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Visiting Drivers and Locomotives Guide

This guide should be read before bringing any locomotive to run on our tracks in Cutteslowe Park. 



Visitors from other clubs may drive trains, subject to the following: 

  1. The visiting driver must give satisfactory evidence to the Track Steward that he/she holds a competent driver qualification at his/her “home” club or society. 
  2. The Track Steward must ensure that the visiting driver is familiar with the CPMR signalling arrangements. 

  3. The visiting driver must be accompanied by a COSME competent driver for at least one circuit of the railway without any public fare-paying passengers on board the train. 

  4. The Track Steward will authorise the visitor to haul public fare-paying passengers only when he/she is satisfied as to their competence. 

  5. The visiting driver is required to show the Track Steward their Public Liability Insurance document, if they are not able to produce the document, they will need to be signed in as a COSME Day Member.

Track Layout 

The railway comprises two independent running tracks, one at raised level which caters for 3½” & 5” gauge and one at ground level which caters for 7¼” gauge. The direction of running for both tracks is clockwise. Running in the opposite direction is not normally permitted due to the signalling systems which are installed. The Garden Railway caters for 32mm and 45mm gauge and is built on a raised baseboard for ease of operation.


Raised Level Track Description

The 3½” and 5” gauge raised level track is a continuous circuit of steel rails on sleepers, with a length of 1163ft (354.5m). The height of the track, from ground level to top of rail, varies from 13” to 25” (330 to 635mm). The minimum radius is 40ft (12.2m) and the track is practically level throughout. 


Ground Level Track Description

The 7¼” gauge ground level track has an inner circuit length of 762ft (232.25m) and outer circuit length of 1309ft (399m). The minimum radius is 36ft (11.0m), and the track has a maximum rising gradient of 1 in 50, with a maximum falling gradient of 1 in 55. 


The locomotive must be coupled to the train by means of a rigid drawbar (scale screw or 3-link couplings are of inadequate strength for passenger-carrying operation). Couplings between passenger vehicles must also comprise rigid drawbars. Where passenger-carrying trains are not continuously braked, special precautions must be taken against accidental uncoupling and division of the train. To prevent this eventuality, auxiliary safety chains must be connected between the locomotive and train, and between carriages. (Note that this requirement also applies to couplings between locomotives and tenders, unless auxiliary drawbars are fitted).

Driving Facility

The locomotive may be driven from:

  1. A ride-on tender (7¼" gauge only), or:

  2. A passenger car which is specially adapted to allow the driver to sit at the leading end, or:

  3. A driving trolley or truck. This may only be used within the formation of passenger train, if it is fitted with a continuous automatic braking system

Spark Arrestors

Whenever the railway is open to the public, all steam locomotives must carry an effective means of preventing spark emissions from the chimney. At all other times, the use of a spark arrestor is discretionary.

Speed Limits

The speed limit is 8 m.p.h. on straight sections, 5 m.p.h. on curves, and 3 m.p.h. through stations, for both raised and ground level tracks. Additionally there is a 3 m.p.h. limit on the exit to the park. If the signalling system is not operational, speed and distance must be regulated such that a driver can stop within his/her sight line.

Track Construction

The raised level track is constructed of 1.75lb steel profile rail, which is attached to wooden sleepers using rail chairs. The wooden sleepers are  attached to steel point rodding, which are support by a number of concrete pillars. A steel anti tip rail also runs for the extent of the track. The ground level track is constructed of 4lb steel profile rail which is attached to wooden or plastic sleepers using galvanised screws and washers (2 screws per rail per sleeper). The sleepers are supported by compacted granite ballast (20mm), except at the carriage shed diamond crossing and the four  crossings in the park, where the rails are welded to steel plates and set in concrete.

Signal Indications


All signals are of the three-aspect colour light type, some have feathers to provide route indication. 


Red aspect means “stop, and do not pass the signal”. 

Yellow aspect means “proceed with caution, and be prepared to stop at the next signal”. 

Green aspect means “proceed at normal speed”. 

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