This journal records the research and construction of a long-term modelling project in ScaleSeven (a scale of 1:43.5 with a track gauge of 33mm), which will cover the Metropolitan Railway’s Inner Circle Extension, the Extended Widened Lines, and the East London Railway Extension as well as the Great Eastern lines out of Liverpool Street. Such a large area could not possibly be replicated in it’s entirety, so it is proposed to concentrate on the underground lines just east of the junction with the Metropolitan between Bishopsgate (Liverpool Street) and Aldgate beginning at Artillery Lane, and also the Great Eastern main line to Basilica Fields, skipping the huge Bishopsgate and Spitalfields goods and coal depots, and picking things up again just east of Bethnal Green Junction.
I’m working to a plan which is timed as a thirty-year long project (yes, quite mad), so it is planned to build six self-contained segments, each 15 – 20 feet long, with the capability of being joined to its neighbour to make a continuous scene, and each taking five years to complete. Considerable thought and planning has gone into the presentation to ensure a seamless transition between segments, and this process will be discussed further in detail.
Basilica Fields is set in two time frames – 1890 to 1900, and 1900 to 1906, though these limits are feather-edged with no defined cut-off. The reason for these broad dates is simple; with the workings of more than half a dozen railway companies to consider, there is simply not enough of the historical record left intact to produce an accurate representation based on a window of half a decade, let alone a single year.
When considering basic, but essential information such as locomotive allocations, carriage numbers and formations, etc, even these for the larger participating companies whose historical record is often well documented, accurate data for London’s suburban services has proven difficult to assemble in a meaningful fashion. I believe this is due to three reasons, viz; an incomplete surviving historical record, misinformation perpetuated in print, and lack of interest by historians due to a corresponding lack of glamour in its day-to-day operations. I have therefore decided document my researches, and those of others upon whom I’ve leaned (sometimes quite hard), in order to attempt to redress the imbalance. I will, of course, be very pleased, if not utterly ecstatic to hear from anyone who is able to correct my errors (plenty, no doubt!), especially if they are able to quote from primary sources.
It is therefore inevitable that in the presentation of this project, some engines, stock, and other items will be anachronistic, so instead I will attempt to convey the spirit and practice of the times based upon the evidence available.