units on the fast (non-stop) services with 2 BIL /2 HAL combinations on the semi-fasts with 4 BEP units providing peak-hour catering facilities.

 

N class 31848 Southern Region

N-class no.31848 in its mid-fifties 
guise without smoke deflectors

N-class no.31848 in its mid-fifties
guise without smoke deflectors

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Locomotive-hauled Trains

Fareham and Southampton services variously use Maunsell sets, Bulleid 59’ ‘multidoor’ stock, Bulleid 64’ stock and BR Mk1 corridor stock; a few of these services included dining facilities.

Locomotive-hauled set no.904 was redeployed from the Oxted lines to operate one of the two peak-hour services into London Bridge (routed via Dorking North and Peckham Rye). Weekdays this set would be kept overnight at Ewhurst Green (along with an eight-car suburban emu formation) running ecs to Guildford (reverse) to provide both Bramley & Wonersh and Cranleigh with a semi-fast peak-hour train into London Bridge. After the Saturday morning Up peak-hour train the set was kept at Eardley sidings before arriving back ecs on the Sunday afternoon. Originally six-coaches, set no.904 had its SECR TL replaced by two green Bulleid CK coaches so then comprising BS-S-S-C-CK-CK-BS in Crimson Lake (these Mk1 coaches were repainted BR(S) Green in 1958).

Reading Services

In terms of Reading services ex.SECR Birdcage and ex.SR Maunsell sets were used along with Mk1 non-corridor 3-coach sets displaced from Exmouth Junction services. Both the Reading and Guildford services also used 2-coach rail motor (pull-push) sets; some augmented with an additional Maunsell SO from withdrawn /disbanded sets.

However, all were now under threat from the new 2H Hastings and 2H /3H Hampshire units on services through to Reading. By the time the full Reading – Tonbridge’ ‘3R’ service was implemented in on 6th September 1965 the Reading – Ewhurst Green services had significantly reduced to mostly Guildford – Ewhurst Green.

Goodwood Race Days

Race days at Goodwood (served by Singleton station) would see special trains down from London to Singleton with strengthened connecting services from /to Reading. Often a ‘spare’ Dover boat train set out of Stewart’s Lane was employed (as happened on the Newhaven services); often with the MLV still attached to reduce time detaching /attaching (ironically the MLV was sometimes detached at Newhaven and used as a ‘taxi’ to the driver’s depot at Seaford). Perhaps these boat-train sets also operated several special-day services to Portsmouth or a specific daytime service?

I am still looking for a robust reason for including a TLV – yes, I know the MLVs & TLVs essentially operated on SED and the latter is outside my era, but in 1968 number S68203 did enter service in maroon livery.

Similarly looking for a reason to operate a 10 BEL formation, perhaps on a Race-special or to Portsmouth Harbour?

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Chapter Eight

Ronuk of Portslade produced polish and had a fleet of two tanker wagons, these were expertly weathered by TMC from an original photograph. 
Ronuk appeared to have two 3,500 gallons railway tankers numbered 34 & 38; these carried white spirit between Esso at Fawley and Portslade. Producing polish, Portslade’s Ronuk factory was established in 1902 and rail-served from c.1920; the name Ronuk being an Anglicised form of ronaq lustre (Urdu) /raunaq (Persian). In the late 1950’s Newton, Chambers & Co. acquired Ronuk, the Portslade factory was closed and production moved to Sheffield. However, the Ronuk-company brand-names ‘Colton’ & ‘Ronseal’ still survive.

Ronuk of Portslade produced polish and had a fleet of two tanker wagons, these were expertly weathered by TMC from an original photograph.

Ronuk appeared to have two 3,500 gallons railway tankers numbered 34 & 38; these carried white spirit between Esso at Fawley and Portslade. Producing polish, Portslade’s Ronuk factory was established in 1902 & rail-served from c.1920; the name Ronuk being an Anglicised form of ronak (Kurdish ‘clear’) /ronaq (Urdu ‘lustre’) /raunaq (Persian). In the late 1950’s Newton, Chambers & Co. acquired Ronuk, the Portslade factory was closed and production moved to Sheffield. However, the Ronuk-company brand-names ‘Colton’ & ‘Ronseal’ still survive.

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

8. Freight Traffic

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I’ve never worked out why Ewhurst Green was a useful location for freight although is saw a degree of goods and container traffic. This line could also have remained useful route for through freight between places such as Temple Mills (ER) and Holloway Yards (ER), Hoo Junction (SED), Norwood Yard (CED) and Southampton (SWD) as well as North Camp, Chichester and Shoreham (CED) along the West Coastway (via Lavant). Local freight facilities are provided at Ewhurst Green, although their use is on the decline.

 

Z-class no.30951

Z-class no.30951 on shunting duty.

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Dunsfold’s Airfield

Limited traffic is envisaged to service Dunsfold’s wartime-built airfield (in particular delivering aviation spirit). Little is written about the line serving Dunsfold airfield (from near to Cranleigh). From this siding the curving line crosed the wartime-built Alfold by-pass and into the airfield. Given the nature of the spur and the reduction in post-war freight traffic, trainloads were inevitable short with suitable motive power limited to short-wheelbase locomotives (my excuse for locomotives such as a USA /B4 tank engines).

Accordingly, (on the days freight services ran) there were at most two trips down to the airfield; the early mornings saw locomotive and tank wagon with the locomotive returning hauling vans. In the evening loaded vans were taken down and the locomotive returned with the empty tank wagon.

 

S15 no.30842 hauls a fitted freight through Ewhurst Green during the 4th September 2021 running session.

Visiting S15 no.30842 hauls a fitted freight through Ewhurst Green during the 4th September 2021 running session.

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Engineering Trains

Engineer’s wagons (mainly Grampus, Whales and Dogfish but also a few Mermaids) will also be kept overnight at Ewhurst Green. Whilst Bachmann’s super Wickhams inspection trolley might appeal, these only normally ran during engineering possessions, so I’ve passed on one of these otherwise delightful models.

 

Sheffield Chemical Co. Ltd

Lindsey & Keseven Chemicals Ltd

Two chemical tanker wagons as weathered by TMC.

Sheffield Chemical Co. Ltd (Attercliffe)
Lindsey & Ketseven Chemicals Ltd (Saxilby)

www.EwhurstGreen.com ©

 

Facilities

Apart from the needs of the yard’s shunting locomotives, servicing facilities were basic (water and coal for the Reading /freight services). Any locomotives that would need turning would have to trip through to either Guildford or Horsham shed. It isn’t really plausible that the Deepdene – Holmwood spur (closed 1900 /reopened 1941-47) may have been retained to create a loop for freight traffic in order to reduce the need for (say) locomotive turning upon termination (from the Guildford direction).

Lowfits

Several decades ago, I formed two trains of Lowfit wagons carrying a section of VW T1 (type 1) ‘Beetle’ cars and T2 (type 2) split-screen commercials /microbuses. The idea being these could be run at exhibitions to see if the eagled-eyed could spot there were actually two trains (only one contained a red T1 ‘Beetle’ car) else as one impressive forty-wagon train.

A 1963 beetle no.53 ‘Herbie’ was also acquired lest this appealed to younger exhibition audiences; this being from the 1968 film ‘The Love Bug’ (which was based on the 1961 novel ‘Car, Boy, Girl’ by Gordon Buford).

With Oxford Diecast having brought out the BMW Isetta (which were exported by rail from Brighton’s former railway locomotive works) a trainload of these ‘bubble cars’ on weathered Lowfit wagons is in preparation.

 

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Chapter Nine

Southern Electric 2 COM /2 EPB units on Ewhurst Green model railway

Visiting stock regularly gets to run on Ewhurst Green and here a pair of Blue /Grey 2 COM units lead a plain Blue 2 EPB on the Up Main.

The 2 COM units nos.6213 & 6259 were the last pair to survive in service on 13th June 1995 with 6259 being the one chosen for preservation (reverting back to 5759). Although Bachmann made unit no.6238 in this livery it did not carry a ‘2 COM’ red cantrail band as its compartments had previously been opened out into a saloon at Slade Green in April 1984.

On the rear is Blue 2 EPB unit 5764 which was facelifted to 6264 on 19th December 1994. No.5764 ran in blue livery from 25th July 1969 and was outshopped in Blue /Grey livery in February 1984. MLV no.68009 quietly sits between turns in the Down headshunt.

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9. Ewhurst Green after my Modelling Period

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In just a few years the route was reduced to a basic half-hourly service to Portsmouth Harbour; stations such as Cocking and Stoughton & Walderton being closed with others (for example) Singleton being reduced to rush-hour and race days only.

The line through Ewhurst Green would have probably hastened the 1955 closures of Midhurst to Petersfield and Pulborough (serving only Petworth) to pre-war (WW1), the route to Guildford closed in 1965 along with the Midhurst to Chichester passenger services (which had survived because the sturdier embankment near Cocking hadn’t collapsed).

The through Fareham /Southampton services were gone; even the London Bridge service was reduced to just two trains each morning /evening peak-hour as an extension from Dorking North (these now being the only services to call at Forest Green). The only freight traffic left was through trains; this still being a useful route to Portsmouth and Southampton taking the pressure of the curving steeply graded Pompey-direct and the SW main line.

Did this electrified line succumb to closure or is it simply difficult to find in timetables?

 

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Chapter Ten

London end of the layout after construction
and laying of the (temporary) test circuit

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10. Station Layout

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Layout sizes can sometimes be physical too small in terms of the station being modelled and a degree of compression is (usually) inevitable. So, I’d considered basing my model on stations such as Groombridge /Barnham /Ford /Horsted Keynes /Lingfield /Dorking North (etc). That is two through platforms (2 & 3) and an Up Passenger Loop (platform 1). Alongside the Up Passenger Loop would be freight loop similar to Redhill plus a shunting road. On the Down side (country-end) was a short bay (platform 4) and adjacent dock served from a headshunt.

Barnham, Ford, Groombridge and Horsted Keynes stations had a similar layout located on or close to junctions (which can lead to much operational interest). Essentially the mainline will operate as Up and Down circuits (with the possible splitting /joining of electric trains in the through platforms). However, it is the branch (with its through and terminating services) that will see the core operational interest on the layout.

Basically platforms 2 & 3 would see the through services (both Branch and Main) with suburban services from London and Branch services terminating in platform 1. Also arriving in platform 1, local Branch services would then shunt across to platform 4 to restart their journey (similar operational moves took place at locations such as Eridge).

It was decided to place the main station building towards the rear of the baseboards on the Down side. Besides placing the platform-side of the building on view, this also left uninterrupted space along the front of the baseboards for the Up Passenger (platform) Loop (where branch trains would be terminating) and the goods sidings (i.e. all within easy reach). Accordingly, the model’s operator looks south-east towards the station.

This station concept provided the basis of the baseboard design.

Enlargement of the Station

However, it doesn’t end there as the ‘history’ of the station can be seen in the model; many stations undergoing change across the decades. When the railway was originally, built Ewhurst Green station was double-tracked with two four-coach-long brick-built platforms, a Down-side dock along with a larger Up-side goods yard.

Electrification would have led to enlargement of the station to accommodate the terminating of 8-car suburban electric services plus now a greater need for interchange facilities onto the Cranleigh branch. This would have needed an Up Passenger Platform Loop and Down Bay (for departing Cranleigh branch trains).

So, the mainline platforms were lengthened and a 6-coach Down Bay created at the expense of most of the Down good’s yard. Without a costly rebuild (plus additional /difficult land-take beyond) Somersbury Lane overbridge created a limitation in respect of the headshunt for shunting back into the remaining goods siding and dock. With the factory standing atop the cutting, in order to enable a headshunt to be taken up to Somersbury Lane overbridge, this cutting had to be dug out and replaced with a retaining wall.

The Up Platform was widened to meet a new Up Passenger (platform) Loop capable of holding an 8-car electric train and the London-end yard entry amended accordingly. The Up Passenger (platform) Loop stopped short of the Up-side subway buildings as only an 8-car length was required. South of the new Platform Loop an 8-car electric siding was created along with an equivalent length carriage siding.

These new works was undertaken using concrete ‘harp & slab’ construction technique as supplied by the Southern’s Exmouth Junction concrete plant. Re-signalling took place and a few years later the main signal-box was replaced; the ex. LBSCR London-end box remaining as it oversaw the level-crossing.

 

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 Chapter Eleven

Ivatt no.41250 passes pull-push set 610 (being propelled by no.31518)

Ivatt no.41250 passes pull-push set 610 (being propelled by no.31518)

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11. Storage Loops & Fiddle Yard Layout

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Storage loops and fiddle yards can be a significant part of a model railway for these represent the ‘rest of the UK network’ enabling trains to leave Ewhurst Green returning later in the day.

Trains entering the storage loops are kept there until needed again; some will set back to Ewhurst Green whilst others will move along the storage loop until it is their time to reappear. Some loop-lines each store just two long trains whilst others can store six shorter trains.

For the Cranleigh branch the fiddle yard comprises four tracks nearest the operator and these involve reassembly of formations including a simple changing end of locomotives. The Cranleigh branch also has two dedicated storage loops capable of holding ten trains on each.

The storage loops and fiddle yard have six distinct sections:

(1)

Down Main storage loops (total 5 no. + 4 additional loops),

(2)

Up Main storage loops (total 5 no. + 4 additional loops),

(3)

Up and Down Branch storage loops (one each),

(4)

Branch Terminating (two 6-car tracks),

(5)

Branch Terminating (two 5-car tracks) &

(6)

Locomotive ‘depot’.

These are all designed to permit realistic operation of the station with a combination of through and terminating services.

 

(1)

Down Main
storage loops

The Down Main storage loops comprise total nine loops; five loops numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 to start with then two further loops each off roads 1 and 5 (numbered 1a, 1b, 5a & 5b).

These are capable of taking full-length trains although some are electrically subdivided to accommodate eight and six-car (equivalent) lengths (say eight-car emu formation or locomotive plus two three-sets and luggage van or buffet car.

(2)

Up Main
storage loops


The Up Main storage loops (6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 plus 6a, 6b, 10a & 10b) replicates the Down Main albeit for travel in the opposite (anti-clockwise) direction.

(3)

Up and Down Branch storage loops

The Up and Down Branch storage loops (11 & 12) are just double track split into sections each being five-car (equivalent) lengths (say locomotive, three-car set and luggage van).

Alternatively, two loops together could accommodate a train of ten-car lengths.

(4)

Branch Terminating
6-car fiddle yard

Branch Terminating loops 13 & 14 (6-car fiddle yard) accommodate five number trains up to six-car (equivalent) lengths. Although intended to terminate /return stock into the south end of Ewhurst Green it is capable of terminating trains from the north end of Ewhurst Green.

It also includes a four-car length loop for electric trains terminating from the north end of Ewhurst Green.

(5)

Branch Terminating
5-car fiddle yard

Branch Terminating loops 15 & 16 (5-car fiddle yard) accommodate six number trains up to five-car (equivalent) lengths terminating /returning stock into the south end of Ewhurst Green.

It also has two storage sidings (16a & 16b) of three-car (equivalent) lengths for the storage of Pull-Push formations or diesel electric multiple units.

(6)

Locomotive Depot
fiddle yard

Accessed off roads 13 to 16, the Locomotive Depot comprises a non-scenic   turntable serving both of the Branch Terminating fiddle yards with storage for locomotives.

More on this later.

 

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Chapter Twelve

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BR(S) British Railways Southern Region
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With ‘HA’ E5001 on the test circuit, USA tank no.30069 tries the (then)
recently laid Down Main through what will become the platform area.

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12. Baseboard Construction

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The layout is housed in a dedicated purpose-built and well-insulated studio; the temperature running at a constant temperature from an inverter proving air-con /heating (well worth the investment and surprisingly cheap to run).

Baseboard Height

The layout’s baseboard was built at a height of 52” using 3” by 2” timber with the top made from 12mm high-quality exterior plywood (as supplied by an excellent local timber merchant). In other words, strong enough to rest or even sit on!

After much musing with good friend and ESF member Ian, this figure of 52” high had been derived from a number of factors; the main one being able to look at the railway from a more realistic sideways viewpoint rather than looking down from a great height onto train roofs. Ian uses a similar height on both his Oxted and Redhill P4 layouts. It is also a convenient height to duck-under when the drop-down door flap is up in use and trains are being run.

 

Prior to fitting of the layout’s green facias, the fold-down flap in front of one pair of external doors.

The end board is to protect rolling stock when the flap is folded down out-of-use.

The hardwood cill underneath the cats’ water bowl protects two 37-way cables below.

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The height of 52” still places the rear of the layout within practical reach whilst enabling tasks such as wiring and the fitting of turnout motors (etc) to be undertaken from the relative comfort of a swivel chair (until such time that I can obtain a chaise-longue on raised legs with castors).

Furthermore, this height provides sufficient clearance when leaving the trackroom with the flap closed (trains running).

 

Terry undertaking construction
of the framing for the station.

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Baseboard Width

Nominally 30” wide (the furthest one can realistically reach and work), each corner has a triangular pop-up hole where one can stand up to gain access.

Baseboard construction was undertaken by good friend and fellow ESF member Terry (a.k.a. the Rigger) who flew in from his mountain retreat in the Algarve to construct the baseboards – the lure of tea, biscuits and Cornflakes being simply too irresistible!

Having constructed the boards for his own layout thence Ian Sneyd’s P4 Redhill 1938, Terry has since gone on to construct close friend’s Rod Stewart’s baseboards for his 4mm take on the interesting arrangements at Inverness.

Ewhurst Green’s fiddle yard boards were built in March 2015 and the station boards completed October 2015. During the latter visit the simple test circuit was also installed.

 

As part of his inspection, Moser patiently undertook the first static load test of the baseboard

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Not to be outdone by Moser, Terry undertook the same static load test

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However, on the station side the 30” baseboards widen to around 50” at each end, which would ordinarily leave the rear of the layout out of reach. The solution was simple in the form of two drop-down sections being provided (similar to the entrance door flap) to provide access-reach; it is this flap that is demonstrated in the static load testing photographs rather than just the permanent (fixed) baseboard!

In order to protect the scenery on these flaps their design enables them to be swung through 180o and secured upside down out of the way by means of a fixed cord operated on pulleys. Track only passes onto the boards at the ‘inner’ ends and at 90o so there wasn’t to be any skewed rail joints.

Once secured up into place by a simple sprung (brass window) latch at the far end the inner end is drawn tightly into alignment by use of a brass sash window screw latch; this system also being utilised on the drop-down entrance flap. 

A credit to Terry’s engineering skill; the baseboard top-framing is shimmed to provide a maximum deviation of less than 2mm between opposite ends of the layout. This top framing was also designed so as not to interfere with the future positioning of turnout motors and the positioning of the legs to optimise storage; the legs being screwed to the (insulated) floor.

 

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After the static load tests were completed, Terry demonstrates how this section of baseboard folds right back underneath in order to provide access to the rear of the baseboards.

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Country end of the layout’s boards with its own (identical) folding section; pulley & cord are just visible between baseboard and floor.

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In 2017 end-protection boards were built for the drop-down entrance flap (using 9mm plywood recovered from my former layout). Not only do these boards protect the rail ends at the doorway, but they also prevent rolling stock from inadvertently descending into the abyss!

Across Easter 2018 further baseboard work took place in the form of the green painted baseboard edging; besides providing a neat appearance it also prevents anything falling off!

 

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Chapter Thirteen

Ewhurst Green model railway
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With 3mm cork and centreline pins in place on the Up Line the
alignment of the S&C is drawn ready for the cork to be laid.

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13. Track Laying

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Modelling in 4mm, I have always used 00 although have thought long and hard about EM or P4. With so much available in P4 these days I could see little reason to change to EM even though for the majority of my rolling stock it would have been relatively simple to ease out the back-to-backs of their finescale wheels. P4 looks superb except the tolerances are so fine much precision is required and this could prove tricky on a large, fixed layout (even the 00 track has needed adjustment in-situ).

However, the change to either gauge would necessitate a significant amount of additional work including starting again with all the trackwork instead of component-recovery from my previous layout. Now with failing eyesight, this was the correct decision.

Even with 00 the tolerances at the wheel /rail interface are still fine and both track and wheels need adjustment. Certainly, using old-style copper-clad turnouts means this can be undertaken with a soldering-iron!

Storage loops & Fiddle yard Trackwork

The minimum radius used on non-scenic sections is 36” and for the fiddle yard Peco® code 75 ‘HO’ track is employed being cheap, practical, of standard dimensions and simply laid onto 1.5mm cork. Unfortunately, the 36” minimum precluded the use of Peco® single /double slips in the fiddle yard which appear to be only 30” radius.

The mainline storage loops are set for differing train lengths - some can hold six-number 4-car electric units; other hold a thirteen-car boat-train set.

The branch fiddle yard is designed for five and six-car equivalent lengths. For example, a five-car length provides for locomotive, van and three-car coaching set. Longer trains can be accommodated through the doubling up on bays. It comprises Up and Down Branch (through lines for trains undertaking a circuit) thence four sets of roads for terminating services.

Scenic Trackwork

Both Exactoscale® (C&L Finescale Modelling Ltd) and SMP® track is employed in the scenic sections being laid on 3mm cork and paired to Marcway® turnouts. However, although I had a small existing stock of SMP® track left over from ‘Apothecary Street’ I decided to move forward using Exactoscale® as the track has a considerable edge including crisper sleeper mouldings. Accordingly, the remaining stock of SMP® track was used up on the less visible sections of the layout.

The new Peco® 4mm bullhead track was examined and whilst its sleeper sizes /spacing look good the overall rail /sleeper height differs from Exactoscale® / SMP® /Marcway® track (it also differs from Peco® code 75 track)/ With limited availability it was not considered for use.

There is a small transition in height between the scenic track (Exactoscale®) and fiddle yard (Peco® code 75 track); this being achieved through the use of graduated shims made from card.

The choice of Marcway® turnouts was a relatively simple one; for although they are of copper-clad construction (which many would suggest is dated, even crude by today’s standards) from a distance they still look reasonable and all of Apothecary Street’s Marcway® turnouts were recovered for possible reuse; these being stripped, cleaned and repainted. In addition, Marcway® turnouts are simple to repair and adjust in-situ. On an operational model railway (on fixed-boards) sheer practicality in terms of ongoing maintenance has to be a significant (if not an over-riding) consideration.

 

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With the S&C now laid, part ballasted, switches motored and wired it is tested with an HA (71 012).

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The track centrelines of Ewhurst Green were set out by means of both chalk-line and laser technology with the centrelines marked then delineated using track pins. Mounted on 3mm cork the scenic track is held in place before light gluing (if needed), painting thence ballasting the four-foot to fully secure it. The paint (Railmatch® Sleeper Grime) actually makes an excellent adhesive.

Rather than the 50mm used by (say) Peco® the track centres are set at 45mm in order to give a scale six-foot (although the distance measured between adjacent running rails is actually slightly wider due to the 16.5mm 00 track gauge). However, to enable sufficient clearance between passing trains on curves tighter than five feet radius, the ‘six-foot’ dimension is increased up to 50mm; this being used on the layout’s three-foot minimum radius curves. The storage loops and fiddle yard simply use the ‘standard’ 50mm spacing throughout.

 

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Looking north towards ‘London’ from above the Branch to Main Line double junction.

In the distance Goods /Passenger Loops (left), Up and Down Main (centre), test track (right - now removed).

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Switches and Crossings

Where needed, a number of the scenic turnouts were carefully rebuilt to incorporate the required long timbers therein; particularly required as a scale six-foot dimension had been adopted. This means 45mm centres instead of the standard 50mm more usually adopted by many modellers and Peco® (a necessary compromise by manufacturers to accommodate the sharp radii without varying this distance).

Turnout Motors

Tortoise® turnout motors were used throughout, albeit with 0.9mm wire drive for the mechanically stiffer Marcway® turnouts. Even then this wire size is only just strong enough for the short switches on the double slips; each double slip requiring four motors – one motor per pair of switchblades!

Not only did this choice of turnout motor enable standardisation across the layout (I fitted each motor with a lead and plug of standard configuration) the two sets of contacts thereon enabled switching; one set being used for the polarity of each turnout’s common crossings.

 

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London-end - Up Line (plat. 2) is complete with the Down Line (plat. 3)  awaiting removal of the test circuit. In the foreground is the Up Loop No.1, Up Passenger Loop (platform 1) thence the Up and Down Main lines.

Note the use of staggered baseboard joints to reduce the amount of bracing required underneath.

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Country-end S&C with entry into five goods sidings (middle foreground), two carriage sidings, Up reversible, Up and Down Main thence the entry into the Down Bay /headshunt (rear).

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Some of the Marcway® trackwork does need fine adjustment to enable fault-free running; particularly a few tight-to-gauge areas in the middle of the slips /double slips. This included tightening of the check-rails. With copper-clad track this is a relatively straightforward exercise using a Vernier gauge, fine soldering iron and patience. It is well worth spending time on doing this as the results are very effective.

 

Buffer stops at Horsham - left BR type & right LBSCR (three-bolt with LSWR beam but laid on two-bolt track)

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Buffer Stops

Lanarkshire Model Supplies produce an excellent LBSCR buffer stop kit and one of these was the first buffer stop to be installed on the Down Headshunt. Peco produce an equivalent BR buffer stop kit (albeit very flimsy) and whilst arguably rarer on the Southern Region in the ‘Ewhurst Green’ period these may be used in vulnerable location as they clip onto the railhead and are simpler to replace if damaged.

 

Conductor Rails

Getting the conductor rails right is important although there are certain practicalities that need to be considered, particularly with regard to clearances to trains and maintenance.

Peco® produce conductor rail pots for use with code 60 rail. Whilst their code 60 rail isn’t quite the right profile for (say 100lb/yd) conductor rail on a large working layout it is much easier to use these products that opt for something that it more authentic. Ultimately when standing back at a distance, the visual effect is achieved.

With 4mm /OO SMP® /Exactoscale® track the sleeper lengths are shortened which can lead to issues with placement of the conductor rail. Yes, it can be positioned at a scaled 5.2mm from the running edge except some models use the correct widths for (say) axleboxes (etc) on their models and these can foul the ‘5.2mm’ conductor rail. So, on Ewhurst Green the centreline of the conductor rail is 6.5mm from the running edge. Even then the shoes on Bachmann Mk1 4 BEP /4CEP /2 HAP /2 EPB stock sit inside the conductor rail whilst those on Hornby’s 2 BIL /2 HAL stock on its outside. In terms of the latter units, gentle filing of the inside of the shoes is required.

The Peco® conductor rail pots enable the conductor rail to be removable (for maintenance) through being an interference fit into the holes drilled in the sleeper ends. With my failing eyesight, a friend has spent many hours hunched over my baseboard drilling out holes in the sleeper-ends and fitting sections of con-rail whilst I frantically struggle to catch up on replacing the 0.75mm drills that frequently get broken in the process.

Once fitted, the conductor rail is eased out and (without moving the conductor rail pots), spray-painted in primer before painting in sleeper grime. On railways of this period the conductor rail pots became dirty relatively quickly, turning brown in the process.

 

Side-ramp in Horsham station’s sidings.

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Side-ramps

Side-ramps are modelled (albeit few in number); these being used where the conductor rail is present adjacent to a turnout’s switches to enable the train’s collector shoes to join or (smoothly) leave the conductor rail at turnouts albeit with a 20mph speed restriction onto a side-ramp. Located adjacent to the switch-tips, side-ramps were employed where non-electrified lines joined electrified lines lest an electric multiple unit was being hauled dead with its shoes hanging down.

 

Two side-ramps in front of Lewes signal box.

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Most of the Southern Region was shoe-cleared for hauling an electric multiple unit (even the Weymouth Tramway was assessed – but not cleared – for possible class 442 haulage). However, side-ramps are frequently omitted by modellers. In terms of the UK’s two standard-gauge fourth-rail electrified systems, LUL has a limited number of side-ramps; the MoD has none.

 

Protection-boarded conductor rails including adjacent to the carriage walkways at Horsham station.

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Conductor Rail Protection Boards

At a number of locations conductor rail protection boards would have been used and these are produced by several manufacturers. However, their supports are fit under the Peco™ conductor rail insulator (‘pots’) and so lift the conductor a fraction too high, sometimes leading to fouling with the shoegear of Hornby’s electric multiple unit stock. Furthermore, with the potential for some thirty-feet of protection boarded conductor rail, maintaining adjustment would also be tricky and a potential a nightmare.

Conductor rail protection boarding can also be created using rail soldered in 1/8” brass channel and at a distance it looks the part; as a solution it is robust. However, again the shoegear of Hornby electric multiple unit stock can foul this (Bachmann is absolutely fine). Ultimately a decision was made to omit this protection boarding.

However, I was fortunate to have enough KS181 brass channel left over from Apothecary Street to create boarded conductor rail in the carriage siding where the protection boarded conductor rail noticeably sat alongside the carriage walkway; possibly to give assess to the undersides of each car. In recent years safety standards seek the placement of the con-rail away from the walkway else restrictions on the use of the walkway.

In the middle of the station platform there is a boarded foot-crossing for staff; today these having long been closed at stations as they are dangerous with a significant risk of staff being struck by trains (staff should use the alternative route via subway or footbridge).

 

Protection-boarded conductor rails used to run through many of the walkways at Horsham station.

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However, for the period of Ewhurst Green not only was there a boarded foot-crossing between the platforms the live conductor rail often passed straight through this with staff required to step over two adjacent conductor rails in the six-foot.

 

Gatwick ©

Redhill ©

On the former Southern Region, the last of such staff foot-crossings were probably those at Horsham carriage sidings, Gatwick Airport (platform 1) and Redhill (platform 1); fortunately, all were abolished c.2009.

 

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Chapter Fourteen

Ewhurst Green model railway
BR(S) British Railways Southern Region
Copyright www.EwhurstGreen.com

Using the test circuit is Terry’s ‘The Rigger’ Metro-Vick no.D5714 hauling 14 bogies with ease; this is believed to be the only Co-Bo to operate on the BR(S) doing so from 4th to 7th April 1960.  Ewhurst Green has its own weathered D5714 (fitted with Ultrascale wheels) for this rare visit!

Unfortunately, although superb to model with, the studio’s daylight simulation lighting isn’t particularly conducive to photography. Late in 2019 the fluorescent lamps were replaced with daylight simulation LED units.

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14. Test Circuit

(2015-2017)

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Starting in 2015 a simple test track utilised the storage loop /fiddle yard area before entering the station side as a circuit (still on Peco® track) albeit laid well out of the way, initially at the rear of the baseboards. Providing a circular run just over one scale mile, it had been a useful addition as well as the centre of a number of social gatherings with East Sussex Finescale (ESF) members.

The storage loops were all laid first before scenic ‘station’ tracklaying commenced. With the scenic Up Main connected in June 2017 the test circuit was disconnected in August 2017 to allow the Country-end Down Main to be laid; it was lifted early September 2017 to enable the London-end Down Main to be connected.

The test circuit introduced a variety of rolling stock onto the layout ranging from models of elderly external framed copper-topped green kettles (of dubious parentage) through Hampshire units (an eight-car DEMU formation has been run) to modern diesels in post-privatisation livery. It has also seen ESF member Kevin’s pre-First World War Prussian steam (very impressive) along with a modern German articulated multiple unit!

This has given other ESF members (who are still building their own substantial layouts) the opportunity to let their models ‘stretch their legs’ including several that haven’t been out of their boxes for several decades (leading to several ad-hoc overhauls) including some whose wheelsets were incompatible with the scenic-side scale track.

For the majority of this period there was a steadily growing rake of East Sussex Finescale (ESF) group member Rod’s Metro-Cammell Pullmans providing the load for numerous locomotives; most of the TOPs diesel classes having now been run including double-heading and top-and-tails.

The use of Rod’s DCC controller brought sound to the layout, although limited by speaker size /technology the most realistic versions being the Rail Exclusive /Sutton Locomotive Works (SLW) Sulzer type-2 (class 24). Fitted with two speakers these are a long way ahead of all other offerings; Charley Petty’s (DC Kits) class 26 /33 /3H sound units follow with other makes further behind. However, DC Kits are now developing high quality stereo sound units so it may be a case of watch this space!

The SLW Sulzer type-2 (class 24) set a new standard for ready-to-run and (in my opinion) were well worth the outlay; these being a significant advance on Bachmann’s Sulzer type-2 (class 24) model particularly in respect of the underframe detailing; Ewhurst Green having two Southern Region-allocated examples. Bachmann’s Sulzer type-2 (class 24) remains a nice model; SLW have simply taken ready-to-run locomotives to a new level and like Hornby with its Railroad range there is space in the marketplace for both versions.

Kernow’s Beattie Well tanks and O2 classes run very nicely as does Model Rail’s USA tanks and Hornby’s Radial tanks. In terms of emu stock 2 BIL /2 HAL units (including a 12-car formation) have been run alongside visiting MLV /4 CEP stock and a blue /grey 5 BEL. Interestingly Hornby have not sought to provide any fittings to enable a pair of 5 BEL units to be coupled together (a small job for winter with my unit nos.3052 & 3053). Now, if only somebody would produce a 4 LAV in r-t-r!

Ironically up to 2021 I had run very little of my own stock!  

 

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Chapter Fifteen

 Ewhurst Green model railway
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Dapol JA no.E6003 hauling a freight around the test circuit.

Pictured straight out of the box this is a nice model although there is one glaring error in the form of the incorrectly parked secondman’s wiper!

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15. Layout Electrics

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As an old-school modeller I have not sought to ‘embrace’ DCC. However, there is no ‘luddite’ here – the current choice is out of practicalities and the desire to achieve realistic railway operation in a simple cost-effective manner; DCC only offering limited benefits in this area. As on Apothecary Street, the control of the station will be undertaken by means of an electric lever frame with conditional locking; I considered this would be best achieved through the straightforward use of switches and relays.

It is regularly stated that DCC makes layout wiring simpler. In some ways that statement is true as it makes the modeller’s wiring much simpler; the hugely complex wiring of the DCC controller (and possibly an operating computer) has already been undertaken for the modeller. In other words, the starting point of ‘your’ layout construction is relative. To mis-quote Carl Sagan “If you wish to make a model railway from scratch, you must first invent the universe”.

However, DCC also introduces other complexities both in wiring and physical control. Fault-finding with such technology can be difficult. Furthermore, you can be tied into one manufacturer’s product for some components and their prices.

Ewhurst Green uses a number of essentially repetitive but simple electrical circuits, each wired the same way; it must be acknowledged that (particularly given the layout’s length of just over a scale mile) cabling is ordered in 1.1km lengths at a time.

Some will find this chapter complex (others may risk falling asleep) so you can skip to next chapter.

 

Controlling the Layout

Apothecary Street was controlled through the signalling by means of an electric lever frame (with conditional locking) for the scenic section, route setting for the fiddle yard. As this obviated the need for ‘traditional’ cab-control switches and proved to be very effective I decided to operate Ewhurst Green in the same way.

The lever frame is quite straightforward employing high-quality former Ministry of Defence (MoD) DPDT switches mounted on robust plastic industrial cable trunking (those switches recovered from Apothecary Street were augmented by the lucky purchase of some more on the internet). Apparently, each switch cost the equivalent of around £64 each new some sixty-years ago!

In general (but not always) signal boxes have one lever per each signal arm. However, as many of Ewhurst Green’s multi-armed signals (such as the three home signals) are located off scene the decision was made to use one lever per signal location; the actuating of the correct arm (where applicable) being determined by the route set.

There is a lever for each of the three home signals on the Up Main, Down Main and Up Branch (but not the distant signals) as operation of these provides the track feeds. Similarly, the three equivalent advanced starting signals enable the feeds into the storage loops /fiddle yard.

The shunting signals are non-operational. However, the levers still need to be present; when actuated they prove the route and provide the track feeds. Turnouts are activated is the usual way with ends paired as per prototypical practice.

With few exceptions, each signal has its own relay (including non-operating shunting signals). This being an electrical necessity to electrically control the layout.

Hand points are not of course on the main lever frame and here simple route setting switches are quietly employed at each end of the station’s goods yard in order to switch entry into the sidings.

Storage loops and fiddle yard

In the Up & Down storage loops and Branch storage loops and Branch fiddle yard simple route setting is used; this being undertaken through ex.GPO type 600 relays..

As there are few instances of (say) a train entering on the Down Line (perhaps crossing into platform 1) whilst another departs (say from bay platform 4) it was decided that two trains would not be running on the same circuit: apart from shunting-forward in the fiddle yards.

Every storage loop /fiddle yard track is capable of storing more than one train on each; this being dependent upon the train length and loops is designed to accommodate multiples of different length trains. For example, one loop will accommodate four number 4-car emu stock (or two number 8-car units) plus an additional four units in the add-on loops (whereas another is designed for two 10-coach trains). The long loop with add-on loops is configured to accommodate the ‘suburban electric services’ which shuttle around the London-end of the layout between the fiddle yard and station.

The operation of the loops is simple for when the first train out of a loop is travelling round through the station the second train parked in the loop can be shunted-forward to create space for the arrival of the returning first train at the rear of the loop.

The detailed operation of this is described under the heading of ‘Storage loops and fiddle yard Controls’.

 

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             Ewhurst Green model railway
BR(S) British Railways Southern Region
Copyright www.EwhurstGreen.com

Country-end S&C with the main crossover (mainly single & double slips)
(turnout motors and wiring now installed).

Left: the double junction is just visible in the distance with locomotives on the Up Main
and Down Branch respectively. A single crimson-lake van marks the end of the Down
Bay Headshunt.
The Up Passenger Loop (centre) feeds directly into the electric siding.

Right: a green BSK marks the non-electrified carriage siding; just beyond a 2 BIL DTC sits
on the electric siding - a carriage walkway will eventually separate these two sidings.

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Conditional Locking (Signalling)

It would have been nice to have employed full interlocking. However, I accepted that this would be unnecessarily complex for a model railway and that conditional locking would suffice. This still requires the correct turnouts to be set to allow the signals to be pulled off (thus enabling the required electrical track feeds). Instead of preventing a conflicting route from being set conditional locking simply cuts the electrical track feed which in turn halts the trains.

I shall not attempt to describe the circuitry involved in detail at this stage (a basic wiring diagram is needed), save to say that with a basic knowledge of relays the underlying principle is ridiculously simple and highly effective; coming up with such circuitry just needed a degree of lateral thinking. However, I am open to discussion on the topic.

 

Much has changed since the previous photographs. The substation has to be completed and the carriage sidings taken to their full eight-coach length. The track feeds and Tortoise motors are all wired in place – now awaiting the production of the relay board (underneath the layout) to control the platform entry turnouts, trailing crossover and double junction beyond.

This section of the layout measures some 12’.

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Track Feeds & Relays

As stated, I no longer employ cab-control on my layouts; instead arranging track feeds through the signalling with a smattering of isolating sections in the scenic sections. Route setting is employed in the storage loops /fiddle yard with just a handful of isolating /move-up switches controlling all tracks. Essentially it is a case of just set the road and drive the train!   

Notwithstanding this the layout is being wired with the potential to use DCC at a later date; certainly, I recognise the are benefits from a constant 16v around the track rather than the slow starting voltages associated with DC.

Some can find the use of relays complex. However, whilst it requires a significant amount of wiring design and copious amounts of relays (mostly ex. GPO aluminium-cased type 600) the circuitry involved is essentially simplistic in terms of its repetitive design. Some might view the task as Herculean, but really it just needs time and patience!

I like to use ex.GPO relay carriers as it gets quite tedious if you have to build your own mounts. However, many of these carriers (from GPO relay stations) contain ten relays: each with two pairs of changeover contacts along with two pairs of coil feeds resulting in ten wire-terminations per relay (eighty in total). These two pairs of coil feeds get really useful when two separate circuits need to activate a relay - this can be achieved without the need for selection switching.

Other relays are contained within ex.GPO metal cases – 30 number type 600 relays at a time. So these have to be mounted on a frame alongside a plywood panel covered in 3amp terminal blocks (wired to each relay terminal) ready for mounting under the layout. Thirty relays each with eight contact termination (plus two or four coils) means 320 separate wires to be soldered and terminated. The whole unit is then installed under the layout ready for connecting into the layout’s circuitry!

GPO relays rarely fail but any design does need to have a means to enable replacement without behaving like a contortionist with a hot soldering iron in hand! Accordingly, their mounting has to provide reasonable means of access and this can prove challenging.

Telephone relay circuitry usually ran on 50v (I believe some providers now use lower voltages). Whilst many of the lower-resistance former GPO relays work well on 12v, most are run at 24v although a number of 50v circuits using higher-resistance relays are employed; the 50v circuits being separated isolated from the others and are clearly identifiable. However, I would not advocate the use of 50v circuits unless you have sufficient knowledge and experience to design and undertake this safely.

 

Turnout Motors

All of the ninety-nine Tortoise® turnout motors are powered from two-transformer sources; one side of all the turnout motors are connected to each other. The other side goes back to the operating lever switch (relay contacts in the storage loops /fiddle yard); this either connects to transformer 1 (positive) or transformer 2 (negative).

At the end of its movement the Tortoise® turnout motor simply enters a (designed) stall with power still present. Until the new PSUs were put in place, I used old Hammant & Morgan transformer-controllers (etc) for this purpose as the voltage can be simply adjusted to an appropriate speed. In reality the need to run the motors at a reduced voltage wasn’t necessary.

Marcway® double slips each require four Tortoise® motors. It is physically possible to install all four motors on a double slip between the two pairs of stretcher bars (motors mounted side-by-side in pairs placed back-to-back) although this can be fiddly.

 

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Tortoise® motors and wiring on the underside of the drop-down entrance flap. With hinges to the left, on the right are the brass lift handles, holding latch thence four screw catches used to pull the flap up into alignment.

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Turnout motors have been installed including those on the London-end goods yard; just a couple on the south end of the goods yard and the branch fiddle yard awaiting fitment. Standard designs of wiring circuits are used to make work easier on both the turnout motors and associated relays.

One pair of contacts on each Tortoise® motor switches the polarity of the common crossing on both Marcway® and Peco® turnouts; this provides reliable electrical switching. On crossovers the second pair of contacts on one of the motors makes the electrical connection between the two tracks. Spare Tortoise® motor switches are used in the conditional locking circuitry.

Although each turnout or crossover is numbered the Tortoise® motors also carry a simple colour code using coloured cable ties (tags). A single motor has one coloured tag, a simple two-motor crossover has two and where three motors are employed three tags are used. Working underneath the baseboard can be disorientating and these tags provide a rapid but simple means of identifying motors.

Furthermore, each motor is placed in the ‘normal’ position and a bright yellow tag added to one of the made contact wires (either yellow or blue) as a useful reminder when installing wiring. This is particularly useful on crossovers where motors may be reversed so one end normal is ‘yellow wire’ the other end it is blue.

Each turnout number is fed through their own relay. For example, a crossover has one number on the signal-box lever frame although uses two motors. It is powered through one relay.

At the country-end of the station several double slips are adjacent to a single slip. On the lever frame each have one number, but each also have three ends with each end powered by a motor (three in total) – these being wired together to work in unison. Again, this is all powered through one relay.

 

Relay panels

Where route setting is employed, the turnouts are switched through relays. A total of four of these panels are required for the storage loops and fiddle yard. Each relay panel comprises twenty relays /three-amp termination blocks and two-hundred eyelets to secure the wiring!

The 12mm boards are from an 8’x4’ sheet accurately cut into nine by the timber supplier. Fixed to the board with 2BA bolts, each relay rack can be detached lest relay replacement is required. However, each relay was cleaned and tested before fitting and wiring; the circuits were tested again before mounting under the layout.

These relays are former GPO type 600 dating back to the 1950s; today it is unusual to find them with their protective aluminium cases. Each relay has two pairs of changeover contacts and two (rather than one) coil; this second coil proving vulnerable for switching the automated turnouts in the middle of the storage loops.

One set of changeover contacts is used to switch the Tortoise motors; these motors being powered from a centre-tap +12v /0v /-12v supply from a pair of transformers. However, the GPO type 600 relay obtain 24v of power from across the +12v /-12v connections of the paired transformers.

 

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Relay bank (nos.01-20) prior to installation.

Controlling the Up and Down south-end storage loops, these Type 600 relays are seen mounted and wired (two relays to a column) prior to installation. The wires are secured by cable ties to brass eyelets (just visible).

Once in place the layout’s free-wring will drop down the currently vacant columns to the connector blocks

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This relay bank is now in-situ, wired and fully operational controlling the Up and Down Country-end main-line storage loops along with the Up and Down Branch storage loops and fiddle yard. All the switching contacts on all these relays are used.

In 2020 the second (identical) relay bank was fabricated and installed to control the mainline turnouts at the London-end of Ewhurst Green; a third was also installed for the fiddle yard’s London-end branch turnouts. The third relay bank is in operation.

 

Storage Loops & Fiddle Yard Controls

Personal preference is for controls to be simple, intuitive and quick to operate. In addition, the risk of operating failures including train collisions should be designed-out as far as possible.

There are eighteen main-line storage loops into total, arranged in a staggered formation. At the Country-end this comprises five Up and five Down loops. However, the staggered arrangement provides four up and four down additional loops that can only be accessed off each of the Up and Down outside loop lines nos.1, 5 6 & 10. In other words, the Down Line has loops numbered 1 to 5; from loop 1 the staggered additional loops nos.1a & 1b can be accessed. Similarly, from loop 5 the staggered additional loops nos.5a & 5b can be accessed. Loops nos. 2, 3 & 4 cannot access these additional loops and stock uses centre-road 3 (an extension of storage road 3).

 

Diagrammatic Arrangement of Down Line Storage Loops

5-way Rotary Switch

 

 

Automated turnouts

 

 

5-way Rotary switch

 

 

 

 

Loop 1

 

 

 

 

 

Loop 1a

 

 

 

 

Entry

 

 

 

Loop 2

 

 

 

 

 

Loop 1b

 

 

 

Exit

London-end

 

 

 

Loop 3

 

 

 

 

 

Centre 3

 

 

 

Country-end

 

 

 

 

Loop 4

 

 

 

 

 

Loop 5a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loop 5

 

 

 

 

 

Loop 5b

 

 

 

 

On /Off Section Switches

1

2

3

 

 

 

4

5

6

 

 

 

[I know, a better diagram is needed but the webpage wouldn’t recognise diagonal lines].

In summation:

Loop 1 has three isolating sections; loops 1a and 1b also have three isolating sections each (else centre 3).

Loops 2 and 3 have two isolating sections (plus centre 3).

Loop 4 has three isolating sections (plus centre 3).

Loop 5 has three isolating sections; loops 5a and 5b also have two isolating sections each (else centre 3).

The automatic turnouts /crossings in the middle of the storage loops are mounted on the drop-down door-entry flap which could not be used for the storage of rolling stock without mass-shunting every time the flap needed to be opened. Furthermore, this arrangement permits the rearrangement of trains on (say) loop no.1 as the train on section 3 can be released by via centre track 3 instead of having to let that on 1a section 6 go first.

 

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Down Main Storage Loops - Route Controls

The two black rotary switches select the routes (currently set for loop 3 /centre loop 3) into a total of nine storage loops.

There is an identical set controls for the Up Main storage loops, thence a similar of non-illuminated pair for the two Up and Down Branch storage loops.

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Selection of Loops

Entry into each set of loops is switched by two rotary switches controlling the turnouts at either end of each set of loops (i.e. Entry into and Exit out of the loops).

Along the length of the two sets of five Up and Down storage loops there is a maximum of six isolating sections with a ‘five’-way rotary switches (at the entry and exit) route-selecting the each of five sets of loops. The Down line is loop nos.1 to 5 (plus 1a, 1b, 5a & 5b) and the Up line loop nos. 6 to 10 (plus 6a, 6b, 10a & 10b) tracks.

There are turnouts /crossovers mid-way down each of the storage loop sections where (say) Down loops nos.1 to 5 all converge onto an extension of storage road 3. However, these turnouts /crossovers also give entry into four additional loops 1a /1b (from loops 1) and 5a /5b (from loop 5). These turnouts /crossovers operate automatically relative to the position of the two sets of rotary switches.

On the Down Line whilst one switch (left) selects tracks 1 to 5, the position of the other (right) can select either 1a, 1b, 5a or 5b (else out via centre track no.3) with the intermediate pointwork operating automatically to achieve this. However, if (say) track 2 is selected (with no route into 1a (etc.) then the pointwork will automatically default to departure via the centre track no.3.

The Up Line as a similar arrangement save to say the centre track no.8 and additional loops are approached first. Rotary switches are used in a similar way to control the Branch line storage loops (11 & 12) and fiddle yard tracks (13 to 16).

Finally, some of the Up and Down storage loop’s ‘five’-way rotary switches have a sixth position which activate the trailing crossovers at each end enabling reversal of pull-push /multiple unit trains. Storage loops 10a or 10b being intended for the reversal of the London Bridge to Ewhurst Green 8-car electric peak-hour terminating service.

The white operating panel is simple and robust, being made from 50mm square section UPVC electrical trunking; the front removes for maintenance access.

 

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Down Main Storage Loops – Section Switches

Between the rotary switches the six On /Off switches energise individual track sections; their offset LEDs indicate which track sections are in use for any given route (not all routes use all six isolating switches).

There is an identical set controls for the Up Main storage loops, thence a similar of non-illuminated pair for the two Up and Down Branch storage loops.

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Isolating Sections

Each storage loop is split into isolating sections; these sections differ in length, so some loops have six isolating sections (for short trains); others just two (for longer trains). Rather than have large banks of switches there is just one row of isolating switches which relates to the storage loop selected by the rotary switches. LED lights illuminate in order to identify which isolating switches apply to the selected storage loop.

For example, all six LEDs will illuminate for the six (short-length) isolating-sections in storage loop no.1 and additional loop 1a /1b combined. However, just two LEDs will illuminate for the switches which control the two (long-length) isolating-sections in (say) storage loop no.2. Although sections 1, 2 & 6 are always needed they too are illuminated for visual consistency.

Not only does this arrangement provide for simple route-setting operation (reducing the margin of error) it both reduces the size of control panel required along with the number of switches needed from 28 to 8 for (say) the Down fiddle yard tracks when compared to ‘traditional’ switching arrangements!

Two of the Up and Down storage roads (outer pairs – 1 & 5 /6 & 10) can each access two additional storage roads (Down 1a & 1b - 5a & 5b /Up 6a & 6b - 10a & 10b) so both an ‘IN’ and ‘OUT’ rotary switch is needed; the relative position of each automatically sets crossovers midway along the main line fiddle yard loops. There is a trailing crossover at each end of the mainline storage loops and two of the four black rotary switches have a 6th position to control these.

Operation of Isolating Loops

Along the length of the storage loops there is a maximum of six isolating sections with a ‘five’-way rotary switches (at the entry and exit) route-selecting the five loops. The six on-off isolating switches (to be technically correct switching-off) activate the sections in the selected storage lops with all other loops automatically switched-out.

 

Storage Loop
Number

Number
of Sections

Additional
Sections

Equiv. Coach Lengths

 

Down Line

 

 

1

3

(1a & 1b)

5

1a

(from 1)

3

5

1b

(from 1)

3

5

2

2

None

9

3

2

None

8

4

3

None

8

5

3

(5a & 5b)

4

5a

(from 5)

2

4

5b

(from 5)

2

4

 

Up Line

 

 

6

3

(6a & 6b)

6

6a

(from 6)

2

6

6b

(from 6)

2

6

7

2

None

9

8

2

None

8

9

3

None

8

10

4

(10a & 10b)

4

10a

(from 10)

2

4

10b

(from 10)

2

4

 

Down Branch

 

 

11

5

None

5

 

Up Branch

 

 

12

5

None

5

 

 

 

 

Isolation of the storage loop /fiddle yard tracks is undertaken through the route setting in order to do away with the vast arrays of switches so often seen on layouts. Instead, each of the isolating switches only refer to the tracks upon which each route is set (this is covered later). The wiring is simple and straightforward if not time-consuming (particularly as fishplates are not relied upon for conductivity).

There is no common return in these loops; for by using one set of the turnout motor’s switch-contacts only the return rail of the selected track is connected to the layout’s common return. This means power can provided through each isolating section on /off switch across five roads; but a train can only move on the storage loop selected and connected to the layout’s common return. Simple but effective.

Ultimately some storage loops may be fully automated using infrared detectors.

Relay Operation

Visiting sound locomotives and multiple units identified some voltage drops in the storage loops, in part due to the length of some cable runs. Whilst not a huge issue the decision was made to eradicate these commencing with the layout’s ‘London’ end storage loops.

A termination board for thirty type 600 relays (mounted in a large GPO ‘can’ to one side) was prepared. This is not easy for access to both front and rear of the relays is required for future maintenance.

There is one 24-volt relay for each isolating section with the relay wired in parallel with the turnout relay. Up to five relays are operated from the existing (but reused) on-off switch on the panel. However, only of these five relays can be energised (with the selection of the designed loop).

As a consequence, all the voltage drops were eliminated. However, I do need to prepare a diagram to visually express all this as the reality is quite straightforward!

 

Power Supplies

On my previous layout (Apothecary Street) old H&M /Triang /GPO 12v power units were utilised along with 50v GPO power supply units (PSUs); the latter being purpose-built and metal encased. As a temporary measure these old 12v power units are being reused on Ewhurst Green. However, going forward six-number modern PSUs with a higher smoothed output (10 amp each) were always envisaged; these are mounted in protected enclosures because of the exposed mains inputs.

Ewhurst Green uses five voltages with 12-14v DC being the most common. However, the signals run at 9v DC, the turntable operates at 16v AC, the storage loops /fiddle yard type 600 relays at 24v DC and the type 3000 GPO relays in the station’s conditional locking use 50v DC. The 50v supply comes from the purpose-made ex-GPO metal-cased power supply units previously mentioned.

Excluding some of the controllers which have an internal power supply unit (PSU), the six number DIN-rail mounted PSUs are employed in pairs; each with a smoothed ten-amp DC output. Four of these are linked to provide +12v /0v /-12v for the ninety-nine relay-operated Tortoise turnout motors.

Each Tortoise motor is operated through a 24v relay, so power is taken from across the +12v /-12v transformer taps to give 24v for the type 600 relays used in the turnout-motor controls. Although the type 600 relays will operate on 12v, their operation is much improved with 24v.

 

One of the 12v /24v twin 10A locking power supply cabinets.

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Each PSU draws 2.6 amps from the mains, these transformers are fed through a surge protected supply taken off one of the ‘isolating’ ring mains in the track room. In other words, these ring mains can be powered down when leaving the track room.

 

Mercury Displacement Relays

All these transformers are plugged into the track-room’s lower ring main in pairs; the total current draw of all six main 10-amp transformers alone being 15.6-amp (then there are all the controllers and secondary transformers) so these are supplied through three separate 13-amp plugs.

To avoid the tedium of switching off each plug individually (including forgetting to do so), a single master switch for the layout has been installed which powers up two Michigan-built MDI Mercury Displacement Relays in the far side of the track-room. These Mercury Displacement Relays will energise two of the 13-amp supplies to four of the main power supply units (balanced with other transformers and controller loads).

 

Ewhurst Green model railway
Mercury Relays

Mercury Displacement Relays being bench-prepared in a locking cabinet.

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Photographed on the bench (but now mounted in place), the power feed to the Mercury Displacement Relays will enter (in trunking) the underside of the cabinet to the Blue /Earth Live terminals up on the left. The 2.5-amp switched circuits will enter in the top from a control cabined immediately above; brown for LH relay – blue for RH relay. As these Mercury Displacement Relays operate at 120v they are wired in series – you can just hear a slight hum when energised!

 

Mercury Displacement Relay

© www.mdius.com

 

I wonder how many other model railways use these?

 

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Chapter Sixteen

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The test track was pulled away from the back wall to enable the painted sky-boards to be fixed in place; their top edge slipping under the beading.

Country end S&C. Six sidings can be seen starting to curve away to the right; beyond is the junction where the non-electrified double-track branch will curve away to the right from the electrified main line.

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16. Back Scene

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Painted Sky

After much consideration, a simple painted sky back scene was opted for; this being very effective on fellow ESF member P4 layouts of Oxted and Redhill. It also enables the future use of trompe-l'œil behind the trees in order to provide the effect of depth. Furthermore, Ian’s adept and creative wife Wendy had offered to paint it – her work was excellent!

Each scenic board was numbered and painted matt-white ready for Wendy to undertake her magic with sponges and various acrylic paints; the sky effect being carried across each board joint (completed March 2017).

Unfortunately, the room’s daylight simulation lighting means the photographs simply do not do the final sky-effect justice. However, they look excellent in-person and I’m extremely grateful for Wendy’s creative time and work.

 

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