7mm/foot scale, 16.5mm gauge (Narrow Gauge)
Bridport Town is the headquarters of the fictional narrow gauge Marshwood Vale Railway, located in the real town of Bridport in West Dorset. Featured are the main terminus station, sheds and workshops, and exchange sidings with the G.W.R. Bridport and West Bay branch. My earlier layout, Charmouth, represented the other end of the line.
Baseboards are plywood, with Sundeala trackbase. Track is handmade, built on a mixture of copperclad and wooden sleepering, fixed down using scale track-spikes. Pointwork is built in situ on the baseboard, and controlled mechanically by rods underneath. Certain points in awkward locations are operated electrically, using Fulgerex motors. The level crossing is powered by two Tortoise Point motors, driving mechanical linkage.
Locomotives and rolling stock are mostly scratchbuilt, and based on examples from the larger British narrow gauge railways. Some of the locos are models of engines that were designed but never built, such as the 4-4-0 that Hunslet designed for the Lynton and Barnstaple. Some locos are kitbuilt, such as the WD Baldwin 4-6-0, from Wrightlines.
Coaches are from the Manx Northern Railway in the Isle of Man, running on Cleminson 6-wheel chassis. The Bridport Harbour Tramway coaches are made in etched brass, adapted from Clogher Valley Railway kits by Branchlines.
Goods wagons are mostly from the Welshpool and Llanfair, Southwold Railway and Irish designs, some being built from the Dorset Kits range. All however are “freelanced” to a certain degree, in order to make them unique.
Railway buildings are based on actual structures from various narrow-gauge railways, mostly built in timber and corrugated iron. The passenger station is the classic Arthur Paine design, from Hemyock on the standard gauge Culm Valley Light Railway.
Bridport in Dorset was the centre of the rope and net manufacturing industry, and has some fine old industrial buildings. Local building stone is a warm honey colour, and the brickwork has a distinctly orange shade. All non-railway buildings on the layout are based on genuine Bridport structures, built mostly from foamboard, with Slaters brickwork, and carved tile-grout for the stonework.
David L Taylor Member of The 7mm Narrow Gauge Association