The Elsecar 16mm Garden Railway Show takes place every year at the Elsecar Heritage Centre near Barnsley and is organised by the Yorkshire Group of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers Ltd.
In 2017 the Elsecar Garden Railway Show will be on Saturday 23 September and Sunday 24 September
In 2016 we saw 1,086 adults at the show, together with 94 children.
This was the highest number of adult visitors in the 14 years the show has been run by the Yorkshire Area Group of the 16mm Association and the fifth year in a row that visitor numbers have increased.
Photos by Tony Wright 2016
UPDATED NOVEMBER 2014 with additional coal-firing information
16mm Yorkshire Group Running Regulations for Public Shows
eg Elsecar, Northern Model Engineering Exhibition Harrogate
Gas and coal is supplied for public running on Mount Dowd and Dixon Green. Please do not use your own coal or gas canisters.
Running layouts at public exhibitions
Running trains on Mount Dowd, Dixon Green and Saed-y-Parc is essentially public entertainment, showing the magic of 16mm garden railways and the fun we have in running them. Safety is paramount and every runner has to take responsibility for their actions and the safety of themselves, fellow runners, and, importantly, members of the watching public. This is why we have the Regulations and Guidance for the operation of the layouts at public exhibitions.
To run on Mount Dowd or Dixon Green/Saed-y-Parc you need to be a current 16mm Association member in order to be insured. Junior members need to be supervised by adult members at all times.
We always ask that members let us know in advance that they are coming to steam. Details are given on the Yorkshire 16mm website.
If you are new to running on the layouts let Andy Cooper [for Mount Dowd] or Phil Thompson [for Dixon Green] know so that they can arrange an introduction to the procedures outlined below on the day.
It is important to understand and follow the Regulations and Guidance for each layout noting the different particular practices for preparation, running and disposal of trains.
Remember that at a public event you are not primarily running trains for your own benefit. You are giving a show to a paying audience. They have a right to expect the show to be as good and as safe as possible.
Dixon Green and Saed-y-Parc
- No coal fired or meths fired locos allowed (because of the scenery).
- Gassing up and steaming up on the layout is encouraged, since it allows operators to talk to the viewing public at the same time. Just follow the GOW sequence so that any gas overflow is dissipated. Also use one of the designated sidings to gas and steam up.
- Running roster generally not used - operators requested to keep something moving at all times.
- Try to use any rolling stock already on the layout, rather than your own. If you use your own, remove it immediately after your run.
- Shunt rolling stock into a siding after a run - do not leave in any of the run-round loops.
- At the end of a run, either leave your loco in a siding to cool down, before removing it - or remove it immediately. Any loco left in a siding for a while will be moved off the line.
Running on Mount Dowd
Mount Dowd has 3 running tracks, an access track and sidings to make up and dispose of trains. Two trains can be run on each of the running lines in any 30 minute slot.
- Track 1 [RED]: The outside track runs clockwise; Tracks 2 [GREEN] and 3,
[BLUE] the middle and inner tracks run anti-clockwise.
- The outside track has a loop and two sidings where you can assemble a train.
- The inner tracks have separate steaming up sidings where you can assemble and dispose of a train.
- The 4th inner circular track [YELLOW] should be kept clear at all times for access to and from the steaming up sidings [BLACK] Track 4 is marked in yellow “Running Line “. Please do not park stock or steam up on this line because it is intended as a temporary pull in for those on Track 3 to add water or coal. It can also be used to allow a slightly faster loco to overtake.
- If you are running on Track 2 [ Middle track ] you will need to liaise with those running on the inner track [Track 3 ] when going out at the start and coming in at the end of your run.
- Always reset points to straight after changing tracks to ensure others avoid accidents. It is not always easy to tell from the middle of Mount Dowd which track a loco is on. For this reason always try to maintain a gap of half a circuit from the person on the same track as you. Please do not tailgate!
- There is an access door in the side of Mount Dowd. Please watch out for people entering and leaving the layout.
- Manual locos: Need close supervision on Mount Dowd, especially if someone opens the access door!
- When not steaming or preparing a train, please leave the centre of the layout.
Enter your full name in the roster slot. Make sure you meet and know the name of the other person who is running with you in that booked slot.
Please make sure that you turn up to run on time. You should know how long you loco takes to prepare. Run for the full 30 minutes so that there are not big gaps in the schedule. Mount Dowd has no gradients so gas can be turned down very low ensuring a longer running time.
If you become unable to make your booked slot, please cross out your name as early as possible to enable another member to run in that vacated slot.
Radio frequency and control
It is assumed that everyone is now running on 2.4g.
Anyone not on 2.4 e.g. 40/27mhz should check that no-one else is running on their frequency.
It is wise to do a trial check before you steam up to check that there is no interference on your channel from other exhibitors’ layouts.
General safe running
If you are in charge of a steam loco, it is your responsibility to ensure that it’s both safe and reliable and you are familiar with its operation especially lighting up procedures. Always run your trains with the utmost consideration for others. Drive at realistic slow speed and in a reasonable manner.
Never put a loco or stock on a main running line unless you intend to run it properly.
You should not bring a loco to test on Mount Dowd when the layout is being operated at a public exhibition.
If your loco gets into major difficulties, remove the entire train and let other drivers continue the show.
At the end of your booked time, check with the other runners about leaving the running lines. If the next runner isn’t ready you may be asked to fill in for a short time.
When you have left the track remove your engine and stock immediately from the tracks so that it does not obstruct those assembling trains.
Be sensible about where you stow things inside the layout. Loco boxes, stock boxes and loose tools can easily get in other people’s way if they are left lying around.
Fuelling and Re-fuelling
Before you begin to prepare your loco make sure you know where the layout’s extinguisher/fire blankets are kept and how to use them.
Gas/fuel your loco on the table in the centre of the layout.
Under no circumstances should a loco be gassed up or re-gassed on any of the running lines or steaming-up lines.
Outside track exemption: You can regas on the outside line in the headshunts. Be aware of passing locos.
If you have to refuel your loco during a running session always do so as far away from the general public as possible, and with the utmost care. Remove the loco to the table in the middle of the layout and refuel there.
Note concerning those members who run solid fuel [ tablet or coal ] or “pot boiler” or meths fired locos all with open or exposed fires. Please make sure that you are especially vigilant when other members are fuelling with gas or lighting their loco. Butane is heavier than air and sinks. An exposed fire can be very dangerous when passing a loco that is being lit. If you run a pot boiler e.g. Millie or Mamod or coal fired loco, it is your responsibility to let other runners know.
Lighting-up a steam loco is potentially a very dangerous activity. Remember that because of the noise at a show it is hard to hear if the gas burner is lit.
The INSIDE steaming up lines are ideal for this.
It is recommended that you light the gas burner away from the gassing-up table on the track. Do not attempt to light up while an engine is passing by.
At public exhibitions only coal supplied by the Yorkshire Group may be used. This is to ensure that no nuisance is caused to the public or traders by excessive smoke and smell. Coal will be made available for members to use at Exhibitions. Contact Andy Cooper.
Disposal – always dispose of the ash/fire safely. This will include bringing something e.g. a piece of tinfoil to place under the engine so that the plastic track is not damaged.