Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

Going round in circles


I have been doing some research. In particular I have been looking at sheds or motive power depots to give them their official title (of maintenance facility to use modern parlance). This is because I have come to the conclusion that I have done the railway modeller classic and have an awful lot of locomotives but not so many trains to be hauled by them. One answer is to curtail the stock, which I have recently done quite significantly, and the other answer is to design a proper shed for them to reside in. When I say a proper shed, what I mean is that many sheds on model railways are just shoved in the corner of the layout where there’s some space that needs using up whereas I want to make one that looks as if it designed to be a shed.

I have therefore been looking through the excellent book An Historical survey of Great Western Engine sheds 1947, not to be confused with the equally excellent book An Historical survey of Great Western Engine sheds 1837 – 1947. The former is a survey of the sheds extant at Nationalisation while the latter book is a survey of the sheds that shut prior to Nationalisation.

What I have been looking for is a shed that has the hallmarks of a shed while being compact enough to fit within the confines of a normal end terrace house bedroom with lots of other railway. One definite is that it must have the ability to have a decent turntable. Although I am extremely tempted by Blazey, I think I will be basing my shed on Leamington (1906) with some elements of Banbury thrown in. I say based because there will bound to be some changes to the layout but it will have the coal stage and the turntable.


My turntable researches have led me to the conclusion that I need to represent a 65’ version, preferably of the later design with the walkway inside the main girders rather than having the steps from the girders down into the well as the early design had.

File:The turntable, West Somerset Railway, Minehead - - 1766271.jpg

Early style turntable (C) Roger Cornfoot (above, Later style (below)

Image result for GWR turntable

You will recognise the later style as it is the type depicted by the Airfix / Dapol kit. However that kit is not designed to be motorised although some have done it successfully. I am more likely to use the sides from an Airfix version I have attached to something more robust like a Peco turntable which is designed to be motorised.

Finally, there are some great pictures of Leamington shed (and other sheds) on the Warwickshire Railways website here.

View of the three main components of the 1906 engine shed, the coal stage, the turntable and the four-road shed

Author: Chris H

Having now officially reached middle age, I am a rolling stock engineer and have worked in many different locations including a 7 year spell in Sydney, Australia, where I arrived with a suitcase and left with a wife and a son. I am now based back in my home county of Yorkshire where I juggle full time work, being a Dad to two rascally mini-mes, and trying to fit in railway modelling, assisting the GWR 1014 County of Glamorgan project, and visits to the top left hand corner of Wales and Beamish. In addition to my heavily railway themed life, I am interested in rugby, cricket, reading crime novels, falconry, and medieval re-enactments.

2 thoughts on “Going round in circles

  1. GWR???

    For goodness sake! I thought you had standards!!!!!


    Sent from my iPad


    • I like all things engineeringly sensible. The one thing you can’t deny is that the GWR had standards!
      Interesting to think it was only the LNER that didn’t have a GWR trained CME at Nationalisation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s