Southend Pier

The pier at Southend-on-Sea in Essex stretches 2360 yards into the Thames estuary to find deep water. The pier railway has been rebuilt several times over the years, most recently after fires in the late 1970s and in 1995.

October 2005: The pier is closed yet again, after a fire on 10 October destroyed most of the buildings at its outer end.

This layout, which is mostly just a bit of fun to see how far you can go with linear scenery, depicts the line roughly as it was in the 1960s, with 1949-built electric trains on 3′6″ gauge double track. The current set-up, with diesel trains running on 3′ single track, is rather different.

You can download this layout from Rail3d Layouts#ntoc15

With two perfectly straight tracks, and little to see apart from water and the Essex coastline, this should be a very boring layout. Actually, it’s quite absorbing to go into cab view and watch the planks of the pier going past. There’s probably a bit too much detail in the scenery - it runs fairly slowly, even on a fast machine. Still, I’m rather pleased with the look of the salt-bleached woodwork.

The layout and stock are based loosely on topographic data from os maps and on information published on the web, in particular on Graeme Wall’s Southend Pier Railway page.

Mark Hodson June 26, 2005, at 10:23 am