North London SME Gauge One Group

Shelter view (1)The North London Society of Model Engineers “Gauge 1” section was originally formed in the late 1990s by members with an interest in gauge one. Our very active group currently numbers over 20 regular members.  Most of us live in the Bucks, Herts and Essex area, as well as in north London. We have recently built a new large permanent outdoor track, which we believe is one of the largest in the country, to replace our first small track (which is now being used for narrow gauge prototypes running on 45 mm track).

We are located at the NLSME’s main site at Colney Heath, Hertfordshire, AL4 0NJ, which also boasts large 3½in, 5in and 7¼ in tracks, as well as a model boat lake. This secure, tree- studded landscaped site is pleasantly situated in the countryside and has ample safe car parking, room for children to play and comfortable picnic seating areas, some under cover.

Our superb new Gauge 1 facility comprises three main running lines, plus ample steaming bay areas (one for the inner and middle lines and a separate one for the outer). The inner and middle lines have been designed for gauge 1, while the outer line is also suited to US outline locos. There is plenty of under-track storage space and working tables, the track is fitted with ample stock sidings, and there are passing loops for each of the three lines, so that double  running is safe and comfortable.

Nearly every Wednesday throughout the year we meet between 11am and 4pm at Colney Heath (weather permitting); exceptions occur from time to time as we visit other clubs or the home track of a Group member. We have recently completed the construction of a timber ‘bothy’ where we can sit inside and make ourselves hot drinks etc; this shelter is ideal for use in poor weather. As with all new tracks much work is still to be done, and starting spring 2013 we will be preparing an outside BBQ area containing protected seating, which will also offer a good view of the track. There are also other existing refreshment and full male/female toilet facilities on site.

Our friendly and enthusiastic members boast a large range of skills, including lathe work, casting and resin moulding, loco, coach and wagon building, track laying etc. Amongst our number we do have an accredited boiler tester. There are of course plenty of members who are only too happy to offer advice and give help with any construction project the newcomer to gauge one may be contemplating.

Visiting individuals or clubs are always welcome, whether they just want to enjoy a run on the track as our guests, or would like to join the NLSME on a permanent basis. We are only too pleased to provide membership application forms. Those intending to visit should contact Geoff Hammond phone: 01707 267939 – email:



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