Monday, 31 October 2011

LSWR 48' Brake Lav. Tri-Comp. - Part 5

When I created the artwork for the body side the coach number printed was 440. This identifies a coach from the first batch of 6 manufactured that were fitted with coil spring bogies rather than the later and more common leaf spring types.

I did not wish to scratch build the bogies, which are quite complex, so I looked around for r.t.r examples. A trawl around the web revealed how rare these are. I was fortunate in finding on Ebay a damaged coach from the old ROCO range that had two good bogies very close in style to that required.

They are about a foot too short in the wheelbase, which I can live with (no one will spot that in 'n' gauge!) and the coupler protrudes further than normal but as there is no corridor connection the increased gap between rolling stock can be tolerated.

The photo shows a dummy fit of a bogie before the underframe was fitted. The underframe is the subject of the next posting in this series.

To Part 6

To Part 1

Saturday, 29 October 2011

LSWR 48' Brake Lav. Tri-Comp. - Part 4

I'm glad I made the seating for two reasons.

Firstly, they bring rigidity to the structure. The seats were simply made from Z folded 0.75mm grey board covered in red moquette fabric (reduced photo printed on sticky backed label).

Secondly, it gives an insight into the British class system of the early 20th century. The third class compartment accommodates (tightly) 10 passengers on two benches. I have shown it upholstered but would not be surprised if it was actually hard wooden benches.

Eight second class passengers per compartment were given the luxury of an arm rest between four, which was probably more use as a demarcation between couples.

The five first class passengers per compartment enjoyed two arm rests each and a share of a lavatory attached to their compartment via a connecting door. Luxury indeed for a slow (20mph) journey from Basingstoke to Alton.

The next part in this series takes us below floor level.

To Part 5

To Part 1

Thursday, 27 October 2011

LSWR 48' Brake Lav. Tri-Comp. - Part 3

The interior walls help to keep the bodywork square.

I thought that with such a small model it would not be necessary to model the seating. When I looked through the windows and saw the carriage prints on the walls I knew that no seating would be an obvious omission. So, the next part in this series will be about adding the seats.

To Part 4

To Part 1

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Factoid #2

The railway track was pulled up to help efforts in the 1st World War, being re-laid in France.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Full scale layout

Last night I decided to print out my favourite layout in Full scale. 34 A4 pages later, and I now have a full scale plan, an exact scaled (2mm:1ft) replica of the 1911 map. Doing this has certainly opened my eyes, to the sheer size, and what's going to be involved. In my head I thought I was making a much smaller railway. The good thing is I can adjust and amend as I feel fit without it costing money.

LSWR 48' Brake Lav. Tri-Comp. - Part 2

I'm using Kodak photo glossy paper for the body sides. It has some stiffness, is thin enough not to be obtrusive and takes clean knife cuts without snagging. On the other hand it is easily marked and the emulsion finish tends to turn to powder if scratched. This is a problem when trying to locate the wire grab handles in their locating holes because misalignment of the wire will scratch the printed surface.

To protect the surface (the ink is not waterproof) sticky backed clear plastic used for book covers is applied over the printed side. It gives a subtly shiny surface reminiscent of paint varnish that would have been used on the prototype.

Next, the windows are cut out. The scalpel point is pushed through at each corner in a slicing action rather than dragging the knife. This way there is no chance of cutting too far. Removing the blanks reveals the white edge of the paper. This was covered using a brown felt tip pen but, regrettably, the wet ink leeched between the paper and plastic covering in some places. Probably better to use a dry crayon or similar.

The grab handles are formed from 0.22mm brass-like wire used in jewelry making. This is stiffer than copper wire despite its small diameter. The locating holes are made with the point of a fine sewing needle and the wire tails pushed through and folded flat at the rear in a downward direction towards the bottom of the side.

Next the window glass is cut from clear plastic as one long strip about 1mm larger than the window apertures and stuck to the rear with strips of double sided tape.

Interior panelling (printed on A4 sticky label sheet) is laid over the rear. This fixes the tails of the grab handles and tidily hides the assembled parts.

The lower portion of the side needs to be slightly curved inwards. Placing the side over the edge of the table and gently pressing to form the curve works well and the tails of the grab handles, being stiff, help to fix the curvature.

Finally, the Guard lookout is formed up and stuck onto the side.

In the next part of this series all the bodywork is assembled.

To Part 3

To Part 1

Monday, 24 October 2011

Cliddesden plans

Using the plan of the station from 1911, I have scaled it down, and using Microsoft Visio, worked out the best way to lay it all out and work out the best design for my situation.

In the future I plan on modelling the other station's  (Thorycroft, Herriard, Lasham and Bentworth), so the layout needs to be constructed with flexibility, usability and playability in mind. Being that the Basingstoke and Alton Light railway was for most part a single track line, this is not ideal for the usability or playabilty of my model railway. So, to add more interest I plan on making a loop, with a back siding, and the loop curves at the end of the table can be removed when the other stations come on-line.

I have applied a bit of artistic license, and moved Hackwood road a lot more closer. Otherwise I would have ended up with a board twice the size. I wanted to use it as it adds more interest to the layout, It'll just be a small compromise on reality.

My favourite plan:

Some other ideas:

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Riding the line @ Winslade

Today we managed to go on a cycle along some of the The Basingstoke to Alton Light railway line. The part we took (as close as possible) was from Cliddesden Station, and along the Winslade bend/ curve. Unfortunately the line starts to go into a conservation area where we were not allowed.

Ummm - maybe we should start a group to reinstate the Basingstoke to Alton Light Railway as a walking Cycling path, any one with me?

Going on the ride opened my eyes to how steep some of the embankments are, and a better idea of how to model some of the area around Cliddesden station.

Here are some pictures of a chapel, bridge and embankment, all built at the time of the line.

You can see the ride path here:

View 21.3 miles Oakley to the Basingstoke to Alton Light railway line (part of) in a larger map

LSWR 48' Brake Lav. Tri-Comp. - Part 1

In the book "The Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway" there is one reasonable picture of the passenger coach used on the line in the 1920s. This enabled us to identify it as a LSWR 48' Brake Lavatory Tri-Composite built in 1891/92 to diagram 131.

For the 1920s it would have been finished in a green livery but since we have an LSWR liveried locomotive for the earlier period of the line we need a version finished in LSWR salmon pink and brown chocolate. Can't say for sure this coach was used on the line in the early 1900s but at least its LSWR and was used on minor railway lines.

Our first task was to find a plan so that a scratch built model can be made since no 'n' gauge r.t.r. or kit is available from the trade. A quick web search revealed that the December 1973 issue of Model Railway Constructor had a plan and there was a copy for sale on Ebay! This was duly purchased. There are also some good photos of a similar coach on the Bluebell Railway website including a few interior views.

Anyone who has visited my blog at will know that I am an experienced 4mm scale modeller so to try my first scratch built 2mm scale model is quite a challenge with a whole different set of modelling standards and methods to learn.

The 4mm plan of the bodywork in the magazine was rescaled to 2mm using photo editing software and an overlay created and coloured. There is a myriad of recessed panelling that is represented with outline on the artwork rather than relief on the model. In 4mm relief is easily modelled but in 2mm it is impractical to do so (for my skill level and methodology anyway).

My approach to the build is to print the artworks using an ink jet printer onto photo glossy paper and these will form the bodywork. The artwork is created at 1200 d.p.i. but I feel a smaller resolution say, 300 may work just as well. The photo shows some of the parts. The beauty of this approach is that a second set of artworks could be quickly produced in green livery for the later period.

The next part in this series will cover fabrication of the body sides - There is more to it than just the printed artworks!

Author: DS

To Part 2

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Factoid #1

The Basingstoke to Alton Light railway was the first line to open under the Light railway act, and the first one to close.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Basingstoke to Alton Rail Line on Google Maps

Please feel free to collaborate on this map:

I know it's not 100% accurate, so would appreciate some input.

If need be you can download the KML file and load into Google Earth, or into your GPS device.
Please note the line crosses private land in some places. Please only use marked footpaths, or by-ways, if you plan using the route for cycling, walking, running etc.

View Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway in a larger map

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


I recently purchased 4 different types of GWR wagon's, for the railway.
- 7 blank wagon
- Cattle Van
- Single Vent Van
- Long Truck Wagon

Need to find some LSWR and Southern wagons, and some private owner ones.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Where is the Basingstoke to Alton light railway line?

I guess I should have found this out before I went on a cycle ride to try and find it ;-)

Well after a bit of research I have found some good resources that show the lines location.
Old maps showing the line as it was around 1911. (you have to search each area)
Up to date maps, showing the dismantled line. (Viables to Alton).

I have converted this information into a KML file which can be overlaid in Google Earth/ Maps or used for GPS devices. (Track not 100% accurate) - Just trying to find an easy way to get it online.

OK some trains

This was posted on, and explains it nicely - Thanks Dad!

"Here is a recently acquired Dapol LSWR M7 locomotive - a real joy to behold for its fine details. For those not familiar with the size of 'n' gauge it is shown below a UK 10 pence coin.

It is destined for a yet to be built model of Cliddesden station. An 02 tank was desired, to be authentic for the Basingstoke to Alton Light Railway, but this is the closest r.t.r model available. Same wheel arrangement and similar features but a good deal longer at 36' 2" against 30' 8" for the 02.

The LSWR livery covers the period of the line from its inception in 1901 to first closure in 1916. The line reopened in 1924 to finally close in 1936. For this latter period a Southern livery locomotive is needed.

There was little traffic on the line and only an 02 locomotive was used to haul the single passenger coach and freight, disregarding a brief period when a H12 Railmotor conveyed passengers.

To increase variety for the model railway it would be nice to be able to run two M7s, one of each livery for the two periods."

Sunday, 16 October 2011

The cycle route missing the line by 1 meter

This image shows the 'blue' (cycle) route which we thought hit the line, but we were out by about a meter, and never reached the line. 'White' line shows route of Basingstoke to Alton Line.

This is just outside Cliddesden, near Winslade.

Friday, 14 October 2011


Welcome to my blog about the Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway 1901 - 1936 (no longer running - deceased), modelled in N gauge.

I'm by no means a model railway expert, but for some reason, nearing the age of 30 my childhood interest in my N gauge train set has been reignited. Partly due to my fathers interest and his 00 gauge layout based on Misterton station, and surrounding line -, And a few cycle rides trying to ride some of the line.

Choosing the Basingstoke to Alton Railway to base my model on, in particular to start with Cliddesden station, started with a Cycle ride to try and ride some of it. However our first attempt to find it, without knowing exactly where it was, lead us in the wrong direction, then we tried again some weeks later but this time getting within a few meters, but never actually being on the line (long since gone). This lead me to do some research to find where the line was. I did not really know the line existed, but other people knew off it. So, I gradually started to build up knowledge, I started looking into the history, and read a book about the line my father had in his collection. This started me to think about building my own N gauge model railway.

Although I still had some N gauge trains and wagons from when I was younger, none are of the era, or L&SWR or Southern liveried, so this endeavour means starting pretty much from scratch.

I invite you to join me on my journey...

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