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Modelling the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

Image of IAN GARNHAMIAN GARNHAM goes through the products available to run on a model of this Narrow Gauge railway in Devon.


There has never been a better time to model in OO9 Scale. Before this 'golden age', locomotives either had to be constructed from a white metal kit with a heavily modified ready to run chassis, or scratch-built. Coach and wagon kits were also white metal and you were lucky if your locomotive could haul more than one, before the more recent switch to brass kits.

The Narrow Gauge railways of Wales have long been a popular choice with modellers. Another Narrow Gauge railway closer to home (depends where you live! - Ed) which has a big following is the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway in North Devon. The L&B lasted into Southern days only to be completely shut down by the end of September 1935. The line is slowly awaking from its slumber with a short section at present restored to full working order, from Woody Bay Station to Killington Lane, giving a round trip of two miles. It is well worth a visit if you're ever in the area and certainly captures the atmosphere of a bygone age.

In model form, Peco produce coaches and wagons in OO9 Scale in both original Lynton and Barnstaple livery and Southern, with some freelance versions - so accurate formations can be assembled very easily.

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Manning Wardle of Leeds were chosen to build the three original 2-6-2 locomotives Yeo, Exe, and Taw, all named after rivers local to the railway. Heljan have previously produced the same three locomotives in model form in early L&B, Southern and freelance liveries and just released from them is the odd one out, Lyn, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, USA - again, in original Southern and freelance liveries.

Manning Wardle was approached again when the railway purchased their fourth and final 2-6-2, which was named Lew. This was delivered during 1925 and when the railway closed, it was purchased by the contractors charged with the dismantling of the railway. At the end of that it was famously shipped out to Brazil where to this day it has been shrouded in mystery as it just disappeared never to be seen again, unless you know differently. Heljan have produced this locomotive as a model in their range. They also produce a model of the modern-built Lyd, which first steamed in 2010 and was built to the same design as Lew.

The out-of-production 44-0016 Station based on Woody Bay.

Bachmann have produced in the past a station building based on the unique Swiss-style structure that survives at Woody Bay, which today is the headquarters of the L&B. Other Narrow Gauge items such as bridges and sheds are based on bridges and sheds associated with the railway. Of course, as OO9 is the same scale as OO, just a different track gauge, you can use OO Scale scenic items as well.

"Perchance is not dead, but sleepeth"