At Warley Model Railway Show in 2018 the Somerset Railway Modellers Club (SRMC) presented its beautiful model train layout in O gauge, 7mm scale or O scale. The model railway layout depicts a branch line which terminates at one of the many ubiquitous seaside towns found along the coast of Great Britain. This initially independent line was opened in 1855 by the Gorbriton and Wilsea railway company. The branch was 15 miles long beginning at Gorbriton Hill station, continuing through, Wilsea and Holbeach stations before ending at a connection with the Midland main line.
Up to its demise under the Beeching Axe in 1966 Gorbriton Hill was a mecca for railway enthusiasts as it was uniquely placed, being a terminus for Great Western, Southern and Midland passenger and freight traffic. By the way, the “Beeching Axe” was a reduction of route network and restructuring of the railways in Great Britain. In reality of course Gorbriton Hill is a fictitious town, as is the associated branch line. The name Gorbriton is in fact an amalgam of three letters from the names of Gordon, Brian, Tony and Bill who are all members of the Somerset Railway Modellers Club.
Nevertheless the model railroad layout has been built to fulfil two important criteria, to be of interest to the viewer and to run a range of rolling stock. The layout shall give an impression of the atmosphere that would have existed between 1932 and 1965 on the Gorbriton branch line. While watching this video, please note the unique scale model of the famous Leader Locomotive. The Leader was a class of experimental steam locomotive, produced in Great Britain to the design of the innovative engineer Oliver Bulleid.
The Leader was an attempt to extend the life of steam traction by eliminating many of the operational drawbacks associated with existing steam locomotives. The design incorporated many novel features, such as the use of thermic siphons, bogies and cabs at each end of the locomotive, resulting in its unique modern diesel-like appearance. Unfortunately, the project was cancelled in the early 1950s. Five Leader locomotives were begun, although only one was completed. After all, this locomotive was being scrapped by 1951.