When Pilentum was at the wonderful model railway exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham, Warley Model Train Show, he was warmly welcomed by the Burgess Hill Model Railway Club and its members of the Thornbury Hill Owners Group. We had a good time playing with the model trains, we filmed many scenes and we made a cab ride video along the main line.
The Thornbury Hill model railway layout began life in 1970 as the main OO gauge layout of the Burgess Hill MRC. In March 1986, the model railroad layout was described in the “Railway Modeller Magazine”. The layout model, set in the 1930’s – just prior to the main line electrification – was intended to represent a section of the London Victoria – Brighton mainline. It was not intended to represent a particular station.
In 1991 the layout was sold to the present owners, who added the third rail and moved the period forward to the 1960’s, which allows using steam, diesel and electric trains. After the reconstruction, the layout depicts Thornbury Hill station with the four track main line merging into two, a goods yard and a non-electrified branch line. The track is to OO fine scale standards and is hand built; the signals are all operational and interlocked with the points. The station buildings are based on London, Brighton & South Coast Railway designs, with the canopies copied from East Croydon and the signal boxes based on the prototypes at Eastbourne and Seaford.
On the model railway layout there is an intensive service of main line and suburban electric trains supplemented by steam or diesel hauled goods, parcels and special trains. The layout requires eight operators and requires a space 41 feet by 9 feet in total.