4mm scale/OO gauge - 1955-60 - BR (NER)
For the Southampton Model Railway Society, Ackthorpe represents a complete break from our tradition in not being based on Southern Railway or BR Southern Region practice.
The layout is based on the Swinton and Knottingley line in West Yorkshire, which was originally built jointly by the Midland Railway and the North Eastern Railway to provide a more direct route from Sheffield to York and in the past was a very busy line. One of its attractions for modelling is the great variety of LMS, LNER and BR Standard locomotive classes that could be seen. The layout is inspired by two of the stations on the line, Moorthorpe and Ackworth, hence the name "Ackthorpe". The period modelled is the mid to late 1950s, just prior to the great decline in freight traffic and rationalisation of passenger services. At this time there were still a number of pre-grouping locomotives at work in the area, whilst at the same time, diesel multiple units were appearing on local services and the occasional early diesel locomotive might be seen.
The model includes colliery exchange sidings and coal-loading screens, not based on anywhere in particular, but inspired by the presence of Frickley Colliery sidings just to the south of Moorthorpe station. These sidings bustle with activity as small National Coal Board tank engines shunt wagons between the exchange sidings and the screens prior to marshalling for despatch to the main railway network.
Motive power is a mixture of proprietary and kit-built examples and represent most of the classes seen regularly on the Swinton and Knottingley. Carriages are mostly from Bachmann and Hornby, with a few older Airfix, Dapol and Mainline examples repainted and upgraded with added detail. There are a few kit-built carriages from Ian Kirk, BSL/Phoenix and Comet. The coal wagons are Bachmann; the remaining wagons are a mix of kit-built and modified proprietary. There is an ongoing programme to weather locomotives and stock with varying degrees of cleanliness or filth, so please forgive us if some items still look as if they have come straight out of the box (or the paint shop) because they probably have!
Please feel free to ask questions or comment on the layout and stock, particularly if you knew the area in steam days.