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St.Neots Model Railway Club

Bowater Paper Mills

0-16.5 7mm                                              

Bowaters Paper Mill Railway is a new O-16.5 gauge layout under construction.

Based on the Paper Mill at Kemsley in the 1960s, this was the last steam 2ft 6in gauge industrial railway in Britain. It closed in 1969.

Logs and raw materials arrived at Ridham Dock - a Medway estuary inlet and were transported to Kemsley to be processed.

The Mill still exists, north of Sittingbourne in Kent, built on the marshes of the Swale estuary, at Kemsley. Part of the line has been preserved as a heritage line (Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway) running many of the locos originally used

A great deal of research has been done to gather as much material about the Kemsley Mill and surrounding buildings and although the whole site cannot be depicted, we have tried to capture a sense of the place and show as much as possible.

The layout will be presented as a diorama through a proscenium arch.

The layout plan is complete, buildings have been mocked up to check positioning and the baseboard frames have been completed. The stock is being built using 3D printing along with brass kit/scratch building for the locos.

The track is laid and wired and work is proceeding on roadways and other scenic components. 

Many the buildings are at an early stage of development.

The stock will be almost entirely scratch-built.

The layout will be controlled using Lenz DCC handsets, with Raspberry Pi operating Cobalt digital point motors via JMRI software on tablet / mobile phone mimic diagram.

Oct 2021

Current Build Progress

Layout Plan

Premier (left) and Melior (Right) Progress build

The Build Progress

Here are a collection of photos of the progress made on the layout so far. These will be update as we go along.

Meet The Locos

These are all of the 2ft 6in gauge locomotives that ran the line. We are only planning to make 2ft 6in gauge locos and not any of the standard gauge locos. Here are photos and info of them followed by progress photos of the models at this time.

Basis Refernce Photos

Here are a few photos of the mill that we are using to help model and get the correct feel of the area we are modeling.

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