Chan­nel hop­ping

Paul A. Lunn ex­plores the Chan­nel Is­lands’ di­ver­sity, and of­fers two track plans for mod­el­ling rail­ways on Jersey and Alder­ney.

Model Rail (UK) - - Contents -

Paul A. Lunn ex­plores the di­ver­sity of the Chan­nel Is­lands.

If you thought that the fur­thest south old Lon­don Un­der­ground tube trains got was the Isle of Wight you’d be wrong. Sev­eral old Tube Stock cars are ac­tu­ally in use – al­beit as hauled coach­ing stock – fewer than ten miles from the Nor­mandy coast. The Chan­nel Is­lands are al­most as dif­fer­ent from each other as they are from main­land Bri­tain. The three big­gest – Jersey, Guernsey and Alder­ney – all had rail­ways. Jersey, the largest of all, had two. The 3ft 6in gauge Jersey Railway ran west from the cap­i­tal, St He­lier, to the rocky coast­line of Cor­biere Point. The stan­dard gauge Jersey East­ern Railway fol­lowed the east­ern coast­line from St He­lier up to the de­light­ful town of Gorey. Guernsey, the sec­ond largest, had a stan­dard gauge tramway, rather than a railway, for the three miles from St Peter Port to St Samp­son’s. Ini­tially worked by steam lo­co­mo­tives and trail­ers, it was con­verted to elec­tric power in 1891. Alder­ney’s four-mile stan­dard gauge line linked Man­nez Quarry with a new break­wa­ter and opened in 1847. It’s the only Chan­nel Is­land railway still op­er­a­tional (those of Jersey and Guernsey closed in the 1930s) but only car­ries pas­sen­gers from its head­quar­ters at Man­nez Quarry to the town of Braye. I find the strange and rather won­der­ful rail­ways of the Chan­nel Is­lands par­tic­u­larly fas­ci­nat­ing. There are some very modellable sub­jects here, of­fer­ing those who like the chal­lenge of mak­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent the chance to cre­ate some­thing re­ally dif­fer­ent!

ALLARD SCHAGER/ALAMY

Vul­can Drewry 0-4-0DM El­iz­a­beth and its train of two 1959 Lon­don Un­der­ground cars at Man­nez Quarry. The site is dom­i­nated by the Sec­ond World War Ger­man ob­ser­va­tion tower. Be­hind the pho­tog­ra­pher is the railway’s work­shop, home to Rus­ton Hornsby 4WDM Molly 2, which ar­rived on the is­land in kit form.

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