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St. Margaret's Hall, Coniston Road, Hatherley, Cheltenham, GL51 3NU
Exhibition organised to raise money for
Descriptions are based on material supplied by the layout owners
Bilston Road Engine Shed
Bilston Road was built by Peter Cullen and appeared last in April 2007 at Cheltenham. Recently we requested Peter re-exhibit it with us. The news came back he was looking to sell the layout, at which point we agreed a price and purchased it without hesitation.
The layout represents a typical sub-shed in the industrial Midlands on the Western Region of British Railways.
Locomotives return for overnight servicing and simple running repairs. Stock is mainly ready to run with some having added detail.
It is hoped to exhibit the layout at a later date when engines from the 1930's will be featured.
Burnham-on-Sea more photos
Situated on the Somerset coast this town once had an importance as the northern terminus of The Somerset & Dorset Railway (S&D) which linked the Bristol channel with the English channel.
The pier at Burnham received rails from Welsh steelworks to be carried onwards to the expanding rail network in southern England. The S&D Railway had many bolster wagon pairs for this traffic.
Pleasure ships, like the paddle steamer "Waverley" would also call in regularly during the summer, especially on cross channel trips. The pier was used by the lifeboat, which had it's own private siding.
The railway station, opened on the 3rd May 1858, unusually featured a short overall roof and a long platform for excursion trains. The station closed to normal passenger workings on the 29th October 1951, excursion traffic continuing to 8th September 1962 and closed to goods on the 20th May 1963.
The model was made originally to 2mm finescale standards and exhibited by the late Denys Brownlee. After his death the model was sold and then stored for some years. I recently bought the model, by now a little worse for wear and have set about rejuvenating it to exhibit. Most work has been under the baseboards so far.
Now to tidy up above and make some correct rolling stock (a big job!). It is intended to depict the S&DJR scene in the 1920's - 1930's and rolling stock is being made to show this. Current stock is mainly borrowed or adapted "N" gauge.
Dent more photos
Dent station is on the Settle to Carlisle line of the Midland Railway and serves the villages of Cowgill and Dent. Completed in 1877 the line is renowned for the rugged Moorland, its tunnels, viaducts, amazing scenery and snow, the stone station building itself is famous for being the highest on the English railway network at 1,150 feet.
The layout is 00 gauge built to traditional methods using Peco ?ne scale track. It was inspired by the work of David Jenkinson and built to provide a circular layout that I could sit back and watch trains run round.
The scenery attempts to capture the bleakness of Blea Moor, the landscape with extensive stone built walls and snow fences.
The track gang you can see working muffled up in overcoats against the cold and the lack of passengers reflect the distance of the station from any local housing. Cowgill village is half a mile away while Dent itself is nearly 5 miles further to the west.
The layout runs with LMS motive power on one day and British Railways steam the other, rolling stock re?ects this.
End of the Line more photos
My model railway, The End of the Line represents the distribution point of a small coal mining operation in the early 1960's.
Never very busy, the output of the mine is divided between distant industry, transported by rail and local demand which is handled by road haulage.
The coal from the pit head ls delivered to the yard by a 2 foot narrow gauge railway. The excellent KB scale tipper wagons have been made to operate and discharge their load onto a conveyor or direct into a waiting standard gauge mineral wagon.
Narrow gauge and standard gauge locomotives are mainly kit built but there are also some 3D printed bodied models from Shapeways and ready-to-run models from lxion and Bachmann Brassmasters.
The layout has a scenic area of 5 feet by 3 feet. The grass is a mixture of Polak and MiniNature static fibres. Control of locomotives is by DCC as is the operation of a very heavily modified Hornby motorised conveyor and the Tortoise point motors.
Road haulage lorries are radio controlled and have been converted from commercially available die-cast models. They are powered by a replacement battery for an iPod Nano, a motor gearbox designed for miniature robotics and a micro servo for steering. The control is by a Deltang receiver under the bonnet and a controller/transmitter from a toy indoor helicopter.
The layout was originally built by Giles Favell but the stock and the lorries shown today are by the current owner.
Gare de Brindille more photos
Gare de Brindille is my first attempt at a 16mm model railway and depicts a section of the War Department Light Railway (WDLR) in Europe during the Great War. It is something of an experiment as usually this scale is the reserve of the garden railways enthusiast with radio controlled locomotives , I have used track power.
It is a simple test track laid out as an "lnglenook" or shunting twig. I have used Peco track and it is designed to allow us to play trains by shunting the various WDLR wagons. I have built these from kits largely as a result of an increasing interest in the WDLR a 100 years on from the First World War. The publication of the "WDLR Album" compiled by Roy C Link. The chance purchase of the Swift Sixteen "Protected Simplex" or "Tin Turtle" at 'Tracks to the Trenches" in Apedale in 2015 and 2018 were also major factors in the development of the layout.
My model contains a number of scenic elements typical of the World War 1 narrow gauge railways, it is very loosely represents a small loading point some way behind the trenches.
The layout is run with an NCE DCC system and the locomotives are sound chipped with Zimo decoders from Digitrains. They represent the small petrol engine locomotives typical of the era and are built from kits by Swift Sixteen and PDF models. The wagons are kit-built and modified plastic, resin and wooden kits from Swift Sixteen, Andel, Red Star and Slaters.
Gravelly Oak is a small 'modern image' terminus layout set on a former Great Western Railway (GWR) branch between the period 2000 and 2017. Located on the border of the West Midlands and Shropshire. London Midland operate passenger trains but with minimal facilities provided. Like other stations of theirs in the area such as Hagley, it retains its GWR building to serve commuters of Gravelly.
As well as the passenger services there is a quarry nearby loading trains with specialised aggregate. Locomotives can also be fueled and serviced at the stabling point here.
This is a first foray into DCC though the small terminus layout served by a cassette fiddle yard is a similar concept to my DC model railway Todmorden Midland LMR, a 1950s layout which appeared in October 2016 Railway Modeller and has been on the exhibition circuit in the last year.
The scenic base board is 4 feet 9 inches long with a 2 foot fiddle yard. Track is by Peco and control by NCE with traditionally operated Seep point motors with frog switching by autofrog units.
Unlike my previous layout which had many scratch built buildings, this one uses modified resin and kit built structures. Scenics reflect the quarrying nature of the railway here and are created largely from Woodland Scenic products.
Stock is by Farish and Dapol with DMU classes 150, 153 and 170 while locomotive classes 08, 60, 66 and 70 deal with haulage.
Hillside Mine Heritage Railway
Hillside Mine Heritage Railway (HMHR) is my second model railway located in the fictional place of Hillside in mid Wales, the first you may remember was Hillside Works. Both layouts have been inspired by a combination of the Brecon Mountain Railway, near Merthyr Tydfil, and the mining heritage and countryside of the surrounding area.
The scenario is that of a drift mine that was re-activated for local coal supplies during the miners strikes of the 1970's. lt is situated near a preserved narrow gauge line and industrial site, my model railway Hillside Works.
This allows the use of a mixture of stock, both kit built and proprietary, with some preserved steam but mostly working diesel.
Hillside Mine Heritage Railway (HMHR) is still a work in progress, as are most layouts. My model railway has been designed to stand alone or displayed side by side with Hillside Works.
Future plans include, expanding and populating the heritage theme, adding Arduino controlled sounds and building a simple visitor station stop and cafe on the main loop.
Thomas more photos
This is the model railway where Children can become Engine Drivers on the Island of Sodor and has of course been inspired by the Reverend Audrey books.
Our Thomas and Friends layout has been built for ten years now and in that time we hope it has encouraged many new railway enthusiasts to build a train set of their own.
Originally it was intended as a space filler at shows so needed to be small, easy to transport and have a simple track plan, easy for small children to operate.
After its first appearance it was clear this model railway would have to be included at all our exhibitions.
It incorporates a tunnel, station, level crossing together with locomotive and goods facilities. Train drivers should look out for many of the popular characters; Henry, Percy, Toby, Cranky, the Troublesome Trucks, not forgetting the Sir Topham Hatt better known as the Fat Controller.
The famous anthropomorphised rolling stock is mostly from the Thomas range and we are sure most of the adults and all the kids will love it.
Happy Driving, but please observe the track speed limits.
Tony's Forest more photos
Tony was the owner of this forest in the 1890's and he built a narrow gauge railway to bring timber down to his own saw mill. The line was extended during the Great War when there was an increasing need for all raw materials, however it fell out of use afterwards.
It saw a new lease of life during World War 2 when parts of it were used to ship more timber and quarry stone.
My model railway portrays the line coming up the hillside to a passing loop with the old tracks forward now disused and overgrown. The line reverses and continues up the hillside while a newer branch leads to a quarry which now supplies Shropshire County Council with road stone. The area is still known as Tony's Forest but the railway remains known only to a few enthusiasts and the local population. There are some rare locomotives still in use and unknown to many enthusiasts. However, this is the late 1950's and modernization is on the way. Who knows how long this little backwater will survive before being noticed by someone in the Council? The future is very uncertain.
Emphasis has been placed on scratch-built scenery and structures whilst most of the rolling stock is built from kits.
Track is hand-built using Peco nickel silver rail on copper clad sleeper strip obtained from the 7mrn Narrow Gauge Association (NGA). Buildings use wood, embossed card or plastic sheet and Grandt Line windows again from the 7mm NGA. Locomotives and rolling stock are mainly kit built. Locomotive chassis are fitted with high ratio gearboxes and flywheels where possible. Passenger coaches are converted Bachmann On30 Trolley bodies mounted on bogies from the 7mrn NGA while the quarryman's open coaches are from S&D Models. Wagons are from KB Scale and Wrightlines.
Greenwhich couplings are used which are activated remotely by permanent magnets set into the track bed.
Whitcliffe Quarry Branch more photos
This layout is inspired by various locations in the Forest of Dean.
Whitcliffe Quarry is an actual place to the south-west of Coleford. The prototype is a lot larger than the model, I have had to down size the stone crushing and storage plant to a much reduced version of the real thing.
Fred Watkins was the local entrepreneur who operated the quarry, along with the engineering works and scrapyard at the end of the real life Sling branch, using modellers licence I have placed all the points of interest adjacent to the quarry complex.
The layout also features the sand siding, plus an abandoned horse-drawn tramway wharf for loading stone blocks from local quarries. This is based on the prototype at Bicslade wharf near Cannop Ponds.
Stock operated on the layout is what was actually used on the Coleford branch but is expanded to what could feasibly have been seen if the full service had been maintained until closure of the line to the quarry in 1957.
Winterwell-on-the-Fosse is a fictitious small country market town set in the Cotswolds during the early 1950s, it is served by a rural branch line. Winterwell actually exists as a large farmstead near Northleach, it is surrounded by numerous cottages and many stone built buildings.
The economy is very much agricultural, as one would expect, based on this rural background. It is envisaged that this branch line, although now much rationalised once formed part of the Midland and South Western Junction Railway. To this end it would have been possible to see both locomotives and rolling stock from the Great Western Railway, London Midland Scottish and Southern railways.
It is a 3mm scale layout with the aim to give a flavour of the Cotswolds. Most of the buildings are scratch built and based on actual buildings within this area. The brewery complex is a kit which has been altered and reduced to fit this scale with other buildings added to complete the typical scene.
The physical dimensions of the layout are 13 feet by 2 feet and shows a much rationalised small station complex, disused junction and the branch terminus.
Yate Rocks Tramway more photos
A few years ago whilst looking at some old local maps I discovered that back in the 1890 to 1900 era there was a short mineral tramway linking two quarries at Burt Hill, near Yate Rocks, with limekilns near the Midland Railway line at Rangeworthy. There is clear evidence, a mile or so north of the Gloucestershire village of Yate that a tramway ran along Limekiln Lane. According to the Victoria County History the tramway was in operation from the late 1840’s. It is not clear how long this lasted, however it is known that the limekilns closed down around 1925.
The Yate Rocks Tramway model railway is based on the premise that the tramway also linked to a stone processing plant in the area and to the Midland Railway. The tramway and works is now owned by the Gloucestershire stone company.
The scene is set circa 1950 when four new diesel locomotives have been acquired. This has allowed the tramway to semi-retire the worn out and expensive to run Pecketts steam locomotives. These engines were made by the Bristol based manufacturer in 1904, originally for the Mendip Granite and Ashphalt company in Shepton Mallet they have given forty years of sterling service in Gloucestershire.
In addition, by setting the layout at this time in the fifties a Bedford OB ’Chara’ coach can appear on the layout, perhaps bringing a party from the Rail Correspondence and Travel Society.
The buildings grouped together around the yard entrance are based on actual local structures. The works yard is totally fictitious and now includes disused lime kilns and the Stone Company’s new timber yard and storage shed.
Travel 2000 Ltd
To tbe manor burnt
Abbotswood - the back room story
A taste of America
|Andi Dell||John Emerson, O gauge|
|Mark Begley||Steve Harrod|
|Cheltenham Model Centre||Penduke Models|
|RCSW (Pre-owned) Models, Clive Reid||Rly books, timetables, photos, Stewart Blencowe|
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