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A Journey Down The Cuckmere Valley Line - Station By Station


dseagull

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Isfield

 

The Cuckmere Valley Line began at Isfield, with services departing from Platform 3. Facilities at Isfield were shared with the Wealden (Lewes-Uckfield) Line Station, with A.E Lavender the local coal merchant, also involved with sand, granite and the shingle extracted from Cuckmere Haven. Whilst most passenger trains terminated at Isfield, a few ran onto the Wealden Line, pausing at Platform 1 before continuing towards Uckfield, Eridge (for connections to Hailsham and Polegate via the Cuckoo Line) and Tunbridge Wells West (for connections to London). Leaving Isfield, the line turned quite sharply away from the course of the section of the Wealden line which continued towards Lewes, skirting the ancient Plashett Wood. Crossing farmland, the line then curved gently round before running close to Shortgate Lane to enter Laughton.

 

Laughton

 

After entering the village, the line crossed Laughton Road before entering the station, just off the present day Church Road. At Laughton a single platform was provided with a loop, small goods shed (similar to that at Horam on the Cuckoo Line), small livestock holding pen, and a seperate siding to serve the various brickworks.

 

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Leaving Laughton, the line passed close behind the village school and All Saints Church, built in the 13th Century and containing the remains of two 18th Century Prime Ministers, both members of the important Pelham family, continuing on the gentle curve to head for Ripe.

 

Ripe

 

A short time after leaving Laughton, the line ran into the western side of the small hamlet of Ripe. Here, a basic halt was provided with a single siding for coal and 'smalls' traffic, dealt with by a small 'booking in' office staffed by a part-time Clerk.

 

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Berwick

 

Leaving Ripe, the line crossed the main Lewes-Eastbourne 'East Coastway' line by means of a simple overbridge, passing the outskirts of the village of Selmeston, with the station opposite the Church (St Michaels & All Angels). At Berwick, another loop was provided, with a single siding for freight for the village (larger facilities being provided off the East Coastway line at the station which, upon opening of the Cuckmere Valley line, had been renamed Berwick & Selmeston. A headshunt from this siding ran to a loading dock, adjacent to which was the 2-Foot Narrow Gauge siding of the Ludlay Brick and Tile Company.

 

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Alfriston

 

Shortly after leaving Berwick the line changed direction, curving over the Alfriston Road before running alongside the River Cuckmere, from which it would take it's name. Alfriston Station occupied a pretty location, built on a gentle curve just off North Street, close to the centre of the village, and boasted a goods store as well as livestock pens.

 

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Litlington

 

Leaving Alfriston, the line curved to cross the Cuckmere, before running into Litlington, the terminus of passenger operation on the line. Here a loop is provided, as well as basic goods facilities and a siding running to the Long Man Brewery. Litlington, as with Isfield, is also the location of a coaling stage with water tower (fed from the river), to enable locomotives to be refueled prior to the journey either down to the coast, or back northwards.

 

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Following Litlington, the line takes a reasonably straight path alongside the river, crossing again at Exceat, before terminating close to the shore - a loop is also provided. The East Sussex Transport & Trading Company also maintains a small siding for stabling a shunting locomotive, which although plated to work over LBSC metals as far as Litlington Station, is primarily used to shunt loaded wagons into the opposite track of the loop, to enable empties to be delivered straight to the loading platform.

 

Sources; All information on Narrow Gauge Lines from http://cambrianmodels.co.uk/eastsxng.html .

3 Comments


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An interesting plan. Some years ago, I also picked on this area and chose Exceat for a station (and assumed that it was not a "lost village"). Which era do you plan to model? It sounds like an ideal last resting place for some of Mr Craven's finest products and some early Stroudleys (something from the EBM stable or 5 & 9). 

Best wishes

Eric

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An interesting plan. Some years ago, I also picked on this area and chose Exceat for a station (and assumed that it was not a "lost village"). Which era do you plan to model? It sounds like an ideal last resting place for some of Mr Craven's finest products and some early Stroudleys (something from the EBM stable or 5 & 9). 

Best wishes

Eric

 

Thanks - As much as I'd like to model the early era (I must say I find some of the early Stroudleys in particular very easy on the eye!) - soldering is not at all my forte, so I think it will be early SR - the Bachmann E4, a Terrier or two, the Birdcage stock etc. Not set in stone yet, but this is what I'm leaning towards at the moment. 

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I'm also doing a Cuckmere Valley line, except with a few differences, like it being built as a Colonel Stephens style light railway and beginning from Berwick station on the East Coastway line and ending with two forked ends at Friston Bottom and Cuckmere Haven, where in my alternate reality a seaside resort (by the name of Salthaven) was being constructed.

Edited by Hando
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