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Features: Lee-on-the-Solent, LSWR, 1910-1925

Published 25 September 2018, 16:36

Lee-on-the-Solent was a bold town planning attempt of the late 1800s. The promoters hoped that here was a watering place with everything going for it. Splendid beach, a pleasant climate, superb views across to the Isle of Wight, the sheltered area of the Solent for boating and, in addition, it was much nearer London than Bournemouth.

The railway opened on May 12 1894 by the Lee-on-the-Solent Railway company as the seaside terminus of a branch line from London South Western Railway (LSWR) at Fort Brockenhurst. In 1909 the LSWR leased the line and it was taken over by the Southern Railway at the 1923 Grouping. However, it didn’t last much longer and was closed in October 1935 and lifted in 1939.

The layout was started by Colin Haywood and was conceived in 1979 but is now operated by the South Hants Model Railway Club. It has been substantially rebuilt and upgraded since and models the terminus and its approaches as well as the station environs.

All of the track is ‘P4’ standards (18.83mm gauge) while control is analogue. A range of suitable motive power is available to the layout including Adams ‘O2’ 0-4-4Ts, plus ‘A1’, ‘A1X’ and ‘D1’ 0-6-0Ts. It can be operated in both LSWR and SR time periods with the stock changed to suit in the storage yard.

Lee-on-the-Solent featured in HM127.

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