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Grassland & Wetland Railway

Grassland & Wetland Railway (This layout is currently available only for local exhibitions)


Owner: Glyn Bennett


Club: Member of 16mm Association & March & District Model Railway Club


Type of layout: G scale Narrow gauge light railway, scale 1:22.5, gauge 45mm


Layout size: 14' wide x 2' deep. Operating area 16' wide x 7' deep L-shape to include fiddle yard/turntable, height 38” on own trestles with lighting


Operators: 2


Power: 1 x 13amp socket


Other: Chair & 6ft table for stock


Description: The G&WR started as a horse drawn tramway supply route for maintenance and improvement of fenland flood defence and drainage systems working under the Dutch engineer Adelbert Vermuyden. With a new drainage scheme in the late 1800’s, the tramway was re-laid with heavier materials and eventually steam traction was introduced. The major part of the draining of the Fens was effected in the late 18th and early 19th century and final success came in the 1820’s when wind pumps were replaced with powerful coal-powered steam engines needing regular supplies of coal. It was soon recognised that the transporting of supplies and building materials to drains and sluices using steam power could be expanded to serve farmers within the sparsely populated district with reliable produce and livestock services. Unsurprisingly, in view of the state of local roads and lack of public transport, a demand for passenger service soon arose. The close links with Dutch engineers proved worthwhile in procuring additional items of motive power at advantageous prices from Holland and Germany. Later the G&WR also played an important role in transporting men & materials building new military airfields in the area. On closure of other narrow gauge lines, further passenger, goods stock and locomotive acquisitions including internal combustion locos were later introduced to assist with troop movements and the increasingly busy provision of supplies.  The headquarters of the G&WR are located in the brick building behind the engine shed at Oxlode station.

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