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Why South Town?

I wanted to build a layout that contained specific features - an engine shed, a junction and a station. My research led me to Paul Bolger’s book on Eastern Region sheds where I found 3 or 4 possibilities. As I already had numerous built and un-built loco kits which were associated with the East Anglian scene, South Town emerged as the favoured choice. I realised fairly quickly that I wouldn’t be able to model the location in its entirety. Unless we are fortunate in not being constrained by space and money, most layouts are compromises. South Town is no exception to this, but I hope it does give the flavour of what an East Anglian terminus station was like in the era depicted. Track plans were drawn up, points built and an operating system devised which would enable up to 3 locos to move simultaneously on the layout, this being an analogue layout, not DCC.

The sequence offered is closely based on the Summer 1959 timetable, hence the local passenger service to Lowestoft, Beccles and Ipswich. At this time many of the expresses to and from Liverpool Street split at Beccles and only 5 coaches continued to Yarmouth, which co-incidentally is the maximum length of train that the layout can accommodate. I couldn’t fit in a turntable, so the layout assumes that access to the Yarmouth fish quay was off the Lowestoft branch, where it was possible to turn locomotives using the triangle. The goods yard is also off scene beyond the road bridge, but on the Beccles/Ipswich line. This then gives justification for some freight movements between the dock area and the goods yard with trains in to and out of the sidings adjacent to the station, including the containers which operated from the Birds Eye factory in Yarmouth. There are also occasional light engine movements around the shed.

South Town

Chris Trafford