I’ve lived in Billingshurst for over 20 years now and use the station almost daily most weeks so building something that still exists, and I have connection with seemed to me to be a good option for the modular scheme once we had the theme agreed.
Arun Valley Line and Billingshurst
Billingshurst is around 8 miles south west of Horhsam and the following station to Christ’s hospital going south so very close to the centre of the Horsham clubs modular scheme. The Arun valley line which runs from Horsham to Bognor joins the south coast way at Ford just south of Arundel. Pulborough, the next station on from Billingshurst was the junction for the Midhurst line and this carried goods and passenger traffic until its closure in 1966. The Arun valley line was electrified just before WW2 (around 1935) so for the period we are modelling we have both 3rd rail electric multiple units and Steam trains with both passenger and goods services so a good mix of trains and with it being a main line would have seen the bigger Southern steam engines on a more regular basis. I still have a lot of research to do on this as so far both pictures and records have not been easy to find
The station platform was until around 2010 only 4 coaches long and the London side appears to have had little change since the earliest photo’s I can find with the station house/building and the goods shed still in place today. To make the road wider the signal box was removed in 2016 and the station building shortened by a few feet. At this time the foot bridge was removed and refurbished and also had its alignment altered to give more room to the road. If you look at the early pictures of the crossing, it’s very narrow. The southbound side had a full canopy and shelter until the late 90’s but this was knocked down and replaced with a bus shelter type before the platform on this side was also extended. The area around the station that I’m modelling has changed from open fields and cottages on the southbound side and the change of use from the yard which had a dairy in to a carpark at some point I assume in the 1970’s.
To fit the Railway Hotel, the 4 coach length station and the yard area I really need 2 boards so the layout will be 2 modules long (2.44 M) and consists of both the siding on the Southbound side as well as the yard on the London side along with the dairy.
The plan below is lifted from an Ordanance survey map digitised by the National Library of Scotland for I think 1956 This shows the track plan and main buildings, I've not yet found any pictures of the large "GoodShed" type building on the bottom right of the plan which is fed from the down line although there is a C1900 Picture of a Hoopers yard in the same location
Buildings + Features required
•Signal Box- (Same size as Shillingstone ?) Windows etc from Kit
•Platforms Up and Down – 4 coach length
•Up Good Shed and
•Up Platform shelter
•Down Platform Shelter
•Down Goods Shed ( Kit ?? )
•Railway Hotel Building -Public House
•Station Road Houses
•Factory Units – Scratch build -Low Relief
•Footbridge – York Modelmaking – get Extension set for other steps
The Track plan is drawn in Any Rail and will be curved at least at the platform end and the best I can do through the pointwork without handbuilding or introducing curved points.
Design and Features
Having established the location and size/design of the boards I have listed the key building and design requirements from the Moudlar scheme opposite.
My intention is to scratchbuild all of the buildings from card using a mixture of scalescenes papers for the required bricks and other building coverings, I may look for something with a bit more 3d look for the roofs as these will be things people look down onto
With the Station still in use with almost the same frequency of trains I've been able to get lots of location pictures and do basic measurements of the station, platforms, footbridge and the Station Hotel. Unfortunatly the Signal box was moved to Amberley Museum when the signalling was automated from Crawley and the Level crossing and footbridge were realigned. I've purchased a footbridge from York Modelmaking along with valance eding for the platform canopies.
I purchased a number of photos from disused railway stations (Intsert link) to get a better view of the station in the 1950's and have a view of the Dairy on the Up platform site but the building on the down side is not visible by this time.
Track – Peco Code 55
•Curve track to create S shape through the station and northbound
•Ensure Point motor fitting for the cross over before fixing track
•Cross over – Long Points (2 * LH)
•Sidings Medium Length (4) RH
•Points treated (frog isolated and switched) Stock rails soldered to crossing blades
•Local Point Switching + DCC Control options – Need to check Cobalt options
•Connection between boards for DCC + DCC Local – Banana plugs
•Point Motors = Cobalt Digital IP
•Signals Dapol Southern – Controlled by train-Tech sc3 Signal controller
•Level Crossing gates ? Could these be motorised ?