My model railway
out my child hood, I lived within 10 minutes walk of Stroud station in Gloucestershire,
so have fond memories of the area. Unfortunately I grow up in the modern image
era i.e. class 101 DMUs and 125s. My first introduction to steam came in 1985
with the 150th anniversary of the GWR, and I've been hooked on them ever since.
I've been a modeller since then and began with 00, building a branch line station,
it took up half the garage. I started looking for something that would give me
the same layout but take up less room. Then I found N Gauge and realized that
I could do a lot more. Unfortunately college put a hold on railway modeling so
it was the late 90s before I had time to go back to it. To begin with I joined
the N Gauge Society and the local area group, which has given me an idea of what
can be done. After a couple of false starts I found a book on my home line the
Swindon to Gloucester Line by C G Maggs. In it are photos of Stroud station, so
I decided to based a layout on these. My layout is not a prototypical model of
Stroud but one that is on the same line.
The golden valley line is a double track main line 44 miles long and runs from
Cheltenham to Swindon via Gloucester, Stonehouse, Stroud and Kemble with branch
lines to Cirencester and Tetbury. In 1836 an act of parliament was granted for
the construction of a broad gauge railway between Cheltenham and Swindon via Gloucester.
By the end of 1938 work had started on the section from Swindon to Cirencester
which opened in 1841. In 1843 work on the section from Gloucester to Kemble began
after the GWR had purchased line and opened fully in 1845. As with all GWR broad
gauge lines, it was converted to standard gauge in 1872.
The majority of GWR locomotives could be seen running on the line including engine
on run in turns after overhaul at Swindon works, the only exception was the king
class which were banned. As far as I am aware only one king was ever seen on the
line, due to being diverted over the line to Gloucester. The golden valley line
was the first line on the GWR to have an auto train service, this lasted until
1964. Traffic wise there where 9 down and 8 up trains between Gloucester and Swindon
daily plus an hourly service from Chalford to Stonehouse by 1957. A wide variety
of freight traffic could be seen on the line including coal, fish and anything
not permitted to pass through the severn tunnel.
I have yet to decide on a name for it but hope to sort it out soon and will
update this web site once I have chosen one. In terms of setting, the station
is situated on the line some were between Stroud and the only tunnels on the
line at Sapperton from 1954 onward. The reason for choosing this date is due
to Castle class loco 5017 The Gloucestershire Regiment 28th 61st not receiving
this name until that year. I wanted this one on my layout as it spent a large
part of its working life base at Gloucester.
Locomotives on the layout consist of 2 castles, 4 43xx's, 2 51xx's, 2 x 57xx's,
a Hall, a 78xx and a 94xx. There are other type of locos which I could do with
acquiring to make it more representative like a 14xx and 28xx, but I have a kit
for a 2251 if I can find a chassis and hope to add a 75xxx this year. Traffic
on the layout will be a mix of local and through passenger services plus coal
and through freight as well as the pickup goods. If Dapol produce the 14xx they
are planing then I can finally add the auto train working.