Our raised track has four rails for 2 ½", 3 ½" and 5" gauges. The original track built in the early 1980's and extended around the turn of the century. The extension brought the length up to something like 1260 feet. The track forms a waisted loop with ruling gradients of 1:100 up and 1:80 down. When running more than one train on the track, we have the facility to fully signal the whole circuit.
Normal running is in an anticlockwise direction. Starting from the station, the train passes under signal 8 and rolls easily on a falling gradient around a left-hand curve. Passing signal 1 and the steaming bays, the line then curves to the right as it deviates from the old route. Still dropping, the reduced rolling resistance on the straight means that a touch of brake may be required as we pass the Avoncroft children's play area and signal 2. Swinging to the right, signal 3 is passed before the line curves back to the left. In quick succession signal 4, the pond and the swing bridge go by and the regulator is opened for the climb. Through the trees, Avoncroft's windmill can be glimpsed to the right, followed by a view over fields. A short straight lets the loco get into its stride before a gentle left-hander and signal 5. Just afterwards is a short curve to the right where the loco has to work hardest. Once past here the rest of the climb is in full view, and if the loco has performed well up to this point the controls can be left alone. Before the bridge and the line summit is signal 6 which is particularly important in warning of trains in the blind spot after the bridge. As the whistle is sounded for the bridge the regulator is closed for the descent into the station. Signal 7 and the clubhouse are viewed as, controlling speed with the brakes, we draw gently to a halt at the platform.
Our own Lickey Incline
16mm Garden Railway.
This track has undergone a number of changes over the years since it was opened in 1992. Initially laid as a single circuit with a small terminus station, it was later extended into a dogbone shape with return loops at each end. A recent addition has been the provision of new steaming bays and marshalling yard which, taking advantage of the general slope of the site, are at amore comfortable height for working. The track is substantially level. In early 2010 all the track was replaced and extra loops added to give more flexible running possibilities - including head-on collisions if you're not careful! In early 2012 the track bed was getting rather uneven so the maintenance gang decided to replace the loose ballast with concrete. The rails were glued down, hopefully giving a much smoother ride.
Gauge 1 Track. The most recent of our tracks.
The track has three loops for continuous running, with a large steam up and marshalling area. Although predominantly used for 10mm scale standard gauge stock, it has quite often hosted other scales running on 45mm track. Again this track is substantially level.
A general view over the Gauge 1 track to the steaming bay and station.