Thornycroft Sidings

Thornycroft Sidings 1928 – 1931

Thornycroft Sidings is our second layout in a series of model railway developments based on the Basingstoke & Alton Light Railway. In reality J.I Thornycroft Motor Vehicle works is no more, having been flattened and given over to a supermarket and light industry in the 1980s. The only evidence that it existed at all is a gantry hoist from the factory that stands at the entrance to the supermarket and the Thornycroft exhibits in The Milestones Museum opposite the factory site.

Thornycroft was a major employer in the town of Basingstoke in the 20th century. The firm manufactured commercial vehicles including the famous J class lorry of which 5,000 alone were made for military use in World War One.

Modelling Thornycroft Sidings is a much greater undertaking than our Cliddesden Station because of the large number and complexity of factory buildings that need to be researched and crafted from scratch.

With the objective of modularisation so that our layouts can be either joined together or, operated independently the baseboard footprint is identical to Cliddesden. This constrains the extent of the 15-acre factory site that can be modelled. With our main interest being railway matters it is possible to recreate in N gauge the entire railway siding complex of the site, including one that entered a factory building, and all the buildings at the west end of the site, most of which are massive structures dedicated to materials handling and storage. This amounts to about a third of the entire factory complex in a scenic area roughly four feet by three feet.

Thornycroft Sidings has greater operational potential than our Cliddesden station layout. To start with the sidings joined the Basingstoke & Light Railway so apart from goods in and out specific for the factory, passenger and goods trains serving stations along the line can be run past. Furthermore, whilst a single locomotive (O2 class) operated between stations another class of locomotive (G6 tank engine) shunted wagons between Basingstoke goods yard and Thornycroft goods yard.

Development of Thornycroft Sidings is covered in ‘Postings’ on this website.

Track Plan


Thornycroft Promotional Film



3 comments:

  1. Looking forward to seeing this one develop, the B&ALR is a fascinating subject.

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  2. Thanks for joining us. That's one of the reasons why we decided to do this.

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  3. Just had another look here, looking very good, I especially like your attention to detail. I smiled at your comment about working from a plan yet it doesn't match the photo. I am also building a N gauge model of a prototype (Dunkerton Colliery Halt on the GW Camerton branch) and getting the model to match the official plan and old photos is almost impossible!

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