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Cately Roundhouse



This model of an imaginary steam loco depot with a half-moon style roundhouse was inspired by memories of visiting a particularly grotty shed of this type in Bulgaria and also the late Peter McBride’s award winning N-gauge model.


Most British loco sheds were either “straight sheds”, a series of points leading to parallel lines into the shed, or “roundhouses” in which the turntable was positioned centrally inside a square shed with lines radiating within it. The “half-moon” type, with the turntable positioned outside the shed and lines radiating within it, was very common in continental Europe and the Americas but rare in the UK – St Blazey in Cornwall being the best known example.


This model demonstrates the operational issues of bringing a steam loco on to shed with fire/ash disposal, coaling, moving on to the turntable and into the shed. When required, each loco exits the shed, collects fresh water and sand then departs. The turntable was built from a Metalsmith kit but all buildings are scratch built. Structures include the shed itself plus boiler house, water tower, sand furnace, coaling stage and repair shed. An interesting novelty is the use of a Panther excavator to empty the ash pit.


The breakdown train is at the front, awaiting a summons to some unfortunate happening elsewhere.


The period is around 1947-1950 and the place can be deduced by examination of the number of LMS locomotives and a few from the LNER.