Taunton Model Railway Group
Bath Green Park
Our well known and popular Bath Green Park model continues to excite both our visitors and our members with the challenge of the considerable project. First conceived in 1997, the actual construction began 2 years later following considerable research. Two versions have been built, with the main station; yard and engine shed areas being common to both. In the “home” layout, the Bath Junction area is a fixed section, and on the “away” layout this is replicated in portable form to enable the total model to be exhibited at other venues. A major development on the “away” version has replaced the original end on fiddle yard with a return loop allowing trains to lay over between the out and back operation thereby avoiding the need for handling. This was achieved with a new 180 degree curve beyond the junction between the Midland and S&D routes to give additional track length while reducing the overall “footprint” length of the model by about 4 metres (13 feet). This allows the model to be displayed in more venues.
Such a comprehensive model requires regular maintenance. Construction is almost complete. Signalling is illuminated, working and fully interlocked with the pointwork. New stand alone mini-control panels for the Midland and S&D yards, are in use to improve operating flexibility. Under investigation is the design of proto-typical point rodding – a challenge to achieve without looking unduly heavy in appearance. The home version is regularly operated to support the West Somerset Railway special events – see details listed below.
The scenic work continues as more photographs of the period are found, as well as more “personal” memories recounted to us at our open days – all of which we very much welcome hearing about.
The baseboards are made from 9mm ply supported on box sections with circular holes cut out to provide strength with lightness. All track construction is built on high density foam rubber sheet which also forms the underlay for the track and ballast as appropriate. Track is SMP, with PCB point construction all code 75, built to create the original prototype track layout. There are 5 control panels run in prototype formations.
Buildings are scratch built with the famous Bath stone being faithfully reproduced using the correct profile window frames including the use of brass etchings. A 3D effect back scene has been created and gives real Bath “feel” to the completed model. When erected, the “away” version measures approx 17.5m x 3.6m (57’ x 14’).
The “piece-de-resistance” must surely be the modelling of the passenger station. The overall roof, the bridges, and the signals have all been constructed to faithfully reproduce the originals using etched brass kits produced by Alan Gibson (tel: 0161-678-1607) from our own drawings to achieve the required authenticity. To achieve correct accuracy required included many site visits for photographs and measurements, supported by a library of relevant books and temporarily loaned. And information willingly offered by our many supporters. Our layout recalls the old saying “Rome not being built in a day” as we refine the operating experience.
Recent alterations to our other layout, Tamerig Central, have been made to ensure a smoother flow of trains to and from Bath Green Park to reduce the interface conflictions between the operating needs of the two layouts. Our next task is to restore the full signal operation on the two manual and automatic track circuits. Scenic upgrading of the station area is also being proposed. The original sections of Tamerig are now over 40 years old and require increasing t.l.c to maintain the high levels of reliable operation.
We have commenced work on a training exercise for our newer members by building a model of Bishops Lydeard. With the prototype directly outside our clubroom door it can be quite truthfully claimed to be “on site in-situ” modelling! This model will be at the Exeter Show allowing us to demonstrate how we are building it and to hopefully encourage others to try their hand, as it will still be very much a “work in progress” exhibit.
If our photos of Bath Green Park above inspire you, and you are keen to join an enthusiastic team, we always extend a warm welcome to new members. Please contact us by e-mail or better still in person on Platform 1, Bishops Lydeard Railway Station. We look forward to meeting you.
We wish to acknowledge the considerable help and support given by our sponsors and many individuals who have so kindly loaned us information, including many personal photographs – without such generous assistance our task would have been so very much more difficult.
We seek opportunities to exhibit Bath Green Park and when it’s available, our new Bishops Lydeard model. Please enquire via e-mail to discuss this.
Our Open Days for 2017 at
Friday 28th April to Sunday 30th April - Spring Steam Gala
All the pictures and text in this press release are copyright to Taunton Model Railway Group or its members.