South Hants Model Railway Club

Westcliff - Sun, sea and shingle on Dorset's Riviera

Westcliff by Richard Butler (4mm scale, EM gauge)

A 'might have been' railway

Westcliff is a ‘might have been’ whose location is based on the Dorset seaside town of West Bay, Bridport’s harbour, as it might have evolved by the 1920s.

When the railway arrived at West Bay in 1848 there was the expectation that the town would grow into a seaside resort in the same way as Bournemouth or Weymouth had done. Land was bought in preparation for promenades, walks, gardens and hotels. Fortunes were to be made. In the event none of these things happened, the main result of the railway’s arrival was the decline of trade through the harbour.

However in our version of events not only did the town become a successful resort, but the harbour continued to flourish with the export of coal (from Somerset and South Wales), shingle (from nearby Chesil Beach), rope and netting (manufactured locally) and the importation of timber from Scandinavia. Some light shipbuilding was also carried out.

The existing station was moved to make way for developments in the town and a larger station built in a new location under the ‘west cliff’ to cater for a now intensive service of main line holiday expresses and local passenger trains. Goods trains bring supplies into the town and service the harbour via a short branch line.

Extensive carriage sidings and loco facilities are located off the main line to the east of the station, beyond the bridges carrying the footpath to the promenade.

Westcliff - the layout

(more details coming soon)

Exhibition Managers Notes

Westcliff image carousel

Where to see Westcliff

No exhibition appearances currently booked