Layouts confirmed for Rail-Ex 2023

Layout 1:

Bath Green Park

OO Gauge

This magnificent layout, occupying a space 54ft x 17ft, is a faithful recreation of the famous Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (SDJR) terminus station in Bath, and its adjoining motive power depot, as it was in the period between Nationalisation and the line’s closure in the 1960s. See the trains being worked in from the north by BR(M) motive power before the BR(S) locomotives take over for the journey along this world famous route to the South Coast. We are pleased to welcome this stunning model of an iconic station to Rail-Ex 2023.

Layout 2:

Old Elm Park

O Gauge

Set at the time of British Railways’ transition from steam to diesel this highly detailed layout features a coaling stage and outside shed yard as well as a roundhouse servicing locos from the Western, Southern and Midland regions. Modelling in O gauge (the premier scale) gives the ability to add details that really stand out. The layout can show both daytime and night time scenes and all that is needed is the smell of steam and oil to completely transport you back to the mid 1960s when steam was being replaced by diesels.

Layout 3:

St Ruth

2mm Finescale

Based on Penzance, St Ruth is a 2mm finescale terminus station showing a typical day at this far West Cornwall end of the Great Western main line in the 1960s. The layout features working signals and has both day and night scenes to enjoy, and you can follow the next movement on the digital displays and spot the lights in the buildings and trains come on as the sun sets over this wonderful mainline in miniature.

Layout 4:

Bovington Junction

N Gauge

Bovington Junction, (which featured in the February 2022 edition of Railway Modeller), is a semi fictitious location, while the track plan is almost a direct replica of Broadstone, at the junction of the southern end of the Somerset and Dorset where it met the London and South Western Railway. Built to standard N gauge scale and using DCC loco control, there is a specific focus on military activities, including an airbase with an operational ascending aircraft and a small army base, together with appropriate rolling stock. Additionally, there is a narrow gauge branch line and an operational road system. The era represented covers the period from the end of WW2 to the mid 1960’s. Fitting with the military theme of the layout, many of the operational vehicles are RAF and Army based, augmented by suitable civilian options.

Layout 5:


OO Gauge

The layout depicts a small station and nearby factory and sidings on a Western Region line in industrial North Worcestershire in the mid-late 1980s. Relics of an earlier time are still present, semaphore signals, coal sidings and run down Great Western buildings give the place a timeless quality. Despite the line being singled and truncated in the 1970s following the Beeching cuts, the true value of the line as a diversionary freight route as well as increasing commuter use have seen track being re-laid and a through service to Birmingham reinstated. Passenger traffic is handled by first generation DMUs but Sprinters are gradually starting to replace them. Freight however, is still to be seen on the branch via the daily Speedlink service serving the local engineering factory as well as supplying domestic coal via the small yard. China clay occasionally passes through Oldshaw on its way north from Cornwall. The layout was originally built with a single fiddle yard, but the current owners (Guy, Mike and Tom) have now extended the layout with the addition of new, larger fiddle yards at both ends.

Layout 6:


O Gauge

Thiswaye is based on a Great Western Railway terminus station, throughout the day the stock used can range from the early 1900s right through to Diesels, the layout features an open fiddle yard that can be viewed along with the scenic section. The layout can be operated by either DC or DCC.

Layout 7:

Cheddar SDJR


The Somerset and Dorset branch to Cheddar left the Glastonbury to Highbridge line at Shapwick. It passed through Wedmore and several villages before getting to Cheddar. Built originally as a light railway it was upgraded when the quarries decided to send stone out through this route. However passenger facilities were not upgraded as the GWR Cheddar Valley line seemed to take most of the tourist traffic. The layout is a “could have been” as the S & D did propose a line to Cheddar, and is set in the 1920s. The scenic section is nominally 8' x 2' plus two cassette fiddle yards making up the rest of the 18.5 square feet. The track plan is a mirror image of a layout in Ian Rice's Wild Swan publication “Layouts for Small Spaces”.

Layout 8:

Depot Nord

HO Gauge

Depot Nord is a recreation of a small French steam and diesel shed complex incorporating a partial roundhouse and a two- road diesel maintenance facility. Locomotives on the layout are generally as would have been seen in the 1960s with just a few from outside that time period. Control is DCC utilising a Signatrak controller, with points and the one signal operated by servos. Trackwork is Peco code 100. Operation of the turntable is DCC using a very slow motion motor but without indexing and relies on the accuracy of the operator to line up the tracks. With the exception of the turntable (Peco), coaling stage and wheel drop (Mike’s Models), all buildings are scratch built making use of files downloaded from the internet to print the materials. The roundhouse has a removable roof covering with the roof structure modelled below. Extensive use is made of lighting columns, yard lights and interior lighting

Layout 9:


OO Gauge

Alderford is a layout set in the mid to late 1980's representing a fictional town station somewhere in the North West with two main lines that converge just before entering the station. One of these main lines is electrified and meets up with the West Coast Main Line a few miles out of town in both directions. As the layout is set in the mid – late 1980s there is now a good number of rolling stock liveries to be seen, such as Intercity, Regional Railways, Railfreight Grey, and Railfreight sub sector as well as BR blue. DMU services are covered by both 1st generation and newer 2nd generation units and also you will find class 303 and 304 EMU's on longer regional services to the likes of Crewe, Manchester or Liverpool. Alderford also sees an extensive variety of freight pass through the station from short trip workings to longer train load workings. Alderford is a DCC controlled layout that gives a great deal of flexibility with train movements plus constant lighting and sound.

Layout 10:



Colonel H. F. Stephens was an engineer who collected light railways seemingly as others collected stamps. They were to be found in all sorts of out of the way places from North Wales to Kent, and it is here that the layout “Rolvenden” is set. The layout represents the station of that name on the Kent and East Sussex Railway as it was in the mid 1920s. Using plans, drawings and photos as accurate a representation of the site as is possible has been created within the limitations of space available. Outside the railway boundary some typical Kentish scenes, such as an oast house, hop garden and a windmill, have been added to enhance the scene.

Layout 11:

Chilcompton Tunnel

OO Gauge

Chilcompton Tunnel represents a short stretch of the Somerset & Dorset line around 1962. The last Pines Express ran over the line on 8th September 1962 and a faithful representation of this last working can be seen slogging up the Mendips behind 9F 92220 Evening Star. The model uses conventional analogue control and the large fiddle yard can supply 12 trains in each direction. So take some time to enjoy train spotting on the line side and see double headed expresses, long freights behind the S&D’s famous and unique 7F’s and look out for the pigeon special amongst other faithfully represented train formations which have been researched from Ivo Peters (amongst others) famous cine films and books.

Layout 12:

Beijiao (China)

HO Gauge

This layout was inspired by many trips to China to photograph the last of Chinese steam. The layout is set in 2001 and, by then, the remaining steam action was centred around heavily polluted industrial cities in the north of China and BEIJIAO is a fictitious version of such a city. In the foreground, there are three China Rail tracks and, at the back of the layout, we have an industrial railway linking coal mines, off stage to the left, with a steel-works off stage to the right. Access to the steelworks is up a 1/30 grade and uphill trains require the help of two bankers and with all three locos fitted with sound this makes a great video.

Layout 13:

Bristol Avon Bridge

OO Gauge

Set in the period 1970s-1990s Bristol Avon Bridge came about from nostalgia for the heyday of the HST, combined with an interest in mail and newspaper traffic and memories of visits to Bristol Temple Meads. The layout is loosely based upon platforms 1 to 5 of Bristol’s “new” train shed, depicting parcels and mail traffic of the 70’s & 80’s in a familiar location with long distance trains getting crew or loco changes, some being remarshalled or taken out of service to the nearby carriage sidings or into Bath Rd Depot. A wide variety of traction can be seen as trains arrive from all over the UK. The layout shows operation from the dawn of the HST through to the sectorization of the 80’s with a wide variety of trains in addition to the mail passing through to the South West.

Layout 14:

St Martin’s Wharf

O Gauge

Bob Alderman’s creation, St Martin’s Wharf, is a light railway inspired by those of Colonel H F Stephens’ empire. The line is somewhere in East Anglia, the terminus is beside a once-navigable river, and it takes its name from the ruined abbey behind the station. The period is c1930 and the rolling stock follows Colonel Stephens’ principles: there is nothing new, all of it is a second or third hand cast-off from mainline companies. The age of the stock is reflected in the finish of the vehicles, which are typical of the Colonel’s stock.

The mill was inspired by a tide mill on Southampton Water. The small shop is a replica of Bob’s grandfather’s cycle repair shop c1920 after finding in 2013 a small faded photograph of him outside the shop. The ruin was just an idea!

Layout 15:


N Gauge

Polpendra in an N scale layout based in Cornwall somewhere between the Southern and Western region routes with stock portraying the period between 1958 and 1972, not all at the same time though. A station this size would normally only have one train a day and one loco but in Polpendra you will see a range of trains typical of such a branch line, including southern and western prototypes, passenger and freight trains as well as steam and diesel motive power. The stock is a mixture of kit built and ready to run and all has been weathered and detailed to match the layout. Much of the stock is fitted with etched autocouplers for delayed action auto-uncoupling around the layout, which is excellent for shunting but fiddly to make.

As for the details, look out for the farmer trying to get rid of unwanted gypsies, the children feeding a goat, the tools hanging in an open barn and the policemen waiting for a ride into town. There is even a certain Doctor’s Tardis hidden in the trees. Oh yeah check out the wildlife, all is not as it seems!

Layout 16:


OO Gauge

The layout is set in the 1970s -1980s period on British Rail’s Midland Region.

The Midland railway opened Ripley station in Derbyshire in 1890, and by the 1970s the buildings have become almost derelict, a local pit keeps the line open to freight traffic. Featuring scratch built buildings that were at Ripley this run down Midland station is typical of the railway scene at the time.

Layout 16a:


N Gauge

Rannoch is a crossing place on the wild open moorland of the West Highland line and the beauty and desolation of this unspoiled area is captured in this N gauge layout. Set in the 1980s under BR(Sc) management the model was inspired by John Thomas`s book on the line and features examples of the famous West Highland terrier on class 37s on both passenger and goods trains.

Layout 17:

Mill End

O Gauge

Set in the 1950-60s in a fictional location somewhere in the Midlands or North East, and based on the ever popular "Inglenook " concept, the layout shows what can be achieved in a small space in O gauge. The layout has been constructed by two friends, one of whom models BR(M) the other who models BR(E) so keep looking in to see who has control of the layout to see the differing locos from the different regions!

Layout 18:

BSC Bromford Bridge

OO Gauge

This OO gauge layout, set in the period 2010 to the present day, is based on the tube works exchange sidings of BSC Bromford Bridge on the outskirts of Birmingham. The plant made seamless tube using ingots brought in from Scotland and Europe, despatching outward traffic of tube to the UK and Europe. Rolling stock includes IGA Cargowaggon flats , SPA and BDA for both traffics with internal movements handled by a Sentinel 0-4-0. A few mainline locos and shunters may be seen tripping the wagons to the sidings.

Layout 19:

Red Hook Bay

HO Gauge

Red Hook Bay is a fictitious busy seaport on the coast of Maine, USA. Besides the local fishing industry, Red Hook Bay is host to a brewery and a dairy. The town is a major transportation hub for the coastal islands off the coast of Maine and has ferry services from the wharf for both passengers and cars. The town is also a railroad junction for the Boston & Maine and Maine Central railroads. It is also served by a local tram service with a tram stop in front of Hokum’s Burlesque Theatre and the Topless Bar on Main Street. Set in the late steam/early diesel era of the late 1940’s. It is somewhere close to Route 1, which links Portland and Rockland in Maine. The thirty structures include craftsmen kits from a wide variety of American specialist companies. The busy seaport has several boats including a sternwheeler. The structures have been deliberately constructed to look a little worse for wear. The majority of the buildings are “limited-edition” craftsmen kits. The lighthouse is a replica of the Thomas Point Light located off the coast of Maryland but is similar to lighthouses that can be found in New England. The farm features a typical New England style farmhouse with connected barn.

Layout 20:


O Gauge

Set in the 1940s Stodmarsh recreates the atmosphere of a Colonel Stephens light railway in the later days of World War II. Rolling stock is an eclectic mix of elderly vehicles from the Southern Railway or other of the Colonel’s lines. The line is playing a vital role serving the needs of the local area, once a quiet backwater in southern England, but times are changing - the Yanks have arrived and are training in the fields and lanes around the line. If you look closely you may also see that the Home Guard are out in force too!

Layout 21:

Newvaddon Parkway

N Gauge

Let us imagine it is the first quarter of the 21st Century and the brand new station of Newvaddon Parkway has been opened. It is to be found two miles to the south of Tolvaddon, a fast growing town in the heart of the Cornish countryside and less than a mile south of the old A30 that is currently being upgraded to motorway status (M30). Newvaddon Parkway is set to become a very busy station in the future; land has already been acquired to the south of the station for some shops and extensive park and ride, a joint project with the railway and the council. The station has two branch lines, one via a flyover to the west that takes the line to the south coast town of Falryn, and the other to the east that goes to the north coast town of Portwell; both branch lines see some freight. The station complex is flanked to the north with a fuel point, diesel depot, wash plant and DMU depot. Coming in from the west the two track main line opens to form four tracks through the station, also at the west end one track comes off and goes around the north side of the island platform this also gives access to the depots, branch lines and back on to join the main line at the east of the station, again at the west end of the station another track goes south side bay platform splitting on its way into a single siding. All of the tracks are linked with crossovers east and west of the station and all protected by colour light signals. Newvaddon Parkway is on the mainline between Penance and the north of the country. Penance is a busy shipping port in the south west, with various flows of coal, oil and freightliners. Penance is the terminus for the great western line which sees a variety coaching stock. h

Layout 22:

Fareford Depot

OO Gauge

Fareford Depot shows a Traction Maintenance Depot as might be seen from the 1980s to the present day. With a connection to the 3rd rail network all sorts of traction may be seen visiting. Moreover as well as servicing motive power Fareford Depot also provides storage for a range of Network Rail rolling stock.
The layout is DCC controlled using a Gaugemaster Prodigy 2 to permit the complex operations of a TMD. Various locos are fitted with sound chips: a mixture of Lok , TTS and Legobiffoman devices.