Layouts we love: Immingham’s railway history in two magnificent model layouts

Whether your modelling interests lie in steam-age or modern traction, a visit to Docks & Railways section of a wonderful museum in Immingham will leave you elated, writes Pete Kelly.

An extensive OO-gauge working layout of Immingham Locomotive Depot (40B) in the 1950s, and an impressive modern-era N-gauge layout depicting the line from Wrawby Junction to Barnetby (along which huge tonnages of freight are moved to this day) can be found at the welcoming Immingham Museum & Heritage Centre in Pelham Road, Immingham – and admission is absolutely free!

Clearly happy in their work, two controllers behind the huge OO-gauge ‘Immingham’ layout show off the ‘open-plan’ nature of all the electronic components, which allows visitors with layouts of their own to study how it all works.

The exhibits are split into two parts, Local History and Docks and Railways, the former boasting many interesting displays that are changed on a regular basis, and the latter two magnificent model railway layouts and memorabilia that make it a ‘must visit’ for modellers and those interested in railway history alike.

The Lincolnshire side of the Humber Estuary saw massive changes after the Great Central Railway submitted to Parliament a proposal for the building of a deep water port near the small village of Immingham just after the turn of the 20th century, and although this was initially greeted with some derision, the Humber Commercial Railway & Dock Act gained Royal Assent in July 1904, and work began at Killingholme in 1906.

The splendid Robinson ‘Jersey Lily’ Atlantic on the turntable is No 365 Sir William Pollitt. These large, fast and powerful 4-4-2s ran the evening express from Marylebone to Bradford with great distinction until 1936.

The port was opened by King George V on July 22, 1912, and at that same ceremony Sam Fay, who had taken on the role of the GCR’s manager from Sir William Pollitt, received a knighthood.

In association with the new dock, three lines were built from Immingham, one to Grimsby and two to the New Holland branch, and in anticipation of the huge coal-exporting deep water port, the Great Central Railway’s chief mechanical engineer, John G Robinson, designed his famous 8K (later LNER O4) 2-8-0s to handle heavy freight trains to and from Immingham Dock, and these fine locomotives were introduced in 1911, later being built in huge numbers by the Railway Operating Division during the First World War.

Headed by EWS Class 60 No 60 035, an iron ore train branches right at Wrawby Junction to take the line to Scunthorpe.

As can be seen clearly in one of the accompanying photos, the railway coal concentration yards at Immingham were massive, with room for no fewer than 15,000 wagons when they were built in 1912, and although coal is no longer king, Immingham remains Britain’s largest deep water port, and is still responsible for generating a massive amount of freight on our modern railway system.

This is well illustrated by the superb N-gauge layout that accurately depicts the modern era from the 1970s to the present day.

For the full article and to view more images, see the July edition of Modelling – available now!

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