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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

If you live in West Oxfordshire, the Fairford Branch, a casualty of Dr Beeching’s axe, is much lamented.  Before COVID, the A40 into Oxford would slow to a crawl before rush hour, and as a railway enthusiast, I would sit  in the traffic and wish the railway was still in place.  It probably would be profitable now.  Whilst various plans are in the pipeline for it to be reconstructed, the original alignment of the line has been blocked by roads, houses, and gravel extraction turning sections of the old line into lakes, which means any reinstatement of the railway will never follow the original trackbed.

 

Carterton is a bit of an oddity really.  Whilst the 22 mile branchline was first built to Witney in 1861, and finally extended in 1873 to Fairford, before the intended connection to Cheltenham was dropped due to costs, Carterton as a station didn't exist until as late as 1944.  It was built during the war to serve the adjacent RAF Brize Norton and as a result, the station didn't fit with the usual architectural style of the line. Not that there was one.  The line was a jumble of dressed stone buildings at Witney, Bampton and Fairford, and timber structures at Eynsham.  Cassington halt was built of pure concrete!  But Carterton station stuck out with its austere wartime structure. Its certainly not pretty (But I won't mention the Portakabin at Hanborough that I passed the other day!) but I'm unaware of any other station that uses such a building. Its almost unique.  

 

Carterton_1_62573_1.jpg.32ad2bf8fd88b6d5705f9383885d5707.jpg

 

Photo by Geoffrey Skelsey and used under the Wkipiedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

 

The station building still exists and is probably the last remaining major structure of the branch (Although the station masters house at Witney also still survives.) and currently in use as a riding stables. Unfortunately its mostly hidden by timber cladding and now sits on private land.

 

Currently the station building are being laser cut, and I've started work on the signal box. Lets see whether I can bring this station back to life.

Edited by Chris Chewter
Grammar
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  • RMweb Gold

Martin Loader has created an amazing website documenting the history of the line. 

 

Cassington can be found here: http://www.fairfordbranch.co.uk/Cassington.htm

 

The Carterton page can be found here showing what I'm attempting to recreate.

 

http://www.fairfordbranch.co.uk/Carterton.htm

 

Note the coloured photos.  The black and white images would suggest that station building was an austere grey, but appears to be a frame with a brick coloured infill, although looking at the size of them, they're not bricks!

 

Design.JPG.92910e791834d31cc76d941642fa841e.JPG

 

The most detailed historic plan showing building dimensions and locations, was recorded after the track was lifted.  However the track plan is a simple loop.  Freight was either thrown onto a van whilst the train was in the platform, or sent to Bampton which was a couple of miles in the Oxford direction, so should be simple to locate.

 

The resized O/S gives dimensions of 8ft by 2ft, but that's too big for what I'm after. If I close the gap between the signal box and the overbridge, and reduce the station platforms, I should be able to compress this into a 6ft board, which will be more transportable.  Hopefully the compression will not affect the appearance too much. 

 

I was going to straighten out the over bridge on the mode, but given that I'm also compressing the model, I can't help but feel that its too much of a departure from reality.  Would anyone really notice?

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This really does look like a really interesting project. I will be following with interest.

I think that skew bridges are completely different to square ones. The way the arches curl round is most distinctive. The different sized wing walls give it a particular look. If you can keep it skew, then I would do it.

 

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Growing up in Oxford I have always been interested in the Fairford branch (although sadly I was too young to have travelled on it, even the last remaining stub to Witney, before it closed) so thanks for the info, and I look forward to seeing this project develop. I'm not sure however that the line was a victim of Dr Beeching; The passenger service was withdrawn in 1962 whereas his first report did not appear until 1963 !

 

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Will watch this with interest. The Fairford branch was not on my radar until my wife's son moved to Carterton five or so years ago. Now we visit quite frequently, last year apart.

Cheers

David

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  • RMweb Gold

With the sun shining, I decided to do a quick trip to the station site.


The bridge itself is fairly wide. Probably from the days when this was the main road between Black Bourton and Carterton before it was blocked by the airbase expansion.

 

CD7C6D73-B441-41F0-8B51-90D8A4B262C1.jpeg.c53f27f4ee6d0dad1228215dc52dd940.jpeg

 

A quick look at the bridge sides.

 

EF5AD449-88D9-4115-A683-C6BF87D49E6E.jpeg.6d595d7e4948615d799e714f261ef1bb.jpeg
 

A6F4A82E-5A10-4DDE-A90C-EB3FC3443A35.jpeg.b862befc82fe0849ffcb91e20956b841.jpeg

 

And a glance over the top to imagine a pannier blasting its way towards us under the bridge heading for Bampton.

 

40C9A177-73ED-40E0-8077-0439575FAEE0.jpeg.1a536bf97cc194ef05661fed260f200a.jpeg

 

As you can see, nature has taken back the allotments on the right, and the station is obscured. It would be to the right of the track to the top of the photo.

 

Interestingly, the wing walls are an odd mix of stone and brick.

 

1BCA786A-153D-4FB8-BF34-F696541F1423.jpeg.c3234ab804744717be86af6a9ac4b863.jpeg

 

Whilst not a lot can be seen, pleasingly, both pedestrian access gates can still be found.

 

113EFE11-D56F-4349-A490-6F9DE0D1ED51.jpeg.cea098a4111a75519b9a7006dc6fb7f4.jpeg
 

But it’s been a while since any passengers descended these steps!

 

A9561362-AAEF-47BB-ABF4-7C662E0C6EE8.jpeg.4323323bc8e3f9eecd15445e5699566f.jpeg

 

The other gate was obscured by a lot of overgrowth, but you can make out the two posts and steps... just!

 

AA7BB183-F3A2-489C-8928-81B04363B3D1.jpeg.8faea6a8d17b0d6e3bcc24e7043c1b19.jpeg


Nothing of the site can be seen from the main road.

 

3AC2CFE8-BD83-408B-8B48-AFC26E23705A.jpeg.7b1b4870f34ab9247634937e2f302573.jpeg

 

And something tells me, visitors aren’t that welcome unless they have a prior appointment. Would railway research be classified as a good reason?

 

4B950ECA-CFC1-4C4C-80E8-F08E1751E95C.jpeg.0c1d2ecf04d37eb417028f963508cc46.jpeg

 

If you follow the old road along its original course towards Carterton, you end up facing this.

 

56390A5B-67DD-46AC-88A4-7CCE92A857BE.jpeg.6a6335024d619b5eec067feb4107854d.jpeg

 

The runway at Brize Norton was lengthened and truncated the road between Carterton and Black Bourton. The road ran along here and under the right of the Hercules, and past the tree line in the far distance.

 

Looks like this model will be based mainly from historic photos and maps. Let’s see if I can capture the essence of this station.

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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

Trying to do a colour match on the signal box. It’s looking like the GWR light and dark stone combination to me, just a bit faded.


35611D5D-1941-4247-A232-FDA9A04D0635.jpeg.e7a423d3cbe85a4f362bafc51511645b.jpeg


It’s not cream on the left, that’s for certain.

Edited by Chris Chewter
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  • RMweb Gold

Signal box started. It’s an adapted LCut creative kit which has been chopped to match the box at Carterton.


EE128349-F1A6-4B2C-9B07-DD510DBFB9B3.jpeg.ffe533736f70c74159ebf3788152495f.jpeg

 

D4AAD362-5BF1-459A-B868-947D9AAE5A88.jpeg.82b1639cd3d987d85673072aa9f69d9e.jpeg

 

A1BFF064-5AC4-4454-BE26-89A1A0498B9C.jpeg.620f5fc5673e8d9291233351779a525b.jpeg

 

And before you say it, I know the porchway should be further to the rear of the box. It’s located here because moving it required too much adaptation of the kit.

 

And a photo against a photo of real thing.

 

601D8D4C-346E-4477-B084-72834E625A06.jpeg.e4dec1e19ada2ce32d5127927a8b455b.jpeg

 

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A lot of buildings on minor lines were never repainted from GWR days. The colour pictures I've seen of Fairford and Lechlade (1961/2) clearly show light & dark stone.

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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

A bit of progress made with the signal box last night. I need to sort out a few bits on it before fitting the interior, like the odd bit of over painting, and painting the bricks.

 

0A403211-B1E7-4C3B-96E3-57FC95E5D061.jpeg.b3bfc5f9c4a16f9d9d3c67806e033f4d.jpeg

 

The roof is to be swapped for some wills corrugated asbestos sheets, as it seems to have received an asbestos roof rather than the usual tiled roof. I need to put a pack on order but I'm waiting for the station building to arrive so that I can calculate how many packs I need. So for the moment, the laser cut roof is held on by a blob of blu-tac, just for the photo.

Edited by Chris Chewter
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  • RMweb Gold

Took a delivery yesterday of what first looked like a giant toblerone, but alas no chocolate. Turned out to be the plans back from the printers.


66F49345-14B3-4D7C-A4D0-C4D8BE689C4A.jpeg.e912d965fa3e0fa7c9c638fd8cd2f0ba.jpeg


C903F5A1-7B60-426B-ACF2-8B27F38FBE31.jpeg.31129d67827efbd0ce530fe6a8888ae5.jpeg

 

Looks like if I truncate the bridge, that’ll bring it down to 7ft.

 

I just need the baseboards to arrive so I can see whether I need to shorten the bit between the platform and bridge, or shorten the platforms, or a bit of both.


8326AB08-AF81-47A3-AF51-FE5EA4A5AE49.jpeg.da92e499157d2acfc23bac39a8909ca6.jpeg

 

There’s obviously a drawing error somewhere as the gap between the platforms is narrow, so that’ll have to be widened.

 

D5A07814-1B63-43EC-8A1F-AAABA062771A.jpeg.b7095cdd0b319edb0b6b551129ac5d74.jpeg

 

Hopefully they’ll prove to be a good starter.

 

C5D79789-A3F8-403A-AF53-4A1F95FECB6F.jpeg.3caeaabd294fd91a58f78bf23307d372.jpeg

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The ratio signal box interior arrived plus a few extras from Modelu.

 

FB98494B-3AF7-4FE6-81A5-BDB9C1F78E72.jpeg.c422916a436c9f06108ba758e7c24a50.jpeg

 

These have been sprayed black, painted and fitted.


7FE8429C-EF2B-4D9D-9815-3AF955390B2F.jpeg.d41e4ec3c6d9b4dd620ca95c23d8b936.jpeg

 

Looking at the photos on the website, the signal box interior appears to have a lower blue band with red line. I’ve not done the neatest job but I’m not sure it’ll even be noticeable when the roofs on!

 

09BB89AB-D05E-4241-AA7A-4B8D63943526.jpeg.f521b723d5adb469dd672d8db90e3a35.jpeg

 

Now to put a lid on it. I’ll save painting the Bobby until the weekend.

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  • RMweb Gold

Very excited to find the laser cut station I designed had arrived after being put through Intentio’s laser cutter.
 

C8B89DAD-CDD7-456A-BE32-609F2629005F.jpeg.92c1c9d5ba03ccf453a8f64f4aacabe5.jpeg

 

I was going to make a start on it last night,  but family life got in the way. Looking forward to making a start over the weekend.

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  • RMweb Gold

Put the station building together and it slotted together as expected. It really reflects the utilitarian appearance of the structure. The opening photos of the station shows it to have originally been rendered, but that soon fell off to reveal some massive red blocks!

 

47EB4ABE-5309-4E70-B920-0EDA73AE6356.jpeg.df308539fe67f334dc278acb37eff684.jpeg

 

Where to tabs show through the elevation, this is to be covered by strips to represent the buildings concrete frame.

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  • RMweb Gold

Chris, I have the Branch line to Fairford by Vic Mitchell & Keith Allen and The Fairford Branch by Stanley Jenkins as I have an aborted attempt at Alvescott in the past. If you have any questions let me know and i can see if the books can help with any additional information.

 

Who knows, one day I may have another attempt at Alvescott.

 

regards

Steve

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  • RMweb Gold

More progress with the station building over the weekend.

 

I hadn’t appreciated how visible the gap would be behind the fascia without a soffit board.

 

410676C5-7FFC-481F-9711-9A090D063C91.jpeg.1202dae7a173e9d2ef6685b887cf3772.jpeg

 

No worries, coffee stirrers to the rescue!

 

CAF0E720-0C64-44DA-8B2E-E2774B64E8EE.jpeg.652d6095c8a435f56d6066772d06a5a3.jpeg
 

That looks better.

 

569D9724-0B09-4ED8-8A1C-1F334AD68F52.jpeg.7cf83b34d6714a6157a0ae1b275a766d.jpeg

 

Now the stanchions are on, its starting to look like the images.

 

AE6C93B6-5E01-41FD-B2A0-FC3616697DBE.jpeg.3b5ab7b4ec1ed08195c695b2301f4215.jpeg

 

7EAFE1E5-E0F9-41BD-9BC5-C86060669EA5.jpeg.630c0dee3a7538a06f067ef50fd6c90b.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Chris Chewter said:

More progress with the station building over the weekend.

 

I hadn’t appreciated how visible the gap would be behind the fascia without a soffit board.

 

410676C5-7FFC-481F-9711-9A090D063C91.jpeg.1202dae7a173e9d2ef6685b887cf3772.jpeg

 

No worries, coffee stirrers to the rescue!

 

CAF0E720-0C64-44DA-8B2E-E2774B64E8EE.jpeg.652d6095c8a435f56d6066772d06a5a3.jpeg
 

That looks better.

 

569D9724-0B09-4ED8-8A1C-1F334AD68F52.jpeg.7cf83b34d6714a6157a0ae1b275a766d.jpeg

 

Now the stanchions are on, its starting to look like the images.

 

AE6C93B6-5E01-41FD-B2A0-FC3616697DBE.jpeg.3b5ab7b4ec1ed08195c695b2301f4215.jpeg

 

7EAFE1E5-E0F9-41BD-9BC5-C86060669EA5.jpeg.630c0dee3a7538a06f067ef50fd6c90b.jpeg

That is looking very impressive Chris. Really captures the character of the prototype as shown in the pictures you have posted.

Cheers

David

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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

Various modelling supplies have arrived including some model corrugated asbestos sheets from Wills. I can now put a lid on the signal box.

 

DCB68376-3EED-44B1-A021-02A8E741D8CE.jpeg.885383787adfd647876bcdde104527d6.jpeg

 

I normally use the clear sheets which gives a nice thin profile, but didn’t want the roofs being damaged by poking fingers, so went for the normal stuff, and it’s really thick!

 

F84CA2E9-2FCF-4A3D-8744-B3D9AE036030.jpeg.1a3f1b72ded973ce66d26a890df298eb.jpeg

 

Although it’s easier to cut than I remember. Hopefully when weathered and painted, it’ll look alright.

 

I couldn’t get going with the station roof just yet. I had some glazing to sort out. This is Humbrol clear fix applied from the inside of the kit. 
 

5038A169-B758-476A-A59A-83DC18A96E3C.jpeg.5c993074f45d6f4030291b9b9fd847c8.jpeg

 

The cloudiness seems to clear as it dries.

 

CFD1D350-9B90-4D49-B3D2-8879A41A30A8.jpeg.a30cab570a23a93233bc582f0dedd887.jpeg
 

Ive also taken delivery of some Ratio platforms and track work, so hopefully can make good progress over the bank holiday weekend coming up.

Edited by Chris Chewter
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