Bury St. Edmunds Model Railway Club

Cobbolds Wharf - Scale 7 Gauge DCC Exhibition Layout

With a plan of the ‘Island’, two members of our club suggested we base an O gauge layout on that part of Ipswich Docks that lies between the New Cut, through which the River Orwell was diverted in the 19th century, and the Wet Dock. A group met, and a simplified track plan was agreed before it was suggested that we adopt Scale 7 instead of O gauge. We had no experience of this, and had little idea of what it was, so we did some research. Although a slightly wider gauge of 33mm and therefore more accurate, it does benefit from much tighter tolerances and we were attracted by the reduced gap between the rails and check rails which as the layout was to be largely a tramway in nature, we felt would appear finer and look better.

Having a challenge is no bad thing, and this has encouraged more club members to join us. Our group members have a wide range of modelling interests, N gauge, OO, German railways and American, but the unifying thread is that none of us has modelled in scale 7 before and we all have much to learn. The project is open to all members of our club whatever their interest and talents, and so far we are making rather good progress.

We are aiming to capture the atmosphere of Ipswich Docks in the 1950’s and 60’s and beside the Maltings you can see one of our Tram Engines that were a common sight at the docks. We have looked for engines shedded at Ipswich, like J65 number 68211, a class 15 diesel and 08 shunter, and have mixed RTR models converted to scale 7 with those kitbuilt. All are built with DCC and sound, and the layout has been wired for full DCC control using the MERG CBUS system. With the first section of the layout complete, and the whole layout test run and working, we are now busy detailing the remaining ground surfaces and constructing the quayside buildings.

It is our aim to finish the layout for our club exhibition on the 28th September this year, and we hope you will come along and see how we have got on, or better still join us at one of our club nights or work days.

Cobbolds Wharf Team

Please Note:

The layout is under construction but will be available to exhibit once completed.

To book our layouts for your exhibition, please email our members representative, Simon Fox