Map of the SMR

Below is a map showing the layout of the SMR. The engine shed is on the far left and the tunnel is mid picture. The line is run in a balloon shape at the lake end and is just under 2 miles in total, trains take on average 14 minutes for a round trip at scale line speeds!

Description of the Line

  • Trains leave the car park station and run around the top curve on a falling gradient down through the 50 metre long tunnel to the lake. At Haven, the line diverges on a sprung point, passing lakeside junction box taking the left road to cross the river Eye on Haven bridge and then run parallel to the river along the back straight.
  • The line then crosses a small stream at Colby’s culvert before rounding the sharp curve to cross the river again on Jenny’s bridge. The railway then enters the wooded section, called appropriately Chestnuts and runs on a rising gradient to badgers bend, before clearing the woods and running along the eastern shore of the lake.
  • The line then crosses the lake out-fall on the spillway before arriving back at the Haven Lakeside box to rejoin the Haven to top curve section via the sprung point.
  • The train now has to re-climb the long gradient up the bank and through the tunnel back to the top curve, no easy task with a full train and wet rails, and a severe test of driver and Locomotive!
  • Arriving at the top curve points, the train can either run directly into the station, or run into the triangle head-shunt, to be reversed or piloted back into the station to be facing the correct way around.
  • If run “straight in” during multiple engine operations, a locomotive will be waiting in the triangle to back on to the station ready for a quick departure, the train leaves and the “trapped” loco(s) can then run out backwards following the train, to then run forward back into the head-shunt via the top-curve point. They are then watered and coaled ready for backing onto the next train.

Operational Details

  • Normal signalling operations use one signalman in the station box controlling all train movements, the main station gantry and all point-work around the station and triangle, including the new switched diamond. as well as various other interlocked signals. A single line token controls all access to the top curve section and beyond onto the main railway. All train guards are in radio contact with the signalmen, operation control and each other ensuring a smooth and efficient service and fast response to any problems.
  • At heavy passenger times, a second box is opened at Haven, controlling access to the Haven back to Lakeside section and despatch / receiving of trains in the Topcurve to Haven section. This allows two trains to operate on the main railway at the same time, increasing passenger numbers to the theoretical maximum.