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
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