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Shalfleet Quay, Isle of Wight 1927-35.


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Shalfleet Quay, Isle of Wight 1927-35.

 

Some of you may remember on the previous version of RMWeb I had plans to build a railway based on the Isle of Wight called Shalfleet Quay. Although I built the baseboards, beer, girlfriends and university prevented me from getting any further, now 10 (?) years later I am having another go!


 

History: 

One of the little known sleepy backwaters on the Isle of Wight located in the sparsely populated western side of the Isle of Wight. 

 

The line was the mastermind of Isle of Wight landowner, Sir John Barrington Simeon and was constructed to break the duopoly of goods transhipment of the Isle of Wight Central (IWC) and Isle of Wight Railways (IWR). This line was subject to an Act of Parliament obtaining Royal Accent in 1890 for the Shalfleet Harbour Railway (SHR), costing £35,000 to build. 

 

The two-mile-long branch was lightly constructed avoiding the need for heavy engineering works. It connected to the Freshwater, Yarmouth and Newport Railway (FYN) at Calbourne and Shalfleet station, where there were exchange sidings. The line passed through the centre of Shalfleet, crossing the A3054 and passing The New Inn to the east, in Shalfleet there were sidings for the Shalfleet Mill and for general shipments, it then ran alongside the river until reaching Shalfleet Quay. 

 

Traffic mainly consisted of coal and Shalfleet soon became the main source of coal for the west of the island. The line also carried livestock, flour, beer cement and luggage shipped in advance other supplies coming to and from the mainland. Also, shingle from dredging channels (used for ballast), fish from the Solent and salt from the Newtown salt marshes were all landed at Shalfleet quay. 

 

The line was initially worked by the IWC, like the FYN. However, this changed with attempts t plans to a Solent Tunnel Yarmouth to Lymington promoted in 1900. Following an Act of Parliament was passed in April 1901, incorporating the South Western & Isle of Wight Junction Railway (SW&IWJR), shalfleet Quay was the main transhipment point for construction materials coming from the mainland, to support this traffic, the SW&IWJR authorised the purchase of second-hand motive power and rolling stock to handle goods and materials for the Island end works site, delivered late in 1901. Owing to difficulties in raising the £600,000 in capital to build the tunnel, the SW&IWJR, stopped work in 1904 having made only a start on preliminary earthworks to the west of the River Yar. The stock purchased remained on the Island in place of any payment for the transhipment of goods by the SHR and FYN, The Solent tunnel company finally folded in 1924. 

 

The line soon settled back into slumber, until in 1913 a dispute over running costs led to a break between the IWC and the FYN. The FYN purchased their own stock to run the railway themselves and ordered all goods traffic for shipment to the mainland to be diverted via the Shalfleet. Although relations thawed, this situation remained until Grouping. The Harbour Branch like the FYN, owing to disagreements about the value of compensation to be paid to shareholders was not incorporated into the Southern Railway (SR) until 1 August 1923. 

 

Following grouping, the branch was improved to allow for the running of the heaviest trains between 1926-7. This was to enable much of the traffic from Media Wharf to be diverted to Shalfleet Quay whilst Medina Wharf was upgraded. After the opening of the new wharf in April 1931, traffic gradually fell away and by 1935 trains were only run as required.

 

With the outbreak of War traffic the line became the key landing point of military supplies for the Island, away from the prying eyes of locals. Come peacetime, branch was used to store redundant rolling stock. . The line was closed alongside the Freshwater branch officially closing on 21st September 1953, the final train ran on the 10th September to clear any remaining rolling stock from the branch. 

 

Today, very few traces remain of the line, apart from the the quay at Shalfleet which is still in use. The road to this follows the course of the old line past The New Inn. Although you’d be hard-pressed to find much information about the Harbour branch online, this model attempts to capture Shalfleet Quay during the heyday of the branch, during the late 1920s and early 1930s. 

 

I've attached a few atmospheric shots of Shalfleet Quay and Creek to give an idea of what I want the layout to feel like. 

 

 

shalfleet_creek4.jpg.13bb422bc23b4aa3e84b714a5f521023.jpg

The old railway line, now a road leading to Shalfleet Quay, Source: http://www.shalfleet.shalfleet.net/shalfleet_creek.htm


1427591729_Shalfleetboat.jpg.1c2ec363547fa6ff88fbd25da6bab6da.jpg

Quayside at Shalfleet, Source: http://www.shalfleet.shalfleet.net/shalfleet_creek.htm

 


Modelling

To date, I’ve made a start on the construction of the baseboards, and have provisionally decided on a track plan based on the brilliant work of @NHY 581 and The Sheep Chronicles, as shown below.

 

1180671925_Shlafleetquay.jpg.038349ccf7f73d8433752d017d75ed80.jpg

Rough track plan, when it comes to fitting this into the board I'll put it on a slight curve. 

 

The baseboards will be built from foam board clad in ply, and I am hoping to make a start on these this week, the rough size will be 5ft-4ft 6in x18in plus fiddle yard. It'll be 4mm scale using Peco track. 

 

Stay tuned for more updates.

Edited by lbsc123
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6 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

It’s a good faux-history, well grounded in fact. Looking forward to the project.


Many thanks Nearholmer, it's been a long time coming and so I've spent a fair amount of time making things 'plausible', I'm itching to get cracking with the project!
 

4 hours ago, NHY 581 said:

Afternoon LBSC, 

 

You are of course far too kind but thank you. 

 

Rob. 


Hi Rob, not at all, it was your Sheep Chronicles which played a large part setting the wheels into motion on this one, long may it continue.  

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You may be surprised to know that the first railway on the Island was in fact very near Shalfleet creek.

It was on the west bank of the Western Havern branch of Newtown Creek. It was a narrow gauge tramway serving a country house and farm estate owned by John Nash.

It was around 2 miles long and built in the 1830's.

 

Pete

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I see a brief reference to this on the IoWSR website, but can you point to any more information? A quick google hasn’t thrown anything up. It would be interesting to know, given the date, whether it was a plateway or an edge railway, for instance.

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1 hour ago, IWCR said:

You may be surprised to know that the first railway on the Island was in fact very near Shalfleet creek.

It was on the west bank of the Western Havern branch of Newtown Creek. It was a narrow gauge tramway serving a country house and farm estate owned by John Nash.

It was around 2 miles long and built in the 1830's.

 

Pete



Thanks for this interesting bit of history, I had no idea! As Nearholmer says, any other bits of information on this would be welcomed. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Today I made a start on building the baseboards, first I cut foamboard down to size. In the end I opted to go for 4ft 9inches by 18inches, which should get everything I need in without being too long.  
107592805_1374845519381315_671372021796453685_n.jpg.a973720b8dc2a0b04f34d8d50ae4dd98.jpg

 

Next, I offered up some Peco point plans to get a feel for where the points will go, so I can avoid putting bracings across in these areas. 

107527799_631250961081928_2800908227986363714_n.jpg.de054de16f408faa45ae2e93a0319ad4.jpg

 

You can just see a faint line which will mark roughly where the Quayside will go, I'll cut these bits of the board off and make the water level about 30-40mm lower than the trackbed.

Still plenty left to do on the boards but it looks like it should all work! 

Edited by lbsc123
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It was an edge railway, horse or hand operated.

I have seen a map of the layout, not sure where though. the line ran from a quay alongside the creek up to the farm and a brickworks. I think the estate ended up in the hands of one of the Ward family. The tramway had gone by the time of the first OS map.

if you visit Northwood Park at Cowes which is the grounds of Northwood House, the Wards main residence

it can be seen that many fence posts within the grounds are made of a very light section flat bottom rail, could these have originated from the tramway?.

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Bit more progress on the baseboards today. 

 

IMG_6104.jpg.905f946a5f15aba73725cf8098e8db59.jpg

 

 

Foam board takes a little bit of getting used to but is a fabulous material. I used 5mm foamboard and a cheapo hot glue gun. The end result is a bit workman like but incredibly light. IMG_6109.JPG.a11e93c0a47c7a2ae9ad6173e87eac6d.JPG

 

IMG_6111.jpg.b3acfa02ffff34f605a947d641ec5789.jpg

 

It will be clad in plywood for the front sides and for the backscene which will cover up most of it anyway. Anyway I'm rather pleased with how it looks. 

The next job is to get some track laid...

 

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Posted (edited)

A few more hours over the course of the weekend has got the Foamboard baseboard clad in 5mm ply. The thing is still pretty light which I am rather happy about, this being the main reason for using foamboard in the first place. 

 

IMG_6163.jpg.fdf057bad3f3fe9b5d62a83c3425c961.jpg

 

The next job is to get started on the track and build the fiddle yard along the same method. .

 

Still, progress is progress. 

Edited by lbsc123
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi LBSC.

 

Saw your appeal for a Kernow 02 in Southern livery. I would have liked one of those to, but they seemed to sell out very quickly and they have never re-run them. I did ask the question a while back as to whether Kernow might produce some more 02s, especially the Isle of Wight ones in malachite and olive liveries. I would imagine that these would be quite good sellers and of interest to you as well. They do need to sort out some weighting issues with them first to get the best performance out of them.

 

Your Shalfleet Quay looks like the making of a nice little layout. I always like to to see Isle of Wight based models and have seen quite a few over the years. The range of 3D printed rolling stock currently being developed should help produce a realistic scene, though I don't think that a set of Oldbury coaches would have got down there.

 

I note that you are based in London, not sure if that is North or 'Sarf' of the river. Don't know if you are a club member, but we have a club based in Walworth and are working slowly towards reopening, hopefully in the not too distant future and always welcome new members.

 

Anyway, hope to see Shalfleet on the exhibition circuit once it is ready.

 

Exhibition, what is that ? Haven't been to one for ages.

 

All the best

Ray

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3 hours ago, wainwright1 said:

Hi LBSC.

 

Saw your appeal for a Kernow 02 in Southern livery. I would have liked one of those to, but they seemed to sell out very quickly and they have never re-run them. I did ask the question a while back as to whether Kernow might produce some more 02s, especially the Isle of Wight ones in malachite and olive liveries. I would imagine that these would be quite good sellers and of interest to you as well. They do need to sort out some weighting issues with them first to get the best performance out of them.

 

Your Shalfleet Quay looks like the making of a nice little layout. I always like to to see Isle of Wight based models and have seen quite a few over the years. The range of 3D printed rolling stock currently being developed should help produce a realistic scene, though I don't think that a set of Oldbury coaches would have got down there.

 

I note that you are based in London, not sure if that is North or 'Sarf' of the river. Don't know if you are a club member, but we have a club based in Walworth and are working slowly towards reopening, hopefully in the not too distant future and always welcome new members.

 

Anyway, hope to see Shalfleet on the exhibition circuit once it is ready.

 

Exhibition, what is that ? Haven't been to one for ages.

 

All the best

Ray


Thanks for the kind words Ray, I share your frustration with the availability of O2s, I am tempted to get an SR Black one with the view to re-painting it at some point before they sell out. I do also hope they do another run, possibly of a few Island ones with the extended bunker but we shall see. 

You're probably right about the Oldbury coaches, but as always Rule 1 applies (plus they used a brake coach as a departmental tool van until 1939(?) so I could always justify one that way). 

I'm currently in North London, Haringey way, but looking to move and not a club member (yet?) so feel free to drop me a PM about the club :) . 

 

We shall see about exhibitions, I've got to get the thing built first! 

 

Edited by lbsc123
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Posted (edited)

 Some more progress to report!

Over the last few days, I've got most of the trackwork laid, bar the exit line to the fiddle yard. I'm using a mix of Peco Bullhead and Cod 75 points, all laid on 1.5mm cork sheet. I wish I'd cut this a bit more neatly, but it won't show under the ballast and DAS Clay I'll be using for this area.
 
I'll be using relays to control the frog polarity, to ensure smooth running. Rather annoyingly you need to cut the rails on the Y-points (not as per the supplied instructions), which was rather disconcerting but turned out OK. 

I took the opportunity to knock up a few cardboard outlines of buildings I'll be using on the layout. The building at the back will be scratch built out of some corrugated sheet, my first attempt at scratch building. 
 
I quickly offered up some old stock I had lying around for effect. Anyway, I don't think it's looking too bad.

IMG_6277.JPG.8b5c2c706cb49fe0de6db981d52e6ea2.JPG

 

IMG_6278.JPG.ef58d26deb392884d25982865365d238.JPG

 

IMG_6279.JPG.116f269530f9e9ea11abcddc767cdbab.JPG

 

The next job is to put sleepers into the joints, weather the track, build the fiddle yard and finish track laying, then onto the wiring. I've also got some Will's point rodding to fit, which looked more fiddly to fit than I'd hoped!

More soon. 

Edited by lbsc123
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Hi LBSC.

 

Caution with the point rodding. We are/were putting this on Crystal Palace High Level at the moment. The Wills stuff is a bit chunky and the cranks take up space it also sits rather high, although we have not put cork under our track. I believe that the purpose of using cork was to deaden sound. However, if you are ballasting with granite chippings once you have glued this down the glue solidifies the cork and you are back to square one. In the end we have used the white metal rodding stools and etched cranks from MSE and piano wire which is strong and will not bend easily. Cut it with Xuron hard wire cutters or it will ruin your side cutters.

I can see with your layout you want the cork to add a bit more body to it as well as keeping the noise down.

 

By the way, what is the resin wagon on display ?

 

All the best

Ray

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Thanks for the tip regarding point rodding, Ray. I'll dummy up some stuff on a test piece of track (which I'll do to check I'm happy with ballast colours and track weathering anyway) and see how it looks and act accordingly. 

I'm not entirely sure the cork was worth putting down, I was mainly just repeating what I always do, but also thought it would give some sort of barrier between the glue for the ballast and the foamboard to prevent warping, however, I don't think that this was very likely anyway. Once I'd committed to it for the track, I also covered the areas of hard standing, so that the depth of DAS wouldn't be too thick.

 

The Resin wagon is a Smallbrook Studio LBSC 5 plank open wagon, which were numerous on the Isle of Wight. It's currently the only prototypical bit of rolling stock I have, but I am working to rectify this in due course... watch this space! It's a fairly easy kit to put together, as the top and chassis are both one piece. It comes out rather nicely, I'm planning on seeing how it compares to the Cambrian Models kit, before committing to one (or a mix?) to bulk out the rolling stock, but more on that later...

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I would be interested to know how good the mouldings for the wagon kit are. I have been tempted by the Smallbrook Stoudley 4 wheel coaches in the past, but having seen them in the flesh, albeit quite a while ago, there seemed to be quite a bit of distortion in places especially with the top of the bodies and the roofs. Maybe he has been able to improve on the earlier production.

 

I can vouch for the Cambrian kits, although I have not built the LBSCR open yet. I have built some of the Maunsell/Lynes wagons including the Dance Hall brake van and they are well detailed and go together nicely. The ones you could definitely use would be their LBSCR open, the Southern 8 plank open and the 15 ton 'Light' Pillbox brake van. I can't get to my book of Southern wagons Vol.3 at the moment, but I don't think they had any Southern 5 plank opens on the island. There is also the Parkside kit or Bachmann utility van with a quick renumber. I do not think that there is a kit for the LBSCR box van available at the moment. Nu-Cast used to do one, but that was quite a while ago and they do not seem to turn up at exhibitions. 5 and 9 Models do an earlier one, (not sure if it is the same body length). which could  possibly be converted with upgraded brake gear and the door bangs fitted. Of course there is the ex LSWR road van. Once again Smallbrook do a kit, but Kernow's have a ready to run model coming fairly soon I believe with a fair selection in I o W liveries.

 

Have you tried doing the conversion of the Ratio Midland Railway suburban all third coach. The sides are almost a dead ringer for a Brighton coach, but needs a straight end to replace the tumble homed one, plus LBSCR bogies. I have seen these used on quite a few I o W layouts. The only problem is that the other coaches in the range do not have enough plain panelled area to cut and shut for other types of LBSCR coach. You could of course scratch-build these bits yourself. Mike King's drawings of these coaches are most helpful.

 

I hope that this is of interest.

 

All the best

Ray

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The kit comes together nicely. There's a little bit of flash to clean off but nothing major. I'll be interested to see how it compares to the Cambrian kit. 

 

You can get an LBSC Box van from Smallbrook, I have one to build and a road van (bought some time ago), but have also got the Kernow Road Van's on pre-order. I'm probably going to push things slightly on wagons, as I've got a few generic SR things (and a Rails EX SECR Van) which I may pass off as ex pre-grouping stock. I'm also hoping to get my hands on a Slater's ex MR box van and brake van to represent an Isle of Wight Central Railway van and brake van. 

 

I've not modified the Ratio MR bogies, but hacking one to represent an LBSC Driving Trailer from a push-pull set to go with the forthcoming W13 due from Hornby... watch this space. 

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Don't forget that the IWCR brake van was re-built with a veranda at the other end and ran in the weed killing train. I have acquired some of the Slaters brake kits as sold off to the Woolmer Instructional Military Railway, Longmoor Military Railway, Isle of Wight Central Railway and others.  The two tank wagons used in the weed killing train were oddities, especially the one with the strange shaped tank.

 

I have an old Smallbrook road van which I never got around to building. It has stretched the top and bottom of its ends outwards length ways. Maybe its got growing pains.

 

I have not studied all the coaching stock and possible permutations and modifications, but Mike King has covered a lot of them with his drawings. With all these I o W terriers coming out and the E1s hopefully next year, I will have to consider a small I o W layout.

 

All the best

Ray

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Thanks Ray. I was aware that the IWC brake van was modified to have two ends by the Southern Railway, I haven't quite worked out how to do that, but will probably try and replicate the end supplied in the kit with plasticard. Watch this space. Those tanks are certainly unusually shaped and an interesting scratch build project eventually. 

I'm too looking forward to the E1, and expanding the fleet of coaching stock, but I want to get the layout to somewhere halfway finished before I divert my attentions to there.

Incidentally, the wiring is nearly done, so there's the outside chance of a few trains running tomorrow...

Thanks,
 

Will

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Thanks @Sophia NSE! I've been very impressed by the 5mm foam board to date, although I may go back and put a little more bracing underneath for my own piece of mind. 

I'm well overdue an update, but have been a bit distracted by Volunteering at Swanage Railway of late. I've made some progress though, so will post an update tomorrow! 

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Well here's the well overdue update. 

 

I've spent a frustrating amount of time stuck waiting for parts to complete the track laying and wiring on the board, but finally have got the layout to a stage where I can run trains. 

 

I have used Gaugemaster relays under the boards to control the frog polarity and already I can tell this is dramatically going to improve the reliability of the points. I've just got to build the control panel for the point motors then I will have final confirmation that these are all wired up correctly. 

 

I then made a start on weathering the track. For this, I used paints from the MIG 'Railway Track Weathering' set, which has got the sleepers and track to an initial pleasing shade, although photographs have shown up some areas where I need to touch the paint in. 

 

IMG_6423.jpg.6be2059032cf4894b6017fdd2b65d818.jpg

Track weathered and point rodding fitted.

 

I then moved onto the point rodding. After careful consideration, I decided to carry on using Will's stuff, even though it's slightly over scale. As it's at the back of the layout and there are only a few lines of it, I didn't think it would notice too much and didn't fancy getting involved with etched brass and the like. The Wills stuff was plenty fiddly enough! It's not perfect, but does look the part, and is my first proper attempt at point rodding, so I am pleased (although it has already been pointed out to me by my S&T friend that I've got a few of the bits wrong so it wouldn't actually work!). 

 

IMG_6425.jpg.3a154e9bcf0aac8db484008c9a6ac449.jpg

Point rodding and ground frame. 

 

The two points at the front will be controlled by hand levers, so I will  to source these. Does anyone have any ideas where I can get some that are suitable?  

 

I then made a start on assembling some buildings to get an idea of how the layout will look. These are from the Will's range and are mainly of wooden construction, to represent cheaply built buildings on a small branch like this. The shell building at the back made out of old cereal boxes will be a corrugated iron warehouse, constructed with a foamboard inner and clad with corrugated iron sheeting. 

 

IMG_6427.jpg.58ce92e96c13de3d67423f228b2680b3.jpg

Will's goods shed and the quayside. 

 

I also purchased the first locomotives for the line, Hornby Terriers W14 and W13 (which has already blown my timeframe out of the water!). They're lovely engines and a massive improvement on the ones from 10 or so years ago. 

 

IMG_6430.jpg.4b4e6076a9429ae3fc88832c639f5565.jpg

 

The next area for consideration is the front of the quay and what to clad it with. I was initially planning on doing this with DAS and hand carving stones. However, photo analysis of St Helen's Quay has led me to a potential re-think. I recently got my hands on the Oakwood 'Isle of Wight Railways' book, which contains a photo of the quay from the 1900s with a wooden clad facing (sadly I can't re-post here for copyright reasons). Furthermore, this photo from the Lens of Sutton collection shows the quay after rebuilding with a concrete facing and wooden posts, although I don't think this would look right for my layout. 

 

I'm now leaning more towards the idea of using coffee stirrers and balsa wood to replicate the wooden shuttering and bollards as on the original St Helen's Quay but would appreciate others thoughts on this too. This also creates the issue of how to get around the curve at the end of the layout. Any ideas? 

 

Thanks for reading!

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Hi will.

 

You can get nice white metal point levers form Dart Castings. I think that if you look through their etched brass range, they also do brass ones as well.

 

All the best

Ray

 

P.S. Picked up my Carisbrooke yesterday as well.

 

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Hi,

 

May I ask how you attach the track to the baseboards and what is your plan for turnout actuation? I ask because if you are using turnout motors, they require a ‘firm foundation’

 

We are also considering the use of 5mm foamboard for a layout on an elevated viaduct, hence conventional flat boards are not an option.
 

Thanks and Stay Safe

 

 

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