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



It is becoming difficult for the treasurer to pay cheques into the bank due to the present circumstances. If possible, make all payments online, either by PayPal or Bank Transfer.

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. (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 Wardle engines are in preparation. 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



This page was last updated on 26/11/2021




For Sale Page Updated

Southern Maid Castings and Parts added

Passenger carrying wagons added

'Southernised' Kingette Added

Annie Boddie? chassis and various other castings added

Drawings Page Updated

Drawings by Julius de Waal added

Events Page Updated

Rally at Whitwick October 2nd

Open Day at Southport MEC on October 24th

Wanted Page Updated

Fylde SME track closed down and dismantled

List of Henry Greenly Drawings Added

Shopping Cart added for Drawings and Publications

Tracks Page Updated

New Track at Southport Added

Photos of wheel castings added to 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.