Beckenham and West Wickham MRC


A 7mm 0 guage layout, LNER 1928, by Chris Robertson

Welcome to the south west Durham countryside circa 1928. Staindrop is a large village between Darlington and Barnard Castle, but never rail served. This ‘might have been’ branch is an attempt to model the old Central Division of the North Eastern Railway but in post grouping LNER days. This allows for the first changes that were taking place under the LNER other than just the livery of the locos and coaches. The introduction of steam railcars to replace the NER autocars (push-pull) being an example. However, the pre grouping character of the branch remains with an infrastructure of pure North Eastern Railway.

The buildings and structures are all locally sourced. The station building is based on Battersby, the water tank from Middleton-in-Teesdale, and the wooden overbridge from the Stainmore line. Many of the details, such as fencing, are researched from original NER sources and drawings. The signal box, based on Bowes, and signals are pure Central Division-not slotted and have simple caps rather than finials. The viaduct is based on an NER timber trestle from Ushaw Moor which lasted until the 1960’s

The aim is to give representation of a country branch and the variety of facilities it might contain. There are coal cells, plus facilities for cattle, horses and milk, as well as passengers. These facilities are used by a variety of contemporary trains. It also snows in Staindrop on the summer! The layout is mine but only possible with a lot of help from my friends at the Epsom & Ewell Model Railway Club.

Chris Robertson