BILLINGBOROUGH

 

 

Billingborough is a village in South Lincolnshire on the western edge of the Fens.

 

At the time this layout is based (1960) agriculture was the principal industry.

 

The line was built by the Great Northern Railway between Sleaford and Bourne, with connections to Lincoln, Boston, Grantham, Spalding and Leicester via the M&GN at Bourne and opened in January 1872.

 

In 1930 the line was closed for passenger traffic other than occasional Sunday specials to Skegness, a daily goods trains ran from Sleaford to Bourne until 1956.

 

From 1956 until closure in 1965 a daily goods train ran from Spalding to Billingborough via Bourne, mainly with agricultural products.

 

All track and points are 'OO' Peco code 100. Locomotives and wagons are Hornby or Bachman fitted with Kadee couplers.

 

Station building was made by Howard Leader , all others are card kits or scratch built.

 

The layout was featured in British Railway Modelling July 2013.

 

The Layout

 

SCALE    'OO'

ERA        1958-62

SIZE    Baseboard is 12 ft x 2ft. Viewing from front only (12ft)

             Space for operation 14 ft x 5ft.( depending on size of operators )

VALUATION FOR INSURANCE   £2000.00

POWER REQUIEMENTS  1x 220v 13 amp socket,  Bacon Sandwiches and 'on tap' coffee.

TRANSPORT     Transported in own car.

OPPERATORS   2,       One plus one to relieve  (that’s loo and food relief)

                             2 chairs plus 1 small table.

 

CONTACTS   Graham Morfoot.

                                                         

                

My first experience of this village station in south Lincolnshire was when I was about four years old. My father who owned the village bakery, often recalled the time when Mr Rowell, the station master, would return me to his bakery, sometimes hanging  by my bracesfrom a shunting pole ! Mr Rowell would explain that it was difficult to perform shunting operations with me playing with the ballast between the points.

 

 

Progressing later to the Primary school summer holidays when we would walk two miles  to the crossing at Sempringham at get a cab ride to Billingborough on the daily pickup goods hauled by a J6. It did help that one of my fathers bakers, brother was the driver.
 
On arrival at the station we would stay in the cab whilst the shunting was completed in the now terminal station, and then wait in the cab to 'look after ' the locomotive as the crew went to the cafe in the village for there lunch.
 
The train would then return to Spalding via Bourne with agricultural products such as sugar beet and potatoes after delivering coal, and coke for my fathers bakery ovens, fertilizer, livestock and wood etc.

 

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Billingborough  OO

Exhibition Layout.

Plan of layout, 9ft long plus 3ft sector plate to the right. Line from Sleaford on left, from Bourne on right.

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A brief history
 
The single-line route opened for goods traffic in October 1871 by the Great Northern Railway, and passenger trains started in January 1872. The line was sixteen miles long, between Sleaford and Bourne, with stations at Aswarby, Scredington, Billingborough, Rippingale, and Morton Road. 1930 saw the closure of the line and it's stations to passenger traffic other than the occasional Sunday excursions to Bracing Skeggy and Hustanton.

During the 2nd World War the station was used by the American Air Force to bring in equipment for the nearby Folkingham aerodrome. Locals recall the many incidents of the problems of unloading large equipment onto large vehicles in a small station.
 
From 1956 until the final closure in 1965 the line terminated at Billingborough with a daily goods from Spalding via Bourne, the service declined to a weekly train, with J6 and Standard 4MT's and diesel ( O3's and O8's)  haulage at the end.
 
So, the layout was conceived, this was some thing new to me, as it is my first British layout, having modelled North American HO for 30 something years.
I decided to start the project whilst on holiday in January 2012 and completed it (well it's never finished is it) in May 2012.

Details of the layout for exhibition managers

Looking along the layout with Birthorpe Road and Billingboro' South Box in the forground.

Ben and I, have a great 'father n son' day at Spalding Exhibition November 2013

The track plan is as it was in the 1950/60's but the layout is not to scale due to space restrictions in the layout room and transport.
 
Constructed is on three 4x2 foot, 1/2 inch chipboards, with 2x1 inch batons to strengthen, and covered with cork sheet and 2x1 legs attached  with bolts and wing nuts. Electrical connection between board are Plug-in terminal blocks, plain and simple.  Boards are aligned with dowel pegs and held together using Toggle clasp fasteners, these are designed for easy dismantling and stacking for storage and transport in a Ford Fiesta. This is part of the long term plan to exhibit it when time permits.
 
Track and points are all Peco OO code 100.  Personal experience has proved to me that a layout that is going to be transported and dismantled regularly need s to be durable, and Peco code 100 fits the bill, although it may not look correct to some.
 
Points and signals are all manually operated with under layout brass rods to the outside of baseboard.  Birthorpe Road level crossing  is operated with a manual worm and cog gear mechanisms.
 A single DC handheld controlled with three feeds to layout is used, again keep every thing as simple as possible if you are going to exhibit a layout.
 Just a few minutes instruction and anyone can operate it, ideal for relief at exhibitions and the chances of breakdowns are drastically reduced, it is so frustrating for viewers and owners when the complicated 'things' go wrong at shows.
 

The original 'BILLINGBORO' SOUTH'  signal box sign,now has a new home in my house.

Buildings and other structures

 

The buildings are an assortment of kits and scratch built.
Signal boxes and goods shed and weigh bridge are card kits, other buildings are scratch build including Mr Kelks gatehouse on Birthorpe Road and Cyril Truswells  market garden ( glass house made from a supermarket shelf label cover). The stable building is as I remember it, as no photo's can be found. Platelayers hut, where I spent many hours, and can still recall the smell of creosote and the coal stove always with kettle boiling, are card kits.
Coal offices of Dodd's, Gibson's and Sinclair's are as I remember them and always seemed to be manned and busy.
The station building, which is a superb replica of the building as it was in late 50's was made by Howard Leader, the detail and quality are outstanding, this is due to his diligent research and visits to the building which still stands and is used by Grimers Transport.

The fiddle yard is a three track turntable which allows trains to be turned without handling.
 
All wagons are 'out of the box' with some weathering, and fitted with Kadee couplers.
Because of my North American modelling I find Kadee's easy and realistic to use whilst shunting with no hands operation, although I know they do not look the part, have to compromise sometimes !
Locomotives are a Standard 4MT with tablet catcher (M&GN)  and a O3 diesel shunter, eventually I hope a J6 will be available.

So began my lifelong interest in railways, and now, as most of the station has been redeveloped into a transport yard and factory, my project was to recreate in model form this station as I remember it as a boy.

© 2014 Graham Morfoot.

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