I became interested in industrial narrow gauge over 10 years ago after visits to the Amberley museum. The small internal combustion locos had a strong appeal which grew even stronger after taking part in a driving session at Amberley with a group of other enthusiasts. This made me want to model both the small IC locos and the chalk pit industrial scenario.
The layout is 5ft x 15in in size and consists of three scenes; a chalk pit working, three lime kilns and the engine shed/utility area located in historic workings. The aim of the layout is to illustrate the removal of chalk from the working face and its transportation to the lime kilns for processing. Chalk trains can also arrive via the tunnel coming from â€˜other pitsâ€™. In the protoype chalk is tipped directly into the kilns and layered with coal. After dropping through the kiln being heated by the burning coal lime is removed from the bottom of the kilns and loaded into standard gauge wagons for shipment to its various possible building and agricultural uses. The engine shed and utility area provides facilities for refuelling and maintaining the locos, and repairing of rolling stock and is cluttered with various hopefully appropriate junk. The kilns themselves are based on â€˜continous firingâ€™ kilns at Amberley (No 2 kilns). Operation is fictitious but is based on a combination of Betchworth and Oxted lime works.
The narrow gauge motive power is a selection of small IC locos and at present comprise two O&K RL1c, one 20HP Simplex, one 40HP protected Simplex and a Ransomes and Rapier 20HP, accompanied by a collection of various skips (V tippers). The standard gauge rolling stock at present consists of a Hornby â€˜Terrierâ€™ and some open wagons.