On30 to 7mm narrow gauge model railways – Martin’s

Martin’s added to the On30 to 7mm narrow gauge model railways on the blog with this wondeful narrative:

I do love a layout with a theme!

“Hi Al,

I thought you might like to share some pics of my, still under construction layout.

It’s Colonial narrow gauge of 2ft 6ins, using a rough scale of 7mm/ft, O scale on OO gauge track.

I suppose it’s On30, but as in real life, anything goes.

The year is 1967 on the British ruled Mediterranean Island of Baleria which lies some 70 miles off the coast.

It’s a place that time has sort of forgotten and the extensive railway system, built to open up the island is the main form of transport.

Road building between major centres has started to make an influence on the railways, although the mountainous nature of the island, especially the Northwest coastal area makes road building difficult, expensive and hazardous.

There is a huge amount of pressure on the Governor’s office to close sections of the railway down and convert it into roads, something that is being fiercely contested by the powers in charge.

Anyway, the layout centres on the port of Victoria Ferry and the main line to Orez.

The port is the main exporting point of the islands huge fruit trade, although a larger port with deep water facilities are being built at the capital of Marintello.

Victoria Ferry and the route through Orez may well become a road at some future point, but for the present time, it’s a thriving port and main engine shed for the lines that diverge out if the town.

on30 to 7mm narrow gauge model railways

Early morning at Victoria Ferry and Baldwin 2-6-0 engines Nos. 83 & 84 await the start signal

on30 to 7mm narrow gauge model railways

Baldwin 2-6-0 No 82 and Brush Co-Co diesel No. 201 “Queen Elizabeth” wait at Victoria Ferry.

on30 to 7mm narrow gauge model railways

Victoria Ferry MPD. Loco’s on show are from l-r…

No 25 0-8-4T built by Hunslet, Baldwin 2-6-2 T No 80, No 201, “Queen Elizabeth” Brush Diesel and Nos 40 and 47, 0-4-0-0-4-0 Beyer Garretts, which are now out of use.

On30 to 7mm narrow gauge model railways are not for everyone – but they are fun.



“Hi Al,

A point was raised regarding the platform height of proprietary platform modules which I have used.

I suggested that when using foam underlay under the track the platform height is too low, this was resolved by using a thin balsa packer under the platform to raise the height by about 3mm.

This is covered once the loose ballast is fixed in place – see photos. Here are some earlier test shots to gauge if it looks right.

This may be useful to others and I will leave it to the reader to make their own minds up. Note the station is incomplete at this stage.



model railway platform

model railway platform

model railway platform

Thanks to Steve and to Martin for adding to the on30 to 7mm narrow gauge model railways on the blog.

I thought the ‘story’ behind Martin’s was splendid! It’s funny how a few words help paint a picture.

Please keep ’em coming folks.

And if you haven’t started on your layout out yet, this will get you going.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

model train answers

15 Responses to On30 to 7mm narrow gauge model railways – Martin’s

  1. steve masters says:

    Martins layout shows a great atmosphere and detail of a by gone time, the station canopy looks superb always a tricky one – “looking right to the eye” but, not sure about the Finish dishwasher tabs box though haha

  2. Alan roberts says:

    Great layout Martin. 7mm is a wonderful size, pity most of us don’t have the space. I’m currently working on a 009 layout, it’s so fiddly, much better to have a larger gauge.

  3. joe says:

    Nice layout Martin…..envious of your locos. Platform looks good Steve….I think many of us have had some trouble with ” a ,
    models height problems”…and just trying to make it correct for loading freight or passengers……then scenic-ing to cover whatever we use to raise..as in your case.
    May i suggest adding a few small lichen bushes..something along those lines…at the base…a couple of lite poles…and you’ve nailed it….happy railroading Joe

  4. Robert Matteson says:

    Great “weathering” effects on the loco’s, Martin. Looking forward to seeing more pictures.

  5. John says:

    Martin that`s looking great mate!!! Do a video when it`s finished and send it in so as we can all enjoy looking at your labour of love!

    JohnE UK

  6. A great looking layout Martin, with obviously more to do…..but then there always is.
    I too wondered what the dishwasher tablets were doing in the background, ah well a man’s work is never done!
    Platform heights look good to me Steve. The thing I always look at is the platform to stock gap–“Mind The Gap”. This can be tricky with varying stock especially if the platform is approached directly by a curve in the track. Well explained and photographed anyway. Another great layout to be shown off!!
    Norman. UK.

  7. I love Martin’s layout and particularly his sense humor in sharing that wonderful narrative where he take his passengers from Victoria to Orez, which is Zero spelled backward! Very funny! Thanks for sharing these, Al, and great work, Martin on your narrow gauge.

  8. nice detail and very realistic
    and I still cant figure how you guys work with that small scale
    lotta patience….
    keep em runnin fellas

  9. Martin Gliddon says:

    Thanks for the comments on Victoria Ferry, the finish box brought a smile to my face as this always happens. I’ll line up a shot which looks good, take the pic and then notice something in the background, or a wheel is off the track somewhere…I don’t think anyone has noticed the lizard scurrying along the platform in pic 1, it’s just in front of loco 83. I could say that the Finish box marks the area that will become Orez station, the pun wasn’t meant to be intentional but works anyway. The next part to be worked on is the Muelle de Reyes area, which is on a short branch line where there is a small coal wharf.
    With Al’s permission I will photograph the current engine fleet, which is quite extensive and includes a 0-8-0+0-8-0T Meyer, several Garretts, a couple of 0-8-4 T’s as well as a number of “old” diesels and done very, well for 1967, modern ones.

  10. George Ross says:

    Another great Layout. Enjoyed The Additional information.

  11. Ian Mc Donald says:

    a very good story i liked it .the pictures are great. nice detail. nice to see all the trains. happy modelling.

  12. THOMAS says:

    Minature movie sets are fine but I would rather see trains running .

  13. Robert Brady says:

    Steam engines in the 60’s ?How bout early era Diesels?Steamers were were all but done in the 50’s??

  14. Jorge says:

    Wonderful layout, Martin! The description of Baleria gives it added interest and depth, and makes the use of steam perfectly reasonable (in Baleria, we can see it, syeam lived on without competition). I hope you will share more in the future (a video would be fantastic) as you compkete and develop the layout. Thanks!!

  15. Erick says:

    Wonderful Layout.!!!

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