Tag Archives: Steam Railways

Model Railways – About Gauge One

About Gauge One

ianskingandrogervsscotsmanpasseachotherbothwithsurplussteamIan’s King and Roger V’s Scotsman pass each other – Both with surplus steam!

Gauge One requires a track gauge of 1¾ inches (44.45mm) which is generally referred to as 45mm. In practice this means Gauge One models are from one to two feet in length (300mm to 600mm); 50% longer than O gauge models and 50% shorter than “3 ½ inch”. This in-between position means the hobby is influenced by both model railways and model engineering; at its best it takes the concern for prototypical system accuracy of the former and the authenticity of the latter.

Traditionally, enjoying the hobby of model railways means taking pleasure in the construction of a working diorama: either a scale replica of a real railway or a creation of the imagination. To this end, participants lay lines, adapt or scratchbuild models, and construct scenery as well as operate their layout.

tonysbritanniaradiocontrolledandmethsfiredpullshisrakeofmaunsellcoachesontotheviaductTony’s Britannia – radio controlled and meths fired – pulls his rake of Maunsell coaches onto the viaduct

The generous model proportions of Gauge One compared to N, OO/HO and O gauges requires a different approach. Space is usually at a premium, especially for an indoor continuous loop to suit live steam. The usual minimum radius is 10 feet (3 metres), although be assured that many models will make it round a 2 metre radius and note both radii are very tight by full-size standards. However, when viewed from the inside of a tight curve as is usual, the appearance is surprisingly palatable and the absolute distances involved serve to somehow soften the effect. Line length varies from around 20 metres up to an astonishing 300 metres in one well known garden which features gentle curves with radii of 20 feet (6m) and above.

Trains are generally run at table height rather than at ground level and on that premise there are two schools of thought with respect to the look of the line. Some prefer “Track” meaning bare sleepers on an unfinished surface such as felt-covered plywood which is then held up by scaffolding poles. Others choose a “Ladies Line”, in which trains pass over support- hiding hedges, glide over elegant bridges and run atop grassy embankments; all combined with suitably sized plants such as dwarf fir trees or alpine flowers. When effected judiciously, it’s a delight.

Ready-made Gauge One track including points and crossovers is available from many suppliers, while numbers of Newsletter and Journal articles have been written on line construction methods. Lineside structures are used sparingly in Gauge One, indeed none at all is realistic; a mile equates to 180 feet or so !

Railway models form the heart of the pastime. The sheer size of models means modelling form and function is the norm. Many locomotives, particular models of recent origin, show superb exterior detail, while genuinely steam-powered cranks, rodding and valves furnish some engines with additional integrity. Open the hot-to-touch blower and steam gushes from the chimney; leave her waiting and the safety valve fizzes, ease open the regulator and with a hiss and a chuff the pistons push the rods which turn her cranks which turn her wheels!

ianskingmakesafineshowalongthebackstraightIan’s King makes a fine show along the back straight

A surprisingly large selection is available new and, for the patient, secondhand. The last decade has seen existing manufacturers such as: Aster, Barratt, J&M, the Finescale Locomotive Co and Peter Rogers added to by newer firms such as Accucraft, Finescale Brass, Northern Fine Scale, Golden Age and the Gauge 1 Model Co. Inevitably, marques and models vary as to size, complexity, price and arguably, quality. Compare the exciting entry-level Accucraft B4 to the magnificent new Aster 241P, for example.

Reading this, you might think that the way to Gauge One “Cooldom” is to invest the kids’ inheritance in some Gauge One RTR “bling”. Indeed, this will guarantee popularity at the trade-supported AGM and Spring Meeting. Away from these venues, it’s not that easy as for the most part standing in Gauge One is obtained from scratch and kit-built creations as well as adapting factory models. Inviting others to your line and skilled driving helps too!

Tenmille and Wagon and Carriage have a large range of kits and inevitably there are a host of small suppliers such as Just the Ticket, Wallsall Model Industries. Slaters Plastikard and Orion. It has to be admitted that compared to O gauge, the range is limited and scratchbuilding is often required complete a train. Choose your materials: plasticard, wood, metal or even paper and then source fiddly bits such as roof ventilators or brake gear from suppliers.

alankeepscontrolofhisduchessassherunsthroughthestationareaAlan keeps control of his Duchess as she runs through the station area

Building live steam locomotives is both a science and an art. Fortunately the Association has several publications for sale on this topic, with parts for the Project, Dee and now ARMIG available from third party suppliers. If you have not done this before then you would be well advised to make acquaintance, via G1MRA, of an experienced builder to guide you. Alternatively, purchase an Aster kit or for the more ambitious, a Barrett or Keith Cousins kit, where the parts have been made for you.

The secondhand route should not be forgotten, dealers such as Wagon and Carriage, Rushford Barn Models and TMS Models carry a fair range. Auction houses specialising toy sales are worth a visit: Vectis, Specialist Auction Services as well as regional houses (often listed on http://www.the-saleroom.com) and not forgetting that armchair modelling favourite ebay; check out Modellbau/Modelleisenbahn/Spur 1, on ebay.de in particular. Be warned: minor fettling to an all-out re-build may be needed.


rogervsscotsmanpassingthroughthestationareaRoger v’s Scotsman passing through the station area



Miniature Railways – Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway

Miniature Railways

Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway  

Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway Station   © Copyright John Firth and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Lincolnshire, England

Dates of operation 1948–

Track gauge 15 in (381 mm)

Headquarters Cleethorpes

Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway

Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway is a 15 in (381 mm) railway built in 1948 in Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire operating between Cleethorpes Leisure Centre and behind Pleasure Island/buck beck. It was originally built to a slightly smaller 14.5 inches (370 mm) gauge.Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway   © Copyright John Firth and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The line was built in 1948 as a tourist attraction by Cleethorpes Borough Council, who also operated it from 1959 to 1990.[1] The line is now owned by Chris Shaw.

Trains run from Kingsway station, which is next to the Leisure Centre, over a 40 yards (37 m) viaduct and along the sea wall, turning west to run past the shed and museum at Lakeside station. Over the 2006/7 winter off-season, the Line was extended a further 900 yards (823 m) south-east to a new station at North Sea Lane, close to the Meridian Line car park, Pleasure Island Family Theme Park and the Buck Beck estuary. This brought the total current running length to 2 miles (3.2 km).Sutton Belle and Sutton Flyer seen at North Sea Lane  © C.Peake  miniaturerailwayworld.co.uk

The railway used to be operated by a pair of Severn lamb locomotives. In the 1960s, the line used diesel trains, followed by petrol-driven engines with a steam outline, though genuine steam locomotives are now in operation. A National Lottery grant enabled the railway to acquire stock from the long-dismantled Sutton Miniature Railway in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, some of which is housed in the old Sutton Miniature Railway locomotive shed, including Bassett-Lowke Class 10 Little Giant ‘Mighty Atom’. On guest weekends, visiting engines from other 15 in (381 mm) lines make an appearance.Sutton Flyer arrives at North Sea Lane – Geoffspages

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1878 Jones 4-4-0T Highland Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1878  Jones  4-4-0T 

Highland RailwayIllustration: No. 15010 taken in 1930, showing very clearly the louvre-type chimney, which was a distinctive feature of Highland engines for many years.

Three engines constructed in 1878 and 1879 for branch line work.  They were built as 2-4-0Ts but the leading bogie was very soon substituted for the pony truck.

The numbers and names were 17 Breadalbane, 58 Burghead and 59 Highlander, No.17 becoming Aberfeldy in 1886, and renumbered 50 in 1901.  Later they were placed on the duplicate list as 50B, 58B and 59B.  All survived into the grouping days, when the LMS renumbered them 15010-12, and they lost their names.  No. 15011 was scrapped in 1928, No.15012 in 1930, whilst 15010 remained in service until 1932, at which time it was the last remaining working example of an Alexander Allan Crewe-type framing.

Driving wheels – 5’ 3”,  Bogie wheels – 3’ 0”, Cylinders – 16”x 22”,  Pressure 160 lb.,  Tractive effort – 12158 lb.,  Weight – 44 tons.

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1873 –2-4-0 – Midland Great Western Railway- Ireland

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1873 –2-4-0 – Midland Great Western Railway- Ireland

A class of nineteen engines built for express working on the main line of the MGWR in Ireland.  Most of them were originally constructed in 1873-6 and rebuilt in the 1890s, but three of them were turned out new at Broadstone Works in 1897.  All MGWR engines were named previous to 1925, this class bearing such names as Active, Alert, Rapid, Swift, Sylph, etc., but the MGWR removed all these at the amalgamation, at which they became Nos. 650-68.  Of recent years most of them had received Belpaire boilers and superheaters, and all were still in traffic until the late 1950s.  The spread of dieselisation left them with little work, however, and several have since been scrapped.

Illustration:  No.666 (formerly 27 Clifden) as running in 1929.  The peculiarly shaped cab (an early form of streamlining?) was a feature of MGWR engines of the period, but these were latterly replaced by a more conventional design.

Dimensions as rebuilt:  Driving wheels – 5’ 8”,  Cylinders – 17”x 24”,  Pressure – 160 lb. (dome engines had 150 lb. pressure),  Tractive effort – 13,870 lb., Weight – 41 tons 13 cwt. Rob Roy – superstock.com

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1869 – Aerolite – North Eastern Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1869 – Aerolite – North Eastern Railway

North Eastern Railway Worsdell rebuilt Fletcher 2-2-4T ?66? class locomotive number 66 AEROLITE on display in the great hall at the National Railway Museum, York. Monday 1st June 2009   David Ingham from Bury, Lancashire, England.  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

Some authorities regard this interesting engine as dating back to the year 1851, but although there was an engine constructed in that year bearing the same name, it can only be regarded as an ancestor of the 1869 machine, which was in fact an entirely new locomotive.   It was built by E.Fletcher as a 2-2-2 well tank with sandwich pattern outside frames and various features characteristic of Fletcher’s practice of which the plain stove-pipe chimney and the large dome with Salter spring balance safety valves were amongst the most prominent.  In 1886 it was rebuilt by T.W.Wordsell as a side tank with new frames and completely altered in appearance.  At this period it was numbered 66 and lost its name.  It ran in this form for only six years, and was rebuilt again by William Wordsell in 1892, this time as a Wordsell-von Borries 2-cylinder compound, and at the same time a leading bogie was added, making it a 4-2-2T.  As such it seems to have been a very handsome little engine, although no satisfactory photograph of it in this condition in known.  In 1902 it was once again rebuilt, this time the wheel arrangement being reversed, and in its final form it became a 2-2-4T.  At the same time its name Aerolite was restored.  In this condition it bears little or no resemblance to the original engine of 1869.  It ran in this form until 1933, usually being employed in hauling an officers’ inspection saloon.  On withdrawal the LNER repainted it in North Eastern colours and placed it in York Museum, where it now rests.

Original Condition  Driving wheels – 5’ 6”,  Cylinders – 13”x 20”

First rebuild as 2-2-2T  Driving wheels – 5’ 7¾”,  Cylinders – 13”x 20”,  Pressure – 140 lb,  Weight – 36 tons 19 cwt

As 4-2-2T  Driving wheels – 5’ 7¾”,  Cylinders – (1)13”x 20”, (1) 18½”x 20”, Pressure – 160 lb,  Weight 38 tons 15 cwt

As 2-2-4T  Driving wheels – 5’ 7¾”,  Cylinders – (1) 13”x 20”, (1) 18½”x 20”,  Pressure 175 lb, Weight 44 tons 9cwt,  LNER Classification – XlPic – The engine as restored for preservation in York Museum. c.1960

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1868 – 4-4-0T – North London Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1868 – 4-4-0T – North London Railway

William Adams’ standard passenger class for the North London suburban services built from 1868 onwards and continued by his successor J.C.Park.  The class eventually totalled 78 engines.  In 1922, the London and North Western, which had taken over the NLR some years previously, renumbered the 74 surviving engines of this class into their own stock as Nos. 2800 – 73, but several of them never carried these numbers.  On incorporation into the grouping in 1923 they were allocated Nos. 6439 – 6512 in the LMS list, but here again in many cases the engines were scraped before the renumbering was carried out.  All were taken out of service by 1929, and the last one, No. 6445, was sent to Derby for preservation, but unfortunately, it too was broken up a few years later.

Driving wheels – 5’ 6”,  Bogie wheels – 2’ 9”,  Cylinders – 17½”x 24”,  Pressure 160 lb,  Tractive effort 15,378 lb,  Weight – 49 tons 13 cwt.

 Pic – No 2823 (former No.29) at Bow in 1922.

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1867 – Connor 2-4-0 – Caledonian Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1867 – Connor 2-4-0 – Caledonian Railway

A series of 38 2-4-0 engines for express work built by B.Connor between 1867 and 1874.  At that time they had the largest coupled wheels in the country.  They had the Allan type of framing of Crewe origin.  Their numbers were 30 – 48, 98 – 102, 107 – 112 and 117 – 124.  All were subsequently rebuilt, some by G.Brittain, and others by J.Lambie and J.F.McIntosh, and the last survivors did not disappear until 1921.

Driving wheels – 7’ 2”,  Cylinders 17”x 24”,  Pressure 140 lb

Some of the engines had 7’ 0” wheels and only 130 lb pressure


Pic – No.108, probably running shortly before its withdrawal in 1898.

Some Early Lines – Midland and South Western Junction Railway

Midland and South Western Junction Railway

Not to be confused with the ‘old’ Midland and South Western Junction Railway, the original name of the Dudding Hill Line in London (authorised 1864, absorbed by the Midland Railway 1874). The two railways have no other connection.

The Midland and South Western Junction Railway (M&SWJR) was, until the 1923 Grouping an independent railway built to form a north-south link between the Midland and London and South Western Railways (LSWR) allowing the Midland and other companies’ trains to reach the port of Southampton.


The M&SWJR was formed in 1884 from the amalgamation of the Swindon, Marlborough and Andover Railway and the Swindon and Cheltenham Extension Railway.

The Swindon, Marlborough and Andover Railway

The Swindon, Marlborough and  Andover Railway was incorporated in 1873 and opened in three stages:

  • Swindon to Marlborough, 27 July 1881
  • Grafton to Andover, 1 May 1882
  • the complete line from Swindon to Andover was opened on 5 February 1883, by running trains over the Great Western Railway’s Marlborough branch and a section of the Berks & Hants Extension Railway, as the SM&AR was unable to complete its own line between Marlborough and Grafton.

The Swindon & Cheltenham Extension Railway (S&CER)

The S&CER was incorporated in 1881 and its line was opened that year from Swindon to Cirencester, but financial difficulties halted further construction.

Completion of the line

After the two railways amalgamated, the original intention of the S&CER to reach Cheltenham was realised in 1891, albeit by obtaining running powers over the final 7.5 miles (12 km) from a junction at Andoversford over GWR metals to reach the Midland Railway station at Cheltenham (Lansdown).

In 1892 the M&SWJR secured running powers over the LSWR Sprat and Winkle Line between Andover and Southampton; from then onwards through workings were operated for trains from the Midlands and beyond: Bradford, Manchester and Liverpool were all connected via the line with Southampton at various times over the following years.

The final section of the line to be built was the missing link between Marlborough and Grafton. The Marlborough and Grafton Railway was incorporated in 1893 and the line was opened in 1898; the M&SWJR took formal ownership of the Marlborough and Grafton Railway in 1899.

The success of the line was partly hampered by the GWR’s demand of high fees for connections with its metals at Marlborough and Swindon. The original plan to run shuttles between the M&SWJR’s Swindon Town railway station and the GWR’s Swindon Junction station lasted only a couple of years before being abandoned as too expensive. This meant M&SWJR passengers had to disembark at Swindon Old Town station and travel by road to the GWR station approximately one-and-a-half miles away. At Marlborough, until the M&SWJR built its own line south of the town, the GWR insisted that any passengers wanting to change to its trains at Savernake Low Level station had to travel south from Marlborough on the GWR’s branch line.Swindon Marlborough & Andover Railway Single Fairlie 0-4-4T of 1878.

Most locomotives were bought from Dubs & Co. (and its successor theNorth British Locomotive Companyand from Beyer Peacock..


At the Grouping in 1923 the railway became a part of the GWR. At this time the M&SWJR owned 29 locomotives, 134 coaching vehicles, and 379 goods and service vehicles.


On nationalisation in 1948 the M&SWJR was split between the Western and Southern Regions of British Railways. The line closed on 10 September 1961.

The M&SWJR today

  • A short length has been re-opened as the Swindon & Cricklade Railway
  • The M4 Motorway has been built over a short section of the route between Chiseldon and Swindon.
  • Station Industrial Estate now occupies the site of the Old Town station.


  • National Cycle Network route 45 uses a large proportion of the trackbed between Cricklade and Marlborough .
  • A short length, Andover-Red Post Junction-Ludgershall, remains open to serve the military depot at Tidworth.
  • There have been talks in recent years of a reopening of the Andover to Ludgershall part of the line to serve the growing town and the expanding military base.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1853 – Bristol & Exeter railway – 4-2-4T

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1853 – Bristol & Exeter railway – 4-2-4T

No.40, taken some time between 1873 and 1876 – H.C.Casserley

The first of these somewhat extraordinary engines appeared towards the end of 1853, B&ER Nos. 42 – 46.  Their 9’ 0” flangeless driving wheels were practically the largest ever used in this country*, or probably anywhere else for that matter.  They were amongst the first engines to be fitted with bogie wheels.

They were obviously intended to be fliers, and they seem to have justified themselves in this respect, a speed of over 81 mph being recorded on one occasion, a very high figure for those days.

The distinctive designs by James Pearson, the railway company’s engineer, featured single large flangeless  driving wheels and two supporting bogies . The water was carried in both well and back tanks, leaving the boilers exposed in the same way as tender locomotives.

They were numbered 39 – 46.  Nos. 39 – 42 were withdrawn in 1868/1873, and replaced by new, almost identical engines having 8’ 10” driving wheels and a few other modifications.  Nos. 43-6 were scrapped during the same period and not replaced.  In 1876 Nos.39 – 42 became GWR 2001 – 4 on being absorbed into that Company’s stock.  In the same year No. 2001 was derailed at Long Ashton when travelling at speed, as a result of which the other three were rebuilt in 1877 as 4-2-2 tender engines.  No.2001 did not run again, and No. 2004 took its number on conversion.  In their rebuilt form they took their place along with the ‘Iron Dukes’ between Paddington and Newton Abbot.  No. 2002 lasted until 1890.

* An engine had been built in 1838 with 10’ 0” driving wheels, but it probably did little work as it ran for only two years.

Driving wheels – 8’ 10”,  Bogie wheels – 4’ 0”,  Cylinders – 18”X 24”,  Weight – 49 tons 14cwt. (18½ tons on the driving axle).Bristol and Exeter Railway 4-2-4T running as Great Western Railway 2002 in 1876, standing outside Exeter St Davids engine shed.