Category Archives: Trackwork

Finescale 7mm Narrow Gauge Trackwork

John Clutterbuck wrote a series of three articles about building accurate trackwork which was originally published in Roy C Link’s Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Modelling Review issues 63, 64 & 65. As Roy has now sold most of the relevant back issues, John and Roy have collaborated to produce an updated electronic booklet containing all three articles. This is made available from this site on the basis that it is used for personal non-commercial use only.

Permission must be sought from John Clutterbuck and Roy C Link for further publication of this booklet (including any extracts) in any media, and use by commercial track makers. It is also not permitted to host copies of these articles on other websites. However it is permitted to provide a link to this complete post with the following URL:

The booklet can be found here: 7mm NG Trackwork Article (PDF). Please note it is a large (4.8MB) file which has been compressed as much as possible whilst still maintaining an acceptable picture quality.

Update 21/1/2016 – the quoted L&B sleeper dimensions in the table on Page 7 are incorrect – the original period sleepers are now known to be 4’6″ x 9″ x 4.5″ and the SR period are now know to be 4’6″ x 9.5″ x 4.5″

Festiniog and Penrhyn chairs

I’ve been asked to place these photos of Festiniog and Penrhyn Quarry railway chairs on the site for everyone’s information.

The hardware was supplied to me by Adrian Gray when I showed a willingness to produce brass masters of them for castings in 7mm. scale. I also decided to do them in 1/32nd scale, should anyone have the space for a chaired tracked layout in that fine scale.

(ruler units are inches)

Volks Electric Railway trackwork

Although the gauge is out by 8″ or so for O14, there are some great details in the trackwork of the Volks Electric Railway in Brighton that could be a useful reference for anyone working on a “tourist attraction” type railway rather than serious functional narrow gauge!

Prototype and Model Flat Bottom Rail

The weights of flat bottom rail used in typical prototype 2′ narrow gauge railways ranged from 20lb-30lb (per yard) for small industrial use up to 60lb for ‘main’ lines. Nowadays some of the modern restored railways use even larger weights. Flat bottomed rail of these lower weights typically have square dimensions, in that the height of the rail matches the width of the rail foot, whereas the larger rail sizes such as used on modern standard gauge railways tend to be taller than the foot width.

Most model rail is a representation of a mainline rail size in a smaller scale so when used as narrow gauge rail in our scale it will either be too tall or too narrow. Usually the head width is noticeably too narrow as well.

The attached Rail Comparison Diagram (PDF) shows various model rail sections compared with typical prototype sections. More details are provided in this attached table of Prototype and model rail dimensions (PDF). Both include the dimensions of the rail sections from Karlgarin Models specially designed for 7mm narrow gauge.