Peter White's Layout - Masham

The model was inspired by an article in “Railway By-lines”, by the availability of a wide range of North Eastern Railway kits and components and by the convenient size of the layout. Conversations with fellow members of the 3m Society and the North Eastern Railway Association unearthed a N.E.R. site survey of 1908 which showed that the whole railway property could fit, to scale, on three 4ft baseboards and these would conveniently stow in a moderate estate car. All the locomotives, coaches and rolling stock are built from kits available to members of the 3mm Society. Trackwork is hand built using the moulded chairs produced for the Society, correct pattern scale rail and plywood sleepers. The buildings were made by fellow 3mm member, Peter Gentle. Clearly much work remains to be done, firstly to enable operation and secondly to recreate Masham as it may have been in 1922, just before the railways were merged into the four major groups.

The real Masham lies in the lower reaches of Wensleydale in North Yorkshire. The station, about a mile from the centre of the small market town, is the terminus of a 7½ mile branch from Melmerby on the Leeds Northern route from Harrogate through Ripon to Northallerton on the East Coast main line. The line opened in 1875 and although there were schemes to extend the line to Spennithorne on the Wensleydale railway to Hawes and Garsdale, these were never built. Traffic was mainly agricultural, coal and gravel, with six return passenger trips daily to Ripon. However, in the early 1900s, when the Leeds and Harrogate corporations built reservoirs in nearby Colsterdale, narrow gauge tramways were built from Masham to carry building materials to the sites. Exchange sidings to handle the large volume of this traffic were built on the other side of the Masham to Thirsk road, hence the extended siding at the rear of the site. These lasted until the late 1920s. In both World Wars, military installations and nearby ammunition dumps created much activity on the line. The line closed to passenger traffic in 1931 and to goods in 1963. The station buildings, goods shed and railway cottages still exist, now in private hands. The overbridge at the station throat stands, although in disrepair and the arch filled with rubble to prevent collapse.

Size of Layout: 12’ x 3’1” plus operating space behind layout
Gauge: 14.2mm
Power Requirements: 1 13 amp power point
Vehicle Hire: Not required
No. of Operators: 2 or 3
Lighting: At present there is no integral lighting
Tables Required: 1 additional table and two chairs
Expenses: 20p per mile plus overnight accommodation for exhibitions over 60 miles from home
Layout Comes From: Wiltshire
Insurance Valuation: £5,000


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Last updated:8-07-2006