The Track

Urmston & District Model Engineering Society has two tracks, both catering for 3½” and 5″ gauge locomotives. The small original track consists of an oval of about 550 feet. This facility is useful for drivers not wishing to venture onto the ‘main line’ or to test a loco of uncertain reliability. It is also used as a training ground for drivers under tuition. It is not used for carrying public passengers. The steaming bays are situated inside this circuit. The larger track, of about 2200 feet, was in use in 1981, and circumnavigates the park. The ‘Abbotsfield Route’ is perhaps best described from the loco driver’s viewpoint. The direction of running is clockwise. The station is shown at the top of the plan (club house), and is on a downngrade which makes starting easy. At the left end of the station is a traversing section giving access to a spur. This allows complete trains to enter and leave the main line, thus avoiding delays assembling trains on the running line.

Urmston and District Model Engineering Society Track Layout – Google Images

The traverser is followed by the first of two bridges which carry a road across the park. As the railway has to dive underneath the road at each bridge, it results in much of the line being on gradients of about 1 in 90, in what is otherwise a level park.

Passing under the bridge, we start  to climb through a cutting curving to the right, then left. As the line levels out the train picks up speed and enters a right-hand curve. Here a moveable section of track allows a public path to cross the line. There follows about 400 feet of straight and level track. Running parallel on the left is a Big Railway, the Manchester-Liverpool line of the former Cheshire Lines Committee.

Another curve to the right is followed by the descent to the second bridge. This bridge is the lowest point on the track. Passing under the bridge, which is on a curve, we are immediately faced with another climb, curving to the right towards the top, which is the highest point. We can shut off here and drift down into the station.

Trains are controlled by four-aspect automatic colour light signaling, the track being divided into seven block sections. The signals are operated from a circuit board in the pavilion, which includes a mimic display showing the aspects of all the signals.

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