The West Somerset Railway Heritage Trust WSRHT

Gauge Junction, Model Railway

Gauge Junction is our 00 gauge steam era model railway depicting a railway scene somewhere in rural England. We are based upstairs in the Gauge Museum on Platform 1, Bishops Lydeard Station The aim of the model railway is to encourage young people to take an interest in railways, to encourage visitors into the museum and to share the enjoyment of the model railway hobby.

Gauge Junction was first constructed in the late 1990s and has been upgraded over the years as things started to take shape. Every winter, the layout is maintained by our volunteers to make sure its scenery and track infrastructure are ready for the next operating season.

The main reason for the layout not being based on a specific place is because our group members bring their own personal collections of rolling stock. In the group, we have a very diverse selection of operators with different eras and regions of stock available. This can range from all 4 main regions of the British Railway network. Great Western, Southern, London Midland and London and North Eastern. We have stock ranging from the early 1900s up to the present day in some cases. The layout allows us to display this wide range of rolling stock for visitors to view.

It’s free to visit Gauge Junction, the layout is upgraded every winter by our volunteers using money we can earn during each operating session in donations. So any donations made is greatly appreciated and will go towards the maintenance of the layout.

The Gauge Junction operating team is mainly made up of younger volunteers on the WSR. We have a group of 26 volunteers, almost all of which are below the age of 25. The group has always been a gateway to the volunteer world on the WSR and a way for younger volunteers to gain experience in the preserved railway world. Many have gone on to perform roles on the WSR from Guarding, Signalman, footplate staff and travelling ticket inspectors, to name a few. There have also been members who have gone on to work for Mainline railway companies like GWR and Network Rail.We aim to have the layout open and operating for as many days as we can during the operating calendar of the WSR. This depends on our operators being available to volunteer.

We aim to run weekends and bank holidays as well as extra days during the main holiday seasons. Depending on the train service running on the WSR, we try to be open by 10:00 AM in the morning and will pack up by 4:00 PM. During special events like Galas, we may extend our operating times. We have a Facebook page called WSR Gauge Museum Model Railway which we advertise our opening days on.

Become a Model Railway OPERATOR!

Gauge Junction is always looking for new volunteers to support our work, to then be trained to become an operator on our layout. We currently have a waiting list for prospective volunteers interested in joining our team, which of course is good. When you contact us, we will store your contact details on a secure database – and will contact you when we have a place available. Thank you for your potential interest.

As we have lots of young volunteers wishing to join us, whilst you contact us please can you write down one parent’s name where necessary for those prospective volunteers under eighteen.