Colin Cooks Layout Riffield

RIFFIELD - A Southern Railway Layout
Riffield is located in the Sussex Weald approximately south east of Eridge. The town is connected to Eridge by a branch line, which enters the station through a road overbridge. Riffield is a country town, with a population of some 2800 people. The period of this layout is 1946 to 1947. It forms part of the Central Section of the Southern Railway.

The layout comprises three baseboards, each 3 feet by 1 foot 3 inches. Two of the boards form the scenic section, and the third is the fiddle yard. In this case the fiddle yard is a four track sector plate. The construction is the usual frame of 2” by 1” softwood, with a 1/2” chipboard decking.

The track gauge is 12 mm, and is built from code 60 bullhead rail, soldered to printed circuit board sleepers. The plain track is made up using a jig, but in the case of points the Society templates are used with a crossing angle of 1 in 5. An underlay of 1/16” cork is glued to the baseboard in the position of the track, and the track is glued to the cork underlay. Points are controlled manually by the wire in tube method, with the wire being bent up through a right angle to locate in a hole in the tie bar. The other end of the wire is fixed to the doll of a DTDP slide switch. By operating the switch the point direction is selected, and by suitable wiring to the switch the electrical polarity of the point is changed also.

The track plan of Seaton in Devon was used with little change. Entry from the fiddle yard is directly to the main platform, which is a scale 300 ft in length and can accommodate a train of four coaches. The second platform has a scale length of 200 ft and is used mainly for parcels traffic. The long siding at the front of the layout is effectively the goods yard, but has no goods shed. At the rear of the layout there is a run around loop to provide loco release. From the loop there is a siding at each end. The shorter siding is alongside a loading dock, scale length 117 ft, opposite the station building. The longer siding at the end of the loop is used to hold goods stock.

The main building is the station building, a wooden structure similar to those at Fittleworth, and Hampden Park. A drawing of the Fittleworth building was published in the British Railway Journal no.14.
Next is the signal cabin, which is a Saxby and Farmer design. The cabin was built from a drawing of a similar cabin located at East Grinstead. The signals operated from the cabin are late Brighton line pattern, not Saxby and Farmer originals.
Down towards the road bridge is the platelayers hut, a model of the concrete version produced at the Exmouth Junction works. A drawing for this hut was in an early copy of Mixed Traffic.
The final building is a merchants store in the goods yard. This is thought of as a store for animal feed. This is a rough copy of a building in an article from the Railway Modeller. All the buildings are constructed from styrene sheet.

The layout is assumed to lay across the slope of a hillside, which had been excavated to form a ledge to accommodate the site of the station. It has been assumed that the town spreads up the hill from the front of the layout. The hill drops away from the station site behind the back scene. The contours, hedging, and trees etc., are produced by methods described by Jack Kine in his booklet “Miniature Scenic Modelling”.

B&B couplings are used on all rolling stock. The couplings are set using three gauges to ensure proper operation. The couplings are checked before the layout is taken to an exhibition. This would not be necessary if the layout did not need to be packed for transport.
The couplings are operated by electromagnets fitted beneath the baseboards. The electromagnets are energised by a 25 volt a.c. supply, via a push button switch for each electromagnet.

The locomotives for this layout are a combination of kit and scratch built, in all there are a total of twelve locomotives. Nine are models of L.B.S.C.R prototypes as follows:
A1x 0-6-0T ( kit ) D1 0-4-2T ( kit )
D3 0-4-4T ( scratch ) E1 0-6-0T ( kit ) E2 0-6-0T ( kit ) E4 0-6-2T ( scratch )
I1x 4-4-2T (scratch ) I3 4-4-2T ( scratch )
H2 4-4-2 ( kit )
The tenth model is of a S.E.C.R. prototype: O1 0-6-0 ( kit )
The final two models are of S.R. prototypes:
Q1 0-6-0 ( kit ) W 2-6-4T ( kit )

There are three passenger coach sets used on the Riffield layout. The first is an ex-L.B.S.C.R. two coach motor train, hauled by the D1 0-4-2T. This unit is considered to run from Riffield Via Tunbridge Wells West and Hever to Oxted.
The second coach set, an ex- S.E.C.R. three coach B-set of Birdcage stock, which is considered to work from Riffield via Tunbridge Wells West, East Grinstead, and Oxted to Victoria, Hauled by either a D3 0-4-4T or an I1x 4-4-2T.
The final coach set, a S.R. Maunsell three coach set formed from 59 ft. corridor stock, of the 1929 – 1934 period. This set is considered to work from Riffield via Tunbridge Wells West, East Grinstead, and Oxted to London Bridge, hauled by either an I1x 4-4-2T or an I3 4-4-2T.

Parcels traffic is handled using a standard S.R. four wheel Utility Van, or a four wheel Luggage Van. Occasionally a bogie Corridor Luggage Van will make an appearance as the traffic demands. The milk traffic is not large enough to justify tank wagons, and as a consequence it is still handled in churns. The churns are transported in two ex-S.D.J.R. milk vans.
Goods traffic on the branch is forwarded from Tunbridge Wells West behind whatever suitable locomotive is available.. The wagons and vans are typical of those operated by the four companies. The coal traffic is to meet the demand for household coal, and the requirements of the Riffield Gas Light & Coke Co. The gasworks is located on the other side of the road bridge, as are the domestic coal merchants.
General traffic is generated from the agriculture and horticulture of the surrounding area, and also the small industries of the town. This traffic is dealt with on the long siding. .



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Last updated:1-05-2006