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Shadwell Heights Railway..History and Construction: Colin Wildman

Shadwell Heights Railway

Shadwell Heights Railway was thought of after assembling a train of I P Engineering wooden kits comprising a four wheel drive railcar, four wheel coach, open wagon and a brake van as below.

Various other stock was gradually acquired and, after joining the Yorkshire Area Group and Leeds and Bradford Shed, the urge to do something in the garden led to the construction of a simple circuit of 30 inch radius curves laid on the base of an old 10 foot by 6 foot greenhouse. This was tentatively christened Shadwell Heights Railway. As illustrated below, this provided me with considerable satisfaction for a while. However, caravanning took up a lot of our time and no further progress was made in developing the railway.

My wife who has suffered with rheumatoid arthritis for many years, suffered a broken hip which made her even more dependent upon me. That led to selling the caravan and even less time to think about further railway development.


In 2013, we embarked upon a series of home improvements including having a landscape gardener in to make the garden easier. Having attained the age of 75, I decided that I was never going to build a railway myself so I took the opportunity to have the gardener build me a dog bone. These are some pictures of the work in progress.


The track bed of the original circuit can be seen in the left foreground of the first picture.




The outside tracks in the above picture will become the continuous running tracks to go clockwise round the dog bone. The brake van and open wagon are in the steaming bays/sidings for short wheel base stock as they have the larger set track curves. The coach is in the steaming bays/sidings for long wheel base and bogie stock having the approximate 5 foot radius point work.  

Thanks to the sterling efforts of Andy Cooper, John Orson and Trev Oughton the track laying was completed very quickly despite there being some 50 yards of continuous run, 5 points and some 12 yards of sidings.

The result looks like the pictures below, the rocks will eventually be replaced with buildings or buffer stops and bits and pieces.

I am pleased that a low maintenance line providing easy relaxed running has been achieved.




photos ©Colin Wildman

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