Tuesday 29 March 2016

By White Horse to Leicester [2] ...

... New York and Bristol.
The Abingdon Model Railway Club layout is based on Lericester Belgrave Road, closed to regular passenger services in 1953. Note first the distinctive shape of the overall roof.
To the right of the accurately modelled passenger platforms, just glimpsed above, is a large good shed ...
... also beautifully recreated by the Abingdon gang. The real thing can be glimpsed on the far left of the Belgrave Road street view above.

At a meeting on 1st December 2006 it was decided to build a new layout based on Leicester (Belgrave Road). Funding for the layout would come from a share issue. One share – one vote- £100. Non-shareholders are welcome to participate in the project but all decisions will be made by the shareholders.

But the club has changed history quite dramatically; one of the privileges of building a model.

In the re-write of hisstory, Leicester (Belgrave Road) was a great success with express trains via Peterborough to Kings Cross and via Newark to the north as well as excursions to the east coast and local services to Grantham, Nottingham and Market Harbourough.

Freight services flourished with large movements of coal, oil, scrap metal and a vast amount of merchandise traffic in vans and open vehicles.

The station entered the diesel age with a refuelling and service depot and this is the period we choose to model (1950’s and 1960’s) when steam locos in their twilight rubbed shoulders with the new diesels in resplendent green.

Which explains the model Deltic in the diesel shed!
Here is the layout under construction in 2011 with the many arched road bridge (seen in the "Deltic" shot above, still in plain plywood.
Belgrave Road was the biggest layout at the show and by far the most spectacular. All credit to the Shareholders for choosing a more difficult subject and making such a good job of it.

Blogs will return to (ab)normal tomorrow after the (abortive) North Wales visit, but, in the meantime we should take a look at a few more layouts at Abingdon.

What about this?
It is a near correct-size model of Fulton Terminal on the East River, New York. According to the layout's creator, many of these dock systems had no connection with any other railway; the sidings were merely used to sort freight cars and then convey them onward by barge or ship,
A fascinating insight into something very different indeed, but based fair and square on historic reality.
Less authentic, but delightful nevertheless, were Märklin locos fitted with smoke units.
Note above the "hand of God" refilling the locomotives with the model railway equivalent of vapeing fluid.

Another piece of ferroequinological history is recreated in a pastiche of "Bristol Goods Shef" in 1846
This complicated bit of track recreates the early days when Brunel was using broad gauge; a design idea that lost out to standard. But here is a siding in "mixed" gauge so both types of wagon could be loaded or unloaded.
It made for complicated trackwork and expensive transit of freight; but here it produces a fascinating layout replicating a snippet of railway history.

Humberstone Road - Update
WRONG! fbb is indebted to Alan, Northampton correspondent, for telling him that Humberstone Road's station building was saved and moved brick-by-brick to Shenton on the Battlefield Line.
It lay derelict for many years after being taken out of service as a passenger station. As a grade two listed building it had to be preserved, but British Rail did not have sufficient funds for such an operation. A buyer was looked for. Eventually it was sold to Leicestershire County Council for £1 plus VAT. It serves as an information point for the Battlefield and a southern terminus building for the railway.
The "Battlerfield" is, of course the site of the Battle of Bosworth Field,

The battle of is one of the most important battles in English history. It led to the War of the Roses, and planted the Tudor house on the throne of England. Henry Tudor, (Henry VII), earl of Richmond and a Lancastrian, defeated King Richard III, a Yorkist, at the battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485.

The train service was, of course, cancelled for the duration of the battle! (Pathetic joke)
Manchester Madness
Today is the press launch for the new guided busway at Leigh, Greater Manchester. Through his contacts in the Industry, fbb received an invite. Should fbb get up at a ridiculously early hour, shell out a significant sum of dosh, spend nearly 12 hours on trains and busess and risk exhaustion for days afterwards just for a short ride along a bit of kerbed concrete?

Find the answer tomorrow, maybe.
 Next bus blog : Wednesday 30th April 

1 comment:

  1. http://www.railchronology.free-online.co.uk/GN%20LNW%20Jt%20text.htm- has lots of interesting chronology and timetables on the slow decline of Belgrave Road and its associated lines.