'Colchester' MR264

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All change in the old town

Did you know that Colchester is Britain’s oldest recorded town? Apparently, it was a Celtic tribal capital called Camulodunum until it was conquered by the Romans. Naturally, Colchester has changed immeasurably since Roman times, but change is slow and gradual, so you don’t always see it happen. This seemed particularly true on the railway where practices and procedures appeared to go unaltered for decades. 

But Paul Goldsmith’s ‘OO’ gauge take on Colchester is actually a microcosm for how the railway changed in quite a short period. In fact, so quickly did things change here that he had difficulty deciding exactly when in the 1950s his layout should be set. 

Paul explains all. He says, “My main interest is the first ten years of British Railways, but carrying out some research – which I enjoy as much as the modelling – soon showed how much the infrastructure changed in that short period. 

“By 1953, the number of grounded carriage bodies used for locomotive staff mess facilities had increased from three to four. New overhead lighting and power cables had been installed by 1954, and the Clacton branch platform was replaced. The Great Eastern Railway lower quadrant signal and new shed staff facilities had appeared by 1956, the Clacton branch had been electrified by 1958 and major re-signalling had been carried out by 1959.So where was I going to draw the line?

You can read the full article in Model Rail 264 - Out Thursday August 8th!

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