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Solway Sands a light railway with character.

Derwent Railway Society

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Solway Sands

An OO scale model railway by Ian Blenkinsopp

Solway Sands depicts an imaginary light railway somewhere between Maryport and Silloth on the Solway Firth coastline. It was built to capitalise on the summer tourist trade and local fishing & agriculture industries. The model is set in the 1930s. Coastal erosion at Seaton Staith, further along the Solway coast has prompted the construction of a temporary light railway to serve the defence works. Whilst the tramway itself relies on internal combustion motive power (cutting edge 1930s technology) the contractor's locomotives are all steam and play no pat in the running of the tramway .

The Neilson sports a classic Ogee shaped saddle tank Trackwork is by PECO
The model is set in the 1930s by which time passenger traffic is sparse.
The contractor's locomotive, a Nielson, takes coal wagons up the temporary line to the coastal defence works.
Coal is still an important commodity. Magnets between the rails activate the couplings.
The Lady Armstrong is a High Level Models etched brass kit.
The Armstrong Whitworth built diesel locomotive features an unusual jackshaft drive.
The RSH has a short wheelbase making it ideally suited to light railway use. "Have you heard my Cumbrian Farmyard impressions?"
The Robert Stephenson Hawthorn tank locomotive gently simmers outside the engine shed on a hot summers day.
Solway Sands rewards close scrutiny with wonderful little cameo scenes like this.
So real, you can smell the seaweed. Upside down Bachmann couplers adorn the stock.
The Pilot cutter has been hauled out for a few days
There is still a small amount of freight traffic on the branch.
The railway terminus is a simple structure Solway Sands is close to the North Western Lakeland fells
A tranquil scene just before the rush hour.
The RSH is another of Chris Gibbon's superb High Level Models kits. It boasts a 108:1 gearbox and mashima can motor giving silky smooth slow speed control.
Avonside B3 awaits boiler repairs All the structures are scratchbuilt.
Dubmill Fisheries is a source of regular light merchandise traffic.
A pause in activity on the railway and time to reflect.

Solway Sands is a compact portable OO scale, 16.5mm gauge, exhibition layout, small enough to fit in the back of a Ford Sierra. Control is by a Modelex hand-held unit and turnouts are operated by a Gaugemaster point control unit. The layout deservedly won a trophy for the layout with best atmosphere at the Shipley Model Railway Exhibition in September 2003.

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