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Description based on material supplied by the layout owner
West Harptree, which is an actual village in North Somerset, is the ter- minus 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 en- larged to take small pleasure steamers.
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 Rail- way 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 3mm to the foot with a track gauge of 12mm ('lT). The track is Peco code 80 rail in 3mm Society Ratio sleeper units and the hand built points have been purchased from 3SMR, a 3mm 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 3mm 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 3mm nowadays; ask the operators for details of the 3mm 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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