Once you start looking for ‘Minories’ type layouts, they seem to be everywhere. I suppose this is hardly surprising, as the layout of crossovers and a point to reach three platforms is a simple, intuitive one. So here’s another attractive suburban terminus, Hayes in Kent.
The West Wickham and Hayes Railway was incorporated by Act of Parliament on 9 July 1880 to build a 3¼-mile line from Elmer’s End on the South Eastern Railway’s Mid Kent line to Hayes. Traffic was light in the early years. However, after World War I, traffic grew rapidly with the growth of the outer London suburbia. The Southern Railway electrified the line in 1925. The branch has thrived with commuter traffic, and despite its short length, there are half-hourly trains between Hayes and both Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations.
In 1950, the terminus had three platforms, and a small goods yard. It would make an attractive model, being a ‘typical’ terminus, but with a Southern Electric service. Hayes is not very far from where I grew up, and the way suburbia has formed around the station building is very familiar for the area.
In recent years, the terminus has been reduced to two platforms, but it is still an attractive station, with the double crossovers still in place on the wooded approaches.
At the other end of this short branch is Elmers End. This too would make an interesting model. As usual, the small goods yard is mainly a coal depot to cater for local domestic heating needs. The mainline from London is on the right (and north-east). The left (and south-west) passes the outskirts of Croydon to join the main London-Brighton line at South Croydon.
The platform bay to the south is linked to the Hayes branch, that curves away from Elmers End. Before electrification, it would have been held a steam railmotor shuttle service to Hayes. The northern bay is still in use today to terminate the Croydon Tramlink service.
In the past, this bay was home to a shuttle service of a couple of miles to the Addiscombe Road railway station, originally built as the South Eastern Railway’s Croydon terminus. The station is more imposing than Hayes, with a 4-road EMU storage shed. I believe that a 4mm scale model of this station is being built for the exhibition circuit.
With East Croydon station, on the main London-Brighton line, half a mile away, it was inevitable that Addiscombe Road would be ‘rationalised’ and closed. In latter years, a 2EPB shuttle service to Elmers End, as below, was its only service. Now, only Tramlink trams pass through the site of the station, but much of it is a new housing estate.