Trimley and Felixstowe
For some time Trevor has had some plans drawn up to depict Trimley and Felixstowe on the branch line from Ipswich.
For those not familiar with the line, it originated during the Victorian era with the main purpose to bring day trippers to the seaside / beaches. The original line ran from a junction on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line at Westerfield to the north of Ipswich. This swings southeast crossing Spring Road in Ipswich via an impressive viaduct before reaching Derby Road station, which included goods and coal facilities. The line then passes some rail served engineering works (including Ransomes and Rapier, who built railway equipment such as turntables) and after leaving Ipswich the next station was Orwell (serving Nacton). The line proceeded on to Trimley with passenger and goods facilities. The original line then carried on into Felixstowe and turned south to its original terminus at Beach Station. In later years a larger station and new link was build to serve the town centre of Felixstowe. During the 20th century, development began of Felixstowe docks. The railway line was extended from Beach station into the dock for both passenger ferry services and goods. The expansion of the docks also meant that Felixstowe as a whole also developed and the town station was further developed into a good size terminus with 4 main platforms, extensive goods facilities and loco turntable. After WWII the line went into decline (in common with so many other lines) and services were reduced. However during the 1960s the Felixstowe docks were undergoing rapid development to take advantage of the boom in containerisation. Since then the Port of Felixstowe (as it is now known) has become the largest container port in the UK. This has resulted in the Felixstowe branch becoming a key part of the transport network to get containers in and out of the port. Initially this was a container terminal off the first line into the docks (south terminal). In the 1980s a second (north) terminal was built along with a new line from Trimley station. Passenger services and the station have not faired so well. Services to Beach station ended in the 1960s and the station has since been demolished. Trimley station is an unmanned halt which has fallen into disrepair (although a local group is hoping to save it). Felixstowe Town station is reduced to a small section of platform to take the DMU shuttle to Ipswich. Although the platforms, goods yard etc have largely been lost under a car park but the station building has been reused for shops.
The plan drawn up by Trevor (see below) includes Trimley, the two lines to the docks and the current single platform for Felixstowe town. In this form the layout can be operated from the mid 1980s through to today.
Overall the layout would need to be quite extensive (approaching 25 feet) in order to have sufficient room for storage the lengthy container trains in operation.
Having mentioned this within the group, our group leader Chris was keen to develop the idea, as over the years has thought about building a model of Trimley (where he lives). Chris was actually looking to build Trimley before it lost its goods facilities in 1960s. After some discussion it was decided that with only a couple of substitute baseboards it should be possible to build different configurations. Therefore the decision was made to start with Chris leading on building Trimley as a self contained model. This can subsequently be further developed to add sections to the docks and Felixstowe town.
Currently the first stage of the layout is underway with timber purchased ready to start building the first baseboards.
Chris has been busy working on this throughout the summer and the layout is progressing with track being laid on steam era Trimley Station + new boards for the turnarounds to enable Trimely to be shown on its own. It is intended to show this at the November open day.
Chris is working on Board 4 with the alternative track plan with the earlier layout. The base board construction is complete and the track laying is well underway. Construction on the adjacent baseboards is also underway.
Chris is making good progress on his version of board 4 which will include the goods yard used at Trimley until simplification. Chris has also produced drilling templates to ensure accurate alignment of all the boards.