A Plausible Premise
One of the criteria for my next layout is a plausible premise (real or fictional). Well, I think I have found one, literally just down the road…
Thaxted is a small, pretty, town in north Essex. A railway to Thaxted was first proposed in 1835, but the bill was defeated in parliament in 1836. Although, various railway lines were built within 15 miles of Thaxted, the lack of industry never attracted any other serious proposals for a line to the town.
The Light Railways Act of 1896 opened up the possibility of an inexpensive railway joining Thaxted to the mainline at Elsenham, a distance of just over five and a half miles.
Sir Walter Gibley, a prominent local landowner, favoured the building of a 2′ 6″ line. He engaged an engineer for the line, Walter Hopkins, who visited the Hunslet works. Hopkins was shown narrow gauge stock and locomotives being built for India…
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