BR Totem: Trent Lane Junction
Trent Lane Junction: A blue-grey DMU on the Midland route

On the former Midland route, a blue-grey DMU passes by the Sports Ground, near to Colwick Crossing, on its way to Newark. Colwick Road can just be seen in the background – now what about all those lovely green, Nottingham City Transport, Brush, three-axle, trolleybuses on Service 44?

Track plan of Trent Lane Junction

Trent Lane Junction is the club’s most recent big project, now complete. This is a OO gauge model of the ex-Great Northern Railway junctions in Sneinton, on the east side of Nottingham, and is set during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Freight services often reflect the period after the closure of the GNR Back Line from Basford to Colwick in 1960, when coal trains to Colwick Marshalling Yard had to pass through Trent Lane Junction. As well as the ex-GNR line to Grantham, including Nottingham Racecourse station, the layout features the erstwhile Nottingham Suburban line, the former Midland Railway route to Newark and Lincoln, and the London and North Western freight branch to Manvers Street. Very little of this is left today. The Suburban was the first to close, severed north of Trent Lane in 1941, and closed entirely in 1951. The LNWR freight branch closed in 1960, and the GNR closed in 1968. The Midland route survives to this day.

The layout is based on the premise that all these railways were still operational in the early 1960s, and the trains run on it closely represent the actual workings on this once busy part of the railway network. Actual distances have been compressed to fit the key features in, and the number of tracks on the final approach to Nottingham has been reduced, to create a manageable layout.

Although at that point still under construction, three of the baseboards were at the March 2007 Nottingham East Midlands Model Railway Exhibition, as part of a major feature to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Great Northern Railway arriving in the City of Nottingham and the opening of its lines into London Road Low Level, as depicted in the model. Still only partially complete, the layout was exhibited at the 2019 NMRS show.

Trent Lane Junction: The lines under construction

The front boards under construction, looking west to east. The ballasted track to the left is the former Midland route, from Nottingham Midland heading towards Newark and Lincoln. Construction work is taking place on the trackbed for the ex-GNR line at Trent Lane Junction itself. The piece of white foam board, temporarily spanning the gap over the former Midland tracks, is where Trent Lane (the road of that name) passes under the ex-GNR lines and then over the Midland lines at a level crossing.

The lower level of the fiddle yard serves trains on the former Midland Railway route from Nottingham Midland to Newark and Lincoln. The upper level accommodates trains on the ex-Great Northern lines from Nottingham Victoria to Colwick and Grantham, whilst the high-level triangular junction serves the Nottingham Suburban Line. Scenery, buildings, and infrastructure are largely complete.

The layout is 28 feet long, built on softwood frames in 6 foot sections to reduce the number of joints, with an ‘open top’ to reduce weight. A variety of scenic products and techniques have been used. The trackwork is OO gauge, on code 75 rail. There is no straight or level track on the layout and, following the unusual prototype, trains run at three different levels. The stock is a mixture of kit-built and proprietary.

Trent Lane Junction will make its full debut at the 2023 NMRS Autumn Show.