Monday, 2 June 2008

Basingstoke Canal Railway

During the restoration on Basingstoke Canal a narrow gauge railway was used between 1975 and 1982. The railway was employed as road access to the canal was poor. It used small industrial locomotives and tippers and was initially used to remove silt. As the restoration of the canal progressed the track was lifted and moved and used for transporting bricks, sand and other building materials for renovation of locks. It was then moved again and used for transporting clay to re-puddle the water channel. At one point the railway ran along side the main line from London to Southampton.

A canal railway would make an interesting prototype for a model using Nigel Lawton skips and locomotives in OO9 or kbscale kits in O16.5 or O14. As far as I know none of the Basingstoke locomotives are available in either scale so an accurate model would require scratch building. However I'd be more inclined to use it as inspiration for a freelance canal railway with kit built locomotives. Another option would be to include an OO9 canal railway on a standard gauge layout as there are many places where main line railways lines run past canals.