The Lee-on-the-Solent Light Railway was a bold town planning attempt of the late 1800s. The promoters hoped that here was a watering place with everything going for it: a splendid beach, a pleasant climate, superb views across to the Isle of Wight, the sheltered areas of the Solent for boating, and in addition, it was much nearer London then Bournemouth which was obviously the place to model it on. The railway was opened on 12th May 1894 by the Lee-on-the-Solent Railway Company as the seaside terminus of the branch that left the LSWR Fareham to Gosport line at Fort Brockhurst. In 1909 the LSWR leased the line and was subsequently taken over by the SR in 1923. Sadly, the line became a burden to the SR and consequently the last train ran on 29th October 1935 with the track being lifted c1939.
History of the Model
The layout was originally built by a professional model maker, Colin Hayward, as a result of taking a school party on a historical visit. It was one of the very first examples of a layout built to P4 standards and it made its debut at the South Hampshire Railway Modellers exhibition in October 1981. Colin kindly donated the layout to the East Hampshire Area Group of the Scalefour Society in 1993 and since then, a number of modifications have been made by various members
The layout today is presented around the time of grouping (1923) allowing both LSWR and SR stock to be run. Motive power includes an ex-LBSCR D1 class tank and Terriers. All are fully compensated. Rolling stock includes Gate stock sets and various coal wagons from local merchants. In the near future, it is hoped to model the original two composite coaches to allow representation of trains as used from opening through to 1909.
Information for exhibition managers
Scale 4mm / 18.83 Gauge P4 Standards
Size (Footprint) 16’ 6” x 3’ 6” (require overall space of 20’ x 8’ and one table)
Operators max 4 (usually 2 or 3) operated from rear
Power 2 x 13amp connection
Transport 1 large estate car (MPV) or share van with another layout
For layout and one operator
1 car for other operators
Insurance value £8,000