Malcolm Bentley set out to recreate his 1970s spotting days in West London by modelling the famous Ranelagh Bridge stabling point outside London Paddington station.
Gauge: ‘OO’ | Period: 1970-1976 | Region: Western | Operating team: Malcolm Bentley and friends
Above: Ranelagh Bridge is presented at the Great Electric Train Show by Malcolm Bentley and models the West London stabling point between 1970 and 1976. Mike Wild.
Ranelagh Bridge yard was a locomotive servicing and stabling point located about 3/4 mile west of London Paddington station and directly opposite Royal Oak London Transport station. Its principal purpose was to service locomotives that had short turnaround times between arriving at Paddington on locomotive hauled passenger and parcels trains and subsequent departures from Paddington.
The yard was remodelled in 1964 to facilitate diesel refuelling and inspection. Such facilities remained in operation until the late 1970s/early 1980s when, following the full implementation of HST operation, the need for the yard was greatly reduced. The yard was closed and eventually converted into a car park.
The compact nature of the yard, being hemmed in by house backs of Gloucester Terrace and book ended at both ends by bow string girder road bridges, makes it an ideal candidate to model the diesel locomotive era in ‘OO’ gauge. Although some compromises have been made to keep within space constraints, the operational effectiveness of the yard is maintained by locomotives entering and exiting the yard via the storage yard, which is masked by a representation of the west end of the former Parcels platform 1A.
All buildings are scratch built using card and embossed plasticard materials. The model exhibited depicts the yards operation during the 1970-1976 period. The layout is fully DCC controlled with pointwork powered by DCC Concepts Cobalt Digital IP point motors controlled by NCE Powered handsets.
A full feature on Ranelagh Bridge is included in HM197, November 2023 – on sale at the 2023 Great Electric Train Show.