the station gets a new platform

When the branch and harbour were built, it was anticipated that a steam packet would run a service to South Wales from the harbour. A passenger service was run from County Gate using a separate platform and run round loop. The steam packet never materialised and the passenger service was suspended in 1914.

The track layout at County Gate was simplified and the defunct passenger loop removed and replaced by a simple siding (New Siding). This was fenced off from the platforms.

The scenic splendour of the Harbour branch was not lost on the directors after a famous travel writer published in the Times that the beauty of the line "bankrupted the English language". A summer passenger service to the harbour was re-instated in 1928. The train ran into the engine shed siding which was maintained in a relatively clean condition! This service became extremely popular and a tea room was provided on the ground floor of the Harbour Authority offices. County Gate became the busiest intermediate station on the entire railway during the summer months. A platform in concrete was re-instated at County Gate at the former New Siding. As no loop was now available for running round at the harbour two coaches were rebuilt as push pull units. The steam locomotive was marshalled into the centre of the consist.

As the main line began its conversion to railcar operation for much of its service, so the Harbour Authority ordered its own diesel power car to build into its push pull consist. This was built locally and employed two Gardner engines using mechanical gearboxes to the axles. A complicated air operated system was employed to control the power car from the push pull units. The creation was never as reliable or successful as its main line counterparts and it was not uncommon to see a steam loco being hurriedly prepared to replace the failed power car!

I always find modifying an existing model rather hateful as it is so hard to work without damaging other details. Nevertheless, work began on rebuilding the platform in March 2009. The extended platform will represent concrete, so beloved by Glenthorne Harbour Authority! The old fence was removed along with the line of shrubs.

The new platform was formed in Polyfilla, the surface being lightly brushed to simulate screading.

the start of work...rather a worrying time - click on image to enlarge

the completed platform - there is still the new shelter to fit - click on image to enlarge

the new 'pagoda style' shelter built by the Harbour Authority - click on image to enlarge

the small shelter built at the port - click on image to enlarge