The Ground Level Track is 7¼ and 5 inch gauge, with a shared inner rail. It is built from 4 lb. per yard flat bottom rolled steel track, the rail section being 26mm high x 12mm wide at the head. Fine scale and narrow gauge vehicles are accommodated in both gauges. The dual gauge points have been built to provide the best compromise for both track gauges and scale of prototypes. The respective distances between the check rail faces are 4.4 inches and 6.7 inches.
The layout is in the shape of a distorted oval, with an inside cut-off loop at one end which gives access to the station (Erskine Halt). The direction of running is clockwise. A signalling system is in progress of construction which will allow the passage of five separate trains on the layout at safe intervals.
The length of the main line circuit is 520 yards (just under 0.3 mile). Minimum radius is 70 feet and the maximum adverse gradient is 1 in 75 for about 60 yards.
The width of any train or part of it should not project more than 20 inches from the rail centre line. There are no restrictions on height at present.
There is a steaming bay area with road access to the rails of both gauges at both ground level and 26 inches from the ground. An electrically powered hydraulic scissor lift on a traversing trolley gives access between the two levels and the various steaming bays. There are five ground level sidings and four raised level sidings but no power supply for steam-raising blowers.
Two substantially built 7¼ inch gauge riding cars are stored in the GLT carriage shed at the steaming bay area. These have hydraulic hand-powered brakes. Although they are also fitted with vacuum brakes, the equipment is not operational at present. Lightweight locomotives might struggle with these heavy cars up the hill. Drivers of smaller visiting locomotives might like to consider bringing their own passenger riding cars to the site.
Facilities for coal and water
Coal for 7¼ and 5 inch locomotives is available in the bunker at the station, where there is also a water crane. Coal, water and oil should also be replenished at the station except in the case of an emergency.
Loading and unloading passengers
All trains should pick up and deposit their passengers at the station near the signal box and not at the steaming bays.
Here’s a video showing a pair of 5″ gauge 66′s on the ground level track.