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O Guage British Railways training layout

2550 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  millsie
About 50+ years ago while I was on holiday in either Rhyl or Weymouth my father took me to a public exhibition of a very large O guage model railway.

It was displayed in a large hall or gymnasium and he told me that the layout belonged to British Railways and was used for training purposes.

Does anyone know or remember anything about this layout? Did it survive anywhere?
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Is it possible this is the layout now preserved at 'The Works' at the NRM? I cannot find any information about it in any of my NRM brochures, but I think it was ex-Lancashire and Yorkshire railway at Horwich - so it would have eventually become LMS and then the LMR of BR. They served Rhyl, so it's not impossible it could have been shown there. Perhaps you could try and see if they have any more info.

If the NRM inquiries don't bring up anything let me know - I may be able to find out something from some signalling sources I have contact with.

John Webb
I have a feeling there was such a layout at Manchester Victoria, which would also be ex-L&Y so could be the same one as John has mentioned.
I've just been able to confirm from several sources that the NRM's layout is the L&Y one and was in use for over 70 years at the L&Y's signalling school based in Manchester (not Horwich) either at or near that railway's HQ.

I've seen the layout, which has been restored by museum volunteers, but never with demonstrations running, alas.

John Webb
Thanks for your input, it's nice to know that this layout still exists. I will be in touch with the NRM.
Mike, Vero Beach, Fl, USA
Put something like training model "national railway museum" york into Google image search and you get a couple of pics of the lever frame but none of the actual layout.
I checked Google and found this nice picture of the layout at the NRM.

Now I really must make a trip there!
Just to confuse things slightly - as far as I know all the big four had "training" layouts. From memory I believe that the SR one was at Swanley.

Harold Gasson in his book "Signalling Days" (OPC 1981) mentions a model railway used for signal training at the WR (ex-GWR) signal school at Reading, but there is no photo, alas.

last tiem iw as at the NRM the layout was in full operation, with clock work locos rattling round it at a great rate of knotts
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