Casterbridge

7mm scale / O gauge

This layout is no longer available for Exhibitions.

This, the Southampton Model Railway Society’s second excursion into O gauge, is based on the ex-London & South Western Railway station at Dorchester.  The period represented is that of the Southern Region of British Railways in the 1950s/60s.

Dorchester was originally planned as a through station on a coastal route from Southampton to Exeter.  However, the preference for a more central route via Salisbury meant that the Exeter option was not proceeded with and attention then turned towards connecting with the Great Western Railway’s line into Weymouth.  This required a drastic realignment of the tracks, resulting in a sharp curve commencing at the existing station’s throat.

Whilst a new down platform was eventually built on the new alignment, the original up platform was retained as the station buildings were located here.  This resulted in an unusual movement whereby all eastbound trains had to reverse into the up platform before continuing on their way.

Whilst the model is not a direct copy of Dorchester South, hence the use of “Casterbridge”, Thomas Hardy’s name for the town, it keeps the essence of the prototype.

Most of the baseboards are constructed from plywood with timber legs.  The track is Peco laid on a rubber underlay.  Buildings have an inner frame made from plywood, covered with embossed brick sheeting.  Some detailing remains to be completed

It has taken some time for the small group of 7mm modellers within the Society to produce the requisite items to allow correct operation.  The locomotives are mostly from brass or white-metal kits, whilst coaches and wagons are from both metal and plastic kits.

Layout size 32ft x 16ft

Travels in Luton van (hired) plus 1 car, 6 operators

Length of hire depends on distance from Southampton and expected time of return on Sunday night.

Overnight accommodation normally required if more than approx 70 miles or 1hr 15mins from Southampton.

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