Nictun Borrud

Nictun Borrud is set somewhere in the rolling chalk downland of the Southern Hampshire.  It represents the terminus of a small branch line with some freight facility and is set in the late steam/early diesel period.  The layout is built to finescale OO standards and features kit built Southern Region 3rd Rail Electric units.

Nictun Borrud was born when a member went into the Club storage shed one night and came out carrying a sheet of un-braced chipboard with some OO Gauge finescale track stuck to it.  This sheet had been rescued from the loft of deceased member whose house was being cleared ahead of being sold.  A small crew set to work to and have turned this sheet of chipboard into a very fine layout.

The fiction surrounding a number of the Club’s 00 layouts is that the Meon Valley line achieved its intended potential and became a secondary main line of some note serving the resort that was supposed to grow up between Portsmouth Southampton along the northern shore of The Solent; it would also have served as a diversionary route for trains to both these cities.  Nictun Borrud is a part of this fiction; in the run up to D-Day there was a need to hold a number of very high level meetings at or close by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces in Europe (SHAFE) and one of the proposals put forward to facilitate this by the US Army Transportation Corps was to build a branch line from the Meon Valley Line to somewhere close to the village of Southwick where SHAFE was located in Southwick House.  In the event, the meeting actually took place aboard the LMS Royal Train which was parked in the goods yard at Droxford for the duration – but why let reality get in the way of a good fiction?

Nictun Borrud is a fairly close representation of what might have existed somewhere between North Boarhunt and Southwick if the USATC had had their way and built the line.  But if it represents Southwick, why is it called Nictun Borrud? Well, as the original board was scavenged the crew decided to continue this way of working and almost everything on the layout has been either ‘nicked’ or ‘borrowed’ from other projects or member’s bit boxes; hence the name Nicked and Borrowed (Nictun Borrud).

There is also a Modern Image version of the Nictun Borrud available under the name of Nictun 2000 and colloquially referred to as 2K within the Club; the track plan is rationalised and a wagon works has replaced the derelict MoD warehouse.

Operation consists of the passenger services provided by 2BIL and 2HAP units (and the odd 2H) as they traverse the Meon Valley line from Fareham to Alton, diverting at Suthwyk Junction on their way to or from Soberton; additionally there is a pull-push shuttle to the bay at Soberton.  Freight service is provided by the daily pick up goods and an occasional van train to the MoD sidings that are the last remnants of the line’s military heritage.

The layout underwent extensive scenic refurbishment in 2014, a lighting rig was added and correct signalling was introduced.  Subsequently hands-free freight shunting has been added which has greatly increases the operational potential for passenger trains as well.  Present plans include refurbishment of the station platforms.

Dimensions16 feet by 2 feet + Operator Space behind
Power Supply1 off 13 amp socket, we provide our own RCD breaker
OperatorsTypically 2 for a short show, 3 for a long one
Time to erect and strikeTypically less than 30 minutes.
ExpensesBy negotiation, usually return diesel costs for a car + trailer at 25 mpg towing, 35mpg running light.  Overnight preferred if more than 90 minutes from our base
Insurance Value£3000, no single items over £400