Less than 4mm/ft4mm/ftMore than 4mm/ft
Aston Magna (N)Boston Frodsham (P4)Oulton TMD (OO)Blakey Rigg (S)Newcroft (O)
Hartley Poole Too (N)Dienw (OO9)Overlord (OO)Crindau Pill (S7)Norman Colliery (O)
Hogwarts at Christmas (N)Glenties (OOn3)Parsley Hay Junction (OO)Glasshouse Loan (O)Stodmarsh (O)
Modbury (2FS)Hogsmead on Sodor (OO)Rainy City (trams) (OO)Grange Lane (O)Whiteoak Light Railway (On16.5)
Newvaddon Parkway (N)Lockerbie (OO)St Etienne-en-Caux (OO9)Limoges (sm-32)
Staly Vegas (N)Lynnbach (OO9)Templecombe Lower (OO)

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Aston Magna

(Finescale N: scale 2.06mm/ft,  track gauge 9mm)

The layout represents a fictional single track GWR route on the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border  during the second world war, and more details about it can be found on the D-Day 80 page of this website.

The model was started in 2009 to a then experimental intermediate track standard which was allied to the commonplace plastic wheels of Peco’s wagons.  Today these have been dispensed with and all steel wheels are used.  However, the PCB-sleepered trackwork, which is all built in situ freehand using code 40 bullhead rail, does begin to suggest a far better look than the commonplace RTR products available.  Whilst the gauge remains 9mm the check rails are closed to 0.9mm instead of the common N gauge standard of 1.25mm.

All stock is reworked and weathered using 3 link or hybrid hook connectors.  These allow hand shunting anywhere on the railway as on a real one.  Control is analogue dc and the trains are stored and turned on off-scene train tables at each end.

Awaiting photographs

Photos © Mark Henshaw
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Blakey Rigg

(S: scale 1/64in/ft,  track gauge 0.884in, 22.45mm)

Blakey Rigg (or ridge) was between Rosedale and Farndale and was the site of Blakey Junction high up on the North Yorkshire Moors on the Rosedale Branch of the North Eastern Railway.  The branch reached the tops via an incline and was built to transport the considerable quantities of ironstone mined there and move it down for smelting in Teesside into iron and steel.  The busy junction saw branches going off to the East and West sides of Rosedale plus another branch into Farndale. On my layout in S Scale, it is assumed that the Farndale branch brought in both ironstone and potash.  Together with the Rosedale Ironstone, the Junction was a busy, but isolated and windswept, place.

The layout was featured in the December 2021 Railway Modeller and the August 2022 British Railway Modelling.

 Photos © Phil Parker/BRM

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Boston Frodsham

(P4: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 18.83mm)

Boston Frodsham is a P4 gauge layout set in 1975-1985 (ish) and is inspired by the swing bridge at the entrance to Boston Docks in Lincolnshire and the wharf at Frodsham in Cheshire.

Operation of the layout assumes that trains approach the docks via a branch line off the main line (all off scene) and enter one of three reception/departure sidings which are partially modelled on the layout.  As main line locos are too heavy to cross the swing bridge they uncouple and move off to the stabling point.  The 03 & 08 shunters then move the wagons, a few at a time, over the swing bridge and into the dockside area, returning with other wagons for dispatch.  Ultimately the main line loco runs around to enable it to depart with the outgoing train.

Trackwork uses Exactoscale rail and chairs on ply sleepers.  Operation is via a Lenz DCC system and all the locos are fitted with sound decoders.  Points are activated by Tortoise slow motion motors controlled from a lever frame which has been built from a Scalefour Society kit.  All buildings are scratchbuilt and based on those found in the Boston and Frodsham area, of particular note is the octagonal control building for the swing bridge.  A working replica of the somersault signal found adjacent to the swing bridge is Included as is a working flashing navigation beacon.

The motive power includes several modified and detailed Bachmann Hornby and Lima locos fitted with replacement sprung bogies, and a class 03 and 08 shunter permanently coupled together.  The 03 incorporates a detailed Bachmann body on a High Level Kits chassis and is powered.  The 08 is a modified and detailed Bachmann model with the motor and gears removed to make room for a sound decoder and decent speaker.  Rolling stock consists of a variety of modified RTR and kit built wagons all fitted with sprung chassis.

The layout was featured in Model Railway Journal 282.

Photos © M Knowles

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Crindau Pill

(S7: scale 7mm/ft,  track gauge 33mm)

Crindau Pill is my first essay in 7mm/ft and adopts ScaleSeven standards and was intended as means of proving trackbuilding techniques and Battery-powered Radio-controlled locos.

At the beginning of lockdown, the Newport Model Railway Society set its members a challenge to build a small layout during the pandemic, with a space limit of 1 square foot per number of mm/ft in the chosen scale.  So, for 7mm scale, the builder was allowed 7 square feet.

Oblivious as ever as to what might be practical, I came up with a plan for a shunting plank in S7 scale nestling on a board of 6.54 sq ft.  The track plan was drawn on Templot, and the same drawing file was sent to Intentio for them to produce laser cut sleepers for the trackwork at the correct spacing and position.

The main baseboard was a laser cut kit from White Rose Modelworks and the fiddle yard baseboards (which double as a protective transport cover for the layout) were made by club member Paul Sheward.  All the trackwork is handmade in situ, on the already installed timbers.

Mechanical surface-mounted turnout operation combined with battery power radio control of locomotives leaves a baseboard underside uncontaminated by wiring!

Crindau Pill represents an imagined isolated outpost of the Brecon and Merthyr Railway somewhere on the right bank of the River Usk in Newport in the early years of the 20th Century..  It made its debut, as a “work in progress” at the Newport Gauge O Guild show in 2022.  Since then work has progressed, but is a model railway ever completely finished?

The story of its construction can be followed in more detail here:

Photo © R Hall

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(OO9: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 9mm)

The year is 1943 and Britain is at war.  Under wartime emergency conditions all station names have been removed, to cause the maximum amount of confusion to the enemy paratroopers, (who were expected to drop from the skies at any moment disguised as nuns) and also, passengers, officials and the line’s management.

Somewhere in North Wales, (I’m sorry we can’t tell you where, there’s a war on you know!) there is a line-fach (small railway) doing it’s best to help the war effort against the enemy (the Germans, not the English for once.)  

The line has received a major boost in traffic from the new mysterious military building, rumoured to have something to do with explosives.  All the locals know for sure is that it receives many trains of military supplies.

This little junction on its main line, with the branch line going off to Llan(censored) has had its peacetime quiet shattered by wartime mayhem. Idris the dragon, roused from his age-old slumbers by this activity, stands guard ready to deal with any Messerschmidt or Heinkel that strays this way.

This model was built by members of the Warrington Model Railway Club.  Much of our time has been spent trying to capture the little details of 1940’s Britain.  The line is, of course, fictitious although some items of rolling stock may be identifiable.  These have been transferred from their usual homes to assist with the war effort. (Well, that’s our excuse anyway!)

Photos © Steve Nixon

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Glasshouse Loan

(O: scale 7mm/ft,  track gauge 32mm)

Glasshouse Loan takes its name from the modern day Glasshouse Loan in Alloa which was built on the formation of the former NBR Alloa Harbour line which branched off immediately to the west of Alloa station and served the NBR goods station, Alloa docks and the original Alloa Ferry station.  The last remnants of this line closed in 1978.

The location is entirely fictitious and depicts a brewery warehouse and loading dock adjacent to a representation of one of the area’s many bonded warehouses.  Traffic which will appear will be vans and open wagons for loading at the brewery, molasses tanks on their way to Menstrie and occasional military traffic from Stirling which has been included in the Alloa trip working which serves Glasshouse Loan.  The area also has its own local pilot locomotive which is occasionally used to move wagons from the loading dock into the two sidings.  Using modellers licence we have kept the railways of Alloa open into the late 1980’s.

For more information about the model, visit

Photos © Craig Watson

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(OOn3: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 12mm

Glenties was the final station on the Finn Valley branch of the 3ft gauge Irish narrow gauge line 24 miles west of Stranorlar.  It served sparsely populated country from 1895 to 1952.  The model is built on Peco 12mm track with scratchbuilt buildings.  Traffic is mostly by railcars, with loco hauled excursions and freight.  Stock was kit-built by Ian Hallworth in the 1990s for his layout Ballyfoyle.

Photo © Alastair Knox

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Grange Lane

(O: scale 7mm/ft,  track gauge 32mm)

 As with all the layouts we have built, Grange Lane started with the purchase of a particular locomotive – in this case a Dapol 08.  Having previously built small/microlayouts, the challenge was to see what we could fit into a ‘compact’ O gauge layout.  Obviously main line trains are out of the question, so we have come up with the concept of a small yard on the edge of an industrial area, served by trip freights from the nearby marshalling yard.  The track plan is based on the well documented principle of an ‘Inglenook’ but with the addition of a station platform and run-round loop for operation interest.


The scene presented is of a yard in the 1970’s that is nearing the end of its useful life, the weeds are taking over, but traffic is still handled for the large engineering works that forms the backdrop.  The semi-disused station platform still handles a small amount of smaller consignments from nearby industry, but this too is shortly to disappear and the former through route it sits on has closed beyond the level crossing.  The crossing still has to be operational as it is on the end of the platform loop.

Trackwork is hand built from C&L components apart from the Peco double-slip in the centre which is a great space saver.  The large factory complex along the rear is made from components from the Skytrex range.  All locos are DCC sound fitted, and driven by a MERG DCC system.  O gauge is receiving much more trade support, but most of the small goods stock are Parkside/Slaters kits, and are heavily weathered to suit their role.  Some even have real rust!

Photo © Steve Saxby

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Hartley Poole Too

(N: scale 2mm/ft,  track gauge 9mm)

Hartley Poole Too is set fictitiously somewhere on the Somerset Levels in the middle years of the Second World War.

The central feature is a coal-fired power station, with modellers’ licence allowing an early form of merry-go-round bringing coal in to the site and taking ash away in the “same” train. The power station has a cooling tower which has live steam emitted from it. The boiler room has a chimney emitting real smoke.

To the east lies an army camp which houses a variety of military vehicles prior to D-Day 1944, and boasts hospital and NAFFI Nissen huts. The camp is served by a small country station which has a two-track GWR main line, off which a siding can accommodate such wagons as tank-transporting warwells and warflats.

At the rear is a high level line where a diesel railcar appears from off-stage on the west and runs along an embankment, over an arched viaduct to a high level halt at the east end.  In the foreground is a river scene with naval craft and bankside railway tracks for military trains.

More information about Hartley Poole Too will be found on the D-Day80 page of this website.  The layout was featured in the Feb 2021 edition of BRM.

Photos © Andy York/BR

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Hogsmead on Sodor

(OO: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 16.5mm)

Help Thomas and some of the other engines run Sir Topham-Hat’s railway.  You take control of many  items, like the windmill, the tiger moth biplane, the lights in the castle, cottages, station buildings and lighthouse, and cranky the crane. Don’t forget the special branch line of Daisy and Toby, and keep your ears open for Sodor Brass Band and the seagulls.

When you’ve finished, you can let the children have a go!

Photos © RM Tony Wright, Hornby Jonathan Newton

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Hogwarts at Christmas

(N: scale 2mm/ft,  track gauge 9mm)

The magic of Harry Potter and Hogwarts School as Christmas draws near.  This layout has been rebuilt and refurbished this year, and this will be its debut at a public exhibition.

The weather has been suitably seasonal with a deep covering of snow, this has not however deterred the staff and students from venturing out and they can all be spotted somewhere on the layout. 

The layout is due to appear in Railway Modeller during autumn 2024.  More information about the layout can be found at

 Photos © C Hesketh

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(sm-32: scale 19mm/ft,  track gauge 32mm)

This layout will be making its public debut at our exhibition.

Limoges is set in the occupied French region of Limousin France during the autumn of 1944.  The small layout focuses on the centre of Limoges with the German forces occupying the town square with its Town Hall, hotel, shops and car garage all under the control of the invading forces.

During the years before the second world war Limoges was a quiet market town with its own 2 foot narrow gauge railway which transported coal, food and local folk from the nearby towns. Unfortunately at this time the railway is being used to transport troops, weapons and POWs.

The layout runs on 32mm gauge track (O gauge) and is scaled to 19mm to the foot. The main tank is produced by a company called Heng-Long and has been suitably painted by Matt. The locos are all scratch built running on old Lima and Atlas O gauge chassis from the 1980s.  All have been fitted with new cd drive motors this allowing them to be fitted and run by Hornby TTS sound decoders. Most of the rolling stock is made from wooden Phil Sharples kits.

The board is constructed on insulated foam with wooden boards attached to it for strength. The buildings are constructed from foam board and brick paper with parts designed and 3D printed by ourselves.  All track is Peco SM-32 flexitrack and standard set track point, the point is controlled by a DCC concepts point motor. All of which is controlled by a NCE power pro DCC system.

More pictures of Limoges  will be found on the D-Day80 page of this website.

Photos © Matt Stevens

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(OO: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 16.5mm)

 Lockerbie is situated on the West Coast Main Line and is a two-platform station with the main building being of Tudor Style, built by William Tite around 1847. Lockerbie has changed quite a bit since then, no longer the busy junction with two signal boxes, a branch line and covered bay platforms or the engine shed, which was situated behind the south bound loop.  The two loops, one northbound and one southbound, which runs behind the platform, are still there as are the sidings to the south of the main road bridge.

The original idea for this layout of Lockerbie was conceived in 2020 and it has been built by James Cochrane and Andrew Campbell of the Glasgow and West of Scotland MRC.  The decision was taken to model the period between 2000 and 2014. This allows us to run a prototypical broad range of modern image trains. Lockerbie can be fully computer controlled but can also be switched between computer and manual control.

As an exact model of a prototype station, most things have had to be scratch built and the main station building is one of those.  Built by Archie Brown, it was measured with a laser measure for its exact dimensions.  These were then passed on so Archie could start work on constructing the building.

Lockerbie was featured in Railway Modeller in 2023

Photos © J Cochrane

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(OO9: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 9mm)

Lynnbach came about as the result of acquiring a “spares or repairs” Helijan Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Manning Wardle tank loco, followed soon after by some Peco L&B coaches.  What started off as a test track, soon developed into a completely freelance OO9 layout, though with a Welsh atmosphere.  The loco stud is large and varied, and the buildings are inspired by many different places.  The station building, for example, is a 3D printed model from Narrow Minded Railworks which is based on Minfford on the Ffestiniog Railway, whilst the terraced houses, pub and shop were inspired by the buildings on Ebenezer Steps in Bridgenorth and were scratchbuilt.

The layout featured in the April 2024 edition of Railway Modeller, and more information about it can be found at

Photos © I Arkley

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(2FS: scale 0mm/ft,  track gauge 9.42mm)

Modbury is a 2mm finescale layout representing a Great Western “might have been” through station as it could have appeared in the Edwardian period, c.1906.  The track is built to represent Brunel’s Baulk Road.  It has been constructed using HO PCB sleeper strip using rail and gauges from the 2mm Association.

The locos are all scratchbuilt, and the rest of the stock is either scratch or kit built (some from kits of my own design).  Trains typical of the period shuttle back and forth across the scene, stopping, passing and shunting within the station environs. 

The signals are built from MSE etches mounted on home milled posts, and are driven by servos.  The turnouts are all memory wire operated.   The sections of the layout are controlled by the signals, meaning that trains can only move if the relevant route and signals have been set.  Each signal uses 2 relays  – one to provide power to the section in rear and one for the section in advance of the relevant signal.  The relay wiring allows the signal to be restored to danger but still provide power to the section in advance of the signal.

Buildings are all scratchbuilt from plasticard, and are principally based on South Devon prototypes on the Moretonhampstead branch.  The exception being the signal box, which comes from Bodmin General.

Progress on the layout can be followed on my RMWeb thread within the 2mm Finescale section or on my own website

The layout was featured in Model Railway Journal 288

Photos © Ian Smith

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(O: scale 7mm/ft,  track gauge 32mm)

Set in the transition years of the mid 1990s, Newcroft is a large town in the heart of North West England. Whilst second generation DMUs are starting to dominate the scene, a variety of classic traction can be seen on both local passenger and freight duties. All models are sound fitted and customised to their mid 1990s guises.

Photos © Ryan, Todmorden Independant Modellers

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Newvaddon Parkway

(N: scale 2mm/ft,  track gauge 9mm)

Newvaddon Parkway: is a fictional layout set somewhere in Cornwall in the diesel electric era between 1995 – 2024, and the stock reflects the change from the BR blue era to the present day.

 The station is set two miles south of the growing town of Tolvaddon, near to the A30, which is being upgraded.  With rapid growth of housing and shops in the area, Newvaddon Parkway is expected to become very busy indeed. It has two branch lines – one heading west via a flyover to the coastal town of Falryn (a combination of Falmouth and Penryn), while another heads to the north coast town of Portwell (Portreath). Both of these branches see some freight in addition to the passenger service.

The layout draws inspiration from Newport (Wales), Totnes and elements of different branch lines and depot facilities.

The layout has appeared in Model Rail, Hornby Magazine and BRM.

Photos © Trevor Jones / Hornby Magazine

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Norman Colliery

(O: scale 7mm/ft,  track gauge 32mm)

Norman Colliery was born out of a need to have somewhere to shunt wagons about with my growing collection of early design diesel shunters.

The premise is that the colliery is at the end of its life with the lower screens closed down and only the top screens in use. The only problem is that feeder road to the upper screens has been closed by subsidence so a link line had to be made to the lower line.

The engines are all kit built from various manufacturers except one 03 from Brassworks. The wagons are all kits, mainly Parkside Dundas with a couple of Slaters and Piercy.

The colliery buildings are all scratchbuilt from foamboard with brick and stonework from Slaters and window frames from Highland castings. The track is all Peco, the point motors are from Conrad.

The layout is DC controlled with a Morley Vanguard.

The layout appeared in the Aug 2023 Railway Modeller and in Hornby Magazine this year.

Photos © Jonathan Newton /Hornby Magazine

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Oulton TMD

(OO: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 16.5mm)

Oulton TMD (Traction and Maintenance Depot), is a fictitious location set in the midlands, utilising locos and rolling stock that typically ran from the early nineties until 1997 – the changeover period from British Rail sectorisation to privatisation.

The layout started life in 2005 and originally consisted of a Railfreight Distribution maintenance shed, with refuelling point and loco stabling point.  In 2009 a station area and freight sidings were added, followed by an oil terminal and virtual quarry (ballast yard) in 2010.  In 2012, “Kibblestone” cement works was incorporated into the layout and finally in 2017 Kibblestone station and goods yard was added.  In early 2018 rebranding of the TMD took place, with a change from Railfreight Distribution to Rail Express Systems.


Now, along with the RES locos, engineering trains and stock vans that provide interest in the depot, various passenger trains and larger freight trains can be seen operating as well.  All this, along with sound fitted locos, hopefully help captures the sights and sounds of a modern railway scene.  Locos and stock are all “ready to run”, their liveries range from BR large logo blue, up to Railfreight triple grey, Transrail and Loadhaul, with most classes of locos making an appearance.  To add interest the occasional steam special can be seen (and heard!).

Track is a mixture of Peco code 100 and code 75 Finescale, with the buildings being both kit and scratch built.  The layout has working lights and signals and is controlled using the Lenz DCC system.

Oulton MPD has appeared in Railway Modeller, BRM and Hornby Magazine.  For more information about the layout please visit

Photos © Hornby Magazine

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(OO: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 16.5mm)


Based loosely on Southampton and Portsmouth dockyards, the layout attempts to depict the hectic quayside activities to be found at many of the Southern ports of England in the days surrounding the invasion of Normandy.  Much of the variety and confusion of the moment are displayed as tanks await loading and mechanised infantry columns search for their embarkation point.  There are specialist vehicles such as bridge layers, rocket launchers, mine clearers and amphibious tanks needed to ensure the success of the landings.  Landing ships of various shapes and sizes, together with the vital support of escorting destroyers, launches and torpedo boats, prepare to put to sea.  Overhead, gliders make their way south, watched over by the W.A.Fs on the anti-aircraft guns and barrage balloon.  And finally, there are the tea-ladies of the NAAFI, providing a continuous supply of drinks to the nervous troops.

Although the layout has been exhibited for a number of years, we are still adding to it. For those who may have seen it before, new this time are sections of the Mulberry Harbour, the floating port towed across the Channel to provide the supplies and support for the Allies to secure and advance from the hard-won beachhead through France, Belgium, Holland and ultimately over the Rhine.

More information about Overlord will be found on the D-Day80 page of this website, and at  the Overlord Layout Facebook page:

The layout has appeared in Model Rail and BRM.

Photos © Chris Nevard

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Parsley Hay Junction

(OO: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 16.5mm)

This layout will be making its first public appearance at this exhibition, and will be a “work in progress”.  The photographs were taken in February 2024, during construction, and will be updated as newer ones become available.

The layout is an accurate representation of the real Parsley Hay Junction in 1942/3, except that the 24m of required space has been compacted into the 5m available.  Construction was started in December 2023, but much of the track, scenic materials and stock have been carried over from my previous layouts, High Peak Ordnance Depot and Lulworth Camp Military Railway.

At Parsley Hay the double track line south from Buxton divides with one ex LNWR line south to Ashbourne and the other being the remnants of the Cromford and High Peak Railway to Cromford. The tight curves and gradients limit C&HPR traffic to small locomotives pulling only 3 or 4 wagons. These wagons are marshalled into larger trains at Parsley Hay hence the presence of a yard and station in the middle of nowhere. Mainline traffic also suffers from gradients as the line peaks at 950ft above sea level at the north end of Parsley Hay yard meaning traffic rarely exceeds 25 wagon trains.

The line uses an assortment of LMS heavy goods locomotives (G2, O4 and Austerities) on the mainline and small engines on the C&HPR (Kitson 0F, North London 2F etc). The temporary vehicle depot has a crushed lime road system fitted with guide wires for the Faller Car System. The layout is controlled by DCC (Roco Z21) with all signals working, many locos are sound fitted and all buildings are fitted with lights. The latter will not be used at Manchester since the layout will be in WW2 blackout mode.

More information about Parsley Hay Junction  will be found on the D-Day80 page of this website.

Photos © N Attwood

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Rainy City (trams)

(OO: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 16.5mm)

Rainy City is a slice of Manchester in the 1920s, it isn’t a specific location more a selection of elements which fit the area. In the period.  Manchester was at the centre of a network of interlinked systems with a huge amount of cross network running. You could take a tram from the docks in Liverpool and, via several changes, make your way to the hills of Lancashire.  This allows for prototypical running of vehicles from surrounding areas.

The track is hand laid with the grooved track simulated by a continuous check rail. All the rolling stock are made from kits, scratch building and 3D printing.

 Photos © D Maltman

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St Etienne-en-Caux

(OO9: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 9mm)

 For this exhibition the layout will be making its debut in a specially modified version to represent the celebrations in St Etienne on May 8th 1955, the 10 anniversary of VE day.

St-Etienne-en-Caux is at the heart of the Tramways de Caux, a 60cm gauge roadside tramway system set in the Pays de Caux in eastern Normandy.  The model, though freelance, is based on a number of northern France narrow gauge railways, in particular the Chemins de Fer du Calvados, the CF Froissy-Cappy-Dompierre, the Tramways de Pithviers à Toury and the CF de la Baie de Somme.  The model is normally set in the late 1950s, when internal combustion was beginning to supplant steam power.

The railway uses a variety of locomotives, including the original tramway bi-cabins (locomotives with cabs at both ends), Decauville Mallets, ex WW1 locomotives (English, French and German), and machines built by  French and Belgian manufactureres such as Blanc-Misseron, Haine St Pierre, Couillet and La Meuse.  The models on the layour are a mixture on kitbuilt, scratchbuilt and modified ready-to-run.  For this exhibition they will be joined by an American Sherman tank, various other military vehicles of the period and lots of flags and bunting!.  Please feel free to ask any questions, or just have a natter.

Photos © C Insley

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Staly Vegas

(N: scale 2mm/ft,  track gauge 9mm)

Staly Vegas was created in order to disprove the theory that long trains cannot operate in small spaces.

The setting is the industrial West Riding and the period in time is that of the Beatles and George Best. A cluster of mill chimneys form the main presentation; these not only provide a look reminiscent of a Lowry painting but form some all important views blocks.  In order to create the necessary illusion of space some perspective modelling has been used, especially where the buildings meet the back scene. This is all in conjunction with a very tight colour palette which is based on the somewhat polluted atmosphere of the chosen period – don’t breathe in too deeply!

The trains that run are of the slow and ponderous variety as Staly Vegas is not an appropriate place for the crack express.  An additional authenticity is that there is little in the way of variety; In fact, if you linger long enough you will realise that the trains simply go round, and round……and round……and round……

Photos © Unknown

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(O: scale 7mm/ft,  track gauge 32mm)

Stodmarsh is based on a proposed, but never completed, extension to the East Kent Railway.  Owned by Colonel Stephens, the proposed line would have run from Wingham to Canterbury West via Stodmarsh, a distance of some seven and a half miles. Construction began at Wingham in 1919, but in 1931 owing to the General Strike, followed by the Depression and the untimely death of the Colonel, work on the line was cancelled.

Our fictional history sees that construction of the line terminated at Stodmarsh due to financial pressures and a decline in both goods and passenger transport. The Southern Railway closed the line in 1940, but was forced to reopen it three years later to help with the war effort during the preparation for D-Day. It was used to transport men, munitions and machinery to the south coast embarkation ports.

You join us on a day of total chaos. The British and American Forces are on manoeuvres. The local residents are running for cover as the Luftwaffe have dropped some incendiary bombs. The National Fire Service have just managed to extinguish the grass fire caused by the incendiary whilst Captain Mainwaring’s Home Guard have captured a shot down German airman. Occasionally during the melee, you should see a train working in the station.

More information about the layout can be found on the D-Day80 page of this website.  Stodmarsh was featured in the Feb 2024 edition of Hornby Magazine and is due to appear in Railway Modeller later this year.

Photos © Hornby Magazine

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Templecombe Lower

(OO: scale 4mm/ft,  track gauge 16.5mm)

The Somerset and Dorset line from Bath to Bournemouth crossed the Waterloo to Exeter main line at Templecombe. The two routes were connected by a north to west spur line along which most S&D trains had to reverse, hauled by a pilot loco, to access the station and interchange sidings.  The layout Templecombe Lower shows (with some “modeller’s licence”) the great variety of workings that happened around the S&D junctions and engine shed in that line’s final decade before closure in 1966, including complex real timetabled sequences.  It features locomotives and rolling stock from three regions and BR Standards that ran on the S&D.  Buildings, signals and even tablet catcher apparatus and telegraph poles are scratch built based on the originals!

The layout appeared in Great British Model Railway in August 2022 and is due to appear in Railway Modeller later this year.

Photos © Chris Nevard, Tim Chapman

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Whiteoak Light Railway

(On16.5: scale 7mm/ft,  track gauge 16.5mm)

The Whiteoak Light Railway was a narrow gauge line serving the backwaters of Kent.  The scene here represents the railway’s namesake town, Whiteoak, which hosts several industrial units and a passenger station, edging onto a dockyard on the Thames estuary.

The railway’s existence is owed to both freight and passenger traffic.  Transportation of the many goods manufactured in the industrial units at Whiteoak is the main bread and butter of the line, with the products of the town being taken off to many other locations within Kent and beyond.  Passenger trains include typical commuter trains, as well as prestigious boat trains.

Of course, all of the above is entirely fictional, but represents the industry that would have been served by narrow gauge lines in parts of the country where standard gauge lines would be either too costly to construct or not financially viable to keep running.

The layout was originally constructed by Martin Coombes, and recently purchased by Allen Law and Nyall Rudge to continue to display Martin’s stunning work. All of the buildings are scratch built, using a combination of components from various sources. The boat is a modified shop bought item. Rolling stock is a combination of kits and scratch builds running on ready to run 00 gauge or kit built chassis.

The layout is due to appear in Hornby Magazine during 2024.

Photos © M Campbell

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