Relic Hunting for Low Level

From time to time I’ll search for Wolverhampton Low Level related stuff on e-Bay.  The platform ticket (which is the avatar I use both here and on RMweb) is one recent example of this.  The photo below shows this, along with a couple of other recent finds.

The June 1971 edition of Railway Magazine was sourced following a tip-off from Neil Rushby that it contained an article about the (then) imminent closure of the GWR mainline between Low Level and Snow Hill.  While the article itself doesn’t really tell me much I’d not read or seen elsewhere before, it’s nice to have and really helps to set the scene for the layout.  It’s interesting to read something written at the time the layout will be based, rather than the more recent sources.  It is accompanied by a couple of photos, one of Low Level with the bubble car stabled in one of the centre roads and an 08 in the former up platform (with a varied selection of parcels vans and a couple of vanfits).  The other shows the bubble car pausing for custom at Priestfield on its way towards Snow Hill.

The pink sheet of paper (actually there are two sheets stapled together) is a BR handbill (which also dates from 1971) showing the timetable and ticket prices for the Low Level – Snow Hill passenger service.  Six weekday departures left Low Level bound for Snow Hill (with an additional 13:50 departure Saturdays only).  Journey time was 32 minutes (compared to 35 minutestoday on the Midland Metro – although that includes additional stops and takes you right into the centre of Wolverhampton), calling at Priestfeild, Bilston, Wednesbury, Swan Village, West Brom’, Handsworth, Langley Green and Hockley.  There was of course, we are reminded “NO SUNDAY SERVICE”.  A second class day return would cost you the princely sum of 40p; a one month season ticket £7.20.

One which got away recently was a 1971 Locoshed, mainly to confirm the Bescot 08 allocation at the time; I’ll keep looking.  The plan is to display these finds on the fiddle yard screening of the layout – assuming I get the time to continue with the layout build since the arrival of the new family member at chez Forrest:

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Project Low Level

For the past couple of years I’ve been wittering on to anybody who would listen about my plans to model Wolverhampton Low Level in its days as a parcels depot.  Progress has been sporadic, particularly with the house move (and subsequent renovation work) taking priority, but I’m finally getting somewhere.

As Nigel mentioned in the Workshop Night update I’ve been making some progress on the buildings recently.  I’ve made cardboard mock ups of the station buildings to help planning the position of board joints and viewing angles.  I’ve also finally got my head around how to use Templot and have drawn up the templates for the trackwork – significantly more planning than went into Foundry Lane!

Last week, I cleared the dining room table and put the templates and buildings together, here’s what it might look like, an overall view of the scenic section, which will measure 2.4m x 1.1m:

These views are taken from the position of Sun Street bridge which will hide the exit to the fiddle yard.

Think I’ll be needing a bit more parcel stock!  Hornby’s new SR Van B and Gresley BG might be useful!

Confession time: I’ve decided I’ll be building this in P4, rather than EM – it just seems the right thing to do for a model of a real location, especially as the trackwork is quite simple and that hardly any of my EM stock from Foundry Lane will be used.

A parcel from EMGS stores arrived today; 10m of steel bullhead rail, should be able to make a start on some track soon.

And that building which Nigel mentioned (which I think was the parcels office):

and a further update after a bit more work done last night:

Cheers