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Description based on material supplied by the layout owner
In 1865 a branch line was opened from Plymouth to Launceston, by 1886 a new line has been constructed by the North Cornwall Railway from Halwill to Launceston, as the first part of their line to Padstow. The two lines remained separate until they were linked at Launceston in 1943, during the Second World War.
This layout assumes that a short branch line was built off the North Cornwall railway into Virginstow, a small village lying just north of Launceston.
The model depicts the terminus station in Virginstow in the mid 1950's to early 1960's, when most main line passenger services were operated through to Plymouth, via Lifton by the Western Region, and some to Exeter via Okehampton by the Southern Region. Freight traffic movements were of the type expected for a predominantly agricultural area. These include milk and perishables, whilst incoming are mainly comprised of coal, fertilisers and animal foodstuffs.
The layout was originally built by Malcolm Diodge in the mid 1990's. The location of Virginstow was chosen to run stock typical of what might have been seen at Launceston, but in a single rail small terminus station. The layout was later sold on to Don Dickson, a fellow member of the "Three Towns" model railway group. Don exhibited the layout around the West Country area, including here at Cheltenham.
The layout was then sold to Stephen Ash, but was not exhibited further. A major renovation then commenced in 2012, which increased the length of track beyond the station and replaced magnetic un-couplings with a Fleischmann electromechanical version. Also other improvements to scenery, track and electrics. At this point the layout was renamed Virginstow 2. Don Dickson has since died and so this layout is now exhibited in his memory.
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