BLOG: Twelve Trees in the South

Photo: Mark Chivers makes final checks on the Saturday morning before the doors opened.


Over the weekend of March 10/11 we took Twelve Trees Junction to its native home land – the Southern Region of British Railways – when it was exhibited at the Basingstoke Model Railway Exhibition. Held at Aldworth Science College close to Basingstoke town centre, the show brought together more than 20 layouts and a similar level of trade stands for a busy weekend show.

The show was Twelve Trees first exhibition of 2018 and, compared to its appearances at the Great Electric Train Show in October 2017 and Warley in November 2017, preparation was quite straightforward. The layout was displayed as before, but with the addition of four new items of rolling stock, which we hope visitors noticed, together with the return of a couple of models which had been consigned to the repairs line following its outings in 2017.

Assembled and ready for stocking on Saturday morning.

The bare layout was assembled on Friday ready for the stock to be loaded on Saturday morning.

New to the layout for this show were a Bulleid 2-EPB unit which, while not strictly new it had been out of service for sometime, together with a pair of BR 2-EPBs running in multiple and a Hatton’s ‘P’ 0-6-0T. We also returned the MLV to serviceable condition, although adjustment of its decoder settings are required so that it can work in multiple with the pair of 4-CEP units. Also returning to service was a DJ Models Class 71 following cleaning and, for the first time on this layout, Beattie ‘0298’ 2-4-0WT 30586 which took on a short parcels working during Sunday afternoon.

A number of favourites were also in service including Kernow’s Bulleid diesel 10201, a Kernow Model Rail Centre working in pull-push model with a Class 33/1, the ‘Brighton Belle’, a pair of Bulleid air-smoothed ‘Merchant Navy’ 4-6-2s and a number of smoke generator equipped locomotives too. The appearance of Stanier ‘8F’ 2-8-0 48706 might have raised a few eye brows on a Southern Region layout, but it is perfectly placed for hauling a cross-London transfer freight – a service which we have a number of alternative off-region locomotives available to work.

You can watch a selection of trains running on the layout here…

The weekend past without any major problems and we were pleased with the layout’s performance throughout the weekend. The latest exhibition also provided the opportunity to discuss the next major project, colour light signalling, with Network Rail Assistant Signalling Designer Simon Paley while also plotting how we want to develop the scenery on the sixth currently bare scenic board.

Bulleid diesel 10201 heads 12-wheel Pullmans through the station.

We hope the visitors to the show enjoyed seeing the layout as much as we did operating it. The next outing for Twelve Trees Junction is on June 15-17 at the Great Central Railway Model Event. Be sure to come along and say hello, as we plan to have more new stock ready for then as well as more detail for the locomotives which are already in service.

I hope you enjoyed this latest post and if you have anything you would like to comment on, drop us a line to

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