Tonight we are looking at another great model railway that was on display at the Southampton Model Railway Exhibition in January. The Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway from Weston to Clevedon as a tramway in 1897, converted to a ‘light railway’ in 1899 and finally extended to Portishead in 1907. It allowed local residents travel between the towns without the lengthy inland detours via the Great Western Railway. It imported coal for merchants and gas works and exported a considerable amount of limestone from quarries in the Gordano Valley.
In financial difficulties from the beginning, ‘Colonel’ H F Stephens was appointed the lines General Manager in 1911, but despite returning occasional profits the fortunes of the line steadily declined and the last train ran on 18 May 1940. The WC&PR’s rolling stock was typically run down second-hand equipment, bought cheaply from other railways, some of which also run by Col Stephens.
The layout is a virtually dead scale representation of the Railway’s Clevedon headquarters as it was in the mid-1930s and includes the station, sheds and offices in the Lower Queens Road. There were no public goods facilities at the station, these being located at Parnell Road. Nothing now remains. Baseboards have been built using extruded polystyrene and are extremely light. The track is hand-built using flat-bottomed rail and copper-clad sleepers. I do really like the layout with its unique range of rolling stock and little sscenes it captures the atmosphere of a light branch line really well.
I hope you enjoyed this quick look at this great layout, until next time thanks for reading.