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Portsea

Portsea   (reminiscences of Portsmouth)

by Paul Hopkins and John Wakenham (Email: phemail1@yahoo.co.uk)

Scale :  3mm / ft, gauge 12mm
Era : British Railways Southern Region 1950’s & 1960’s
Layout Size :    19 ft long 2 ft 6 in wide

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The current Southern Coastway and South West Portsmouth Direct train services terminate at Portsmouth Harbour with ferry connections to the Gosport and the Isle of Wight. The lines to the east of Portsmouth were electrified in 1938, the non electrified services were operated with diesel units and also loco hauled which makes interesting operation as the Harbour station had no run-round facilities for locomotives

This model is built in response to the 50th anniversary celebrations of the 3mm Society, and is a portrayal of the Harbour station and the approaches to it as it was operated in the post nationalisation era using locomotives and rolling stock typical of the period. Various features of the locality have been incorporated into the model, specifically the war memorial, Commercial Road bridge, Dockyard gates and part of the Semaphore Tower building. An adaptation of the Royal Naval dockyard is included in the model, although with some modeller's licence, includes its internal rail system and access to the national network from the “town” station.

Part of the challenge was to construct the layout from models and kits that can be purchased from the local model shop. The track is from the Peco HOm range, a little course for 3mm 1:100 scale, but matches the original 12mm gauge developed by Triang. Buildings are all made from adapted kits from continental manufacturers and the terminus station complex is scratchbuilt from plasticard, although the station building and footbridge has been adapted from Triang models.

There are no ready to run British outline locomotives and rolling stock, all those operated on the layout are built from scratch or kits with a few modified Triang items.