Fovant Military Camp Railway

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mikeg

Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby mikeg » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:34 am

I have been researching for some time now a backwater railway in Wiltshire which ran from my home village of Dinton on the LSWR to the village 2 1/2 miles away of Fovant. This was a military camp railway (1915 to 1924) built to standard gauge by the LSWR and the Military to build and support the large WW1 troop camps in the vicinity of Fovant. Those of you who know the A30 will know where I mean as the large regimental badges are cut into the chalk downland at this point. I knew the railway whilst growing up but by this time it was much shortened and changed to 2' 6" gauge to support the WW2 RAF infrastructure.

With much help a templot plan of the Fovant end has been produced (and much compressed!) - we have discused this at our local area group (NEEAG) and one of the boards of my intended layout lends itself to being used in this incentive so we have made a start. This project is being done from scratch so progress will be well behind others that appear in this forum but we will endeavour to post progress in this forum. To give people a view of the intended layout of the SGW part, the attached picture shows the layout plan of the intended area which is the engine shed, security area and goods shed. We will not get it all in but enough to give us something to play with.
Fovant plan 3.jpg

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Russ Elliott
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Russ Elliott » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:34 pm

Flat and windswept terrain?

Armchair Modeller
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Armchair Modeller » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:53 pm

Russ Elliott wrote:Flat and windswept terrain?


It will be on Monday ;)

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Russ Elliott
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Russ Elliott » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:22 pm

:lol:

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:58 am

Flat and windswept? From Mike's presentation at NEEAG last week it certainly wasn't flat (up to 1 in 35) but might have been windswept at times.

The numbers of army personnel and supporting materials moved by this small railway was quite remarkable and poses many interesting questions as it wasn't that well documented. For example, does anyone know what a Hudswell Clarke Rogers (or Rodgers) 4-4-0 tank loco looks like?

This looks like a very interesting project.

Jol

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jayell
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby jayell » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:58 am

It seems that a Peckett loco has survived according to this article

http://www.fovanthistory.org/railway.html and here http://www.nlr.org.uk/stock/s1378.htm plus this link re the camps
http://www.fovanthistory.org/camps2.html is interesting

From time to time I take the route through the Nadder Valley en route to Salisbury so I'll be looking at the area either side of the road from a different viewpoint in future, though looking at google maps suggests there will be little to see as all the areas the camps occupied were ploughed up in recent times.

John

Steve Sykes

Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Steve Sykes » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:24 pm

Jol Wilkinson wrote:Flat and windswept? From Mike's presentation at NEEAG last week it certainly wasn't flat (up to 1 in 35) but might have been windswept at times.

The numbers of army personnel and supporting materials moved by this small railway was quite remarkable and poses many interesting questions as it wasn't that well documented. For example, does anyone know what a Hudswell Clarke Rogers (or Rodgers) 4-4-0 tank loco looks like?

This looks like a very interesting project.

Jol


Almost certainly one of the ex-M&GN 4-4-0Ts sold to the War Department in 1917. They were formerly Hillington, Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Details and drawings in Bob Essery's M&GN book published by Lightmoor Press.

mikeg

Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby mikeg » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:32 am

Steve - looks like you may be right. i have had discussions with Jol and the picture he sent me looks interesting. Certainly the date of 1878 would fit with when Hudswell Clarke were Hudswell Clarke Rogers (1870 - 1883). I have had a look at the Hudswell Clarke website and whilst I think we will never have a positive answer its good enough for me. Many thanks for your efforts - all we need now is for Jol to produce an etched kit !

Progress on the baseboard and trestle arrangement proceeds and I am hoping to be able to take to the next NEEAG meeting.

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Ian Everett
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Ian Everett » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:13 am

mikeg wrote:
...This project is being done from scratch so progress will be well behind others that appear in this forum but we will endeavour to post progress in this forum.



This looks like a fascinating and really quite ambitious project, which could lead to big things and lot of scratch building of locos?

I'm sorry I haven't picked it up before.

Fear not about being behind others - I have a very cunning plan (which wild horses will not drag out of me!) but it will not be started until after Scalefour North, for which I have to complete Clecklewyke and finish quite a lot of stock.

Keep posting!

Ian

Natalie Graham
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Natalie Graham » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:21 pm

clecklewyke wrote:Fear not about being behind others - I have a very cunning plan (which wild horses will not drag out of me!) but it will not be started until after Scalefour North,


Sounds very intriguing. It will be interesting to see just how much scope there is for cunning plans in 4' 8 1/2". Mine hasn't got started yet either, for reasons I won't go into here, although I have a plan in mind and bought the timber for the legs yesterday so progress is imminent.

mikeg

Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby mikeg » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:34 pm

I did a presentation to the local area group of the Dinton to Fovant Military Railway and thought some folk might like to read the 'overview' I did :-

'The 2 ½ mile line was constructed by the Military and L.S.W.R. in 1915 for the construction and support of the large WW1 troop camps being set up near Fovant . The camps were initially for use by British troops as a training facility prior to despatch to the front line. It quickly evolved into a main staging area for Commonwealth troops – mainly Australian. As well as accommodation the camps had rifle ranges and trench training exercise areas. The railway supplied virtually all of the camps requirements – food, coal, ammunition/explosives and all the many other equipment needs for such a large undertaking. On cessation of hostilities the camps became one of the main de-mob centres and at its peak was moving between 2 and 3 Thousand troops a day to Dinton and the LSWR main line.

The line was sharply curved and steep, 1 in 35 in places. This meant that trains were short and the passenger train was a maximum of 4 off 6 wheel 30’ coaches loaned by the LSWR. Goods stock was also mainly of LSWR origin but the locos were supplied by the Military.

The line had no signals and was worked on the ‘Staff and Ticket’ system thus allowing more than one engine in steam. This was needed with 50,000 troops to support the line must have been busy both in support materials and passenger loadings. Operationally therefore I think it might be interesting.'

Thanks for all the interest - and to others out there thinking about embarking on their own project - Do it - in our case (NEEAG) its proving exactly what it set out to be - a stimulus for the group to share skills and techniques. I'm a tyro at all this but the skills in our group are staggering. They will need to be because as someone has already spotted the project will have to be totally kit built, no RTR options, but hey thats why I wanted to do it.

mikeg

Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby mikeg » Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:32 am

In case some folk wonder what the 'Ticket' part of Staff and Ticket is here's one I made earlier - with lots of help from Photoshop
Staff Ticket Fovant to Dinton.jpg

Steve Sykes

Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Steve Sykes » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:14 am

The new issue of Railway Archive, no. 41, has an article by Bill Aves on the military railways of Salisbury Plain, including some information on the Fovant Railwy.

mikeg

Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby mikeg » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:38 pm

Steve - Many thanks for the heads up - I would have missed that one. Suffice to say an order has gone in for a copy.

I think I have finished the glue-up of the baseboard today - I say think because I have yet to prise it off the wooden bench I built it on , and spilt a lot of glue! If it comes out all right and the fellow members of NEEAG don't find too many faults then I will post a photo.

mikeg

Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby mikeg » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:39 pm

Railway Archive No 41 duly arrived and there are some fascinating bits of information and photos of similar camps to Fovant which reinforces my view of their construction. It also shows a picture of the Hudswell Clarke Rogers loco (ex M & GN)

I took the baseboard to NEEAG last night and general opinion was one of favour
baseboard 002 (Medium).jpg
baseboard 002 (Medium).jpg (39.59 KiB) Viewed 7096 times
[attachment=1]

The next phase is to also make the fiddle yard baseboard whilst I have the jig set up, another set of trestle legs and then its tidy up the Templot print for the board and manufacture the trackbed ready for tracklaying. The fiddle yard will be of the cassette type and the board can be part fiddle part layout scenic as the length of trains was very restricted due to the steep gradients in places on the original.
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baseboard 001 (Medium).jpg
baseboard 001 (Medium).jpg (52.37 KiB) Viewed 7096 times

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Tim V
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Tim V » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:40 pm

Authorized? Just checked the tickets in my possession and they are spelt with a "S".
Tim V
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dal-t
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby dal-t » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:12 pm

Tim V wrote:Authorized? Just checked the tickets in my possession and they are spelt with a "S".

Both are acceptable in British English - "authorize" from medieval Latin, "authorise" from Old French. Wikipedia is your friend ...
David L-T

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jayell
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby jayell » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:25 pm

mikeg wrote:The next phase is to also make ............. another set of trestle legs.


What materials do you use for those leg frames?

The photo makes it appear you used something like 1" square legs with 2" wide ply cross members. If this is correct are they stiff enough?
Was it easy to source the material for the metal braces?

ta

John

mikeg

Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby mikeg » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:51 am

Hi John - When I started to source materials I was trying to avoid DIY type materials, especially the ply (6mm) and found via Yellow pages a local joiner who could supply (and cut) nordic ply. We discussed legs as I was trying to get wood that would not warp/twist and he had some Tulip wood spare so that's what I have used. Not sure he's got enough for more trestles but I will use his experience to advise me as to alternatives. I think it's worth seeking out a specialist if possible and the cost was little more that DIY shops.

The legs are 38mm by 45mm - the 45mm being the critical dimension in my case. The design is based on Gerry Beales Maiden Newton layout (MRJ209) and uses double thick 6mm ply for the end of each board. Some allowance has to be made for fitting two boards together when one of them has pattern makers dowels protruding hence my 45mm dimension.

The top and bottom ply spacers are 4" wide and this, along with the aluminium struts seems to give a very stiff set up once the board is in place. I had wondered if I would need a diagonal strut on the trestles but this seems to not necessary at this point. The aluminium again was sourced locally from a metal supplier (Local trailer fabricator) and is 1" x 1/8"strip. Incidentally the struts and end boards are held together when erected by the use of M6 insert nuts screwed into the ply/leg wood during manufacture (Screwfix are one supplier). This is very neat and ensures there are no protruding bits to get snagged, it also allows the use of an electric screwdriver on min torque setting to speed up erection/break down.

There is if you look carefully at the photos a central insert in each board end - this is a home made insert which I hope will solve another problem. Its in its final development stage but I hope to reveal later.

PS: As probably the only member of the Essex branch of the Yeovil Town football clunb supporters club yesterday was a GOOD day !

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Tim V
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Tim V » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:23 am

dal-t wrote:
Tim V wrote:Authorized? Just checked the tickets in my possession and they are spelt with a "S".

Both are acceptable in British English - "authorize" from medieval Latin, "authorise" from Old French. Wikipedia is your friend ...


It might well be correctly spelt, but I was making the point the railways might have used the other spelling thus:
Ticket.jpg


from the 1936 Great western regulations for train signalling. My current Talyllyn Railway instructions spell it the same way.
Tim V
Scalefour News Editor

Terry Bendall
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:49 am

mikeg wrote:I was trying to avoid DIY type materials,


Using a specialist timber yard, assuming that you can find one of course, is always a good idea.

mikeg wrote:The legs are 38mm by 45mm
I have used the same size for trestles. In my case it comes from Wicks who do useful bulk packs in 2.4 metre lengths which will fit into larger cars for transport. Not a specialist timber yard but reasonable quality.

mikeg wrote:The aluminium again was sourced locally from a metal supplier (Local trailer fabricator) and is 1" x 1/8"strip.
Wicks do a range of mild steel flat strip that would be an alternative and may be more readily available.

(no connection with the firm, just a satisfied customer)

Terry Bendall

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jayell
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby jayell » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:24 am

Terry Bendall wrote:
mikeg wrote:I was trying to avoid DIY type materials,


Using a specialist timber yard, assuming that you can find one of course, is always a good idea.

mikeg wrote:The legs are 38mm by 45mm
I have used the same size for trestles. In my case it comes from Wicks who do useful bulk packs in 2.4 metre lengths which will fit into larger cars for transport. Not a specialist timber yard but reasonable quality.

mikeg wrote:The aluminium again was sourced locally from a metal supplier (Local trailer fabricator) and is 1" x 1/8"strip.
Wicks do a range of mild steel flat strip that would be an alternative and may be more readily available.

(no connection with the firm, just a satisfied customer)

Terry Bendall


Thanks Mike for the information and Terry for suggestions. I did some searching last evening for possible timber suppliers and the nearest place which seems likely to have 'exotic' timbers is in Honiton, all we have in Yeovil are DIY stores or builders merchants who only sell softwoods. I agree that Wickes do reasonable quality timber and I expect I'll get suitable timber from them. I haven't noticed metal strip in their local store though so will look specifically for some next time I am shopping there.

I will have to get any sheet material from B&Q though as they are they only place I know of that can cut a four foot wide panel in half lengthwise. Will have to be selective in picking the ply though as from what I have seen their quality is quite variable. I cannot get a four foot wide panel up the loft ladder nor would I be happy driving my car with full width panels on the roof rack, it will help too if I can get B&Q to cut part of the panel into 4" inch wide strips, I don't want to have to buy a circular saw just to cut them.

John

chrisyates
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby chrisyates » Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:09 am

Hi, John

Interesting prototype! I also like the baseboard construction.

I actually built Gerry Beale's baseboards, so I am interested in a few aspects of your design.

Firstly, regarding your comments about diagonal bracing on the legs. Gerry's boards were quite high, and I used rectangular aluminium tube for the uprights. As it is not really practical to glue the cross braces to the tubes, I fitted diagonal cross-braces for strength. If I use hardwood legs, them gluing the horizontal cross-braces gives significantly added strength. The concern is not connected to normal use of the boards, but when they are abused - eg someone leaning on them, as this can apply a significant racking force, tending to collapse the legs sideways.

I am interested in why you have cut so many lightening holes in the inner skin of the board, because in practice I find that this is quite a lot of work to save insignificant weight. It is not the drilling of the holes that takes the time, but smoothing the edges as well. Not the most interesting task. Also, I favour using fewer ribs as they can get in the way of wiring etc underneath. For rectangular boards I use transverse ribs, and significant extra stiffness is achieved when the trackbed (also 6.5mm ply) is glued to soldiers and firmly fixed to the ends. I only use diagonal ribs if the boards are not rectangular, because they take a lot more work and I don't find that they add appreciably to the strength and stiffness of the finished board.

I agree with your comments about sourcing ply. I use "birch throughout WBP" which is a good medium grade. As far as I am aware it is available from sheet materials suppliers - I always use Timbmet Silverman, because they have a branch not too far away and have always given great service. They have a number of outlets around the UK; see http://timbmet.com/contactus/contactus.aspx for locations. There are other specialists around as well, and they usually offer a cutting service if you need one. They usually use CNC saws so you will usually get the sizes you specify.

Good luck with the project - you've done the hard bit already!

Regards, CHRIS

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jayell
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby jayell » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:21 am

chrisyates wrote:Hi, John

Interesting prototype! I also like the baseboard construction.

I actually built Gerry Beale's baseboards, so I am interested in a few aspects of your design.

Firstly, regarding your comments about diagonal bracing on the legs. Gerry's boards were quite high, and I used rectangular aluminium tube for the uprights. As it is not really practical to glue the cross braces to the tubes, I fitted diagonal cross-braces for strength. If I use hardwood legs, them gluing the horizontal cross-braces gives significantly added strength. The concern is not connected to normal use of the boards, but when they are abused - eg someone leaning on them, as this can apply a significant racking force, tending to collapse the legs sideways.


I saw Gerry's layout at RailWells and it was very, rather than quite, high! It looks like it isn't going to be easy getting hardwood for my baseboard supports and rectangular aluminium tube would be even harder to source locally. I have purchased a baseboard kit from 'Model Railway Solutions' in Poole and it is up in the loft awaiting assembly.

basebd_small.jpg
basebd_small.jpg (31.32 KiB) Viewed 6771 times

I removed one of the cross-members to show the slots, it is intended that the cross-members are glued to the sides and the longtitudinal strut and then pinned through the sides plus the ends are glued and screwed to the sides. I saw a couple of finished baseboards at the Weymouth railway exhibition last month and was impressed with how light yet stiff the frames were, adding a ply rail base on top will make them even stiffer.

My main baseboard will end up 72" long by 30" wide which will be just long enough to fit in the loop siding with a very short bit of straight track each end, The straight bits will connect to a couple of 48"x 12" boards with a 3 road traverser on each, one pretending to be Maiden Newton and the other Bridport. This will allow swapping between goods or passenger trains. At the moment there is no intention of exhibiting the diorama even if I am able to construct it to a good enough standard, but it will be constructed so as to be tranportable.

John

chrisyates
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Re: Fovant Military Camp Railway

Postby chrisyates » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:30 pm

Hi, John

I source the aluminium tube from Metals4U; see: http://www.metals4u.co.uk/aluminium-box ... oducts.asp. It comes in a few days and is reasonably priced. If the legs can be contained at 900mm high or less, then a good economical source of straight-grained, and reasonably lightweight, hardwood is to use Wickes balusters (actually made by Richard Burbidge) - the last time I checked they were around £4 something each, and I think they are usually hemlock. However they involve quite a lot more work to assemble in to useful leg assemblies. Robin Whittle's model of Barrow Road Shed uses them, if you have seen that on display.

Regards,

CHRIS


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