Narrow Gauge North

2019

Pempoul

A 1:50 layout by Gordon and Maggie Gravett
Scale 1:50
Gauge 18.2mm

As seen on BBC 4 - 23/01/2012

The metre gauge Reséau Breton system once served much of inland Brittany connecting rural villages and town to the SNCF main lines. It closed to all traffic in 1967. This fictitious scene depicts a small section of the railway in the last years of its life along with a taste of the area through which it ran.

There are very few (if any) commercial models or kits available for the Reséau Breton so, having accepted that everything was going to have to be built from scratch, we chose to build to a scale of 1:50. This had the advantage of giving easy to use metric dimensions: for example 1 metre = 20mm.

In an attempt to keep weight to a minimum, the baseboards utilise light weight Styrofoam (extruded polystyrene) in their construction. To the same end, the shells of the buildings are constructed from foam cored board and then covered with a thin layer of DAS modelling clay which is then scribed to represent the stone and brick of the area. Much use has also been made of the Noch ‘Gras-Master’ to give a realistic covering of ‘static grass’ to the landscape.

Having stated 20mm equates to 1 metre it may seem a contradiction to then build the track to the well proven 18.2mm gauge (EM standards). I can live with this inaccuracy and it has saved many hours in what was always going to be a very long term project.

Life is very leisurely in rural France so please take time to look at the display book on the front of the layout or feel free to interrupt to ask questions.