Streatham Mainline is a fictitious late 80’s – early 90’s southern region ‘00’ gauge layout and the latest offering to the exhibition circuit from the Nottingham Model Railway Society. Some may recognise the Streatham Motive Power Depot part of the layout from various local shows to the East Midlands over the past couple of years. Streatham Mainline began life as the ‘junior’ layout of the Nottingham Model Railway Society which was originally intended to be a large terminus station based loosely on London St Pancras. It went through several iterations and changes of location until the discovery of some Peco 3rd rail insulators, code 60 rail and a look at a map of the Netwok Southeast led to Streatham Mainline being born. Work progressed steadily as an ever expanding layout with the addition of the Depot and scrap yard area of the layout, which can be exhibited independently. The fiddle yard was expanded to make the layout a ‘tail chaser’.
We chose Streatham for its south central location and proximity to central London, We could include potentially the ‘Mule’ Exeter to Waterloo and Wessex express workings from the South-west as well as Gatwick Express services from the south-central, and the boat trains to Ramsgate and Dover of the south-east. Thameslink services could also appear together with Intercity services such as the Birmingham to Ramsgate and Liverpool to Brighton services including through portions of sleeper trains and also the Penzance sleepers which were known to operate out of Waterloo when engineering work required them to. As far as freight is concerned it is handily placed for freight services coming from the Midlands via Kensington Olympia heading to Dover Western Docks, Hoo Junction, Tonbridge, Eastleigh and Southampton.
Baseboard construction is mainly from 20mmx70mm softwood frames topped with 15mm chipboard giving three 4ftx2ft main scenic boards flanked by two 3ftx4ft end boards to turn the track back into the 17 road lower fiddle yard. Each end of the layout has access via a ramp to further elevated 6 road fiddle yard with an additional 3 short stabling roads. Track work is a mix of peco code 100 flexi track with peco streamline points ballasted with fine granite chippings and weathered according to the degree of use. Peco point motors are used.
Scenery is mainly from Woodland Scenics and Greenscene with the majority of the hills being constructed using polystyrene sheets layered and glued with PVA and cut to shape then covered with ModRoc. Buildings are a mix of Pikestuff, Knightwing, Peco and Ratio kits, Hornby’s Scaledale range and also Dublo signal boxes, Ten Commandments low relief warehouses and some scratch building from plasticard. Lighting uses express models LED strip lighting and layouts4u’s individual bulbs. Signals are mainly from Ekon’s colour light range which in some cases have been modified to give 3 aspects rather than the original 2 aspects with a few scratch built items.
With stock we have tried to keep, where possible, everything time (late 80’s – Early 90’s) and region specific. Our rolling stock comprises of a variety of ready to run, kit built, scratch built, vinyl overlaid, brass overlaid, detailed, weathered, and heavily modified models. With classes 03,07,08,09,20,31,33,37,43,45,46,47,50,56,60,71,73 and 74 all represented in liveries from BR Blue, Large Logo, DCE grey, Dutch, Railfreight and Intercity right through to celebrity repaints and one offs in Laira Blue, GW150 Green, Hunslet Barclay and of course Network Southeast. EMU’s and DMU’s consist of classes 101,108,117,121,122,159’s 201,205 and 207’s and an array of VEP’s, CEP’s, HAP’s, EPB’s, WES’s and MLV’s with Intercity services, charter trains, mail and sleeper trains all running through from other regions sometimes requiring a loco swap which all adds to the operational interest.
There is also a fictitious extension to the Northern and District lines of the London Underground, which have a single line terminus platform. This is operated by a MERG automatic train shuttle system.
Freight services include cement, sand and van trains to supply ‘Streatham Concrete’ a rail served pre-fab concrete and industrial unit behind the station. Scrap trains serve the small scrap yard situated up the branch along with fuel trains to Streatham Motive Power Depots fuel point as well as the Network Southeast fuel point. Streatham MPD also has a wagon repair shop which means flows of wagons for repair can often be seen getting tripped up and down the branch. Many of these freight services are fitted with either Kadee couplers or Model Signal Engineering’s sprat and winkle couplers for authentic hands free operation.