Old Elm Park - an 'O' gauge steam shed

Gauge: 'O' | Period: 1960s | Region: Western | Operating team: Mark Pollard and friends

Old Elm Park in O gauge.

Old Elm Park models a Western Region steam shed in the final years of BR steam and offers a unique view inside a roundhouse in 'O' gauge alongside the busy yard outside. 

The inspiration for Old Elm Park came from the engine shed at Didcot and various books and photographs of Old Oak Common. The Great Western Society magazine arrived one day with a double page photograph of a locomotive on one of the turntables inside Old Oak Common and ideas for a model started to be thought about.

Kitwood Models released a kit for a 65ft turntable which my wife bought me for Christmas and then I needed a layout for it! Old Elm Park was born modelling the inside of a round house and in this form it attended the 2019 Great Electric Train Show. However, it is much bigger now and features the new outside yard that I built during 2020.

The name comes from a combination of Old Oak Common and Elm Park Reading Football Clubs old ground. Basing the layout around Reading gives the opportunity to run Western, Southern and a few other visitors on inter regional trains where locomotives would be serviced before heading off on their next working.

Old Elm Park started off as a 4ft x 4ft inside of the roundhouse modelled as if you are stood looking into the gloom and dark of the shed, sound fitted locos can be heard resting just hissing and bubbling away. As a locomotive builder a motive power depot is the ideal layout to display the ‘O’ gauge locomotive I build.

After taking the layout to a few shows it was decided to breakout of the shed and build a yard with a coal stage again modelled on Didcot along with storage sidings, ash road and everything else that goes with a busy shed and yard. Little details are always being added, spot the chap in the wheelbarrow having a rest!

The roundhouse and layout have appeared in the Hornby Magazine, O Gauge Guild magazine and received great feedback at model railway exhibitions. The layout can be displayed in daylight or also as a night scene and we have a small smoke machine to add to the atmosphere in the shed.

Old Elm Park featured in HM164 – February 2021.