at Railwells 2014, picture by Danny Cockling (larger image)
Bodmin is one of the first North London Group layouts, and is still on the exhibition circuit. For details regarding exhibition availability, please contact Tony Sheffield in the first instance. (Ted Coughlan is the layout 'gaffer' and will liaise with exhibition managers over any layout booking.)
The layout is 21' long, plus there is normally a display table at the end making around 24' including access. Depth required at an exhibition is about 5' plus a table behind is preferable. For exhibition managers considering inviting the layout to their show the layout requires 6 operators (including relief staff) and takes about 3 hours to set up, so sadly it is impractical to attend one day shows.
The following video was taken by David Mylchreest at East London Finescale 2010
An overview of the prototype
The model of this Cornish branch line terminus was built to exact scale length by members of the NLG, and portrays the prototype as running in 1926 when GWR Prarie tanks and new 'B Set' coaches were introduced on the service. The branch was built in 1887 from the main line at Bodmin Road to Bodmin (later Bodmin General) station. In 1888 a further branch was completed from the terminus to Boscarne Junction where there was a junction with the LSWR line allowing lucrative traffic from the Cornish china clay mines to be carried. The GWR also negotiated running powers to Wadebridge, used primarily for passenger services. The line was extraordinarily busy for a branch line keeping three engines and two sets of coaches hard at work all day. Over 40 trains appear in the daily timetable which is based on the GWR service (working) time table for 1926. A feature is the carriage of loaded china clay wagons en-route from Boscarne Junction to Par or Fowey for onward shipment by sea, with the balancing of empties in the other direction.
The ruling gradient on the line was 1 in 40 up from Bodmin Road and a similar gradient from Boscarne Junction, which restricted train weights due to small engines and brakes only on the locomotive and brake van.
Some of the pictures below are from a considerable time ago, from the constructional phase of the layout c 1977/8, taken by Phil Godfrey and Tony Wilkins.
The construction of the layout was detailed in a series of articles in the Model Railway Constructor between 1981 and 1984.