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Cholsey & Moulsford (Change for Wallingford)


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I have, finally, got round to starting a thread for my current layout project and decided to make a start by shewing the latest items (constructed yesterday):

Moulsford river bridge:

received_461649458115172.jpeg.3f777a1a92c79953a50d2e1202b58efd.jpegreceived_984860811894870.jpeg.984a9af0ac20a00e03416cec02c22794.jpeg

Moulsford bridge (or viaduct) carries the Great Western main line over the River Thames between Reading and Didcot.

It is actually two bridges, the original, Brunellian structure, dates from the 1830s and carries the two main lines while the second, from the 1890s, carries the two relief lines alongside. Unlike the similar Maidenhead bridge the GWR chose not to widen the existing structure leaving it largely as built, with the newer bridge to a similar but plainer design, separate but joined with some small jack arches, girders and the cutwaters, at river level, between. 

 

I have built the carcass of my bridges from plywood, 9mm for the trackbed and 5mm for the walls, with softwood strips to reinforce the joints:IMG_20191231_1433503_rewind.jpg.02b9bce532fb19cce133b89410eaeeb7.jpg

Wood glued and pinned together seems to have produced a couple of reasonably strong 'I' beams.

 

The original bridge (on the left) was built to carry the broad gauge and is thus wider than the later bridge which only ever had standard gauge:

IMG_20191231_1451018_rewind.jpg.117c4b2737bf0905f40a74bd8d6e51d3.jpg

 

Both structures were built with a 60 degree skew across the river:

IMG_20191231_1436122_rewind.jpg.543a24b1a4832f8292233224b6083e86.jpg

This should be challenging when I get round to lining the arches.

 

I have built them 6 feet long, in 4mm scale, which is slightly shorter than full size  although the arches and piers should be roughly to scale.

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37 minutes ago, Robert Stokes said:

Interesting. Do you have a layout to put them on?

 

Robert

The layout is very much 'under construction' at the moment.

I don't have the board to put these on yet although I hope to start building it soon. I wanted them built first to build the board to fit.

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Looking forward to seeing this project develop, Nick; it's got huge potential so long as you've got a lot of space.  I visited my big sister when she and brother in law lived in Wallingford in 1969, and walked the branch on one occasion after an afternoon spotting in Reading.

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Looks to be very sturdy bridges. An interesting place to model as well. I worked in the Wallingford area for about 5 years, so looking forward to seeing this develop. 

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8 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Looking forward to seeing this project develop, Nick; it's got huge potential so long as you've got a lot of space.  I visited my big sister when she and brother in law lived in Wallingford in 1969, and walked the branch on one occasion after an afternoon spotting in Reading.

The railway room is 29 feet by 8 feet. The layout will be a continuous run, with storage sidings, around the walls. The main scenic area will be along one side with Cholsey station, sidings, goods yard and branch junction here. Moulsford bridge and the storage ridings will be on the other side.

 

It seems to be a big space but the real distance from the down refuge buffer stops to up refuge buffer stops is around three quarters of a mile (over 50 feet in 4mm) so some compression is still required. Also there will have to be non-GWML sharp curves at each end although I can mask some of this with a deep cutting and big bridges.

 

I'm interested to see you walked the branch. Was Wallingford station still there then? I first visited the area in 1970, by car, en route to a Didcot open day. We passed by the site of the station on the main road but it had gone by then.

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1 hour ago, Charlie586 said:

Looks to be very sturdy bridges. An interesting place to model as well. I worked in the Wallingford area for about 5 years, so looking forward to seeing this develop. 

Thanks. I want them fairly strong so that they can be safely removable from the baseboard.

That way I can install them on the layout as early as possible for tracklaying, but take them off easily to complete them later.

With the size of the project I believe it's important to get the trains running around as early as possible to maintain interest.

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Hi Nick,

What period are you modelling in?

I am modelling further along the line in 1960-2. Although I also have 8ft width, I only have 12ft of length!

So my take on the High Wycombe junction and the west end of Maidenhead has no mains just the relief lines and branch, and just platform ends. This suites me as the variety of branch trains, suburban , parcels and freight on the reliefs I find more interesting than a stream of expresses on the fast lines.

I will be cheating a little, as who can resist a King or Castle plus five/six chocolate and cream coaches?

However, with your length, I should think you can run full sized 10-12 coach trains?

 

Anyway the bridges look a most impressive start, look forward to seeing more!

Cheers

Paul

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3 hours ago, Nick Gough said:

I'm interested to see you walked the branch. Was Wallingford station still there then? I first visited the area in 1970, by car, en route to a Didcot open day. We passed by the site of the station on the main road but it had gone by then.

Track was still there and in good condition, and occasionally used by the GWS to run autos with 1466.  Platform was in place but IIRC (and it was a long time ago now) the buildings had gone, certainly the loco shed wasn't there.  I seem to recall that the GWS were interested in regular operation at the time but this never came to fruition, probably because of BR's reluctance to provide paths on the reliefs for ecs or light engines to/from Didcot: line capacity was close to saturation even in those days.

 

I liked Wallingford, lovely little town with a lot of character.  You could hire rowing boats to take out on the river, which I did; they were identical to the ones on Roath Park Lake in Cardiff that I was used to, built by the same firm in Caerleon.  If the rowlocks were good, which most of the Roath Park ones weren't but the Wallingford ones were, you could get a decent bit of speed out of them.  

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1 hour ago, Tallpaul69 said:

Hi Nick,

What period are you modelling in?

I am modelling further along the line in 1960-2. Although I also have 8ft width, I only have 12ft of length!

So my take on the High Wycombe junction and the west end of Maidenhead has no mains just the relief lines and branch, and just platform ends. This suites me as the variety of branch trains, suburban , parcels and freight on the reliefs I find more interesting than a stream of expresses on the fast lines.

I will be cheating a little, as who can resist a King or Castle plus five/six chocolate and cream coaches?

However, with your length, I should think you can run full sized 10-12 coach trains?

 

Anyway the bridges look a most impressive start, look forward to seeing more!

Cheers

Paul

Thanks Paul

 

The period is 1930s - full Great Western.

I prefer the liveries and insignia of that time.

 

This location could also allow me to run Southern and LNER coaching stock on north/south cross-country trains, perhaps hauled by a King Arthur between Oxford and Reading.

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6 minutes ago, Nick Gough said:

Thanks Paul

 

The period is 1930s - full Great Western.

I prefer the liveries and insignia of that time.

 

This location could also allow me to run Southern and LNER coaching stock on north/south cross-country trains, perhaps hauled by a King Arthur between Oxford and Reading.

Fair Enough,

The location of my model allows me to run the occasional excursion from any of the other regions heading for Windsor or Marlow. I did at one stage toy with Reading West to allow inter regionals but the mix of trains on the High Wycombe branch won the day!

A cheat that also takes my fancy is that the Basingstoke-Reading trains were extended to Slough so as I can run Thumpers and SR Push-Pulls. Might also stretch it to allow a few SR locos/guards vans on freights, eg. bananas from Southampton to Slough!

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In truth construction is somewhat further advanced than my last two photos would suggest, these were actually taken last June.

 

The current position, some six and a half months later is that the baseboards for the station side of the room are all now in position and tracklaying on these commenced about three weeks ago.

P1250456.JPG.4525ca6c213b277f6c2dcd83a3a83136.JPGP1250457.JPG.be8a5a49ae481e16bc5b02e6c3a981ea.JPG

 

4901 Adderley Hall has been testing the down main line, with a motley collection of stock:

P1250459.JPG.812dcfc9802ec794e78a6c818c72ec3b.JPG

 

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Ably assisted by Duck, on the up main:P1250460.JPG.45c76ac2b5a50b4e3408ceb0952b70d5.JPG

 

I am using Peco OO bullhead track for the scenic section:

P1250462.JPG.d94a9afa17c94ccfdd66cad1b150ecfa.JPG

So, Mr Peco, when will I be able to buy the fabled diamond crossing?

 

And finally, the lifting flap for the doorway:P1250454.JPG.a46349f3747ee78f3fcf83a72e490f33.JPG

 

I have used DCC concepts pre-cut, pre-etched sleepers for crossing the gaps here.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Nick Gough said:

Thanks Paul

 

The period is 1930s - full Great Western.

I prefer the liveries and insignia of that time.

 

This location could also allow me to run Southern and LNER coaching stock on north/south cross-country trains, perhaps hauled by a King Arthur between Oxford and Reading.

I think the King Arthur would have come off at Basingstoke; inter regional through loco workings of this sort did not really happen before nationalisation.  Same goes for brake vans.  Passenger stock worked through, of course, and by the 30s everybody's freight stock got everywhere under the pooling arrangements, with even non pool specialist wagons or vans being able to work anywhere; they just had to be returned empty or loaded to their originating railway next available service.

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I have a book somewhere with 1932 train formations and there were through trains from Kent and Dorset to Birmingham Wolverhampton, Birkenhead and possibly Manchester on a daily basis with alternate GW and SR stock. The Kent trains were routed via Redhill and Reading. Hence a few Southern trains on the Pendon layout, also of '30s period.

 

 

 

 

 

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Workings of this sort usually had a reciprocal set of stock based at the other end, so each Southern train should be balanced by an LMS one, hauled by a GW loco at this period.  There was through traffic via Reading and Oxford to the GC as well, so LNER stock can also make an appearance.  These would be mostly older gangwayed stock though, as Staniers and the later Gresleys and Maunsells would be allocated to the top jobs on their own railways.

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21 hours ago, The Johnster said:

I think the King Arthur would have come off at Basingstoke; inter regional through loco workings of this sort did not really happen before nationalisation.  Same goes for brake vans.  Passenger stock worked through, of course, and by the 30s everybody's freight stock got everywhere under the pooling arrangements, with even non pool specialist wagons or vans being able to work anywhere; they just had to be returned empty or loaded to their originating railway next available service.

It was my understanding that at least some of these trains were worked through to Oxford by Southern locos in earlier years.

The photos on the front cover of this book:

IMG_20200102_1655107_rewind.jpg.d24ef9e63811f2f2fb7b6883ef7432ce.jpg

 show a loco change at Oxford in April 1939. This is apparently a Birkenhead - Bournemouth train with the Castle giving way to a King Arthur.

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21 hours ago, Siberian Snooper said:

I have a book somewhere with 1932 train formations and there were through trains from Kent and Dorset to Birmingham Wolverhampton, Birkenhead and possibly Manchester on a daily basis with alternate GW and SR stock. The Kent trains were routed via Redhill and Reading. Hence a few Southern trains on the Pendon layout, also of '30s period.

 

 

 

 

 

I guess this is the book you have?

IMG_20200102_1654166_rewind.jpg.69a4591aaca258e92b6a356faa1c1724.jpg

 

A fascinating and informative study of how express trains were made up in those days.

It's interesting how virtually every train was made up of portions for different destinations and how they split and reformed during the journey.

 

An interesting, relevant statement in the text;

"In post-war times Southern Railway engines worked no further north than Oxford; the Bournemouth - Birkenhead and Bournemouth - York expresses being worked only as far as that point by a King Arthur and Lord Nelson 4-6-0 respectively. In pre-war days matters had been rather different and SR locomotives could be seen on relief trains as far north as Birmingham."

This accompanies four photos of SR locomotives at Knowle, and Rowington troughs in the late 1920s.

Edited by Nick Gough
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Went there with a certain Captain Kernow of this parish in 1975. If you look carefully you can see him doing a ministry of funny walks. I thought the goods shed picture might be of some use.

 

 

Cholsey and Moulsford 30 March 1975 47-1.jpg

Cholsey and Moulsford 30 March 1975 47-2.jpg

Cholsey and Moulsford 30 March 1975 47-3.jpg

Cholsey and Moulsford 30 March 1975 47-4.jpg

Cholsey and Moulsford 30 March 1975 47-5.jpg

Cholsey and Moulsford 30 March 1975 47-6.jpg

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Thanks very much Tim for posting those!

As you say the goods shed photos are particularly useful.

I remember the goods shed from passing it on train journeys in the 1970s but never got to have a proper look around the station until the early 1980s by which time it had gone. I have been trying to find out for years what the road loading side looked like until I recently enquired with Network Rail archives and they found the original plans. Your interior photo fits in nicely with these and has a wealth of detail.

It's also nice to see the island platform in its original, non-truncated form and still sporting its distinctive canopy.

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Silly Bridge.....

177677973_FromSE2.jpg.77cd49479c4f0c263463b452b0475663.jpg

 

Is a tall, three arched occupation bridge situated approximately half a mile away from C&M station towards Reading.

It dates from the opening of the line and the central, 30 feet wide, arch spanned the original dual broad gauge lines. 

This was originally flanked by two 17'6" arches, but in the 1890s the north eastern arch was demolished and replaced by a new 26'6" arch to span the new relief lines..

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This zoomed shot exaggerates the curves here but proves that Brunel's billiard table was not entirely straight!

 

I have cut the sides for this bridge in ply, principally to help in laying the trackwork..

P1250551a.jpg.25f641df62c4990013f5e5891edbb4e7.jpg

 

I will have to lengthen the piers to get the height correct.

 

The next view is from the station side and shows that, unfortunately, the track has to curve in the opposite direction to real life and of course is much sharper..

P1250547.JPG.1ad893ad409961ea66867d9f8cfcb6df.JPG

 

Silly Bridge is apparently the local name for the structure although no one is entirely sure of the origin. One suggestion is that it was built to continue access for farmers to common grazing land to the south west of the line, but shortly after it was built the Enclosures Act came into effect , that land became privately owned and so it was now a (silly) 'bridge to nowhere'. Another possibility is that it was linked to unfortunate souls from the nearby County Asylum who used the bridge to 'escape'.

 

 

Edited by Nick Gough
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3 hours ago, Nick Gough said:

Another possibility is that it was linked to unfortunate souls from the nearby County Asylum who used the bridge to 'escape'.


I was on duty at Didcot Station one day when there was a fatality on the line in the Cholsey area. I was approached by an elderly gent who enquired if someone had jumped off the bridge at Cholsey, he went on to explain that in his younger days he was a member of the local constabulary and that it was quite a regular occurrence when the Asylum was open. 

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