Keeping the spirit of the past alive for tomorrow and looking to the future

The National 2½" Gauge Association is a not-for-profit organisation


About us

Following concern about the availability of plans, castings and tracks on which locomotives could be run, Paul Wiese arranged for a meeting in May 1975 to which all interested parties were invited. The result was the founding of the Association, the stated aims of which were to promote interest in the gauge.

  • Drawings and construction details of most of the published designs are held in our library and can be viewed on request. Some of these can be supplied in either printed or 'soft' form.
  • Hundreds of different castings (including a very large range of wheels) are now available, enabling almost all of the existing loco designs to be constructed.
  • Drawings for a number of new locomotives have been designed, including an easy to build beginner's type (called Toby).
  • Locomotive rallies and meetings are held regularly in various regions of the UK.
  • Members now receive a journal (Steam Chest) printed in colour throughout 4 times a year.

The Association now looks forward to the future knowing that the interests in this historic scale are safe


About 2½" gauge

Sometime around 1900 a set of track gauge standards was formulated. Thus tracks with a dimension of 2.500 inches between the inner rail edges were designated "GAUGE 3". At that time, this gauge was fairly popular for garden or scenic model railways, with the engines using clockwork or meths powered. Certainly none of them were capable of hauling the driver, let alone a driver and passengers ! Such capabilities arose from the work of (arguably) one man, Lilian (Curly) Lawrence, who wrote under the pen name of LBSC. Initially, the scale used for standard gauge locomoltives was half inch, but this was changed to 17/32-ins. (about 13½mm) very early on. A typical loco and tender is 3ft long, and looks very large when stood next to OO or O gauge models. Narrow gauge locomotives are beginning to become popular and drawings for such designs as the Lynton & Barnstaple Manning Wardles and the Leek & Manifold engines are in preparation. Drawings for the Hunslet Quarry engine "Penrhyn" can now be purchased, and the castings required should be available in the New Year. Electric powered locomotives are becoming popular and these too have been or are being developed. The Association has promoted two coal-fired locomotive designs suitable for beginners.

Steve Eaton driving Ayesha at Rugby in 2016

You can contact the Association by sending an e-mail to

For anything concerning the website please email


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This page was last updated on 02/02/2018






For Sale page updated


Alan Headech range of wheel castings added to Castings Page

Events Page updated

Website links added to tracks page

'For Sale' and 'Wanted' pages added.

Additional Pages added to the Drawings Page to list the drawings and castings available for each design. This is a 'Work in Progress' and will take time to complete for all the designs

Online Membership Application form added to Membership page

List of wheels and other castings available added to the shop/castings page

Ayesha steams again!

At the National Rally held at Rugby on Sunday, 12th June 2016, LBSC's Ayesha took to the rails once again after not having run for nearly 50 years. The locomotive completed half a dozen laps with no problems until the blower became blocked and she had to return to the steaming bays.

Events in 2018:

You can view these by looking on our Programme. In addition to our rallies, there are a number of other events that might interest members and non-members - such as the Curly Bowl, LittleLEC, and various exhibitions at which our Display Stand will attend.