Admiralty Exchange Sidings – EM Gauge


Set in the Medway area of Kent, the layout represents the meeting point of a cross country line of the former South Eastern and Chatham Railway with a line serving a naval dry stores depot.

The location, although fictitious, could have been real as the Chatham Loop Railway, proposed in the Parliamentary Session of 1896/7 to avoid the congestion of the Medway Towns, envisaged part of the route we have in mind.

Ironically, after we started exhibiting the layout, fiction became fact as Channel Tunnel Rail Link 1, opened in 2003, follows a similar course to our line and the 1896/7 proposals!

Traffic, mainly of coal and naval stores is exchanged between the two lines in the sidings you see in front of you.

Inward bound goods trains for the depot are reformed by the Admiralty shunting engines and are worked periodically to the depot itself, which is “off stage” at the rear of the layout.

Outward bound empty wagons and vans are marshalled in the sidings at the front before the Southern Railway engine takes the return working out.

On the SECR line “Down” trains pass the Exchange Sidings on their way to the Kent Coast through a deep chalk cutting.

As the line is cross country and one of a number of routes to and from the Kent Coast, not all the trains seen return via the line.

A halt is provided for the small villages in the area, though most of the available traffic has already deserted the railway for the rival Maidstone & District buses.

The scenery on the layout is typical of the undulating hills and chalk cuttings found in the Swanley to Rochester area. Buildings, signals and other structures are based on prototypes from Kent.

Rolling stock is based on the stock used in Kent either in the late SECR or early SR period and is operated to a sequence.