A Visit to Tim Sanderson's Elmgate and Thatcham Light Railway
Mar 30, 2014Public
Photo: 001 Welcome to the Elmgate & Thatcham Light Railway !
Photo: 002 Tim’s plan of the layout, posted here with his permission. The original part was the 3ft long board containing the carriage shed and paint shop that was built around 2000 as a diorama to display the stock that Tim was building. The station board, with hand built track, followed soon after and the layout quickly evolved into a very popular exhibition layout .
Photo: 003 And here is Tim with half the layout (!) in his “man cave” at home in 2013 which was the best that I remembered to manage in terms of a complete layout photo (note: must try harder in future). The main differences from 2012 are an improved backscene, some scenic additions and a few more “exhibition battle honours” on the fiddle yard front screen to the left of the photo
Photo: 003a Having spent all these years “getting aroundtuit” regarding having a photo session away from exhibition hustle and bustle, I completely failed to get an overall photo showing the complete layout, so in order for you to see it in its fullness, I have resorted to using this photo that I took at Narrow Gauge South 2012 showing Tim (right) with fellow Sussex Downs 009 Group member Mark Holland and the layout in essentially its current state .
Photo: 004 The station and town area with a passenger train arriving .
Photo: 005 A higher level view of the station taken from the standard gauge viaduct, which hopefully adds a bit of perspective to the track plan in photo 002 .
Photo: 006 Fiddle yard photos are always popular, so here is the Elmgate and Thatcham one. Tim favours the fan of sidings style, along with a separate test track and space for stock servicing (and coffee cups etc!). The board at the front of the yard (acting as a screen from the viewing public) also provides useful space for operation sequences and other notes without cluttering up the yard surface .
Photo: 007 The advance home starter signal mounted at the limit of the station approach area and in front of the road bridge that screens the scenic section from the fiddle yard. This is a working signal, operated by a relay .
Photo: 008 The permanent way dept storage siding in front of the carriage shed, with the remains of the point that used to provide a loop. The story is that this was removed when the preservation society refurbished the track after it took over in the 1960’s .
Photo: 009 Looking along the approach track to Elmgate past the carriage shed with the standard gauge bridge acting as a view block to the actual station .
Photo: 010 Hunslet 0-6-0T No.1 Sussex brings a passenger service past the workshop and carriage shed area .
Photo: 011 Same area, opposite angle, different trains! Hunslet 0-4-2T No.2 Elmgate brings an empty tourist train into Elmgate whilst small 0-4-0T Sula prepares the workman’s train to go to the processing plant ready to take the staff home at the end of the day’s work .
Photo: 012 Mid afternoon and all quiet at the carriage shed area with just some empty wagons and an unoccupied Landrover present .
Photo: 013 The workmen’s passenger rake has been returned to the shed whilst 0-4-0ST Bagnall Karen shunts empty wagons ready for loading at the processing works .
Photo: 014 The paint/workshop and office building was built using components from an Airfix RAF control tower kit .
Photo: 015 Another passenger train leaves Elmgate as Bagnall Karen continues to shunt the wagons for the processing works .
Photo: 016 A busy scene outside the workshop building. 2 small Hunslets are shunting, whilst the PW Dept Wickham trolley is waiting to enter the workshop and a diesel loco hauls a brakevan across the standard gauge bridge .
Photo: 017 The standard gauge diesel loco that we saw on the bridge in the last photo. This is easily recognised as a Matchbox toy body and it has been mounted onto a Tenshodo “Spud” chassis. At exhibitions, Tim often varies the standard gauge interest with a Terrier loco .
Photo: 018 Looking through the standard gauge overbridge to get a track level glimpse of the approach to Elmgate Station .
Photo: 019 Sula brings the workmens passénger train under the standard gauge bridge. The train will take the left branch and go through the tunnel behind the signal cabin towards the off-scene processing works .
Photo: 020 A busy scene at the station. A heavy tourist train has arrived, whilst there is shunting activity going on in the station loop and goods yard .
Photo: 021 2-6-2ST loco number 5 River Adur has the all clear to take the passenger train out of Elmgate .
Photo: 022 The station building is at the end of the High Street and occupies a cramped site. Passenger access to the lower level platforms is via the footbridge .
Photo: 023 Another view of the station building. The tunnel leading to the processing works passes under the footbridge and station forecourt .