A very brief history of the Culm Valley Light Railway.
It was opened to much fanfare on Monday the 29th of May 1876 and probably never saw so many people again until the last passenger train left Hemyock station at 6.00PM on the 7th of September 1963. The line remained open, principally to support the Unigate Dairy at Hemyock, until that closed its doors on the 31st of October 1975. The last train on the CVLR was 7 milk tankers, pulled by 25063, leaving the line just seven months shy of its centenary.
The line lives on though, the printed page serving to immortalise a bucolic GWR branch line that scarcely seems believable in this day and age. It has held my fascination and inspired my imagination since I came across it 8 or so years ago. In that time, I've collected a good chunk of those printed pages, walked the route and been lucky enough to do a site study at the only surviving platform, Whitehall Halt (see header photo).
I've never actually done anything about it from a modelling perspective, despite the opportunities and information available. That is partly due to my easily distracted nature, but mainly because I have not been able to come up with a scheme that I was truly happy with. As time passes, subtle (and not so subtle) nudges arrive from friends to act as a reminder, and it was one of those from my good friend Geoff who alerted me to Hornby's production of the Eastern Region Thompson Brake Thirds.
A year later and the first of those has arrived, and whilst it would have been perfect had it been a Brake Second as ran on the line, its too good to turn down. An old Airfix 14xx body and enough parts from Mainly Trains to build a chassis for it means I am only a couple of milk tankers short of one of the typical early sixties trains, short and manageable.
Whilst I have accepted the constraints of the space at my disposal, it was changing from thinking about modelling a railway in a landscape, to modelling a landscape with a railway in it that has provided the final impetus to get on with something. Instead of focusing on the railway, I want to focus on the scenery and the landscape, with the aim of creating 3D versions of the photos I look at in the various books and magazine.
How successful it all turns out be is another matter, the aim of this blog is to document what happens.