By Nick Salzman
NORTH DEVON 1873 – 1892
3mm scale 14.2mm/21mm mixed gauge
In 1824 proposals were made for the Public Devonshire Canal to link the North
and South coasts of Devon. It would start at Weare Gifford on the river Torridge
near Bideford on the north coast and finish at Topsham just south of Exeter
on the south coast. The proposed route was very similar in part to that taken
by the North Devon Railway between Exeter, Barnstable and Bideford, built in
1854. This line was originally built to the Broad Gauge and leased by the Bristol
and Exeter Railway. In 1862 it was acquired by the London and South Western
Railway and was converted to mixed gauge. It was re-signalled and new LSWR
signal boxes built in 1873.
This layout imagines that the canal was actually built and that there was a canal/railway interchange near Crediton, at what is now known as Salmons Crossing but originally was called Yeoton Crossing. As well as a goods interchange shed[loosely based on one surviving on the Cromford canal in Derbyshire] there is a large maltings [based on Tuckers Maltings at Newton Abbott] with it’s own wharf. This features a working wagon turntable and traverse pulling the wagon in and out of the warehouse. Goods would have included corn, wool, clay, timber, coal and of course cider!!
Most of the layout is laid with cross sleepered track whilst the original Broad Gauge siding still has the original baulk road with bridge rail.
Please feel free to ask any questions about the layout. Further details of the construction may be found in a blog at www.nicksprojects.spaces.live.com .
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