A G Scale layout
Size 28’ x 8’
The group was formed in 1993 by the owners of the three original garden railways on the Fylde Coast of Lancashire, the railways being, The Blowing Sands Light Railway, The Shonnette Railway and The Old Orchard Line. The aim of the group is too promote the garden railway hobby in general and G scale in particular.
Our display plan was to replace the usual practice of some G scale track, with a proper garden railway, complete with grass, trees, plants and built on low stone walls. We also try to include at least one water feature. The first of the new displays was at Lytham St Annes in 1994 using track lifted from members gardens. Following this success the group received an offer from Richard Kohnstamm Ltd., the importers of LGB trains at that time, for them to supply the track and control gear for the group layout. This important development removed the need for members to strip their gardens of track for each exhibition. This arrangement continued until 2000 when new importers were appointed. Following this change new track and controls were purchased by our members and the group became fully independent again. A new development for 2003 was the introduction of a low level digital demonstration line in the centre of the display using the LGB MTS system, giving visitors the chance to compare the digital and analogue systems.
As before rolling stock is provided by team members, and therefore changes depending on which operating crew is on duty. Buildings too have always been supplied by team members and have featured products from Pola, Welshpool Pottery and the Jigstones, many of the later custom built in concrete. As the team gets older many of the concrete items are being replaced with lighter items, some being supplied to the Group by Modeltown Resin Buildings. The new station has been fitted with lighting by T & M Models. The 2012 season saw the appearance of a Stem Generating plant at the sawmill, and a working Cornish pumping engine, both from the Modeltown range. For the 2013 season a second cable car system will be added to the display.
The G-Wizz secret of success lies in the garden, because the plants are real the display is never repeated exactly the same each time, and so varies with the seasons, from spring right through to Christmas. We can even change the theme using trains from Switzerland, Germany, USA or even trams. It is not unusual for a certain “friendly” engine or two to appear.
In addition to the railway, the group has a display of photographs, and our video system shows our DVD “G-Wizz, Home and Away” continuously throughout the exhibition. The video shows the lines which made up the group, as well as footage from events at which we have appeared. The group members have presented a series of articles in both Garden Rail Magazine and the G Scale Society Journal.
The display also features two automatic cable car services, and either a high level tramway, or fully working rack railway. At some shows a ground level shuttle tram may be operated through the village.
Our operators (or gardeners) are always pleased to answer any questions you may have regarding the layout’ gardens, plants or G scale railways in general. Visit our website www.g-wizz-group.org.uk for the latest details of our group and its activities, plus where you can see us next. Remember this railway is rarely the same twice. It is literally grown to order.