SCALE 3 mm to 1 foot, 1:101.6, Gauge: 12 mm
West Harptree, which is an actual village in North
Somerset, is the terminus of a fictitious GWR branch line with its junction at
Hallatrow on the Bristol and North Somerset Railway. The period is set between
the wars when the day excursionists from Bristol and surrounds liked to take the
waters of Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes, whose existence, at this period in
time, is also fictitious, also they have been greatly enlarged to take small
West Harptree is the main village for the lakes having a small pier [not modelled], gift shops and tearooms and is also the focal point for the area’s industry having a dairy, Farmers’ Association stores, builders' merchant and of course the local coal merchant.
Hallatrow was the junction for the actual Camerton branch [of Titfield Thunderbolt and Ghost Train fame], which has been retained, but has had a fictitious link line added to the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway at Midford with a South facing junction, at the southern end of the viaduct, which enables through running from that line to West Harptree for both freight and passenger trains.
All this keeps the West Harptree branch very busy!!
The model is built to the scale of 3 mm to the foot with a track gauge of 12 mm (TT). The track is Peco code 80 rail in 3 mm Society Ratio sleeper units and the hand built points have been purchased from 3SMR, a 3 mm specialist shop. Most of the engines are kit bodies (some much modified for variety) on 3SMR chassis with Branchlines’ gearbox and motors. The coaching stock is mostly scratch built with most of the freight stock originating from the 3 mm Society or one of the other 3 mm specialist suppliers, of which both operators are proprietors of one - Finney & Smith Kits.
If you like what you see and want to “model railways” and not just take things out of a box, don’t be put off by the idea you cannot get anything for 3 mm nowadays; ask the operators for details of the 3 mm Society and other specialists, especially our own kits. A selection from these is usually available from the layout.
Scenery is based on concepts taken from Landscape Modelling by Barry Norman published by Wild Swan. The Layout featured in British Railway Modelling for January 2000.
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