The Wantage NG Railway

The Wantage Tramway was a standard gauge railway that linked the market town of Wantage to the GWR mainline which was two and a half miles from the town but I have modelled it as though it had been a narrow gauge line.

The tramway had some very unusual locos and rolling stock for a British railway, and the train shed is also pretty unique. Unusually, the ‘small engine shed’ straddled the siding that fed the local gas works. This little layout is my interpretation of what the ‘Upper Yard’ at Mill Street, Wantage, might have looked like, had the tramway been built as a 2ft 3in narrow gauge line.

I do not claim that this is an accurate model of the terminus, but I hope that it does give an impression of the area in the 1920’s. The original tramway closed to passengers in 1925, but goods traffic continued until December 1945. The railway buildings are accurate models of the prototypes, apart from window sizes and styles. Here I have used plastic windows that I happened to have in stock. Some of the other buildings have been scratch built using card and plastic. Use has also been made of models from the Hornby Skaledale and the Bachmann Scenecraft ranges.

The Wantage NG Tramway

The two main tram locos, the Hughes tram No. 4 and the Matthews tram No. 6, have been built using Worsley Works brass etches. The models run on Kato 9mm gauge chassis. The three tram-cars, numbers 3, 4 and 5, have also been built using Worsley Works brass etches. Each of these also runs on an N-gauge chassis. There are two back-up tram locos which are used at exhibitions. One was built by Paul Windle, and I built the other using a 3D printed body from Chris Ward. Other rolling stock has been constructed from plastic kits of various prototypes from Great Britain and Ireland. Some have been built as the kit manufacturers intended, others have been modified considerably by mixing various kit parts and altering width and length of vehicles.

Photo Craig Tilley, Railway Modeller

Wantage was awarded the David Glascott Trophy for the ‘Best Narrow Gauge Layout’ at the Warley National Railway Exhibition at the NEC in November 2015.

Wantage was featured in RAILWAY MODELLER in September 2013.

Although I am now based in Somerset, friends from Oxfordshire regularly help me operate the layout at exhibitions.

 Click to go to the photo album for The Wantage NG Tramway.

 Click to see a video of The Wantage NG Tramway.

The Wantage NG Tramway is scheduled to appear at the following exhibitions:

Sat 7 Apr 2018 Eastleigh Narrow Gauge South
Sat 16 & Sun 17 Jun 2018 Mere Mere Model Railway Show
Sat 11 & Sun 12 Aug 2018 Wells Railwells

If you are interested in having The Wantage NG Tramway at your exhibition then here is some useful information for exhibition managers. To contact me please use the contact box at the top of the screen.

Name The Wantage NG Tramway
Gauge 9mm
Scale 4mm to 1 foot (009 Narrow Gauge)
Shape 6ft x 2ft, operated from behind
Insurance £2,000
Power 1 x 13amp socket
Expenses Cost of fuel
Location Shepton Mallet, Somerset
Operators 2

Full details for exhibition managers can be downloaded here

Exhibitions already attended

  1. M5/M50 NG Modellers’ Group, Gloucestershire, October 2012
  2. Beds & Bucks NG Modellers’ Open Day, Barton Le Clay January 2013
  3. 009 Society Convention, Kegworth September 2013
  4. Newbury, February 2014
  5. Small & Delightful Railway Group, Shepton Mallet, February 2014
  6. AbRail, Abingdon, March 2014
  7. Nailsea, March 2014
  8. NG South at Sparsholt College, April 2014
  9. Oxfordshire NG Modellers’ Open Day, June 2014
  10. Borth-y-Gest, Porthmadog, August 2014
  11. ExpoNG at Swanley October 2014
  12. WightRail, Isle of Wight, November 2014
  13. Letchworth MRS, November 2014
  14. Astolat MRC, Guildford, January 2015
  15. Kenavon Railway Society, Reading, February 2015
  16. 009 Society AGM, Rainford, April 2015
  17. WycRail at High Wycombe, November 2015
  18. Warley at the NEC, November 2015
  19. Solent MRExhibition, Southampton, February 2016
  20. Barnstaple, July 2016
  21. Exeter, July 2016
  22. Small & Delightful Railway Group Open day, Compton Dundon, Setember 2016
  23. Woking, September 2016
  24. Thornbury, November 2016
  25. Stafford, February 2017
  26. Basingstoke, March 2017
  27. Cheltenham, April 2017
  28. Derby, May 2017
  29. Weymouth, October 2017
  30. Calne, Jan 2018