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.


25 Responses to “About”

  1. Graham Beare Says:

    I hope that I have followed much of your thoughts, plans and dreams over the past couple of years and what is key to an understanding is the Buckjumper equivalent of the RCH Junction Diagrams. Please favour your readers with such an illustration so that the parts fall into place naturally.

    The engines and to a lesser extent the carriages are documented to some level, what is not recorded so well – and you are now aware of the complexity of just the GWR side of life – sre the passenger and freight services to, wihtin and under the City. Herein lies the key to your success, how about starting with a summary of which companies served which stations and when? You could then follow that with a summary of freight services, which company ran a service, what was carried and in wagons owned by which company / operator?

    regards, Graham

  2. buckjumper Says:

    Yes I’ll produce some faux RCH Junction Diagrams, rough versions of which currently exist as mad sketches, so will take a little work to get right, but it’s a good idea.

    I have a number of posts lined up, some of which expound upon the carriages and goods stock and the services – indeed much of which you’ve suggested is hovering around in one form or another waiting for me to bring some sense to it before posting.

    Thanks for the comments.

  3. john swan Says:

    Hi I’ve just found your site and wish you all the luck in the world on your project – I’m in a much smaller way modelling the same sort of area-the widened lines around Farringdon and stretching it to Liverpool St. I was brought up in the East End – (Burdett Rd, right opposite the station remains) and thanks to genealogy I’ve unearthed quite a few pics of the area. Would love to keep in touch. john

  4. Tony Francis Says:

    I’ve just got to know of your website via the South Eastern and Chatham Railway(s) Society’s latest newsletter. What a project! It makes my continuously planned “working diorama” – south of the river, based on the West London Extension & Surrey Commercial Docks Railway, and incorporating locos of four primary colours – look futile.

    1. buckjumper Says:

      Futile? No. Fantastic – yes!

      I can empathise with the ‘continuously planned’ comment though 🙂

  5. Graham Says:


    The “recent commnets” list in the navigation pane is a great idea… I am forever forgetting just which page had a particular comment when I wish to add something relating to that comment.

  6. David Austin Says:

    As many of your correspondents I have followed the trail from the SECR and LBSCR societies in the search for material on an article on the Charing Cross station. The quality of the research description and the scope of the project is very impressive. As a modeler myself, I wonder whether the project, being ambitious and long term as it is, might not benefit from a collaborative approach. You mention that there will be several modules which join up to create the whole. I am sure that modelers who are contemplating new layouts would be interested in an opportunity to build an exhibition quality layout based on your plans. At the very least it ensures that the layout is started. Yours, David.

    1. buckjumper Says:

      Hi David, thanks for your comments. I have to admit I’d not considered the collaborative approach, at least, not in terms of individual segments being built. I’m not going to dismiss the idea, but there are a couple of issues which might need careful consideration:

      1. I’m working in ScaleSeven. That in itself reduces the number of modellers who would be willing to participate.

      2. I’m becoming increasingly concerned as to the viability of any segment of the whole being exhibitable due to several factors.

      For example, consider the weight of boards and scenery. Despite planning Basilica Fields around the type of lightweight baseboard construction I’ve become familiar with on Trevor Nunn’s S Scale magnificence East Lynn & Nunstanton, think it’s still going to weight a ton. Each segment of Basilica Fields is going to be on at least three levels incorporating hundreds of scale yards of retaining walls, and packed to the ceiling with warehouses, factories and other bits of civil engineering. The “lightweight” nature of the boards must be strong enough to withstand the pounding of several trains (brass loco plus anywhere between 9 and 16 brass carriages on) in one section at any one time. Potentially it’s a logistical nightmare, and it may be better off as (in a similar vein to Roy Jackson’s Retford, or Pete Waterman’s Leamington Spa) a stay-at-home layout with operating days.

      You’ve given me lots to think about, much appreciated.

    2. Graham Says:

      I was going to add a comment earlier and then I heard the cry of “Dinner”… and so Adrian beat me to the Submit button!

      I know of no other project which is so broad, so deep and so stimulating as is the collection of ideas represented by the map of Basilica Fields. The size of the project does suggest that the outcome will depend upon the work of more than one individual and the co-operation, collaboration and support started some years ago. There are several railway modellers who have contributed already in regards to historical details of engines, carriages, wagons, workings and (generally positive) criticsm of the ideas.

      Like Adrian I work to the Scaleseven standards and I have been gently nudging Adrian to take advantage of proffered help with the track (which shall all be hand-built). I think that the first module is likely to be Artillery Lane with the track done in the style of the Metropolitan Railway company circa 1890. Or at least that is what I understand from the captions to the trackwork photos which have been studied at length.

      regards, Graham

      1. David Austin Says:

        There are two points in this response.

        I understand the concerns about the feasility of an exhibtion standard layout and, without wishing to be seen as preaching, I can use my experience with the Leamington and Warwick O gauge modellers who have created a very lightweight exhibition layout of 45ft x 18ft, which takes 3 people to transport and 1 hour to mantle and dismantle. Having been to Pete’s layout on many occasions I can see that there is a real limitation on the number of people who can see/play with trains on it. But as you have seen fit to publish the secrets of the BF to a wider audience and, as a result built up a interested community of modelers, you have moved beyond the scenario of Pete W’s layout. Perhaps you have a bigger shed than PW to accommodate loads more people. I always find that lack of teapots is the real constraint.

        Also, I would like to ask for your permission to use material from this website in a series of articles for the SER Society journal. There is a link from Basilica Fields to the SECR and LCDR, and I feel that the development of the project would be an excellent way of exploring the track and organisational arrangements of the railway companies involved. David

        1. Graham Says:

          “… I always find that lack of teapots is the real constraint. …”

          Please remember that Adrian and I are S7 modellers and hence, by definition, our teapots are wider then the standard 0-FS equivalent, hence hold more tea!

          1. Adrian Says:

            Of course with Graham’s predilections he opts for (Brunswick) green tea in his wider teapot…

        2. Adrian Says:

          Thanks David. I’d be very glad to hear any advice on baseboards.

          I’ve a future post in the works expounding on the long-term housing of the thing – hopefully I’ve some interesting ideas lined up, but I’m steeling myself for brickbats!

          Please feel free to use any material you find on here for Invicta.

          I’m sure you’ll remember to pare away the made up bits… 🙂

  7. buckjumper Says:

    Graham is correct in that several railway modellers (and historians) have been good enough to offer to help, and quite high on my ‘to do’ list is a page which acknowledges their invaluable contributions, whether great or small.

    Artillery Lane will indeed be the first segment tackled, and it appears that I have exhausted all avenues in trying to pin down key information on the permanent way of the Met in the 1890s. A post on the blind alleys I’ve travelled down to get nowhere is in the offing… and Graham has the job of working out what we do and don’t know, what compromises might be made, and then making something out of the pile of sleepers, rail and chairs which will be heading his way 🙂

  8. Graham Says:


    As there seems to be increasing traffic on this web site and an increase in the number of people who are commenting upon the plans and ideas…. maybe now is the time to include a synopsis of the stock to be built for the early period. Such details may interest the historians who have a liking for railways as well as the modellers who have a liking for history – thereby encouraging two bites at the cherry of suggestions/critiques from a wider audience.

  9. Adrian Says:

    I’ve moved Kit Williams’ very useful comments which include insights on the permanent way of the Metropolitan Railway to this post which seems more appropriate and aids continuity of the discussion.


  10. James Says:

    Some interesting Photos, especially the Met Jubilee carriages, real and models, where did you find the original pics?

    1. Adrian Says:

      I have a big collection of old photographs, postcards and glass negatives. The Met. Jubilee carriage photo has been reproduced in a number of books and magazines over the years. Sometimes the credit line for that one reads London transport Museum, which means the publisher approached the LTM to use reproduce a negative or print they have in their collection.

  11. Hello Adrian. Would you be able to point me in the right direction for plans or diagrams of the SECR Wainwright H class? The Gauge 3 Society has tasked me with creating the driver patterns for this lovely locomotive.


    Chris Cardinal

    1. Adrian Says:

      Hi Chris.

      I know of five drawings of the H class held by the NRM which may be ordered from them, viz:

      3804 0-4-4 Tank engine Class H (Wainwright) S.E.C Railway 1904
      8172 Motion arrangement for Class H engines 0-4-4T S.E.C.R.
      8173 Frame arrangement for Class H engines 0-4-4T S.E.C.R.
      8178 3 Cross sections of bogie tank engine Class H S.E.C.R.
      8179 General Arrangement of 0-4-4 Tank engine Class H S.E.C.R.

      The four digit number being the microfilm aperture card number required for ordering.

      Without having seen any of them, I’d assume 8179 would be the one which would best aid producing patterns for the wheels.

      All the best with your task.

      1. Thank you so much! Perhaps I can shrink the CAD drawings down when they are done and you could use them for one of your projects.

        Merry Christmas. =)


  12. J. Stafford-Baker Says:

    As regards the Ray Street Gridiron, theres three things come to mind,
    (1) The collapse during building and the flooding that followed, (2) the headshunt for the Farringdon Goods depot with a J52 right at the buffers,
    and (3) the second road bridge above which was used only by the trolleybuses, and ? is still there?, not used at all. Oh yes, and the lost
    third side of the Farringdon triangle, from the South (Snow Hill) via the
    meat market sidings, eastwards to Barbican and Moorgate.
    Now theres a golden opportunity, still maybe possible, given the will ……

  13. Flaxman Low Says:

    In case you have not seen it, this (defunct) layout brings together a lot memories for us older Eastenders –

    and I used to regularly play in the Selby St. coal depot when I was young in the late 60s and early 70s. Do you have any photos of the yard before it was abandoned?

    1. Adrian Says:

      Thanks for your comments. Yes, I see the Harford St. crew – Jim, Charlie and Lloyd at exhibitions from time to time – you may know Jim as one half of Connor & Butler, Jim being a bit of an authority on the North London Railway.

      That layout has been superseded by Harford Mk.IV and Sumatra Road.

      Another layout which might be of interest to you, but is based a little round to the north is Dock Green – it certainly captures that N.E. London atmosphere of the 50s. I ought to put a link to it in the sidebar.

      IIRC Selby Street originally linked the old N&ER Granary and the coal yard at Whitechapel drops, though I think it’s now truncated at the western end at Vallance Road. I have quite a few photos of the old coal depot and the area around the granary, though I’m not sure if I have any of Selby Street itself. Most of my documents and photos are in storage at the moment, so you’ll have to bear with me for now until I can access them.

  14. Nigel Simon Says:

    Fascinating, and so well investigated. Is the site still functioning? Great Eastern has recently caught my interest, because the first station that came under its management was Hunstanton, where i live. I am not a physical model maker, but i love art and graphics, and have the ability to make something that never existed come to life, manipulating old images to make new ones, in effect i am a graphic model maker.. I am working on the idea that Hunstanton could have become a through station, not a terminus.. That sounds a bit fantastic doesn’t it…:) but i have investigated what the Great Eastern were capable of and were doing at the time they became part of Hunstanton history. and so i am creating such an adventure into a fictional but based on truth story, and image collection, to make it possible… For anyone interested in how Hunstanton could have become a through station with a line along the coast to Wells, its a daunting but not impossible possibility.. This site and others that consider the in depth history of the Great Eastern mind set, are invaluable to me.. ty Adrian and Graham for making this one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s