ExHIBITION content


HIGH LODGE LOGGING TRAMWAY  009   Terry Metcalfe  Ely MRC.

This short-lived tramway was located on the site of the Forestry Commission’s High Lodge Activity Centre in what is now Thetford Forest.   The “main” line of the High Lodge logging tramway ran from High Lodge Farm on the Downham Estate to a sawmill close to the main standard gauge Cambridge to Norwich line in Santon Downham.  The length of this line was about 2.2 miles.  A branch line ran from School Cottage eastwards for about 1 ½ miles along the river valley to Little Lodge Farm.

There was another sawmill located close to the village church.  The timber from the sawmills was sent to the Western Front in France for use as shoring for trenches and duckboards.   Ordnance Survey maps of the period show parkland with a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees.   

The tramway was constructed in 1918-1919 by the Canadian Forestry Corps (CFC) to recover logged timber from the Government requisitioned Downham Estate as there was a desperate shortage of timber.   In comparison with other sites, it was small scale with only 43,940 cubic feet of timber produced.  It was built to the ‘standard’ 3 ft gauge favoured by the CFC and was operated by three 0-4-0ST Bagnall steam locomotives (works numbers 2081 -2083) plus one other locomotive (assumed to be a Baldwin 4-6-0 side tank).    These were housed in a shed near the present-day post office.  The railway was dismantled shortly after the war ended, the rights to the timber and the railway being sold to a consortium.

The layout is wired for DCC operation.  I decided that the Bachman model of the Baldwin 4-6-0 side tank locomotive would be suitable and ordered one with sound from Olivia’s Trains with the addition of firebox flicker, sound and stay alive capacitors (to ensure good running at exhibitions).  The timber carrying wagons are off-the-shelf Roco and Peco types in short rakes of two or three with couplings made from staples and painted to disguise their origin.

A photograph of a contemporary Scottish timber line provided the impetus to include an incline on High Lodge.  The incline is not track powered but uses a behind-the-scenes winding mechanism using Lego Technic parts to pull the wagons slowly up the incline.   

The layout is a simple oval with Peco setrack curves and Peco flexitrack straights with two, insulfrog, hand operated, points.  The layout took six months to build.  To better represent the lightweight nature of the track, I used standard N gauge track instead of Peco’s 009 track.  The layout had its first outing in May 2019 and has been seen at Thetford and Norwich.

The layout is constructed on a sheet of lightweight, 50mm thick foam board – about 36” x 42” which fits comfortably in the back of my Honda Jazz.   All of the terrain is lightweight being PVA-soaked sheets of kitchen roll over scrunched up newspaper.  A weak mix of plaster/PVA is then spread by brush on top to stiffen it further.   The trees are hand built using the method described in Gordan Gravett’s book “Modelling trees”.   All of the buildings are modified and weathered Wills kits.

RAILS THROUGH HISTON   00 Gauge   Histon and Impington Model Railway Group

Histon was one of the busiest stations on the Cambridge to March “loop line”. This was largely due to traffic associated with the massive Chivers factory adjacent to the line and forming the backdrop to the well-kept station (in its heyday).Our layout is an OO gauge representation of the double track mainline through Histon village, and includes the goods sidings to both the North and South side of the tracks and the notorious level crossing.

Based on period photographs, OS maps and local recollections, the current layout has been constructed and is maintained by members of the Histon and Impington model rail group.Our operating period runs from the 1930s up to the closure of the line to passenger services in 1970. In addition to Chivers factory incoming and outgoing van trains, traffic includes local passenger and pick-up goods trains, long Yorkshire coal trains en route to London full, and returning empty, plus occasional ECML diversion trains. During WW2, troop trains, armoured vehicle and hospital trains add to the mix.

Layout control is via DCC and most locomotives are sound equipped.  

Our group was originally formed in 2016, to operate and maintain a retired exhibition layout “Little Histon” by Graham Tandy on behalf of our twin villages. Although inspired by Histon, as Graham readily admitted, his tiny layout bore only a passing resemblance to just a small section of the real location.With the support of our villages, our team has now completely replaced the original layout, with a far more accurate and extensive new build model of the Histon station area, now incorporating a large rear 10-line fiddle yard, behind our operators.

AMBLETON VALE N gauge  Ray Taylor & Anna Bass  Gt Bardfield Essex

Set in rolling countryside somewhere in central England around 1965, Ambleton Vale is a fictitious terminus station at the end of a branch line connecting the village of Ambleton Vale with the county town some 20 miles away.  It has survived in the face of the general decline in rail travel because of a flourishing livestock market on the outskirts of the village, and the nearby Ambleton Vale racecourse.  The line was setup to facilitate the transportation of animals both at the main station, which is close to the market, and at a short siding which services the racecourse, but of course carries plenty of humans too!   The station is busiest at weekends when the market is in progress but is also used during the week by commuters who find that rail travel makes it possible for them to have a quiet rural lifestyle away from their work in the city.

The layout was designed to be very accessible and of interest to the whole family, whether you are tall, short, young or old, male or female. With its large live stock market and its horse racing track you will find lots of livestock and human interest and lets not forget the trains 🙂 


GRAZELLAR BAHN   H0e gauge Peter Johnston   Northamptonshire

The Grazellar Bahn is my first adventure into continental modelling in HO scale. Afterhaving many years modelled and exhibited in British N Gauge.

It was inspired by seeing pictures of the Mariazellerbahn in Austria and then finding that Rocco produced a model of the class 1099 electric locomotives that operated that line. The Mariazellerbahn is a 760mm narrow gauge line running south from the Salzburg to Vienna main line at St. Pollen for some 90km to the town of Mariazell and for a time a short distance further to Gusswerk. The line was built in the early 1900’s and after initially being steam worked was electrified in the period leading up to the First World War usinga 6.5kc AC overhead system and is still in operation today.

The layout represents an imagined additional terminus and is set in the Epoch IV period(1968-94). The track plan is typically Austrian and based on that at Gresten. Most trains(passenger and freight) being worked by the iconic class 1099 electric locomotives with the occasional diesel and even a steam worked nostalgia special.

Construction is fairly standard using Peco track and plastic building kits with stock beingmostly from Roco and Lilliput. Cassettes are used for the fiddle yard. Control is by DCC using a Rocco Multimaus controller for both locos and points. Operation is to a simple sequence timetable featuring both passenger and freight trains.

EAST STERNHAM  “00” Cambridge Model Railway Club.

East Sternham is a fictitious terminus station of a branch line from the Liverpool Street to Norwich mainline in East Anglia. It has regular DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) services to and from the mainline during the day with visits from mainline trains at peak periods. There is a single road engine shed and refuelling point for visiting locomotives and DMU’s and a Railtrack yard and ballast depot. The layout is controlled by DCC (Digital Command Control) units with sound decoders in the locomotives and DMU’s. Working colour light signals are also used. Points and signals are controlled by conventional methods.


AVIEMORE N  gauge  Neil Watson of Ely MRC

Aviemore is modelled on the real location. Aviemore is located between Perth and Inverness in the Scottish highlands. The layout is based from the mid SO’s to late 68 and can even move into the 70/BO’s with steam moving onto diesels. Many different assorted trains passed through on their way to the north with coal, fish and parcels and even sleeping cars.

Aviemore was a junction from the south towards inverness or you would of taken the original highland railway route towards Grantown on Spey etc. You would often see banking locos joining or coming off helping goods traffic over Drumochter pass (1480ft above sea level) and Slochd. The layout is in n gauge dimensions are 14ft x 3ft and runs on digital control via NCE controllers and the points are controlled using Panel Pro via the laptop.


PACIFIC CROSSING – BIRKENHEAD Dave Carson  Suffolk   This is a 00 (1:76) scale ‘Macrolayout’ influenced by the converted offices at the junction of Shore Road and Pacific Road, Birkenhead & the Hong Kong built trams of the Wirral Heritage Tramway Museum

PITSFORD YARD   0 gauge  David Fennell   Suffolk

The layout is based upon practice in the US state of Vermont in the mid 1970’s  and represents a fictional switching yard serving  two factories.  Diesel locomotives arrive & depart with a variety of cars, including box cars, gondolas and tank cars.  Operation is by DCC and all of the main line locos have sound.

TOP YARD   EM  Dave Tailby Leicestershire

The track plan is based on the first track plan of Ian Rice’s urban track plans book, but with one siding less and the goods shed road dies something different.

The basic essence is that Top Yard are sidings for an industry. It is a “Martini style layout ( any time, any place, any where) so I that can use any rolling stock that takes my fancy.   The premise is that stuff gets propelled in from  the “rest of the world” under the right hand bridge ( it is assumed there is a run round loop on the other side of the bridge). Wagons from the “industry” are brought in under the bridge on the left and also placed in the sidings using the headshunt and loads exchanged as required.


FORDON HILL  N gauge Oscar & Ken Robson  Hertfordshire

The name Fordon came from the word Ford, and I chose that name because my dad drives a Ford with the hill part of the name coming from the two hills on each end. The main town area is at one end and on the other side there is a stage, a windmill and a merry-go-round giving the impression of a more fun, leisurely setting. The merry go-round works, it spins and like the stage has lights in it. There is even a burger van, which seems to be burning something!

Fordon Hill is a simple double loop with two stations, unusual for a town nowadays! Fordon West is the main station with additional platforms. There is a taxi pickup and drop off, also a small car park. The second station, Fordon East, is linked directly to the town via a lift and has its own terminating platforms. 

There are many things to give the impression of real-life activities, including a car having a close discussion with a tree. The pub is busy with a disco in full swing, a couple of people worse for wear and like most funfairs, a queue at the facilities.


ST SAVIOUR STREET   N gauge Tim Chandler of Colchester MRC

St Saviour Street is a small urban terminus, set in the BR “Corporate Blue” era (1970s – mid 1980s). What appears to be double track is actually two single bi-directional lines. The track layout is a development of the well-known “Minories” track plan.

The station sees much local traffic using first generation DMUs but also has locomotive hauled through trains to major destinations. There is also a significant parcels service with a dedicated parcels train. Stock is almost all Graham Farish with some vehicles modified to use magnetic couplings allowing “hands free” uncoupling.

Buildings are from Metcalfe kits, although not all have been constructed as intended! The station roof is a Peco OO kit. The Red Star Parcels building is scratchbuilt. The track is all Peco code 55. The points are operated using “wire in tube” from behind the backscene. Electrical control is old fashioned DC.

PROVIDENCE COLLIERY  “00”   Theo Thomas of Luton Model Railway Club.

Coal has been mined in the West Gloucester area known as The Forest of Dean since before Roman times. By 1787 there were 121 small coal mines in the Forest, and by 1841 over 145,000 tonnes of coal was produced annually. Some coal was used locally, the rest was destined for markets outside the Forest.  After nationalization in 1947, the National Coal Board took over the larger collieries, and licensed smaller ones. However, water ingress and flooding was always a severe problem in Forest of Dean mines, and the last of the big collieries like Northern United closed in 1965.

Providence Colliery is based upon several collieries in the Forest of Dean in the late 1950s. It represents a drift mine, as most of the ‘gales’ (coal measures) follow a shallow slope into the hillsides. You can see where the full coal `tubs’ emerge from the mine entrance tunnel, before the coal is unloaded into standard gauge British Railways wagons marshalled below the ‘screens’ building.

This layout is 16.5mm gauge, 1:76 scale and DCC (digitally) controlled using NCE Powercabs, with sound on-board most of the locomotives. Point control is by DCC controlled Tortoise motors and MERG driven servos. Buildings are either scratchbuilt, or modified and detailed models from Petite Properties. Spratt & Winkle delayed action couplings are employed, using concealed magnets for operation. Locomotives are by Hornby and Bachmann, whilst the rolling stock is modified proprietary or kit built.

BARWAY SIDINGS  0 gauge   Terry Cooke  of Cambridge Model Railway Club.

Barway is a small village between Soham & Ely in Cambridgeshire. Barway Siding was in fact a  goods loop passing point controlled with an annets key.  The layout has upgraded the passing loop to sidings serving the  surrounding fenland agricultural area.

NORTH LEVEL RAILWAY  7mm Narrow Gauge  Alan Church   of  March MRC

A small narrow gauge railway station and yard set in the late 40’s early 50’s somewhere in the North Cambridgeshire fens. The yard has a small fruit & vegetable distribution depot for local farmers to send their produce to markets near and far. Supplies for the engine shed and coal yard are also required along with a frequent passenger service as it seems to be market day every day! The buildings are mostly scratch built with some scratch kits. Rolling stock made from kits and scratch built/modified ready to run from various manufacturers.


CHURWALDEN  Nn gauge  Mark Ellis   Norfolk

I always liked the idea of building a winter layout although I realised it would be difficult keeping the snow clean. During lockdown I decided to take up the challenge. Although I had assisted in building a layout at my local model railway club this would be the first time I had built my own layout without assistance.

The best way to describe the gauge is Nn as the stock is narrow gauge running on standard N gauge track although Nm (Metre) gauge stock is available from a specialist company to run on z gauge track but the cost is prohibitive. The Rhatische Bahn (RhB) is the largest narrow gauge rail operator in Switzerland. It operates almost entirely within the canton of Graubunden, the exception being the Bernina line which crosses the Italian border, it’s terminus being at Tirano. Churwalden is an area of Graubunden nearby the city of Chur and is not actually served by the RhB, the nearest railway being around 10 kilometres away. As can be seen, the layout has a Christmas theme, it is quite compact at only 4 feet 6 inches long, so there are some quite tight 9 inch curves.

 The stock is mostly by Kato from Japan but there are also 4 bogie wagons from MDS Modelle in Germany and you may see a couple of permanent way wagons from RhB Modellbahn in Switzerland parked in the siding. Kato introduced an N gauge model of the Glacier Express for their home market but it became a success around the world and they have since expanded the range as will be seen on the layout. As this is my first attempt at building a layout it is far from perfect, I’m sure any purists out there will find something which isn’t right. A layout is supposedly never finished and no doubt there are still more items which can be added to Churwalden but I’m relatively happy with it right now. Feel free to make observations and ask questions which I will answer if I can.

TASHVALE 2mm to 1ft, 1:148  N gauge   Ely & District Model Railway Club.  

Tash Vale is a simple table top layout using a mix of Peco Setrack and Streamline trackwork almost entirely built by Mark Brockman. The design has been adapted from the Peco Setrack planbook.  It is hoped it will inspire young and old alike to have a go yourself. The baseboard has been built in the traditional way and dressed with off the shelf kits and other products. The majority of the bridges have been scratch built to suit their particular location.

Children can drive a train.

Ely & District Model Railway Club.      https://elymrc.org.uk/

Our own Club stand – here you can find out about club membership and buy second- hand stock & books etc.


Derek Buck    wagon building    Our club president showing scratch building of rolling stock.  If you want to know how to do it, sit down and ask. He does like to chat and doesn’t bite. (often!)


Royston Model Engineering Society

5”  & 3.5”  scale live steam engines & traction engine rides


COASTAL DCC  71 Alan Road Ipswich Suffolk IP3 8EY  01473 403764


Coastal DCC is run by Railway Modellers for Railway Modellers. We are actively involved in exhibiting our layouts, demonstrate and organising exhibitions around the country. We are dedicated to giving you the Railway Modeller the very best DCC advice. We aim to supply you with the best DCC equipment to suit your unique needs

Are you a member of a modellers club? -if you are we would be delighted to give you an evening talk on DCC, show you some of the systems that are available, the pitfalls and hopefully dispel some of the myths.

GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY SOCIETY                                                 www.gersociety.org.uk/

The Society was formed in 1973 in order to promote a widespread interest in the Great Eastern Railway, (GER), its predecessors and its successors, such as the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER), British Railways (BR), Network Rail and the current privatised Train Operating Companies (TOCs) operating in the East Anglia area. To encourage and co-ordinate research into its history, and to provide a permanent record of the results. This is being achieved by building upon the knowledge of the known GER experts, and by locating and studying all surviving records of the railway. In so doing, the Society has established a high reputation amongst railway enthusiasts, historians, museums and professional railwaymen for the quality and accuracy of its publications, its expertise and activities.

However, you don’t have to be an expert to join the GERS – details of the benefits of joining the Society can be found on their website or at the exhibition.


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Thespecialist for music and transportation.  Thousands of books currently in stock videos and magazines too!

We are pleased to offer a huge selection of music books, rock and pop books, record collecting books, rock biography books, guitar books, guitar tutor books, guitar tution videos, guitar amplification books, guitar building books, guitar history books, tram books, bus books, rail books, railway books, rail videos, railway videos, transportation books, electrical books and general books.

GREAT EASTERN MODELS  1199 Plumstead Road, Norwich Norfolk  NR1 4AB

http://www.greateasternmodels.co.uk/       01603 398163

Specialising in OO and N gauge modelling, Great Eastern Models offers a comprehensive range of ready to run locomotives, rolling stock, scale building, scenic products and accessories. Large stocks of both new and second hand railways for sale and model railway collections always wanted for part exchange or cash.

Pre-orders can be taken for any models due to be released. Friendly family-run store selling at internet prices. All the service – none of the hassle.

RAILWAY MEMORIES      Colchester   John Margerum   01206  841801  Margerumsdepot@aol.com

The Railway Memories stand provides a large selection of DVDs, T Shirts and greetings cards covering the British, European and North American rail scene.  All material has been produced from John’s extensive photographic collection gathered during his many travels at home and abroad.

Layouts 4 U     36 Elwyndene Road, March, PE15 9BL Tel: 01354 652302

https://www.layouts4u.net/            https://www.hobbytools4u.co.uk/

Extensive range of OO Gauge Lights, O and N Gauge lights

Working streetlights / yard lamps / signals / lampposts / building lights / coach lighting and many unusual illuminated accessories      Plus unique hand-made scenery items.

We are also suppliers of high quality hobby and craft tools for all your modelmaking needs!

The Railway Memorabilia Shop

The Railway Memorabilia Shop is run by an Ex Network Rail signalman and his wife, who are both Railway enthusiasts and have been for many years.   We also fund raise for The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive trust and you will see me around the Heritage railways.

We sell Railway Fob Watches From The LNER GWR and Southern Regions, Cuff links and many wonderful items Including the Family Of Railway Bears, Jigsaw Puzzles, Badges Key Rings and Fobs Metal Plaques and Signs Both Large and Small.