A Model Railway depicting Thurstaston station on the Hooton to West Kirby branch on the Wirral Peninsula


The Layout

Track Plan

My intention is to build an exhibition layout of Thurstaston in British Railways days, based on its appearance before closure in 1952 and will be built to P4 standards.  The scope will be the area between the two overbridges.  However, this would require about 33', so it will need to be reduced to 16', mainly by compressing the length of the single line section and the goods siding.  I have drawn plans which achieve this whilst keeping the overall shape and appearance of the station area.

The emphasis will be on modelling specific trains known to have run on the line, both passenger and freight. Where possible, the specific locos and coaches will be replicated.  In order to have passenger trains calling at Thurstaston, the date will be set in the station's final summer, 1951.  A timetable of trains through Thurstaston has been made based on the 1953 passenger and 1952 working timetables. 

In order to allow for a more varied collection of rolling stock, history will be amended slightly so that the station remained open and the passenger service survived until final closure under Beeching in 1962.  This will be the excuse to allow me to include some might-have-been's, such as GWR Railcars, BR Railbuses and DMU's in the future.  It will also allow me to show the two final freight trains passing at Thurstaston, and possibly one of the demolition trains.  From the evidence, the station changed very little between 1951 and 1962, so can represent any date in that timescale.  The four periods are desribed in the following table:

No Period Description
1 1951 - 1956 This forms the majority of the display sequence. Trains will be as accurate a representation of trains that ran on the branch as I can achieve, including correct loco and coach numbers where possible. This will require a minimum of 6 steam locos, 3 rakes of coaches and numerous goods wagons for through and stopping freight. At least 2 further rakes of coaches have been identified for potential future builds plus an LMS push‑pull set with BR Standard 2 84003 as these ran in the last few months of passenger service in 1956.
2 1956 – 1962 There will be a 4F or a Class 24 diesel hauling an empty van train for the recently opened Cadbury's factory at Moreton heading towards West Kirby for the connection with the Wirral line.
The remainder forms the might have been part, and uses modeller's licence to extend the passenger service from 1956 until 1962.  Stock for this will be the last to be built, and will include a GWR railcar, Park Royal and AC railbuses and a Gloucester single car DMU.
Towards the end of this period will be the single van freight photographed a week before closure, shown here.
3 07/05/1962 The final freight trains on the branch crossed at Thurstaston on the day the line closed, and this will be recreated. This will require 2 locos plus wagons.
4 Post-closure After closure, the track was lifted starting from the West Kirby end. I may build a representation of the demolition train.  If so, the loco actually used on this is likely to be changed from an 8F to a Hudswell diesel shunter I've already built as an excuse to use it.

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Track Plan

 

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