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Moggs Eye

Firsby Junction, Lincolnshire.

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Hi there,

My next but one project is to construct a 4mm model of the former junction station at Firsby in East Lincolnshire. It was built on the original main line from KIngs Cross to Grimsby and served as a busy junction for the Skegness branch.

It was closed in October 1970, when the Skegness trains were diverted over the avoiding line, and subsequently most of the building was demolished.

My intention is to build the layout as though the line had never closed - retaining the Great Northern character (including overall roof and somersalt signals) and contrasting it with post-privatisation stock.

I have scoured the internet for pictures and my bookshelves are full of books on the railways in Lincolnshire, including the excellent 'Firsby - Portrait of a Country Junction', but what I really need, or what the contractor who is going to build the main station building needs, are some plans or diagrams of that magnificent building.

The contingency for not being able to find some plans is to use the surviving and similar structure at Alford as a guide, but I'd really like to have the model as close to the oroginal as possible.

If any of you out there do have some pointers or contacts you'd be willing to share with me, I'd be very grateful and you'll be helping me recreate a very charismatic station that in my opnion should never have closed.

Thanks in anticipation for your help.

Yours,

Ben.

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Might Lincs Archive have some plans?

Phil

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Look at JCL Wainfleet to Haverhouse thread.  One book he references is "Railways to Skegness by A.J.Ludlam".  I have done some digging into my own books and have come up with the following British Railways Past and Present Lincolnshire, #27, Roger Hill and Carey Vessey.  Nice picture of the inside of the station shed and a good end view of the station.  Also, Railways of Lincolnshire, Paul Anderson.  Sketch of the station front and some general pictures.  Will see what else I might have over the next while.

Regards

James R. Theaker

Canada

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Hi If you look up ALFORD STATION,LINCOLNSHIRE on wickipedia it gives you the contractors and other usefull bits as they built the section including Firsby station on to Boston

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Try the National Archive at Kew, their site shows up over 200 records relating to Firsby so it would be worth the trip.

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Thanks very much for all the information, folks. Much appreciated.

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Also see Alf Ludlam's "East Lincolnshire Railway".

 

As you are retaining the somersault signals on what was a secondary main line, why not make it a more likely scenario by winding the rolling stock clock back to the 1930s. Much of the Lincolnshire loop line Boston-Lincoln had signalling modernisation in the 1930s. Would the somersaults really have remained on the East Lincs if still open as a through route Gy-P'boro-KX into the 1990s?

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Also see Alf Ludlam's "East Lincolnshire Railway".

 

As you are retaining the somersault signals on what was a secondary main line, why not make it a more likely scenario by winding the rolling stock clock back to the 1930s. Much of the Lincolnshire loop line Boston-Lincoln had signalling modernisation in the 1930s. Would the somersaults really have remained on the East Lincs if still open as a through route Gy-P'boro-KX into the 1990s?

 

There was at least one, Firsby East junction distant I think, still there when I took my son to Vegas on the jolly Fisherman, that would have been late 80s I guess, maybe there until box at South? junction closed.

The distant for Hubberts Bridge was also a somersault in the same era.

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Would the somersaults have remained at Firsby itself until the eighties had the more important North-South running continued? Once the "main" line North was closed the line through Firsby South-East curve was only a minor branch to Skeg - one that Beeching would have preferred closed at that.

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Also see Alf Ludlam's "East Lincolnshire Railway".

 

As you are retaining the somersault signals on what was a secondary main line, why not make it a more likely scenario by winding the rolling stock clock back to the 1930s. Much of the Lincolnshire loop line Boston-Lincoln had signalling modernisation in the 1930s. Would the somersaults really have remained on the East Lincs if still open as a through route Gy-P'boro-KX into the 1990s?

It's a fair point. I can't remember the date when the last somersalts went on the Skegness branch, sometime in the 90s perhaps? I think Bellwater Junction's down home and Wainfleet's down distant were the last ones and had the East Lincolnshire line survived it's unlikely that Firsby's somersalts would have lasted into the 21st century.

In my defence I don't think the East Lincolnshire line would have retained any through trains to Kings Cross and in the time frame I'll run the layout in I imagine there would nly be a semi-fast service from Grimsby to Peterborough. I also imagine a sympathetic S&T engineer has kept those somersalts going well past their end of service date and can't resist the sight of a second generation DMU or class 66 waiting for the road beside a wonderful, anachronistic wooden posted GNR signal.

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I've just come across your project. I have some photos of the station under the overall roof if they can help. Taken in the mid-60s in b/w, unfortunately the ones of outside have dissappeared. Let me have a pm if I can help.

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Bumping the topic, the latest couple of Middleton Press 'Lincolnshire' picture books have had a number of Firsby photos included. How are the plans progressing?

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Hi,

Slowly I'm afraid. I seem to be spending most modelling time updating/repairing/refreshing my other layouts for exhibition outings.

I haven't forgotten to return your pictures. I should get them back to you soon, thanks very much.

Cheers,

Ben.

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Railways to Skegness (Ludlam) has quite a few photos of Firsby, but they are mainly of trains in the station. An Illustrated History Of GNR Signalling ( M A Vanns) has a few detailed photos of signalling installations, plus a great colour picture of the Firsby S Junc somersault signals on the back of the dust jacket.

 

A decent photo of the exterior of Firsby station can be found on p38 of 'Lincolnshire Railways' by Alan Stennett, by The Crowood Press, although the book itself is more of a general county railway history.

Edited by jonny777

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Thanks Jonny,

I've got the books you've recommended, but thanks for taking the trouble with them. The internet has proved useful too. I found a couple of people who have original pictures to share at a photo history and tribute to the East Lincolnshire Railway at Alford last October (to mark the lines closure in 1970).

I've got almost the whole of the platform side of the main building in pictures now and much of the island platform structure too. All need now is some time!

Cheers,

Ben.

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Alf Ludlam is doing a talk on Lincolnshire branch lines next Wed 17 Feb i7.30 pm in Lincoln

 

The Louth-Bardney, Horncastle-Woodhall Junction and Firsby-Spilsby lines.

 

http://www.slha.org.uk/

 

Meet the great man & get your books signed!

 

Dava

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Unfortunately I missed the talk.

I'm trying to make a start on planning buildings now, the first one being the station signalbox. I was planning to use pictures to obtain brick counts for sizing, but was struggling to find photo with sufficient clarity. A good look through Michael Vann's book 'An Illustrated History of Great Northern Railway Signalling' revealed Firsby Station box has been classified as a Type 1B built to the same pattern as Stow Park between Lincoln and Gainsborough. When originally built it had the same three bays across the front as Stow Park though was extended to four bays. Having studied some pictures of Stow Park box I'm going to head over next week and take some of my own as it appears to be extremely close in form to Firsby.

I have made a start on the signals - most of them will be tubular steel post upper quadrants, using Ratio parts and MSE etched arms, though the Down Main Home will model the upper quadrant arm on a GNR concrete post that stood there until closure.

To assit with planning the main station building I'm going to use Alford to obtain a footprint which, coupled with a survey of the surviving Porter's residence, should give a close representation for the model.

I don't intend to have any kind of railway presence in this building, I don't think there would be the call for even a ticket machine at a contemporary Firsby, but wasn't sure what it could be. Tea room and art gallery like Tattersall, a museum like the ones that use to be at Burgh or Legbourne Road, apartments like Louth or a fine restaurant.

Ideas on a postcard please.

Cheers,

Ben.

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Planning is now under way on this layout.

I've seen the first draft plans for the station building and it's exciting to see the progress there. The plan is to model the station as a listed, operational building painted in GNR colours, but with modern fixtures and fittings so it won't look like a Victorian station with diesel trains running through it.

Function wise, the house at each end of the building will be domestic dwellings while the booking hall, waiting rooms and refreshment rooms in between will be a bookshop with tea rooms (the kind of place I could see myself in).

Now I've got the footprint of the building I can start designing the baseboards around it

I've drawn up plans for the Station Signalbox using Stow Park box, near Lincoln (built to the same basic dimensions as Firsby) as a pattern.

While I have pretty much all of the books available on the station, I'm still hunting for information or pictures. If anybody stumbles across anything relating to this fascinating junction I'd appreciate very much a pointer in the right direction.

Cheers,

Ben.

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Good track plan on old maps online.

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Good track plan on old maps online.

 

Thanks, Jeff,

I have a track and signalling diagram for the Station Signalbox which I have modified to reflect my imagined evolution of the track plan after 1970. This means a complete closure and removal of the good yard apart from the siding that once led from the bay platform to the cattle dock and behind the North Signalbox, also keeping the trailing crossover from the Up Platform to this siding. The Spilsby Siding will be retained, for stabling DMUs between Mablethorpe and Lincoln trains. Though I won't have space to model the south junction and avoiding line, I'm hoping to produce a modern style signalling diagram which will show the avoiding line as a single line controlled at both ends by the Station Box.

Cheers,

Ben.

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Good news!

Construction has started on the station building for Firsby. I now have the scale footprint for it and can start planning the baseboards.

Cheers,

Ben.

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Hi

Happy New Year.

Having just got home from seeing the progress that has been made on the building so far I'm pleased to say I am happily amazed by the quality of the modelling.

Words fail - see pictures...

 

post-16103-0-49028100-1515162851_thumb.jpeg

 

post-16103-0-40329800-1515162889_thumb.jpeg

In the background to this shot you can just see the breathtaking and almost complete model of Lincoln Central Station being built for this layout -  http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/4887-lincoln-central-station/page-18&do=findComment&comment=2969655

 

It looks very impressive to see two quality models of iconic Great Northern Railway stations on the same work bench.

 

post-16103-0-98214400-1515162904_thumb.jpeg

 

post-16103-0-76400000-1515162927_thumb.jpeg

 

post-16103-0-01990000-1515162941_thumb.jpeg

 

No pressure, but I really am going to have to build this layout now!

Cheers,

Ben.

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