Our Tracks & Facilities

History of our tracks

The Fareham and District Society of Model Engineers (FDSME) was formed in 1970. By July 1978 we had built a 200m raised track for 3½” and 5″ gauge locomotives. This was on land rented from a local farmer.

Just under ten years later the opportunity to acquire the land was taken by FDSME. This meant the Society was able to build further facilities, without the fear that all could be lost if FDSME was asked to vacate site.

The Society’s members put in a tremendous amount of effort and by the early 1990s, the length of the raised track was more than doubled to 475m. Also, a ground level 7¼” gauge track of some 285m was built. As the site slopes significantly to the East, hundreds of tonnes of earth had to be moved and two tunnels constructed for the tracks.

Visiting Locomotive Drivers

Drivers must provide their certificate of public liability insurance and, if relevant, the membership card of the society that provided the cover.

Drivers must provide the current boiler certificate for their steam engine. This must be from an organisation that is recognised by our insurers.

All locomotives, tenders and trolleys/carriages must be designed to allow the fitting of couplings and safety chains. A safety chain must be fitted between locomotive part(s) and the driver’s trolley in addition to the coupling(s).

All electric and internal combustion powered locomotives must be fitted with a “dead man’s handle” or similar type of speed controller.

All locomotives must have an effective and working whistle/horn/hooter.

Every 7¼” gauge locomotive must have a mechanical parking brake. (Can be on the tender only.)

Every coal fired steam locomotive must be fitted with an effective spark arrester and an ash pan.

Raised track dimensional restrictions: ground clearance is 10.5” / 265mm; anti-tip rail position is 9” / 230mm below track level and span is 12” / 305mm.

A guard must be present on every train of more than one passenger trolley/carriage.

Guests with Garden Railway Locomotives, Rock Crawler Vehicles and Boats

In addition to our raised and ground level tracks, we have a 32mm Garden Railway, a boat pond and 1/8th to 1/24th rock crawler layout.

Please note:

  • Owners of Garden Railway steam locomotives must provide the current boiler certificate for their steam engine. This must be from an organisation that is recognised by our insurers,
  • Due to the fire risk, we do not allow liquid fuelled locomotives on our Garden Railway.
  • Our boat pond is 12” / 305mm deep, so not suitable for larger models of yachts with deep keels. No IC powered models are allowed on the boat pond due to noise/pollution.
  • Our rock crawler track is optimised for 1/10 scale RC vehicles, but there are sections suitable for 1/8th through to 1/24th scale. No IC powered models are allowed due to noise and pollution.
Map of the FDSME site showing the raised 3 1/2″ and 5″ track and the 7 1/4″ ground level track.
Scroll to Top