Small is Beautiful
The first miniature railway models were made by full size locomotive builders and gifted model engineers. It was not until the Cagney Brothers in the USA and Bassett-Lowke in Britain realised the commercial possibilities of miniature railways that the growth of these lines really began.
Now in the UK alone there are over 170 public lines of 7 1/4" to 21" gauge and over 70 club tracks of 7 1/4" gauge. Add to these the large number of public and club tracks in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and you have a veritable feast of miniature railways.
From the first 21" gauge steam outline Hudswell Clarke locos and the "main lines in miniature" such as the Ravenglass and Eskdale and Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch down to 7 1/4" gauge club tracks, there are always new lines and locos appearing. In recent years builders have completed a 15" Avonside 'Heisler' plantation loco (Owl at Kirklees Light Railway, West Yorks), a 10 1/4" New York Central 'Niagra' 4-8-4, a 15" Leek & Manifold 2-6-4T and a 10 1/4" GWR 'Saint' 4-6-0, whilst a 7 1/4" 'Shay' and a 15" Herschel Spillman 4-4-0 have been imported from New Zealand. Under construction are a 15"
2-6-2T, a 10 1/4" Great Central 2-8-0, a 10 1/4" Royal Scot and a 71/4" Londonderry & Lough Swilly 4-8-0 , to name but a few.
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