L&B Model Trackwork

I have prepared the following two track samples for display at the L&B World section within the Warley MRC exhibition at the NEC this month.

Original L&BR Track 1898 – c.1926

40lb/yard Rail in 30′ lengths
Fishplates 15½” x 2”
Sleepers 4’6” x 9” x 4½” (often waney edge)
Clips and bolts at joint sleepers, spikes inbetween

Karlgarin Code 82 Rail
KBscale fishplates
Coffee stirrer sleepers
Clips adapted from KBscale clips
Proto:87 Stores spikes

Main Line Track as relaid by S.R. c.1926

40lb/yard Rail in 30′ lengths (original reused)
Fishplates 15½” x 2” (original reused)
Sleepers 4’6” x 9 ½” x 4½” (new)
Baseplates, clips and bolts (new)

Karlgarin Code 82 Rail
KBscale fishplates
Limewood sleepers
KBscale L&B clips

Click on the images for larger versions.

The End of the Line O14

Giles Favell deservedly won the David LLoyd trophy at ExpoNG 2012 for his superb O14 (and standard gauge) layout The End of the Line.

A key feature of this layout is it’s operation:

Yes we know the skips derailed but I think we can let him off after that lorry driving!

Brookford O14

Paul Lindsay-Scott has provided the following details on his 7mm layout Brookford:

Brookford is an imaginary standard gauge light railway terminus located somewhere in the Hampshire Downs, also featuring a two-foot narrow gauge contractor’s line. The model is set in the 1930s.


The Brookford & South Western Junction Railway was incorporated in 1901 and built in the first decade of the twentieth century under the Light Railways Act 1896. The line runs through much land of the Brookford estates. The Squire at Brookford Hall had added to the family fortunes in the second half of the nineteenth century in the guano trade, using his shipping interests to bring the cargo of fertiliser into Southampton docks. He was keen to use his wealth to finance a rail connection to his estates in Hampshire. Not long after the construction of the line, when the guano trade failed due to the introduction of cheaper manmade nitrate fertilisers based on the new Norwegian process in 1903, he constructed a two foot gauge line up into the chalk Downs above the village, where he stored the remaining incoming cargoes of guano for which he had existing contracts outstanding, in the dry Neolithic flint mine tunnels on his estate.

In the early 1930′s, the narrow gauge line was once more brought into use for use by contractors to build the bypass in the Downs. This is depicted on the model of the chalk cutting on the Brookford Downs layout which depicts the construction site of the occupation over bridge. Also during the 30′s, occasional private charter Imperial Airways Flying Boat Special trains served Brookford station, working to and from Southampton, enabling the family to make and receive visits with their far flung relatives in the Antipodes.

The Layout

The standard gauge single platform track has a run round and a headshunt providing access to the livestock loading area next to the car park. Beyond the platform is the goods shed and sidings offering exchange facilities between the standard and the narrow gauge. This two foot line curves around from the rear of the station platform, behind the goods shed, turntable and engine shed to head off up the 1 in 30 gradient into the chalk Downs to the construction site of the cutting and occupation road overbridge. The O14 trackwork is Peco rail with copper-clad sleepers on the main baseboards and up the incline, but on the Brookford Downs baseboard, KBScale track has been laid, with a single RH type 2 point providing a short headshunt.

The standard gauge was built for DCC control, with LokSound decoders from Southwestern Digital, but the narrow gauge was originally run on DC with a Gaugemaster controller. However, I have recently integrated the O14 with the DCC.


Brookford station buildings are based on those on the Mid Suffolk Light Railway. They are built from scratch using obechi wood to build a frame upon which the cladding of corrugated steel is fixed, in a similar way to the prototype. Doors and window frames are from Grandt lines, while the room interiors have simple furniture made out of wood with some white metal details and are lit with 12v grain of wheat bulbs.

The loco shed is a model of the one at Laxfield on the Middy. Again, the building  frame is built like that of the prototype, with the wood  plank cladding made from 0.6mm wood veneer purchased on eBay in a seven foot roll. Like the station building, I built the frame first then fixed  the external cladding on. The goods shed (originally a model built by Bill Hunt) is based on that at Lambourne GWR. It is scratch built in plasticard, with small castings for the detail items within.

Locomotives and rolling stock

The two-foot gauge Hudswell Clarke G class 0-6-0WT No GP59 was built in 1931 and purchased new by the Surrey County Council Highways department for the hard work of moving extracted chalk from the cuttings and earthworks associated with the building of the Guildford ByPass at the end of the Hogs Back, the westernmost part of the North Downs. I built the model of the loco in its original form from the KBScale etched brass kit and had transfers produced from artwork I produced from photos of the prototype which has recently been restored at Statfold Barn to operating condition, albeit not in totally original form. Penryhn quarries had bought the loco secondhand from Surrey County Council and given it the name Bronllwyd, then it had received the boiler from another loco when it went on to Bressingham.

The bowframed ex-WD Simplex 20hp loco, like many others which were bought by contractors for use in aggregate and construction projects after the Great War, was as used at the Wrecclesham gravelpits on Weydon Lane near Farnham, a few miles from home. I built it from the Nigel Lawton kit and made up a cab similar to those fitted by their new owners. Success at getting the second motor in the kit to run the cooling fan eluded me and I replaced this motor with lead ballast.

The only problem with converting the Simplex to DCC so far has been that I removed some of the lead ballast from the Simplex to get the decoder in (not one with sound – I could get a sound decoder in, but even the new little “sugar cube” speakers are problematic to fit in). Anyway, the nett result is that it doesn’t run as well now, having a occasional difficulty with pickup, and also in hauling seven loaded tippers up the 1 in 30 incline. So I shall be fitting more weight – in fact, just like the real thing! I shall probably carve a block of lead to the shape of the prototype ballast weights fitted under the frames. Plus some white metal buckets etc hanging on the loco.

There are seven narrow gauge tipper wagons and two fuel bowser wagons all from KBScale kits. The bogie tram trailer coach for the workmens train was a conversion of a Bachmann O-16.5 four wheeled tram, with O14 bogies (from 7mmNGA) replacing the chassis and motor. The brake van / tool van has a scratch built body, and I found it on eBay. The wheels have been regauged from 16.5mm.

Standard gauge locos include a Connoisseur LNER J-15 0-6-0 and a Finney SR Adams T3 4-4-0. An Adams O2 0-4-4T is currently in the erecting shops, an alteration to a Connoisseur G6 kit.
Various standard gauge coaching, goods and engineering stock can be seen on the layout.


Over the last two years I have taken the main Brookford layout to a few exhibitions, but without the more recent additions of the 8-foot long incline and Brookford Downs board, which I have exhibited on its own as a micro-layout.

More pictures can be found on Paul’s flickr site

Rail Track and Associated Equipment for use Underground in Mines

O14 group member Bob T has pointed out a very useful publication available from the HSE which provides Guidance on selection, installation and maintenance of rail track and associated equipment for use underground in mines. It provides a valuable insight into many aspects of prototype narrow gauge track construction some of which is equally applicable to above ground track.

It can be found here: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/mines06.pdf


I have updated the page on our website with some new information on the soon to be available south African B & DZ wagons including images of the production versions of the bogies. I think the webpage has most of the information http://www.ngtrains….k/sa_stock.html

However here is some additional info which may head off some of the questions…..

  • The kits are principally etched nickel silver and brass castings
  • We have had Phil at Port Wynnstay reproduce the doors for the DZ in resin available as an extra. I think that most people will want to build one DZ using all the metal components and that will give them a superb model. At that point I suspect the prospect of doing a rake of wagons all with metal doors will seem a daunting one whilst an attempt to do so will have them phoning their trick cyclist. The resin doors aren’t as strong as they replicate the metal thickness [or lack of it] but they are a time saver.
  • The bogies will be available as a separate item but not at first. The castings for these are the bottle neck in the production so all the castings we can get initially are being kept for use in full kits. They will be available later once the initial demand for kits has been met
  • The wheels supplied are Bachmann 00 passenger coach wheels. These are a nominal 12mm diameter but are actually a smidge under which makes then the right size for new disc wheels. They run superbly, are just a press fit so can be re-gauged and are affordable. Research suggests you could use a wide variety of wheel types and diameters and probably find a prototype for it as they were mixed, matched and turned down many times.

Our aim is to have the kits ready for the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association Convention on the 9th June and all production has now been commissioned to this end. The parts are ordered in batches so it would be a real help to judge how many we need to produce if customers ordered them in advance. Your card won’t be charged until the kits are ready to ship/ If you are going to the convention says so in the comments box on the order form and we’ll try to have them there for you and save you the postage.

Orders will be filled in the order received with one little exception – I will keep at least one of each kit back to have on my stand at the convention even if all the first batch are ordered in advance. A launch with no kit to launch is going to look a bit hollow!

Paul Martin    EDM Models   www.ngtrains.com 

O14 at Narrow Gauge South Sparsholt 2012

O14 had a good day out at Narrow Gauge South Sparsholt (near Winchester UK) yesterday. Arther Budd’s excellent Brickworks was the only O14 layout (and on a rare outing since being retured a few years ago) and next to it was our O14 demonstration stand (makes it sound all official!) manned by David Hughes and myself. In fact, due to some admin confusion we had been booked into two separate stands in different rooms but decided to man just one of them (with both stand numbers). Phil Traxson made good use of the other space for a resin casting demo.

It was great to meet so many O14 modellers old and new, including Bob Barlow the new proprietor/editor of the Review (and of course you do all you read it don’t you!). David Janes of KBscale came along with an exquisite Diema in grey primer, which looked very tiny next to my WD Baldwin, and showed us some excellent castings for his Hudson Hunslet. My couplers behaved themselves most of the time and I even managed to persuade some people to buy some.

All in all it was a very good day. There definitely seems to be an increasing interest in accurate modelling in 7mm for 2ft and other gauges too, especially for those contemplating 7mm NG for the first time. Let’s all keep spreading the good word.

David Hughes and I will be demoing again on 9th June at the 7mm show Burton on Trent (see events)


Parc Level O14

Roger Murray has provided the following details on his layout: PARC LEVEL COLLIERY CO. LTD. There is only ONE yard of track but a lot of atmosphere!

This diorama was inspired by the prototype section in the Industrial and Narrow Gauge Handbook by Roy C Link. Additional information was obtained from the NG at work DVD number 22, Welsh industrial Archive by J&S Productions.

Dimensions are 48 inches long by 31 inches and 27 inches deep. The base is a 60mm thick Styrofoam slab with a 1/4 inch ply surround for protection not support. In my opinion the surround has to be matt black! I have been using Styrofoam as a baseboard material for some years now and would not go back to 2×1 and top. I have tried to convince others but they all seem too set in their ways although the Americans have been using it for donkey’s years.

The contours are not exact but pretty close, made from wire mesh covered with plaster bandage, then a skin of plaster and painted matt brown. The main rock face is from Cripplebush Valley Models the home of rubber rocks in the USA and they are excellent, impossible for my skills to come anywhere near the quality. Other scenic embellishment comes from Silfor arid soil with scrub, available from International Models, an excellent item if expensive. Also some Scale Link etches and Woodland Scenics items.

As the first line says there is not much track and no points. The track is 14mm gauge and is hand made from code 83 rail and copper clad sleepers, no need to fuss with these as they cannot be seen! At each end of the track a cut is made in one rail a train length from the end and bridged by a diode, this controls the track limits without the need of buffers.
It is not far off a static diorama as it is impossible to recreate the operation of the prototype. Even if you had a working crane you would need two little working men to hitch and unhitch the wagons for the crane to lift. Therefore Loco moves are all that is possible. I wanted to add some atmosphere so apart from the working mast light there are two fan assisted smoke units installed, one in the adit mouth and the other by the cabans. As it was impossible to fit a smoke unit in the loco this was the only way. The smoke units are operated from a switch on the hand held loco controller. Watching the DVD exhaust goes everywhere and it is hard to see where it is coming from a lot of the time but you have to be quick on the switch!

The crane is an RB22 from Tober Models, a white metal kit and the correct crane model for Parc Level, it took ages to source, the good old internet does have its uses. The Ruston and wagon are from KB scale.

SAR / WHR WAGONS in 7mm Scale from EDM Models

New kits for three SAR 2ft Gauge wagons plus two types of bogies have been announced by EDM Models.

Attached Image: Img_4726A-450.jpg Attached Image: Img_4734A-450.jpg Attached Image: IMG_4729-450.jpg

These have been in development for some time and are the work of Peter Balderstone who also designed our Linda/Blanche/Charles kit. They actually started life as a personal project worked on over many years. Recently they have been reworked with commercial sale in mind and many of the small detail parts that were originally assembled from etches have been replaced by brass castings.

Each kit caters for variants of the prototype and both styles of bogie, the diamond frame and the cast Bettendorf are being produced.

Originally we weren’t going to mention these kits until they were in boxes and ready for sale but as they are nearly ready and there has been a lot of discussion of the prototypes on various internet sites we have set to, planned a release date and decided to announce that they are on their way.

The intention is to release them from sale at the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association Convention in Burton on Trent on the 9th June and make them available for online sales immediately after that.

They are on the NG Trains website http://www.ngtrains….k/sa_stock.html and more detail [like prices and more pictures] will be added between now and the release.

The kits are designed to be built for either 16.5mm or 14mm gauge.

Expressions of interest are welcome as they would give us an idea of demand.