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To give a bit of a feel for the topography:

 

- the scarp of the Downs rises to 550-650ft in this area;

 

- the old main line is at about 300ft;

 

- the Quarry line is very slightly higher, I would guess c330ft;

 

- the relatively flat area that the two embankments cross has a native level of c290ft;

 

- the main floor of the chalk quarry was at c400ft, with the lip of the north face at c500ft, so the industrial line was rising all the way from the junction, as can be seen in the photo of the loco that I attached.

 

I think that the "slice" that you have made would work very well, and that the area leading to the two tunnels, and above them, could beneficially be foreshortened, steepened, to capture the feeling of the Downs looming over the scene, which is exactly how it feels on the ground.

 

My approximate levels are a great simplification, of course.

 

And, if you wanted to get representation of Holmethorpe in as well, it could be done by doubling the area, to create a mirror-image. The old main line would disappear behind a hill, and the Quarry Line would dive into Quarry Tunnel. It's actually easier to get your head round on a 1" map, BTW.

 

On trains: the Brighton to Paddington service, I'm 99% sure used LBSCR stock. If you want to include GWR stock, you need to go south of Redhill, and represent some of the various bits of the trains from Birkenhead, which arrived via Reading, then were split-up. These used SR stock and GWR stock on alternate days, with one set of each in circulation, but I'm not totally sure they operated pre-WW1.

 

I hope you will have a largish barn at your disposal!

 

K

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Thanks, JC.

 

Nearholmer - that is very helpful and I can begin to imagine it.  Generally I don't hold with mock-ups.  I know they're all the rage, but my mind's eye seems to work just fine for me.  This one, however, would need some cardboard miniature to work out the levels, methinks.

 

So, if I take the slice of Merstham under consideration, what do I do with the rest of the layout?

 

Space is precious and I have a preference for maximum scenic board to minimum non-scenic.  The fiddleyard will be the size it needs to be, but it probably won't equal the length of the scenic section and I don't want just bare boards round a third of the route to get there. 

 

I thought the return curves at the north end can be covered by the tunnels and by extending the industrial line and including the excavations.  

 

To the south I would have to bend reality in order to bend the lines round the right-angle, but what about the long side of the room?  It probably won't all be needed for a fiddleyard/storage loops?

 

A model of Redhill is out of the question as I do not want this to become an unachievable major project.  Perhaps I do a curved version of Holmethorpe crossing area, using it on the short end of the layout and on into the straight opposite the long scenic section.  It can continue until it reaches the point needed for the fiddle yard.

 

The problem with this is that inside the operating well leaves one on the Quarry Line side, whereas, I would have thought that the best viewing side would be from the old mainline side, as this is the side with the station and is lower than the Quarry Line.

 

Ideally, this would be a board that could be viewed from either side.

 

EDIT: Looking at the slice of map again, the lines lend themselves to curving to the west (left).  A judicious foreshortening of the modelled scene might be combined with increasing the curve of the scenic section.  This would facilitate adding curves round to a fiddleyard opposite the SER side.

 

As for the fiddleyard, really, this should be designed before the layout.  I will not attempt to run anything like a full service.  This is a layout to display things I have and may supplement, not a layout for which stock is necessarily built.  A few representative trains from across the period of interest will be about it. 

 

A fiddleyard on a continuous loop would seem to be the order.  Perhaps one for each mainline, keeping the height differential. Perhaps linking so that LBSC traffic can have access to either mainline.  Each would need a number of storage loops equating to the number of mainline services I anticipate running.  Each would need a facility for turning locos.

 

This should give me end to end running, but, allows the luxury of sitting back and watching more than one circuit as I sip my tea. 

 

Cup holders.  Both the main controls and the fiddleyard will need cup holders.  

Edited by Edwardian
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Hello,

 

If you can cite dimensions for the area that you have in mind, I will have a think, and try to knock some sketches together.

 

A thought that crossed my mind was to make it as a large dog-bone, with hidden, minimum radius, curves at each end, and storage tracks for each main-line below the other main line (easier to draw than describe). It would probably mean "railing up" trains on the scenic area, then "filing" them for future use, but it would avoid a pet hate of mine: half the available space being devoted to non-scenic space.

 

K

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Thanks, indeed. 

 

However, even my test project (a little light railway corner-filler) is in abeyance, and, giving dimensions for a potential Brighton layout is difficult.

 

This is because, due to a significant delay in our house sale, we are now living here:

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Well ........ It really is a very nice caravan indeed ........ for a fortnight ....... in the Summer.

 

And, correct me if it's a trick of the fog, but you appear to have pitched adjacent the Grimpen Mire.

 

When similar happened to us five years ago, we were lucky enough to be able to borrow my sister-in-law's house for a month, while she lodged with mother-in-law to make room.

 

How long are you likely to be stuck in between?

 

K

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No excuse. I lived and travelled in a much smaller space, and built a layout in it!

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Well, it's not our caravan.  Kind people came to our rescue.

 

Also, when occupied by 2 adults, 2 children and 4, now 3, dogs, it has an inverse Tardis effect; it's actually much smaller on the inside.

 

Not Dartmoor; the nearest (former) railway line is the Stainmore route.  Dartmoor would be positively cosy by comparison.  On the plus side, I am within reach of Locomotion, Head of Steam and the NRM, plus Beamish, and more preserved lines than I can presently recall.

 

We are there for an indefinite period.  While this cannot, in any way, be regarded as ideal, it cannot be helped and so the only thing to do is to enjoy the adventure!

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I meant to say "thanks" to both Nearholmer and Westerhamstation for the shots of the industrial line and the lovely little loco (in both shots).  The commentators on the site to which Westerhamstation kindly provided the link maintains that both pictures are of 'Gervase', but they appear to be different locos to me.  Anyone hazard an opinion as to the make and class?

 

 

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Edited by Edwardian

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'Gevase' is, I am told, by kind and knowledgeable people in the UK Standard Gauge Industrial thread, a Manning Wardle H Class.  She was rebuilt with a vertical boiler by Sentinel in 1928, and survives in that form.

 

What a pity that the motor in the Dapol/Hornby Pug means that only later, full-cab, members of the class are an RTR conversion option.  I don't know of any kits (not that I'd dare). 

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Edwardian

 

First, I hope that your enforced camping expedition doesn't last too long, and, in the mean time, best wishes in very trying circumstances.

 

Still, you have thoughts of old locomotives and model railways to help keep your head together.

 

A bit of an extreme example, but at the funeral of a friend, who was the UK's leading recorder and draftsman of horse-drawn vehicles, a very moving tribute was read out from a "twenty stretcher" at Parkhurst, who said that he had been kept sane by imaging his cell to be the interior of a gypsy wagon, which JDT had published drawings of, and imagining building the model of it on his eventual release.

 

Of the pictures, the first is 'Gervase', the other two 'Petros'.

 

I will ferret out all the loco details when I get time, but for now, be aware that some locos migrated between the limeworks line and the Holmethorpe line, and that the latter was home to some brilliant "old crocks", including the locomotive portion of a Sentinel railcar from Jersey! The later diesels at Holmethorpe were good too, some real rarities, some of which I managed to photograph in service (and some with bushes growing through them!).

 

In the 1970s, 'Gervase' in sentinelised form, was at either the Bluebell or KESR - I used to volunteer at both, but can't recall which "we can't really think what to do with that lot" siding it lurked in. At the time, all the effort at both railways was going into keeping USA tanks and Austerities in service, because they were solid, simple, workhorses, which could earn money while the exotica were restored.

 

Kevin

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Thanks for your kind thoughts and more fascinating information, Nearholmer.

 

As soon as we have a home, I am determined to get some projects underway!

 

I think 'Petros' is Hunslet 629 of 1895, a view shared on the UK Standard Gauge Industrial thread, where the kind folks point to 'Vigilant', 287 of 1883, as of the same type.

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Edited by Edwardian
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Right, steam locos only, thinking that the diesels, which were all at Holmethorpe, are a bit out of period.

 

All at the lime works, roughly two of them at a time, starting in 1896, when it opened, until 1946, when it closed:

 

Sully HE367/1885

Petros HE629/1896

Gervase MW1472/1900

Terrier HC604/1902

Dom S6994/1927 (locomotive portion of Jersey Eastern Railways railcar "Brittany")

 

Dom, and the rebuilt Gervase, went to the Holmethorpe line in the late 1940s, and Gervase went to KESR in 1962.

 

I have an inkling that there are 4mm scale kits of tiny 0-4-0ST around, but I have no idea about makers, and they would probably be in the "advanced" class when it comes to building them. In 7mm scale, plenty. There used, I think,to be a Ks kit of a little Midland Railway open-cab 0-4-0ST, which wouldn't be correct, but would pass "in the dusk with the light behind her". You could probably pick one up unmade, and, being a Ks kit, it would be easy to build, but virtually impossible to get to run satisfactorily!

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The current kits that are vaguely similar are from High Level, an elderly Black Hawthorn, and a more modern Hudswell Clarke. K's did the TVR Hudswell Clarke, an older and, I think, smaller one than High Level, same comments might apply as per the MR kit, but the resemblance is much closer. Chivers did the Wantage Manning Wardle with a much more substantial cab, but that kit is hard to find second-hand. Perhaps an RT Models Manning Wardle 0-6-0 might be easier to locate, and they did operate in the area-ish.

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Thanks Nick and Nearholmer.

 

Looks like Petros and Gervase for sure, but could certainly add Sully.  Do we know when Terrier came onto the line?

 

So, life in the caravan continues.  The fog lifted to allow heavy rain, followed by strong winds.  Today, a constant rain has set in.

 

Sitting in bed this morning preparing the breakfast, I thought "what sensible answer could I give Nearholmer about dimensions?"

 

Well, when we have a new home, the plan is to have sheds, so I would have some choice as to the dimensions. For Merstham, I would assume something 10-12' wide and 20-25' long.  If more length were required, that would not necessarily be impossible.

 

EDIT: I say Petros and Gervase for sure because (a) I am presently assuming a wide 1900-1914 period (or, at least, c.1905-1914), and (b) there are photographs of each locomotive that both purport to date from 1906.

 

No doubt the point would benefit from further research, but my working assumption is that both the little MW and the little Hunslet are right for the chosen period.

 

I love MWs.  They have long been my favourites, though my particular enthusiasm is for the 6-coupled insider cylinder designs, particularly the Old I Class and the once ubiquitous K Class.  If I ever built "Merstham" I would certainly employ Rule No. 1 to allow these types to run on the industrial line. 

Edited by Edwardian
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Ha, I have even found a 'bus to place upon one of the over-bridges in order to confound the Cliché-Phobes!

 

merstham.co.uk states that a horse omnibus was licenced from 1901. The East Surrey Traction Company's motor 'bus service commenced in 1911 and the picture is said to be of that date. Livery was royal blue and white.

 

The London General Omnibus Company reached Merstham (Sundays only) in 1913.

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Edited by Edwardian
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Notes from merstham.co.uk:

 

The station of 1844 was rebuilt in 1905.

 

The signal box on the downside was also opened in 1905, but is said to have been in a SER style, rather than the, then, current SE&CR style.  It is suggested that it is an old cabin used on a new, brick, base.

 

September 1905 saw the first recorded murder on a train, in Merstham tunnel.

 

Murder notwithstanding, it seems that the layout could span the period 1905-1914.  A ten year run that gives me the option of running Brighton locos in Stroudley liveries as well as Umber and Black.  

Edited by Edwardian
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Caravan temporarily rendered uninhabitable due to high winds and rain.  Never has a model railway seemed so far off or so low on the list of priorities!

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Wimp! When I was living in my van I quite enjoyed the rocking in high wind, once I knew it wasn't going to blow over! Of course having an engine, transmission and all that stuff, it's probably a bit heavier than a caravan!

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Well, it wasn't so much the rocking, more the fact that, while I was out with the Offspring yesterday (more anon, as it involves Trains), the tent extension blew away (with quite a bit of our stuff in it, including a school book-bag that we have yet to find), and the sky-light, which was obviously, somehow, not secured, blew open and the beds got soaked.

 

Not a situation conducive to domestic harmony.  Hitherto, my entire insight into caravanning was gleaned from a Top Gear segment from some years ago.  Now, I can sort of see the appeal of the thing - for 2 weeks in the summer - though, ultimately, why it would be better than sitting in the garden (when we next have one), I am still not entirely sure.  Bizarrely, though, people are turning up even at this time of the year to spend a weekend in their caravans.    

 

Nevertheless, got them off to school this morning.  Things could have been worse; I heard that lorries blew over just up the road at Bowes.  

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You probably need encouragement right now, so here is the best I can offer: camping in a caravan in bad weather is better than camping in a tent in bad weather.

 

And, what usually feels pretty basic, feels like utter luxury when drowned-out during camping https://www.travelodge.co.uk/?gclid=CjwKEAiApYGyBRC-g_jIstuduV8SJABCEzhZI2Q91lSkj5wROQINHdz4ZG6XZSbUlp-FMVyLC7bNUxoCu8fw_wcB

 

Hope to goodness your offspring are at an age where this is an exciting adventure.

 

K

 

PS: have yours read "Danny the Champion of the World"? Best caravan feel-good book imaginable.

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Well, it wasn't so much the rocking, more the fact that, while I was out with the Offspring yesterday (more anon, as it involves Trains), the tent extension blew away (with quite a bit of our stuff in it, including a school book-bag that we have yet to find), and the sky-light, which was obviously, somehow, not secured, blew open and the beds got soaked.

When I was travelling, I used to drive onto a caravan site, park on my pitch, turn on the gas and put the kettle on. Tuggers used to turn up, spend ages manoeuvring their van into position, ages organising stuff, and then ages building a canvas extension that doubled the size of the thing. When it was time to leave, I turned the gas off, and drove away, while they were still unzipping the huge extension! You need to get away from the caravanner's mentality of trying to turn your tiny home into a mansion! The sky-light was just a one-off. You won't leave it unsecured again!

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Believe me, I have not yet had the time to acquire a "caravaner's mentality".

 

A functioning space that allows us to administer 2 children and 3 dogs, get the former to school, and, may be, get a little sleep.  That is the height of my ambition. The tent extension was useful, allowing a wind and rain free porch for dealing with muddy people and pooches before entering the tiny tin box we call home.

 

Nearholmer, yes, indeed, the sense of adventure prevails, thanks. BG John, you,re like having my very own online motivational poster.

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On Sunday, while the caravan was getting trashed, my mind was on other things:

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