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Melbourne Military Railway

Model Railway Noob

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Hi, I am just starting a small exhibition layout to represent the Melbourne Military Railway (MMR) in WWII and have had a few discussions with others in other parts of this forum that share my interest. The railway was opened when the WD realised Longmoor wasn't going to be enough early in WWII. RE recruits did their basic at Longmoor then some came to the MMR for further training, including the bridge building school as the railway crossed the river trent.  The line was just over 9 miles and operated by the LMS. They provided stock initially but the military took over eventually until near the end of the war. Freight was still transported from mines, quarries and market gardens in the area. Americans and Canadians were also trained on the MMR and photos show US steam and early diesel locomotives. Some WD locomotives are shown in photographs but the majority are LMS. One first hand account listed all the types he saw when he served there.


I have bought several books and carried out research over the last couple of months. I was born quite close to the area and my brother-in-law's grandfather (possibly great grandfather) was station master at Breedon & Tonge on the line.


The railway is too vast to cover in a 6ft x 2ft layout (with 2x 2ft extensions not visible from the front), as you will see from ust the King's Newton camp shown on the map below, so I decided to cover some of the features I have read about such as passing loops, the Ashby tunnel, Castle Donington siding (vehicle loading/unloading ramp for the Donington Hall/Donington Park MT depot) and of course bridges over the trent. The layout also needs to serve as a photographic background for my new locomotives, as I only have a test track for running in new locomotives and a WWI exhibition layout to use at home. I use a photography lightbox also.


The Castle Donington airfield was very close by (and where I was born) and had Wellington's there during the war. I am going to include a Wellington flying low over the railway with spinning propellers. I have done this on my WWI layout with period aeroplanes.


I have included a track plan below with some features I want to include but it doesn't show building placement. I will include a signals box, lineside huts, farm area and the end of the camp that was built in Weston-on-Trent, just over the river to the left.


One track will be exclusively DC and the other DC or DCC for my new locomotives. 


Please bear in mind that I don't call myself Model Railway Noob for nothing. I started learning to do all this halfway from 2018, although I had a Hornby Freightmaster train set in 1973, I hadn't done much since.


The layout will feature some WWII vehicles and perhaps some AA batteries including the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS).


I have bought most what I will need although not all has arrived yet, so I plan to start soon. Now I have come back out of retirement as a nurse because of the COVID shortages, I have less time but I will do some in the evenings when I am not staying away from home. 


I find learning new skills therapeutic and each time I build a new layout, I try to learn something new. Having said that, this will only be my fourth and the WWI layout isn't finished yet.


The build will be covered on my Youtube channel (link in my signature).



MMR version 3 long.jpg

Melbourne Mil Railway 1966.JPG


Books MMR 3.JPG

Books MMR part1.JPG

Books MMR Part 2.JPG

Books MMR 4.JPG

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