00, Great Western Railway, 8 @ 3 foot


haftesbury, in its time a major market town but owing to its position on top of a ridge the railway passed to the north condemning it to relative decline. To overcome the isolation there were proposals to build a branch line to Shaftesbury local topography meant there would have been three possible routes. The first route is a short branch from Semley via a halt at Motcombe to a station 110 meters/360 feet below the town centre with either a triangular junction allowing through working or an east facing junction for trains to/from the junction station and/or Salisbury. The second route a seven mile long branch following the River Nadder from a junction west of Tisbury to a terminus near Coppice Street. If either (or both!) of the first two branches were built they would have become part of the Southern Railway as they sprang from the Salisbury-Exeter mainline. The third route is twenty-one mile long from Salisbury crossing the Avon following the Ebble Valley to Alvesdiston and then meandered across the Downs to Shaftesbury. This was proposed in 1875 and given it started at Salisbury the branch might have fallen into the hands of the Great Western Railway, Southern Railway or both – a joint line.
I’ve assumed that the line was built and fell into the hands of the Great Western Railway. Just South of Salisbury the line would have passed through the small village of Britford nestling on the flood plain of the Avon. The land round Britford is cut by many drainage channels & ditches. Britford would have been served by what the Great Western Railway termed a platform (less than a station more than a halt) handling passengers and parcels traffic. Much of the parcels traffic would have been milk and watercress. There are private siding serving an agricultural equipment dealer & repairer and a mileage siding. Mileage traffic was loaded and unloaded by customers rather than railway staff and the railways charged for the distance the goods travelled so much per mile hence the name.
A related layout is Bowerchalke & Mead End


A GWR auto train

A GWR Goods train 
Agricultural equipment dealer & repairer        Shunting the agricultural equipment dealer & repairer
          Shunting the mileage siding                              The level crossing        

The Bridge

Panaramics of the layout

Track plan

Photos of the layout under construction

At the end of Week 3

At the end of Week 2

At the end of Week 1