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Dinton MoD exchange sidings- plans/dimensions sought





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#1 Taigatrommel

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 14:36

I've been searching around for a prototype freight facility for some reasonably varied traffic and perhaps a bit of shunting, and stumbled across a picture of Dinton in "Railfreight since 1968 - Wagonload". This view suggests quite a short loop (it appears to be just long enough for a 47 and and VAAs or similar), and also the same ilustration implies the curious operation of MoD shunters across the main. I was wondering if anyone could point me to a plan of arrangements as they were in the 1980s, and likewise if anyone has any knowledge of the rail operations I'd love to read it.

Thanks in advance!

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#2 Oldddudders

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 15:44

Not much help, but Stuart Baker's 1990 edition Rail Atlas shows three distinct locations - Chilmark Siding, on the up side beyond the station; Baverstock to the London side, also on the up; and Dinton East, which appears to be a set-back siding off the down side. I am not sure whether all three were MOD.

I looked at Dinton to be the site of a passing loop in the mid-80s, when we were searching for quick wins in adding back facilities for the Salisbury - Exeter services, but RCE colleagues came up with a better suggestion, and we got the Tisbury Loop instead. The station house at Dinton was then said to be owned by Harold Wilson's son.
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#3 PaulRhB

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 16:03

Unfortunately the site with scale maps appears to have gone, they were diificult to find as it was MOD. Our diagrams don't include the sidings as they weren't controlled by the panel we just had the release. You can get some idea looking at google maps and there are a few shots in the Telerail Marchwood and Chilmark DVD.
I'll ask our senior Signalman about the operation, if he can remember ;) , next time we are on together.
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#4 The Stationmaster

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 16:15

There is a pretty good plan of the layout in the 1994 edition of Quail (England South and London Underground volume) as it was then and had been for a good couple of decades previously.

Basically, as Ian said, three locations -
Dinton West GF (connection trailing into the single line westbound served Dinton Sdgs which were Air Ministry) at 92m 11chs.
Dinton East GF (connection trailing into single line eastbound) served Dinton (Baverstock) Sdgs at 91m 63ch,
and Chilmark Sdgs at 93m 40ch which were accessed by a long siding (the former Up line) from Dinton East GF - all movements on this line were hauled and it crossed Teffont Mill Crossing (miniature red/green lights) alongside the running line.

I believe a lot (all?) of the installation is now closed and i know the MoD police were at one time very hot on security - on one occasion they even arrested a party of army officers who were 'watching the working' from an overbridge and they were detained for several hours until the unit they were attached to was able to vouch for them and explain why they were there.
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#5 Taigatrommel

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 18:02

I hadn't realised the main line was single track at this location, I've sketched up the visible plan in paint.

Dinton.jpg

On the track marked "1" sits what I presume to be an MoD Sentinel on open wagons, with the loco at the left. On the track marked "2" sits a 47 captioned as forming 6L10 to Salisbury, seven VAAs or similar and a continental looking tank wagon. The tank fouls the turnout ahead of the MoD shunter.

The sidings with the fence may carry off somewhere, foliage obscures the view. Now I look closely I can't see any signals controlling the crossover on what I had assumed to be the main lines, so this would correspond to the former up line being a long siding.

#6 Joseph_Pestell

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 18:10

Good book published recently on this line. Will see if I can find my copy and look at what details it has about later ops there. You can probably draw some inferences about the location of these sidings from the earlier trackplans.
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#7 PaulRhB

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 21:25

The sidings are just the BR exchange sidings the lines from each go off into the MOD depot, Chilmark http://www.subbrit.o...tes/c/chilmark/ and Dinton.
They tried to rail connect the Dinton depot again for freight but the quoted costs were too high even though the GF equipment is all still there just strapped out. The points are all plain lined now but the Dinton line ran parallel for a distance then veers off into the bushes.

Edited by PaulRhB, 07 March 2012 - 00:13 .

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#8 Fat Controller

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 22:45

The 'Continental-looking' tank wagon would have been a calcium carbonate slurry tank from ECC Quidhampton.
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#9 Taigatrommel

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:48

I'm starting to make sense of this now. Where the picture is taken at Dinton is a good mile and a half from where the MoD line deviates from the path of the former up line to enter the site and a further quarter mile takes you to the sheds at Hams Cross. The sidings at the bottom of my illustration are presumably Baverstock sidings. Any idea what traffic these were for?

The site of Dinton Sidings appears to be quite overgrown, so I'm struggling to work out the siting of points to take measurements in google earth. I'll dig out some stock, I think I should be able to infer the length from a 47 + wagons.

Thanks again everyone, I'm feeling quite inspired!

#10 Fat Controller

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:06

Looking at Google Maps, there is a building labelled 'Building D' on the southern side of the main line- immediately south-west of this is a wooded area with numerous paved clearings served by metalled roadways. Close examination of these clearings show that each has a number of semi-buried 'bunkers' around them, of the type typically used to store munitions. I would suggest that the sidings would have been intended to serve these.
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#11 The Stationmaster

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:21

From what I can remember the Dinton site south of the mainline was basically used for stores by the 1970s although it was quite likely used for explosives at some time in the past and I think the same goes for DintonEast/Baverstock. As the internal road layout, and present name of the establishment on the site, suggest Chilmark was an explosives storage area amongst other things - you can even see some of its narrow gauge vehicles 'up close and personal' by planting the little man in the middle of the road on Google Maps as they are alongside a public road!
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#12 Pugsley

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:42

The narrow gauge stock visible from Google Streetview belong to the quarry adjacent to the Hams Cross site, the MOD sites closed in the late 1990's. Part of the Hams Cross site is now used by this mob:
http://www.issee.co.uk/

The Dinton site is Westfield Storage, and it was used for general stores and light ammunition in MOD days AFAIK.

#13 Fat Controller

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:43

From what I can remember the Dinton site south of the mainline was basically used for stores by the 1970s although it was quite likely used for explosives at some time in the past and I think the same goes for DintonEast/Baverstock. As the internal road layout, and present name of the establishment on the site, suggest Chilmark was an explosives storage area amongst other things - you can even see some of its narrow gauge vehicles 'up close and personal' by planting the little man in the middle of the road on Google Maps as they are alongside a public road!

I couldn't get my 'little man' to work on the road around Chilmark- a little MoD alsatian must have scared him... The whole place looks like something that might appear in the Avengers. During the long hot summer of 1976, fire brigade personnel (and engines) from places like Bristol were deployed to the area around Salisbury and the periphery of the New Forest because of the perceived risk of fires in the tinder-dry fields and woods affecting the various MoD installations (apart from Dinton/Chilmark, there was another base at Dean Hill, south of Salisbury, and fuel stores elsewhere). I hitched a lift back from near Dean to Bristol with a crew going home at the end of the summer.

#14 TonyA

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 14:23

I have found an article entitled "Chilmark - the end of an era" in Rail issue 255, Jun. 21 - Jul. 4 1995. It includes a diagrammatic map of the tracks from Chilmark to Dinton and Baverstock sidings.

Other articles mentioning stock and operations are in Railway Modeller June 1996 and The Railway Magazine March 1976. There is also a description in the IRS handbook, Industrial Locomotives of Central Southern England.

If you want any more information about the contents, send me a PM.

Tony
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#15 Taigatrommel

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 17:36

Thanks Tony- I may have some of those magazine myself, I'll have a good search!

#16 Natalie

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 17:47

Hi Rich
I have been able to amass some info on Dinton/Chilmark as I have been looking at the location too as an inspiration. The line to the sidings on the top right are to the Baverstock Depot whilst the sidings at the bottom are part of the exchange sidings for Dinton. The former up line (the upper of your two) runs as an extended siding to the left for about a mile to the exchange sidings at Hams Cross for Chilmark. The location originally had its own connection to the double track mainline. The Irwell book Main Line to the West Part 2 is well recommended.

Plans of the military land have been obtained from the National Archives at Kew- these show the track layouts of the standard and narrow gauge systems at both Chilmark and Dinton. I'll let you have copies of my photos of the plans if you require.

Any other assistance then please do not hesitate to ask.

Edited by Natalie, 08 March 2012 - 18:42 .

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#17 Rivercider

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 21:26

The Salisbury to Exeter Line, by Phillips and Pryer (OPC, 1997) has some details and maps.
Dinton West GF was taken out of use on 2/11/94 when 47347 departed with the 11.40 to Didcot,
Dinton East GF to Chilmark siding closed the same day.

Freight Only Vol 2 Southern and Central England, by Rhodes and Shannon (Silverlink 1988)
has details of timetabled trips from Jan 1988 :-
6Y62 09.06 SX Eastleigh - Dinton arr (10.49)
6L10 12.23 SX Dinton - Salisbury (arr 12.40)

edit - the working of the class 47 Speedlink diagram at that time was :-
Eastleigh - Dinton - Salisbury (crew change) - Quidhampton - Salisbury - Westbury - Gloucester
hence empty slurry tanks for Quidhampton had to route via Dinton on the way.

also a pic dated 21/8/87, 47236 pulling into the headshunt in the old platform, with 6 or 7 VDAs

cheers

Edited by Rivercider, 08 March 2012 - 21:32 .

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#18 Taigatrommel

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:43

Natalie, can I just clarify something? That the line I have marked as "I can't see where this goes to" enters Baverstock depot? I'm at the point that I'm decided this will be the basis for my next layout, I can worry about the exact operation later, but for now I'm onto physical planning.

Has anyone seen the TeleRail program on Chilmark, and if so, is it worth a watch? They're a bit expensive as railway DVDs go, so I'd like to know I'm not wasting my money!

#19 a98087

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 13:03

Heres a few photos of the current layout taken today 9/3/12 whilst working for the railwys.

All photos were taken using a Network rail approved safe system of work, whilst I had permission to be there

This is Dinton Station looking in the down direction towards Tisbury, It shows whats left off the disused sidings
IMG_0181.jpg

This shows the view looking towards the Up direction towards Salisbury and London, The main line is on the right
IMG_0179.jpg


Hera a view from whats called Sweatmans crossing showing the access line heading towards Chilmark- This photo is looking in the down direction
IMG_0177.jpg



Hope the photos are of some use, and if you want a copy just send PM me an email address and I will send them out.
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#20 Pugsley

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 13:09

As far as I know, Chilmark consisted of 4 separate sites, at least two of which (possibly three) were rail connected. The small arms and other stores were stored here:
http://binged.it/wh9mxI
Which is now known as Westfield Storage.

The next site along, alongside the railway line, but exhibiting no obvious signs of being rail connected is this one:
http://binged.it/A4PCw6

Behind that was the site that wasn't rail connected AFAIK:
http://binged.it/y6JBaJ

And the final site, which had the narrow gauge railway to the underground storage, and a surface magazine was at Hams Cross:
http://binged.it/x07i9m

I think the muntions to the surface magazine at this location were shipped from the transfer sheds by road.

HTH

Rich - is the point in the 1st picture of the above post the one you're referring to when you say you can't see where it goes? I think that might be an old connection into a headshunt, or similar, that would have been used when the old Up line would have been in regular service, before use by the MOD.

Edited by Pugsley, 09 March 2012 - 13:12 .

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#21 The Stationmaster

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 13:28

As far as I know, Chilmark consisted of 4 separate sites, at least two of which (possibly three) were rail connected. The small arms and other stores were stored here:
http://binged.it/wh9mxI
Which is now known as Westfield Storage.

That was Dinton (Baverstock)

The next site along, alongside the railway line, but exhibiting no obvious signs of being rail connected is this one:
http://binged.it/A4PCw6

That was Dinton Air Ministry Sidings

Behind that was the site that wasn't rail connected AFAIK:
http://binged.it/y6JBaJ

And the final site, which had the narrow gauge railway to the underground storage, and a surface magazine was at Hams Cross:
http://binged.it/x07i9m

That was Chilmark Air Minstry Sidings (also I believe officially 'RAF Chilmark' but I'm not certain on that title.)
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#22 Taigatrommel

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 16:46

Rich - is the point in the 1st picture of the above post the one you're referring to when you say you can't see where it goes? I think that might be an old connection into a headshunt, or similar, that would have been used when the old Up line would have been in regular service, before use by the MOD.


No, it's off the north siding, heading away from the main line. I can't post the picture owing to copyright.

I'm pursuing the paper lines of enquiry, although naturally this is a little slower than web inquiries. It's feeling really good to have found a sector era scheme that's captured my imagination!

#23 Pugsley

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 17:58

No, it's off the north siding, heading away from the main line. I can't post the picture owing to copyright.

I'm pursuing the paper lines of enquiry, although naturally this is a little slower than web inquiries. It's feeling really good to have found a sector era scheme that's captured my imagination!

PM sent.

It is a fascinating location - I quite often swing by there on my to/from Salisbury to see what's going on, not that you can see that much from the road. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with in the planning phase.

#24 Natalie

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 22:50

Natalie, can I just clarify something? That the line I have marked as "I can't see where this goes to" enters Baverstock depot?


Yes that is correct.

Has anyone seen the TeleRail program on Chilmark, and if so, is it worth a watch? They're a bit expensive as railway DVDs go, so I'd like to know I'm not wasting my money!


It is an interesting watch and worth getting but not much information is given on the locations in the shots. It has a lot of footage of Dinton intermixed with that of Chilmark but the viewer is not told! Mostly the narrow gauge systems are the focus but there is a ride on the transfer along the standard gauge to Dinton (ex) station which also shows the exchange of the traffic and its subsequent departure back to Salisbury.

#25 Pugsley

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 18:42

The following is an extract from a pm about the mystery line, with some additonal info, which I've put here in case it helps anyone else interested in this location.

I think your mystery line was the siding into the former station goods yard - I reckon it followed the path of the vehicle tracks that pass through the gate you can see in the middle left of this part of the map:
http://maps.google.c...ingdom&t=h&z=20

The picture also confirms that this site:
http://maps.google.c...ingdom&t=h&z=18
was rail connected - looking at it now, I can see where the BR connection was.

If you're ever in the Dinton area, you can normally drive into the bit that says 'Building D' on the map, it's a small industrial estate and the gates are normally open. You can't get into the other three sites, but you can view the transfer sheds at Hams Cross and see where the GCHQ bunker is, on the opposite side of the road. You can see some of the buildings from the road at Hams Cross and also the non rail connected site off Catherine Ford Lane. Google Streetview covers the area around the 4 sites, so that may also be of some help. Loco shed at Hams Cross here, for example:

http://maps.google.c...12,8.16,,0,4.27

I've also found a picture, taken in 2005, of the road transfer sheds at Hams Cross, with the rail transfer sheds in the background, the bunker is the opposite side of the road to this location. I think these sheds were for transferring the munitions to the surface magazine at Hams Cross.

EPSN0005web.jpg

Edited by Pugsley, 14 March 2012 - 18:44 .

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