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Layout: Newhaven Harbour, BR SR, 1970s

Published 25 September 2018, 16:54

Originally built and exhibited by Colin Parks, the layout has been extensively reworked by the Wigan and Wirral Finescale Railway Modellers.

Changes include swapping viewing sides from an inside to outside ‘L’, a full rewire and new control system, widening and reworking the scenery and scenic break, a custom traverser storage yard from www.timhorn.co.uk, LED lighting and presentation in the groups ‘house’ style.

Rather than be an exact model, the layout is based on the infrastructure of the Newhaven and Seaford Branch in East Sussex and is intended to provide a flavour of the general location and reflect operations on the BR Southern Region between 1968 and 1974. At this time Newhaven was served by some 27 miles of track and three stations - Harbour, Marine and Town.

Passenger traffic was handled by a variety of EMUs including 2-HAL, 2-BIL, 4-VEP, 4-CEP, and even saw a 5-BEL ‘Brighton Belle’ Pullman set on special workings. Goods traffic was predominantly bananas transported in their distinctive 'yellow-spot' vans, however during this period the engineers department was busy filling in several tidal pools to the east of the Marine station with sidings laid literally on the beach, all manner of drop-side open wagons being pressed in to service for the work. For interest we have also added a mineral wagon flow serving a small coal fired power station. Operation reflects the patterns of traffic at this time with wagons arriving in holding sidings before being shunted off to their destination on the East Wharf branch.

The layout is operated using a Digitrax DCC system and radio throttles interfaced with a Railroad&Co ‘soft’ panel for the signalman. Points and semaphore signals are worked by servos using the excellent Mega Points Controllers system.

Buildings are scratchbuilt using plasticard and based on prototypes which are still in use today, the station building being 'borrowed' from Seaford, the bridge that forms the scenic break is laser cut MDF.

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