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what era to model?


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Hello all!

I'm re-doing my layout and I'm wanting to model the Southern railway but I'm a little torn as to what era and where? My thoughts currently are:

1930s London suburbs terminus and goods

1950s Lymington pier/seaton style terminus and goods.

 

Id really like to do the 1930s due to looking at layouts like Franklands but id like to do the 1950s due to the more dilapidated buildings and EMUs etc so if anyone has any ideas or suggestions of pros/cons then please feel free to fire away as I really am torn!

Thanks in advance everyone,

Lloyd

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Thanks chaps for the advice,

I am veering towards a 50s branch terminus slowly due to more rtr locos in N gauge. I can happily bodge wagons to look like something else but not locos!

The jurys still out though,

Lloyd

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The easiest, and very nearly prototypical, thing to do is to ignore the difference!

 

The SR and BR(S) station painting schemes were identical, with the exception that the later 'cream' was paler, but one half-way between the two looks fine. The only real difference was signage, but the SR type lingered into the 50s in quiet spots, with odd bits of it lasting into the 70s.

 

The SR was even good enough to use 'suburban' architecture at the seaside, ŵhen it built new; look at Seaton (Devon), or Bishpstone (Sussex) for instance, or even Allhallows (Kent), although that didn't really have any architecture!

 

So, you could simply use slightly different road vehicles, have two fleets of stock, and make some Interchangeable poster boards, a plug-in pillbox etc.

 

Picture below can only be dated by the presence of several members of the CJF-lookalike Society.

 

Kevin

post-26817-0-85779300-1469171759.jpg

Edited by Nearholmer
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You can take it even further and make a couple of models of the key building as 'drop in' alternatives on a plot: pre-war all smart and shiny, post war all tattered and torn to whatever extent you desire. The evidence of wartime was still stamped very heavily on many buildings in the 1950s: missing sections demolished following a bomb hit or facades damaged due to blast, and no glass in the canopies etc.

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Thanks chaps for the advice, I may go for the interchangeable signage idea and I think I shall stick to the seaside terminus as it seems more....idyllic. Please keep the ideas coming though!

Lloyd

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Stick to the seaside. London terminii were all large-ish and mega-busy, with the possible exception of Holborn Viaduct, which had an air of abandonment about it decades before it disappeared to make way for redevelopment and Thameslink. That said, it did have the paper trains into the 50s, I think. So some decent-sized steam would be seen.

 

The Southern Railway, just as is the TOC case today, consisted of three distinct Pre-Grouping fiefdoms - South Eastern & Chatham, Brighton, and South Western. Each had a rather different character, buildings etc, so even though the SR introduced loco and rolling stock designs that worked on all three, you would need to identify which locale you wished to model.

 

The Brighton had several compact coastal termini, so is the obvious choice, but the one of other two may be more to your taste. Research now will bring greater satisfaction later.

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If you are modelling in N Gauge then I would be tempted to veer towards the post-nationalisation scene. Farish's Bulleid coaches are the post nationalisation variety so would have been the mainstay in the 1950s until Mk1 stock started to arrive. Dapol's Maunsells would still have been much in evidence on less prestigious services meaning you have 3 flavours of rolling stock to chose from. I also have a fondness for Spamcans which also makes me lean in that direction.

 

I can see the appeal of a 1930s surburban layout but options for rolling stock are somewhat limited (unless you are happy kitbuilding). If you are looking for a suitable layout, Iain Rice's "Harestone" was designed as a suburban SR terminus with a small goods yard (mainly for household coal). The plan is 00 but is easily adaptable to N gauge.

 

minoroesrice_0003.jpg

 

Lastly, Dapol are currently selling some of their M7s cheaply which would be quite at home either in the suburbs or somewhere more idyllic. Not the finest loco in production but £40 really is quite a bargain.

 

http://Dapol.co.uk/index.php?route=product/special

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A further point that I should have made previously is that BR(S) seaside termini were not run down and tatty in the 1950s.

 

The SR went on a mad repainting spree in the late 1940s, and BR were no slouches with the paint brush, so that colour photos from the period show seaside stations looking very neat, tidy and generally well kept .......... In fact, things seemed to look pretty and span until closures and hefty rationalisations in the 1960s.

 

Olddudders' point about local variation does, naturally, bring up the electrification question. A seaside BLT with a service operated by BILs and HALs would be rather nice, but would rather limit things to the Central section.

 

Kevin

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A quick question to the OP, are you definitely modelling N gauge? The only RTR EMU suitable for your plans is the 4-CEP which would rather restrict you to the Kent coast post-electrification which in turn would rather minimise steam options.

 

If you are happy with a non-electrified location then things are a lot easier. The SR had plenty of seaside termini that were not electrified in the 1950s although some of them were more rural than you might have in mind.

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Karhedron yes I'm definately modelling N gauge as I was once told 4-CEPs ran on the Lymington branch albeit without a coach so they became 3-CEPS so I thought this was true? I think definitely a nice little seaside terminus is in order now with my N class I have put by at the local model shop!

 

Olddudders, could you suggest any of the termini to look into and research at all?

 

All the best,

Lloyd

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You can take it even further and make a couple of models of the key building as 'drop in' alternatives on a plot: pre-war all smart and shiny, post war all tattered and torn to whatever extent you desire. The evidence of wartime was still stamped very heavily on many buildings in the 1950s: missing sections demolished following a bomb hit or facades damaged due to blast, and no glass in the canopies etc.

 

This is what I am planning to do with my woolwich based layout, allowing it to change from NSE to earlier/later eras. Buildings/features on foamboard, matching gaps on the baseboard, which can be filled with 'plain' ones if needed.

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You can take it even further and make a couple of models of the key building as 'drop in' alternatives on a plot: pre-war all smart and shiny, post war all tattered and torn to whatever extent you desire. The evidence of wartime was still stamped very heavily on many buildings in the 1950s: missing sections demolished following a bomb hit or facades damaged due to blast, and no glass in the canopies etc.

 

Exactly when did this "modern image" malarkey start?

 

I'm sure that some places must still be like this, although damage to buildings is more likely to be down to vandalism - "accidental" damage to (especially listed) buildings during "renovation" - or just plain neglect (especially if the buildings are somewhere someone could make a fast buck, knocking out tiny, badly built flats "affordable starter homes" at £450000 a pop).

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Crompton the thought had occured to me but that involves venturing into....Ports-m-m. nope I can't say it :jester:  I may make a bodge up of a number of local places maybe and place it locally because then a backstory is far easier to research etc.

Lloyd

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The cut-down CEP to Lymington was very recent, and if you want to be in the green era, say c1930-c1960, CEPs have barely reached the Kent Coast, which limits you to one county's worth of seaside. Sheerness is a possibility (although not exactly the seaside as most would like to imagine it!) although I think it was HAP/EPB served, or you would have to either invent electrification to a BLT that never had it (Allhallows; Hythe etc), otherwise, you would have to represent one of the bigger stations at bigger resorts, Margate, Ramsgate etc.

 

The Sussex coast at this period was still served by 1930s EMUs, but at least you could run a BEL.

 

The mainline EMUs at Portsmouth were CORs, which would require a bit of modification to Maunsell loco-hauled stock. You could think about Hsyling Island, but only if you want to run solely Terriers.

 

Further west was real BLT territory, but no electrification and no CEPs.

 

The choice of BLTs and small seaside termini at the ends of main lines was rich indeed: Lyme Regis, Seaton, Sidmouth, Exmouth, Bude, Ilfracombe, Padstow......

 

Those west of Exeter ones are possibly ideal, because a lot of secondary trains were hauled by moguls, and post-war, there were the light Pacifics. And, you get to have a portion of the Atlantic Coast Express arriving every day, direct from Waterloo.

 

Your M7 wouldn't really be seen at the seaside east of Portsmouth.

 

BTW, many of the larger coastal resorts on the SR, and Portsmouth, had daily through trains from the LMS and/or GWR, which can add a bit of variety in coaches.

 

My gut feel is that a lot depends upon how religiously you want to stick to prototype ........ I'm deeply irreligious, and tend to shamelessly mix "all of the above" on my layout!

 

Yours, Sunny South Sam, from where the summer always comes soonest.

 

PS: if you can get hold of an old Ian Allan album called "Southern South Western Memories", that will give you a good flavour.

Edited by Nearholmer
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Sam,

Thank you very much indeed for your help (and to everyone else) I've decided against EMUs for now and shall stick to steam. I'm currently writing to Union Mills about Southern locomotives and maybe a Dean Goods for a bit of variety. Like you, I don't stick religiously to prototypes but I do like to know that it at least 'seems' right and looks ok enough to pass as realistic.

I shall look into Seaton and Lyme Regis, I've spent many a holiday in the area.

All the best,

Lloyd 

 

EDIT

In regards to Union Mills and their locomotives, does anyone know if Gaugemaster controllers are smooth DC or half-wave rectification as my Union Mills stuff from a few years ago says they can't run on half-wave rectification so I don't want to buy one only to find I can't run it!

Edited by GWR88
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Crompton the thought had occured to me but that involves venturing into....Ports-m-m. nope I can't say it :jester:  

Lloyd

 

Haha :D Originating from So'ton myself, I sympathise with that. I went there once and survived but it was a bit ropey lol

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57xx I once wore a saints shirt there to Gunwharf Quays as I thought it was safe enough to...that was darn ropey!!

 

Asmay, I shall look into that station thank you.

 

Lloyd

57xx I once wore a saints shirt there to Gunwharf Quays as I thought it was safe enough to...that was darn ropey!!

 

Asmay, I shall look into that station thank you.

 

Lloyd

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The current issue of Hornby magazine has a layout plan based loosely on Littlehampton that might suit your needs. It is a folded 00 gauge plan but could easily be converted to N gauge and fitted into an L-shaped plan in quite a small room.

 

The real Littlehampton was electrified in 1938 but you could always do a "what if" scenario that WW2 interfered with the plans and the line was not electrified until 1960-ish.

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GWR88

 

I was just tidying away last month's RailWay Modeller, and thought of this thread.

 

If you haven't already, have a look at "Padmouth" in the July RM, which is a classic SW BLT of the kind that I was suggesting above. Mix that in your head with the N gauge layout "Parbourne", in the same edition, which has superb scenic work, and you might come up with something.

 

Kevin

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