SM32 Live Steam

During 1986 four members decided to construct a portable layout to display their steam powered locomotives and stock at other venues other than their gardens. It was suggested that this should be constructed in 6 foot sections to produce a loop layout that could be configured in several ways.

The construction proceeded quite quickly and produced a layout that could be formed from 26 feet long to 40 foot long and after adding several new boards over the next few years more configurations were achieved.

The layout provides two main lines with a station and storage roads at the front and a steaming bay on the inside. Two storage roads of 10 and 12 foot long were provided at the back. The track was constructed with Bonds brass rail and cast chairs mounted on wall board sleepers cut up on a band saw. Since then a bridge has been constructed from ½” light angle providing a way into the centre of the layout and an ex-military model Bailey Bridge kit was constructed to produce a more impressive version to add to the sparse scenic aspect.

The locomotives vary from modified Mamods to various Roundhouse and Arkangel models. Some are fired with meths and some with butane gas giving running from ten minutes to more than 30 minutes at each refill. Some of the locomotives sport radio control. The rolling stock consists of Mamod wagons and coaches to quite large coaches and wagons constructed from scratch. The flavour is of the narrow gauge railways of England, Wales and Ireland and industrial railways from the last 100 years.

The layout has appeared at many shows and fetes throughout the island and many Charity fund raisers. It is transported in its own purpose built trailer – built on an ex army ammunition trailer that had seen several incarnations including a beach kiosk.

The layout still serves the club well and hopefully will continue to do so it also provides a lot of pleasure to the members who do not have garden layouts but love the live steam aspect and large scale of these models.