City of Oxford Society of Model Engineers
When the society, then the Witney and West Oxfordshire Society of Model Engineers, relocated from our track in the grounds of Blenheim Palace to Cutteslowe Park in 1988 we were given a perfectly positioned site, right in the middle of the Park. We built two railways, one a raised 3½ and 5 inch gauge and the other a 5 and 7¼ inch gauge track.
Soon however members were starting to build or acquire bigger and bigger steam engines and its soon became a dream that one day we may be able to extend our ground level track to make the run longer for both passengers and drivers alike.
During our 25th year celebrations in 2013 it was mentioned that perhaps the time had now come to look at a track extension once again as previous schemes had failed for various reasons, usually not to do with the society. So a plan was hatched and we approached the Park department first,who could see no reason against it and were supportive, as long as we could decide on a route with the Park residents and the Friends of Cutteslowe Park. Following discussions with all concerned a route was agreed and plans were drawn up.
In the spring of 2016 with Planning Permission passed, works agreed with the Parks, we finally had all the legal bits and pieces signed off by the City Council and work could start.
The works are planned to be completed in 2 years, but this depends on how much labour we have and of course, the all important finances available as all money comes from railway takings and donations.
The works will be in three phases as shown on the plans but these may overlap if labour allows. It has to be remembered that all labour is voluntary.
So to some statistics,
Extension length – 230 metres approx.
New fencing length = 72 metres (Including the 3 No gates).
Ballast = 30m3 (assuming 150mm depth, 1 m wide over entire length).
460 metres of timber edging required.
460 timber pegs.
1000 sleepers (assumed approx. 10 inch spacing).
Approx. 4m3 of concrete for road/path crossings.
This doesn’t include the steaming bays.
And of cause endless cups of TEA.
If you have any questions please contact our secretary on the email address link on the ABOUT page or simply ask at the track site.
If you would like to help out on this exciting project or if you would like to donate any funding we would be pleased to speak to you, contact again is via the link to the secretary.
During the course of all this work the two railways will continue to run as usual.
Denis Mulford, Chairman.
Here are links to the 4 drawings: the three phases of the work, and the full plan of the project
UPDATE: September 2016
First stage completed: new fence to end of aviary. Work now paused until the end of the running season, and will resume early in November.
THE TRACK EXTENSION