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:


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, Oct 2012
  2. Beds & Bucks NG Modellers’ Open Day, Barton Le Clay Jan 2013
  3. 009 Society Convention, Kegworth Sep 2013
  4. Newbury, Feb 2014
  5. Small & Delightful Railway Group, Shepton Mallet, Feb 2014
  6. AbRail, Abingdon, Mar 2014
  7. Nailsea, Mar 2014
  8. NG South at Sparsholt College, Apr 2014
  9. Oxfordshire NG Modellers’ Open Day, Jun 2014
  10. Borth-y-Gest, Porthmadog, Aug 2014
  11. ExpoNG at Swanley Oct 2014
  12. WightRail, Isle of Wight, Nov 2014
  13. Letchworth MRS, Nov 2014
  14. Astolat MRC, Guildford, Jan 2015
  15. Kenavon Railway Society, Reading, Feb 2015
  16. 009 Society AGM, Rainford, Apr 2015
  17. WycRail at High Wycombe, Nov 2015
  18. Warley at the NEC, Nov 2015
  19. Solent MRExhibition, Southampton, Feb 2016
  20. Barnstaple, Jul 2016
  21. Exeter, Jul 2016
  22. Small & Delightful Railway Group Open day, Compton Dundon, Sep 2016
  23. Woking, Sep 2016
  24. Thornbury, Nov 2016
  25. Stafford, Feb 2017
  26. Basingstoke, Mar 2017
  27. Cheltenham, Apr 2017
  28. Derby, May 2017
  29. Weymouth, Oct 2017
  30. Calne, Jan 2018
  31. Eastleigh, Apr 2018
  32. Mere, Jun 2018
  33. Wells, Aug 2018
  34. Kewstoke, May 2019
  35. Minehead, Aug 2019
  36. Fareham, Oct 2019
  37. Doncaster, Feb 2020