Brookford O14

Paul Lindsay-Scott has provided the following details on his 7mm layout Brookford:

Brookford is an imaginary standard gauge light railway terminus located somewhere in the Hampshire Downs, also featuring a two-foot narrow gauge contractor’s line. The model is set in the 1930s.

History

The Brookford & South Western Junction Railway was incorporated in 1901 and built in the first decade of the twentieth century under the Light Railways Act 1896. The line runs through much land of the Brookford estates. The Squire at Brookford Hall had added to the family fortunes in the second half of the nineteenth century in the guano trade, using his shipping interests to bring the cargo of fertiliser into Southampton docks. He was keen to use his wealth to finance a rail connection to his estates in Hampshire. Not long after the construction of the line, when the guano trade failed due to the introduction of cheaper manmade nitrate fertilisers based on the new Norwegian process in 1903, he constructed a two foot gauge line up into the chalk Downs above the village, where he stored the remaining incoming cargoes of guano for which he had existing contracts outstanding, in the dry Neolithic flint mine tunnels on his estate.

In the early 1930′s, the narrow gauge line was once more brought into use for use by contractors to build the bypass in the Downs. This is depicted on the model of the chalk cutting on the Brookford Downs layout which depicts the construction site of the occupation over bridge. Also during the 30′s, occasional private charter Imperial Airways Flying Boat Special trains served Brookford station, working to and from Southampton, enabling the family to make and receive visits with their far flung relatives in the Antipodes.

The Layout

The standard gauge single platform track has a run round and a headshunt providing access to the livestock loading area next to the car park. Beyond the platform is the goods shed and sidings offering exchange facilities between the standard and the narrow gauge. This two foot line curves around from the rear of the station platform, behind the goods shed, turntable and engine shed to head off up the 1 in 30 gradient into the chalk Downs to the construction site of the cutting and occupation road overbridge. The O14 trackwork is Peco rail with copper-clad sleepers on the main baseboards and up the incline, but on the Brookford Downs baseboard, KBScale track has been laid, with a single RH type 2 point providing a short headshunt.

The standard gauge was built for DCC control, with LokSound decoders from Southwestern Digital, but the narrow gauge was originally run on DC with a Gaugemaster controller. However, I have recently integrated the O14 with the DCC.

Buildings

Brookford station buildings are based on those on the Mid Suffolk Light Railway. They are built from scratch using obechi wood to build a frame upon which the cladding of corrugated steel is fixed, in a similar way to the prototype. Doors and window frames are from Grandt lines, while the room interiors have simple furniture made out of wood with some white metal details and are lit with 12v grain of wheat bulbs.

The loco shed is a model of the one at Laxfield on the Middy. Again, the building frame is built like that of the prototype, with the wood plank cladding made from 0.6mm wood veneer purchased on eBay in a seven foot roll. Like the station building, I built the frame first then fixed the external cladding on. The goods shed (originally a model built by Bill Hunt) is based on that at Lambourne GWR. It is scratch built in plasticard, with small castings for the detail items within.

Locomotives and rolling stock

The two-foot gauge Hudswell Clarke G class 0-6-0WT No GP59 was built in 1931 and purchased new by the Surrey County Council Highways department for the hard work of moving extracted chalk from the cuttings and earthworks associated with the building of the Guildford ByPass at the end of the Hogs Back, the westernmost part of the North Downs. I built the model of the loco in its original form from the KBScale etched brass kit and had transfers produced from artwork I produced from photos of the prototype which has recently been restored at Statfold Barn to operating condition, albeit not in totally original form. Penryhn quarries had bought the loco secondhand from Surrey County Council and given it the name Bronllwyd, then it had received the boiler from another loco when it went on to Bressingham.

The bowframed ex-WD Simplex 20hp loco, like many others which were bought by contractors for use in aggregate and construction projects after the Great War, was as used at the Wrecclesham gravelpits on Weydon Lane near Farnham, a few miles from home. I built it from the Nigel Lawton kit and made up a cab similar to those fitted by their new owners. Success at getting the second motor in the kit to run the cooling fan eluded me and I replaced this motor with lead ballast.

The only problem with converting the Simplex to DCC so far has been that I removed some of the lead ballast from the Simplex to get the decoder in (not one with sound – I could get a sound decoder in, but even the new little “sugar cube” speakers are problematic to fit in). Anyway, the nett result is that it doesn’t run as well now, having a occasional difficulty with pickup, and also in hauling seven loaded tippers up the 1 in 30 incline. So I shall be fitting more weight – in fact, just like the real thing! I shall probably carve a block of lead to the shape of the prototype ballast weights fitted under the frames. Plus some white metal buckets etc hanging on the loco.

There are seven narrow gauge tipper wagons and two fuel bowser wagons all from KBScale kits. The bogie tram trailer coach for the workmens train was a conversion of a Bachmann O-16.5 four wheeled tram, with O14 bogies (from 7mmNGA) replacing the chassis and motor. The brake van / tool van has a scratch built body, and I found it on eBay. The wheels have been regauged from 16.5mm.

Standard gauge locos include a Connoisseur LNER J-15 0-6-0 and a Finney SR Adams T3 4-4-0. An Adams O2 0-4-4T is currently in the erecting shops, an alteration to a Connoisseur G6 kit.

Various standard gauge coaching, goods and engineering stock can be seen on the layout.

Exhibitions

Over the last two years I have taken the main Brookford layout to a few exhibitions, but without the more recent additions of the 8-foot long incline and Brookford Downs board, which I have exhibited on its own as a micro-layout.

More pictures can be found on Paul’s flickr site.