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Presteigne Station

1420 to Kington. Herefordshire

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Station Building
In 1964 the small rural station of Presteigne in Powys finally closed under the stewardship of British rail and the Beeching axe. 40 years later and I decided that it would be a fitting tribute to build a model of this once handsome branchline terminus in its heyday.
Formerly owned by the Great Western Railway and known then by its (slightly more) Welsh name of Presteign, (notice the missing 'e' at the end), Presteign was the end of the line for goods and passengers coming from Herefordshire across the border to this small market town.
A number of useful photographs still exist of the station and some of the utility buildings, such as the goods shed and platform bound signal box.

Station Building

Presteigne Station
My first task was to collect as many pictures as I could for reference and any further information I could gather. When it came to construction, a lack of space was the main consideration. I had to decide on the finished size of my diorama and where it would ultimately live. The last problem was solved first, by making the decision to give the completed model to my father as a birthday present in May 2004. (This deadline helped a lot with getting the model finished in a short space of time.)
I decided to make the model no more than 6 feet in length in order to make use of a standard 6ft X 1 ft shelf board from B&Q. (The rounded front edge was a nice touch too.)
I visited Presteigne museum and was a little disappointed by the lack of information regarding the railway and particularly the station, (just one photo, if I recall.) However, down in the depths of the museum cellar I found a large map of Presteigne dating from around 1900, framed and protected under glass, hanging on the entrance wall.

Presteign Station

Station Diorama
I opened the exterior door at the top of the stairs and with the flash turned off, so as not to get glare from the glass, took a couple of shots of the station area with my digital camera. There was just enough light and the resulting prints were very handy indeed.
Using the map, I worked out that from the end of the track to the last set of turnouts (crossing a small steam,) would have taken up over ten feet of diorama.
I decided to end the trackwork further down the line, near to the goods shed and compress the distance somewhat to fit the whole thing onto my 6 foot board.
It was a small compromise to make, but worth the risk of being inaccurate, on the grounds that I would have had to sacrifice the goods shed to keep it all to scale.
By counting the number of bricks in the platform (one old photo was particularly good) I was able to gauge the length and width of the platform and the overall dimensions of the station building and signal box.
The goods shed was something of a guess. Photographs show the proportions and some details, but not much else. I decided to approximate the size and shape and concentrate on getting an impression of what it was really like. The photos are not clear enough to show individual bricks, so counting them was out of the question. In the end I think I made it a little on the small side, but I'm quite pleased with the overall result. It was completed using plastic sheeting from 'Wills': Brick in English Bond (SSMP227.) Slates (SSMP203.) Tongued and Groove Boarding (SSMP220.)

The Goods Shed

Mixed goods
 The platform started life as a piece of 9mm MDF, coated in 'Wills' Brick Sheeting (SSMP212) and 'Milliput' to represent tarmac. The effect was produced over time by spreading small areas of 'Milliput' and dabbing the surface with an old toothbrush. Mottled enamel paints were used and the effect was finished with some scenic scatter material.
The Station building was made with 'Wills' Coarse Stone (SSMP200,) Windows and Doors from 'Wills' (SS42,) Slate sheeting (SSMP203,) 'Milliput' detailing and lots of patience! The canopy roof was 'Wills' Sheet roofing (SSMP229) to represent lead. The valance board was a brass etched kit by www.Scalelink.co.uk
The lamp hut was a modified kit from 'Wills' (SS22.)
The Signal box was made from scraps of some of the above and the fencing was from 'Ratio' (421)
Trackwork is 'Peco' Code 100 and the ballast was a mix of 'N' Gauge colours. Phew!!

Steam up

 

A few more recent pictures of the finished model with some model trees for a spash of colour.

 

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The project goes on! Dad was very pleased with his birthday gift and pleasantly surprised.
Since then I have added a GWR Road vehicle, a Police box ('TARDIS') and 'OO' gauge 'Movie Dalek' as a joke Christmas present.
The track and the train are dead!!! The loco is a class 14XX by 'Hornby' which I intend to re-detail as GWR 1420,
one of the locos that served Presteigne and Kington until the line closed in '64, (it's now down on the preserved line at Buckfastleigh.)


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You can write to me directly:
Jon Price
The Bradnor Branchline.
3 Hereford Street
Presteigne
Powys
LD8 2AW
Call or leave a message on: 07854 161637
Or email here.

 

 

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