Up The Line – Word War 1 in 7mm scale – O16.5
Up the Line is modelled at 7mm/ft running on 16.5mm track to represent the extensive system of 60cm gauge light railways that were developed to bridge the gap between standard gauge railheads and the front line during the First World War. While not based on a particular location I have recreated many contemporary photographs particularly from the area around Arras to build a very convincing scene.
The model represents a transfer yard about five miles from the main railhead from which steam locos bring long trains of loaded wagons to be split up into smaller units to be taken forward by petrol engines or ‘tractors’ as they were known to the front line or artillery batteries one or two miles away. The empties are then returned to the yard to be taken back to be refiled. In this way huge amounts of vital stores were moved far more efficiently than motor or animal transport could manage over the poor and over- crowded roads.
The layout is operated by DCC and most locos are sound fitted which is augmented by a full stereo background sound track. Everything is either scratch or kit built with many modern techniques such as 3D printing, plotter cutting, home etching and photographic back scenes being used.
After the war much equipment was disposed of to other light railways all over the world some of it still being in use on preserved lines today.