York Model Engineers

Helping to expand your modelling horizons


Track Details


There are 3 track systems available
Ground Level Track (GLT)
Elevated Track (RLT)
Garden Railway (GR)

    The Ground Level Track


    The Ground Level Track is 7¼ and 5 inch gauge, with a shared inner rail. It is built from 4 lb. per yard flat bottom rolled steel track, the rail section being 26mm high x 12mm wide at the head. Fine scale and narrow gauge vehicles are accommodated in both gauges. The dual gauge points have been built to provide the best compromise for both track gauges and scale of prototypes. The respective distances between the check rail faces are 4.4 inches and 6.7 inches.


    The layout is in the shape of a distorted oval, with an inside cut-off loop at one end which gives access to the station (Erskine Halt). The direction of running is clockwise. A signalling system allows the passage of five separate trains on the layout at safe intervals.

    The length of the main line circuit is 520 yards (just under 0.3 mile). Minimum radius is 70 feet and the maximum adverse gradient is 1 in 75 for about 60 yards.

    The width of any train or part of it should not project more than 20 inches from the rail centre line. There are no restrictions on height at present.

    Steam-raising area
    There is a steaming bay area with road access to the rails of both gauges at both ground level and 26 inches from the ground. An electrically powered hydraulic scissor lift on a traversing trolley gives access between the two levels and the various steaming bays. There are five ground level sidings and four raised level sidings but no power supply for steam-raising blowers.

    Riding trolleys
    Two substantially built 7¼ inch gauge riding cars are stored in the GLT carriage shed at the steaming bay area. These are fitted with vacuum brakes. Lightweight locomotives might struggle with these heavy cars up the hill. Drivers of smaller visiting locomotives might like to consider bringing their own passenger riding cars to the site.

    Facilities for coal and water
    Coal for 7¼ and 5 inch locomotives is available in the bunker at the station, where there is also a water crane. Coal, water and oil should also be replenished at the station except in the case of an emergency.

    Loading and unloading passengers
    All trains should pick up and deposit their passengers at the station near the signal box and not at the steaming bays.

    Ground Level Track
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    The Raised Level Track


    The Raised Level Track is of 2½, 3½ and 5 inch gauges. It is built from rolled flat steel bar of ¼ x 2 inches mounted on resilient blocks of either wood or high density polyethylene on concrete posts, the rail level being about 20 inches above the ground.

    The layout is in the shape of a dumbbell and the direction of running is clockwise. Three-aspect colour light signals allow the passage of four separate trains at safe intervals.

    The length of the circuit is 349 yards. Minimum radius is 39 feet and the maximum adverse gradient is 1 in 100.

    The width of any train or part of it should not project more than 3 feet from the rail centre line. There are no restrictions on height at present.

    Steam-raising area
    There is a covered steaming bay area with road access. A manually operated traverser, with deck 20 inches above the ground, allows transfer from road vehicles to the steaming bays and to the running track. There are eight steaming bays but no power supply for steam-raising blowers.

    Riding trolleys
    The riding cars are stored in the carriage shed alongside the station. There are six riding cars with two bogies and hand-powered brakes. For lightweight locomotives, there is also one six-wheel riding car with hand-operated brakes. Riding cars brought by drivers of visiting locomotives will need to come fitted with a magnet to operate the signals.

    Facilities for coal and water
    Coal is available in the bunkers beside the running shed. Water is available at the running shed and at the station (Dobson’s Halt).

    Loading and unloading passengers
    All trains should pick up and deposit their passengers at the station and not at the steaming bays.



    Raised level track

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    Garden Railway

    Track description
    The garden railway is situated at the southern end of the club site in a sheltered tree lined dell which is gravel floored and allows wheelchair access. The entire railway is 42 inches above ground level. The track is 32mm (gauge O) and mostly Peco SM32. The main circuit follows the shape of a folded dog-bone and is double track with return loops at each end. It is 150 yards long with sweeping curves and a minimum radius of 6 feet. The 5 passing loops cater for trains of up to 12 feet long. Gradients are gentle to allow easy operation of both radio-controlled and manually operated locos.

    Within one of the dog bone loops there is a 25 yard circuit where novice drivers can take a first go at the controls and repaired or newly-built locos can be tested without the pressures of a busy railway.

    Steam-raising areas
    There are 3 separate steam-raising areas with sidings to accommodate trains 12 feet long.

    Several seats offer superb viewing for “resting“ drivers and observers. To date, the railway has harmoniously accommodated 8 simultaneous drivers on the main circuit, and 2 on the inner circuits.

    New drivers are asked to study the track layout before raising steam. The passing loops on the main circuit are shared between trains running in opposite directions, so care must be taken to avoid running onto the wrong road and causing collisions.



    Garden Railway


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