Launceston Steam Railway in Cornwall is a delightful 2ft gauge line built, owned and operated by Nigel and Kay Bowman. Nigel and Kay have been extremely helpful allowing me generous access to the station site to take measurements and photos in preparation for the building of the layout and rolling stock.

At Launceston there are four Quarry Hunslet locos − Lilian, Covertcoat, Velinheli and Dorothea. The four model steam locos have been built by adapting kits produced by Brian Madge. The electric motors are hidden inside the boiler/tank assemblies and the drive is by a rubber belt housed inside the firebox. This method of driving small chassis was developed by Nigel Lawton. The tenders for Lilian and Covertcoat have been scratch-built in brass. Two coaches have been adapted from etches supplied by Allen Docherty of Worsley Works. Another has been built using some of the parts from a kit supplied by Parkside Dundas with added scratch-built parts. The fourth coach has been adapted from a 3D printed Isle of Man carriage supplied by CWR Railways.


Other items of rolling stock have been built from kits, including special members' kits supplied by the 009 Society. Track-work is by Peco and SEEP point motors have been used throughout. Greenwich couplings have been added to all the stock, and automatic uncoupling has been achieved by using, either fixed magnets hidden under the track, or electromagnets supplied by Gaugemaster and mounted below the baseboards. The buildings have all been scratch-built using card, plastic and Redutex sheets. A wide variety of ground cover and foliage has been used to create the scene, including items from Green Scene, Woodland Scenics, Noch, and Polak.


Launceston was featured in Railway Modeller in May 2017.

Launceston was awarded the David Glascott Trophy for the ‘Best Narrow Gauge Layout’ at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition held at the NEC, Birmingham in November 2017. The photo shows the trophy being presented to Richard by Pete Waterman (Photo : Craig Tiley, Railway Modeller).

 Click to go to the photo album for Launceston Steam Railway.

 Click to see a video of Launceston Steam Railway.

Launceston is scheduled to appear at the following exhibitions:

Sat 24 and Sun 25 Feb 2018 Southampton Solent Model Railway Group
Sat 10 and Sun 11 Mar 2018 Huntingdon St. Neots Model Railway Club
Sat 24 and Sun 25 Mar 2018 Nailsea Nailsea Model Railway Club
Sun 13 May 2018 Barton le Clay Beds and Bucks Open Day
Sat 23 Jun 2018 Steventon Oxfordshire NG Group
Sun 9 Sep 2018 Weston-Super-Mare Weston-Super-Mare Train Show
Sat 1 Dec 2018 Letchworth Letchworth Model Railway Society
Sat 8 and Sun 9 Dec 2018 Peterborough National Festival of Railway Modelling
Sat 12 and Sun 13 Jan 2019 Stevenage CMRA

If you are interested in having Launceston at your exhibition then here is some useful information for exhibition managers. To contact me please use the contact box at the top of the screen.

Name Launceston Steam Railway
Gauge 9mm
Scale 4mm to 1 foot (009 Narrow Gauge)
Shape 12ft by 6ft in an L shape, includes operating space at the rear
Insurance £4,000
Power 1 x 13amp socket
Expenses Cost of diesel for a return trip from Shepton Mallet to exhibition venue
Location Shepton Mallet, Somerset
Operators 2

Full details for exhibition managers can be downloaded here

Exhibitions already attended

  1. Shepton Mallet 2017
  2. Exeter 2017
  3. Launceston Aug 2017
  4. Narrow Gauge World, Dorset Sep 2017
  5. Tewkesbury Oct 2017
  6. Warley Nov 2017