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Modelling the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

Interested in modelling the L&B? Why not consider joining the
Yahoo! L&B Modelling Discussion Group?

Click HERE to purchase from the range of models available from our online shop

 
Released by PECO in April 2014, Coaches Nos. 5 and 15 as they looked 100 years ago...

 


Several of the models mentioned below - along with others - appeared at L&B World - the first dedicated one-line show-within-a-show at the Warley National Model railway Show at the NEC, Birmingham, on 24th and 25th November 2012. For an illustrated blog from the show, including exciting news about a new range of r-t-r 009 L&B models from Peco. See details from the show HERE and HERE.

For more details of the Peco models, and others, as they are released, see HERE.

Star of the show was LYD (the full-sized one!) generously made available by Paul Lewin and the Ffestiniog Railway. For further details, see HERE


The Lynton & Barnstaple was a well-equipped, well-engineered branch line – it happened to use the narrow 2ft gauge to enable it to twist and turn through spectacular Devon scenery as it climbed its way round the edge of Exmoor to Lynton and Lynmouth.  Its untimely closure in 1935 has lent a further element of nostalgia to the line, and from an early date modellers began to find it an attractive subject to model directly, or to use as inspiration for their own more fanciful creations.  The revival of part of the line in recent years has further increased this modelling interest.  L&B modellers, in their quest for accuracy in their small-scale creations, often promote and undertake historical research into the history of the line.

This page is intended as a brief introduction to the subject of L&B modelling.

 

Image of Woody Bay in 4mm=1ft scale

1. A view familiar to visitors to the re-opened L&B at Woody Bay, this 4mm/1ft scale (009) model represents the station as it was in the early 1930s

The L&B is quite well-served by model suppliers, although mostly with kits rather than ready-to-run models, and there is an active L&B modelling fraternity which is truly world-wide. 

As a narrow gauge line, there are several scale/gauge combinations used by modellers. These are usually based on a common standard gauge model scale, together with the track gauge of a smaller commonly-used scale, in order to make the best use of commercially-produced items. For example, the three most common scales (in increasing size) are:

  • 4mm/1ft scale (the same as 00 standard gauge models) on 9mm gauge track (the same as N gauge). This combination is known as 009 in Britain. Almost all L&B locos and rolling stock can be obtained in kit form in this scale, as well as lineside details.
  • 7mm/1ft scale (the same as 0 standard gauge models) on 16.5mm gauge track (the same as 00 gauge). There are some loco and rolling stock kits available in this scale.
  • 16mm/1ft scale on 32mm gauge track (the same as 0 gauge). A variation of this is “G Scale” which has models of around 16mm/1ft scale running on 45mm gauge track (the same as the less common Gauge 1). These scales are mostly used on garden layouts, as they are a bit big for most houses! Locomotives in this scale may be live steam powered, rather than the electric systems otherwise used by modellers. There are some ready-to-run models in 16mm/1ft scale, and further models available in kit form.

In the smaller scales, assembly of kits is generally required to achieve an L&B model – although there is a steady trade in L&B models on on-line auction sites, which could help modellers to get started.

Some more serious modellers use different scale/gauge combinations in their search for greater accuracy.

A few models in different scales are illustrated below.

 

 Image of Lynton in 4mm=1ft scale

2. Lynton station nicely evoked in 4mm/1ft scale

 

Image of Chelfham in 7mm=1ft scale

3. Chelfham station in 7mm/1ft scale, showing the details possible in such models

Image of Exe in 16mm=1ft scale

4. A 16mm/1ft scale live steam model of Exe, on 32mm gauge garden track

As well as an online discussion group, there is an independent website dedicated to aspects of modelling the Lynton & Barnstaple.  This Website presents a range of useful material, links, photo galleries and constructional articles for modellers in all scales, and contributions are welcomed from all L&B modellers.  The discussion group and website both give examples of what can be achieved in various scales, as well as links to other resources.

 Modellers of the L&B are also encouraged to join the L&B Trust, in order to keep up-to-date with developments, and to get access to help from many knowledgeable people.


The L&BR is well-resourced in terms of modelling in all the popular scales. Some of the manufacturers of note include:

  • Accucraft
    A major manufacture of electric and live steam locomotives and rolling stock, including several L&B prototypes.
  • Heljan
    Danish manufacturer Heljan has announced a 4mm scale ready to run L&B Manning Wardle locomotive, probably due in 2014.
  • Langley
    Manufacturer of brass 4mm and 7mm rolling stock kits.
  • Peco
    Volume manufacturer model railway items, including a range 4mm scale (009) L&B rolling stock, launched in 2013.
  • Zamzoodled
    Small-scale manufacturer of 7mm scale L&B Chopper couplings.

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