Monday, November 26, 2012

Bridging The Gap

As you can see from the photographs, we have started building up the landscape both around and beneath the two bridges that carry the branch line over a minor road and the main line.
You will notice that we have had to build the land up beneath both bridges in order to lift them up to the same level as the branch line. It was necessary to do this since we wanted to keep the branch at the same level thoughout so that the new terminus will be at the same height as it was previously.
Actually, the main line, and its off shoot to the central section, look very good curving between the embankments as they run beneath the new trellis bridge.
You might recognize that the road bridge is the old Tri-ang Brick Bridge, which we have had painted and weathered by Alex at Mikron Models in Taunton. He also kindly put the Dapol Trellis Bridge together for us and weathered it and then made two supports that perfectly match the colour and look of the brick bridge.
In the second photo you will see the track entering what will be the new Davemoor station and, whereas the former station consisted on a single platform, this will have two main line platforms, a couple of bay platforms and, possibly, a goods platform. 
As can be seen from the photo, this station is going to be different to both Sueston and Gunnmere in that it will be entirely curved - much like the new intermediate station on the branch line. However, whereas this latter station is being made from plasterboard, Davemoor will probably be constructed from MDF, although we have not made a final decision on this.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten

I found these two contrasting photographs of Wincanton Station recently and thought that I would share them with you.
The station was situated on the much-lamented Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway and was, roughly, half-way between Bath Green Park and Bournemouth West. Indeed, as a child, it was my local station and I have fond memories of commencing many a happy journey from here. 
The top picture was taken in July 1961 and is a great shot that shows the down line under engineers occupation. This work had to be restricted to Sundays when much of the S&D was closed for the day. The engineer's train can just be seen through the Goods Shed and consists mostly of ballast wagons with a coach at the front of the formation acting as mess. The loco in charge was one of the S&D 7F 2-8-0's.
The lower picture, meanwhile, shows the station exactly six years later, in July 1967 - 16 months after the closure of the line. The station still looks quite respectable here and largely undamaged but the growth of weeds along the trackbed indicate that time has all but run out for this location and, in fact, the site is now occupied by a large housing estate!  
These two photographs show, quite clearly, the staggered nature of the platforms - they overlapped by only 120 feet. They were also of very different lengths with Platform 1 (the up platform) being 450 yards long while Platform 2 was much shorter at only 240 yards.
The elevated, 14 lever signal box, which can been seen on Platform 1, controlled access to the fairly extensive goods yard and sidings wherein both cattle, for the nearby market, and horses for the local racecourse were loaded and unloaded. 
The adjacent Cow and Gate milk factory (now also closed) also had its own two-road siding from where it would send its milk and dairy products by rail to London and the north.
The station opened in November 1861 and was part of the Dorset Central Railway, even though it was actually in Somerset.
The station closed, along with much of the rest of the S&DJR, on March 7th 1966.