Model Railway in a Railway Carriage

Whilst at the Watercress Lines Spring Steam Gala last year myself and Dave of LocoYard went on a tour of the Medstead wagon yard. During the tour we got talking to one of the Watercress Lines wagon gang (a brilliant set of guys but are all completely insane) and he told us about their new interactive model railway they had recently built in a wagon, which was on display in Alresford Sidings.

The former Parcels and Miscellaneous Van has been converted to become an interactive model for the younger guests. It is powered basically through a big extension cord that attaches under the wagon and powers all the electronics inside. The interactive model railway PMV S 1995 had the last finishing touches completed only a couple of days before the gala and was moved down to Alresford for display in the cattle dock siding for the Gala. The interactive model railway is the result of nearly two years work by the Basingstoke and North Hants Model Railway Society and the Watercress Line, and as you can partly see from the photos, it looks good. The layout has been designed to demonstrate the skills of signalling and how they control the railway.

 Photo source: watercressline.co.uk
Photo source: watercressline.co.uk
The layout is all controlled by computer and is set to follow commands from the control panel below.
How it works:

 You are the signalman at Ropley Manor station and this is the train you want to send away
1) Ring ‘call attention’ bell code, to ring in Medstead wood signal box
2) Ring ‘branch line train’ bell code, to ring in Medstead wood signal box
3) Hand over train token to train driver at Ropley Manor
4) Set points to normal (straight on) to allow trains to arrive at Ropley Manor
5) Set points to reverse to allow trains to deport Ropley Manor
6) Pull the Ropley Manor starter signal to off
7) Pull the Ropley Manor home signal to off
Some Great Western action of a 38xx, but unfortunately the track is not live so the locomotive does not move. The signal box is the Medstead Wood Signal box you are talking to.

Once you have gone through all the commands the locomotives automatically set off and go a loop of the track and return to the start which starts the cycle all again. It is a brilliant idea, the work by the Wagon Gang and the Basingstoke and North Hants Model Railway Society is truly amazing and they deserve a huge congratulations for there achievement.

Now before we go just a couple of photos of the actual layout in the wagon with some rolling stock

Nice bit of a scenery

The layout was very popular with the public
Anyway hopefully you enjoyed this look at a very special and unique wagon/layout. Thanks for reading.
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