Duddon Bridge is a small wayside station on the Broughton & Dunnerdale Light Railway, and opened, along with the rest of the railway, in early 1905.
The Broughton & Dunnerdale was one of a series of light railways proposed by the Furness Railway in the early 1900s in order to tap into the emerging tourism market in the Lake District. The railway departed from the Furness Railways Coniston branch at Broughton, and ran South West for a short distance, before crossing the River Duddon, and turning north to run up the side of Dunnerdale (also known as the Duddon Valley), through Duddon Bridge, Ulpha, Hall Dunnerdale to the terminus at Higher Seathwaite.
From Duddon Bridge two branches diverted off from the main line - one which ran south back out of the station and up the valley of the River Lickle to terminate at Broughton Mills. This line was freight only, and served both a number of mills in Broughton Mills, and a narrow gauge line which ran up into the hills and carried traffic from various lime kilns and timber felling areas in the vicinity.
The other branch which left the station running North, crossed over the River Duddon and ran up the opposite bank to the main line, to terminate at a loading point with a narrow gauge timber tramway.
Back at Duddon Bridge, there was a papermill (which explains the large number of narrow Gauge timber tramways in the area...) which was served by a number of sidings, and a general goods siding, well mainly for coal traffic, but general goods too when required.
The main line left the station by running down the middle of the main road between the mill buildings, and followed the River Duddon northward.
Ulpha was the next station on the line, and along with the goods yard, had a creamery which sent its output by rail. The line now curved to the east, still following the valley, before reaching Hall Dunnerdale, this was a simple station with one goods siding.
The terminus of the line was reached at Higher Seathwaite, here the line connected with an aerial rope way to a Slate quarry high up on the fells.
Between the papermill, creamery and Slate quarry, the line had a fairly healthy freight traffic flow right up until it’s eventual closure in the autumn of 1972, having carried on, still as an indecent concern, long after many of its fellow light railways had succumb...
The layout came about because both myself and my friend Tim have long wanted to build a light railway layout, and decided that we ought to combine our efforts and produce one layout between the two of us. We’ve been planning this now for a number of months, and have now made some significant progress on the layout, so we can now share it with everyone.
Today was a milestone, as we started construction of the second turntable fiddle yard, and last main board to be built (there are some scenic extensions boards to be built, but we are waiting for our trusty man with a laser cutter at Grainge & Hodder to work his magic...).
It’s a bit of a strange site, but board no.5 in its all upside down clamped to the hilt glory! All that’s left to do is to end the two top end pieces, and sort out the board connectors at the far end.
Having got the last board as far as we could, we decided it was time to start sorting out trackwork for the first fiddleyard and main scenic board 1.
This view is looking back towards the fiddleyard, from the start of the double ended siding in the station (it’s not a loop as we are not passing trains, but it will be used for trains to run round and shunt). The right hand line is the main running line, and represents the railway to the mainline junction at Broughton. There will be a platform to the right of the main line here, just in front of the camera, though the actual platform itself will be on the extra scenic boards that will run the length of the front of the layout.
That on the left is the freight only branch to Broughton Mills, though it’s officially classed as a long(!) siding. Just at the end of the loop, the line will cross a lane (ungated), and then pass between a couple of buildings to exit the scene. To the right of the main line, near the front of the layout will be a large, two storey Lakeland slate barn, between the two diverging routes there will be a blacksmiths, and then at the rear of the board here will be a couple of cottages. These should hopefully serve as suitable scenic breaks for the line going off scene.
There are five roads on the fiddleyard sector plate, three of which serve the mainline, and the other two serve as the Broughton Mills branch.
The next board will feature the point for the coal siding, and the junction for timber tramway, this will cross the mill race via a lightweight steel girder bridge just after the junction, necessitating a severe weight limit along this line (basically an excuse to run my Simplex and Ruston 48DS locos!). The main line will thenswing towards the back of board, and on to board three where the paper mill complex and siding(s) will be. We’re still working on the exact track layout for this bit, and it all depends on what will fit, and how it looks at the end of the day.
Operations wise, we are looking to run through a number of different time periods, from pre-grouping (I need somewhere to run all my Furness stock), through late 1920s/1930s, 1950s and then up to the closure of the railway in 1972, when the line was diesel only.
Between the two of us, Tim and I have plenty of locos, all of which are suitable for the layout, and one or two more may well have been purchased with this project in mind (Dapol 08 in Blue...).
I need to redraw the map for the line, so once that’s done I’ll post it on here so hopefully the ramblings above will make more sense.
Edited by NeilHB, 11 September 2018 - 12:06 .