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Bingham Model Railway Club

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The project to build a new large tail chaser 4mm layout located somewhere in the Nottingham area soon focused on the London Extension of the GCR, in part due to the release by Bachmann, of exquisite models of the standard GCR island platform buildings accessed from an over bridge (and later a signal box). The London Extension has generated some excellent layouts over the years; Leicester South, Charwelton and our own New Basford spring to mind. We wanted to build a typical station, but in addition to a small goods yard we also wanted a small loco shed, with turntable. As members have diverse interests (including green diesels!) we needed to bend reality further and change history. In particular, the line did not close in 1966, and whilst in this playing God role, we also selected a 'might have been' location for the station, close to Nottingham with the facilities we wanted. We did accept that the LMR 'sort' of took over in 1957 but they only repainted line buildings maroon but depended on Eastern Region locomotive power and rolling stock until the end of steam. Furthermore, the line  was heavily invested in by BR including the introduction of colour light signalling.

When the London Extension was constructed in the late 1890's a small loco shed, and large goods facilities, were built just north of the Trent in the Meadows area of Nottingham, Arkwright Street and Queens Walk respectively. The loco shed did not last long, closing in 1909 due to several factors including the high water costs charged by Nottingham Corporation. We imagined that our GCR did build the extensive goods facilities but looked south of the river for loco servicing facilities, beyond the City boundary. The area, south of the splendid steel girder double bridge over the Trent and south of the bridge carrying the railway over Wilford Lane. was undeveloped, but is low lying and the London Extension ran across it on an embankment before cutting through increasingly high ground, eventually entering a deep cutting (now Willwell nature reserve). The A52, built much later, now passes over this area descending towards Clifton Bridge. From the late nineteenth century this higher area has been developed for housing and is now an extensive suburb of West Bridgford.

We have replaced the deep cutting with a tunnel at the southern end of the layout. A brick works, on the eastern side of the line, has become the site of a small goods yard servicing  the local area. and a Four Road Loco Shed (as at Arkwright Street), with full servicing facilities including a turntable (the site is now occupied by an industrial estate). Wilford Road, connecting Ruddington and Wilford, crosses the railway at this point so providing access to an island station.. This scenario permits all the usual London Extension traffic, but also increased suburban commuter trains, light loco movements and local goods trains plus yard shunting providing ample interest for the viewer.

Our intent is to operate the line in the period from the mid 50's to the end of steam, with Eastern Region steam and green diesel haulage. Traffic includes the famous 'runners' to and from Annesley, named expresses, suburban traffic etc.

In the future it may be feasible  to model  a summer weekend with excursions from all over the BR network or possibly BR blue era services of the 70's and 80's. It is even possible we could regress the layout to the 1920's and 30's though that would be tricky.

The layout is DCC controlled including points, signals and the turntable on the viewing side.. The extensive 12 road fiddle yard plus 12 spurs can accommodate over 20 trains and is operated with a dot and dab electronic system on a pull out mimic board. The layout is 24'x8' operated from the inside and requires a minimum of 4 operators, a van for transport and overnight if more than 50 miles from Bingham (Notts).

Each board is 4' x 2' giving a total size of 24' x 8' with an option to insert one board from each end giving an option of 24' x 12'