Kingdoms Crossing - OO Gauge

This layout was built by the North Devon Model Railway Club and has been exhibited by them at fifteen or so model railway exhibitions around the country, including our own open day. We purchased the layout in February 2008 as the North Devon Club no longer had room for it. The layout is complete and is used as our exhibition layout.

GWR train crosses bridge into station

A GWR passenger service crosses the bridge on the approach to the station while a train of supplies is shunted at the military store


Kingdoms Crossing is made up of six boards all approximately 4x2, four scenic boards and a fiddleyard at each end, making the layout 24 long. The layout has two completely separate levels, the high level being a passenger line with a station at one end and a large bridge at the other, the low level is a military base / store. The high level runs between the two fiddleyards, but the low level only has access to the left hand fiddleyard. The main bridge on the high level is removable as it spans the joint in the baseboard, and is loosely based on Brunels bridge at Chepstow, hence the name of the layout!

A munitions train departs the military store across the causeway. The GWR line is seen above, with bomb damage evident under the bridge.


The layout is completely fictitious and is based somewhere along the North Devon or Cornwall coast. The low level is operated by the Southern Railway and the high level is operated by the Great Western Railway, although the Southern also have running powers over this section of line.

The period modelled is 1944 in the lead up to the D-Day landings. The layout has many features such as bomb damage, blanked out station names and anti-aircraft positions which set it firmly in its war time period. There is also a dog fight depicted on the backscenes between RAF Spitfires and German fighter planes.

GWR railmotor waits at station

A GWR Railmotor waits in the bay platform alongside a 2-car auto train. THe military store can be seen infront of the station.


The baseboards are made from MDF which makes them rather heavy, but they have stayed true and show no signs of warping. Each board is joined to its neighbour by two 10mm coach bolts which allows for some adjustment to align the track correctly. The legs are 25mm steel conduit each with a threaded end which screws into sockets on the bottom of each board. Since purchasing the layout we have added a lighting gantry made from 6mm plywood, which is supported from 50mm square legs at the rear of the layout. The lights are 12v halogen lamps and there are 10 of them along the length of the layout.


The track is all code 75 with the pointwork being hand built using copperclad sleepers and the rail soldered to it. The plain track is SMP with plastic sleepers and nickel silver or phosphor bronze rail. The points are operated by double pole switches linked to the tie bar via wire in copper tube. There are screw adjusters on the switches to allow for any expansion that takes place.

Another view of the station, this time with a GWR 0-6-0ST waiting to depart with a train of 4-wheel coaches


Several items of rolling stock have been specially built for the layout in order to enhance the scene, such as trains of Spitfires, torpedoes and bombs. These are made from Ratio bolster wagon kits or plain 5 plank opens and the bombs and planes added. The rest of the stock is either SR or GWR and is a mixture of kit built and ready-to-run items. Although only more modern ready-to-run stock with finer wheels will run reliably on the layout, because of the scale track.

As the layout was originally operated by the North Devon Club who had their own Sprat and Winkle type automatic couplings we have had to develop an automatic coupling system for Bachmann and Hornby style tension lock couplings. We are currently trialing a system using very small magnets attached to the droppers on the couplings which are repelled by the permanent magnets already installed under the track. First impressions are that this method will be successful and may lead to its use on the Societys main layout.