Warley Model Railway Club

Railway modelling in most scales and gauges

Warley Model Railway Club, Unit 1F Pearsall Drive, Oldbury, West Midlands, B69 2RA

Registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) Charity No: 1153792

Home Our Club The Clubrooms Modelling Members Page Contact Us

Layout photographs above courtesy of British Railway Modelling

Dewsbury - Scale 7


The layout depicts a section of the line the Midland Railway started to build c1900; it was designed to reduce the journey time for express trains to Scotland from the south and make Bradford a through station. The project was never completed but the model is intended to show what it could have looked like in 1906 if it had been built.


In 1898 the Midland Railway Company obtained powers to construct a direct line from Royston to Bradford, which, in addition to shortening its route to Scotland by about six miles, would place the city of Bradford on the main line instead of on a branch, and would shorten the distance between

Bradford and London and the South by about 11 miles. This would probably have meant an acceleration of about half an hour, as all trains to and from the South, had to enter Leeds Wellington Station, and be reversed; the train engine being changed and a new engine coupled to the rear of the train, since that station was not of the through type.  

Powers were also sought to construct a branch from the new line to Huddersfield and Halifax, but the application for these was withdrawn, and an Act obtained in 1899 to make a junction with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway near Thornhill, for running powers over that company's line to Mirfield, whence a new line was to be made to Huddersfield. Access to Halifax was to be secured by a junction with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's Cleckheaton branch at Low Moor, and running powers over its line to Halifax. The accompanying map, which is taken from the official maps published by the Railway Clearing House, shows the route of the proposed new lines and the proposed running powers.  The southern end of the new West Riding line was constructed as far as Dewsbury and opened for goods traffic. The Huddersfield branch construction commenced shortly thereafter. Powers were from time to time obtained for an extension of the period for compulsory purchase of land and of construction, but the Midland Company finally lodged a Bill before Parliament for the abandonment of the extension north of Dewsbury. This caused considerable anxiety and annoyance in Bradford, to which place the new line would have meant a great deal, not only from a transportation point of view, but from the greater importance the city would obtain in the commercial world. All that was finally constructed were two goods lines serving Dewsbury and Huddersfield.


The model depicts what might have been had the Midland Railway constructed their proposed West Riding lines. The accompanying Diagram shows how it is envisaged the station depicted by the model would have fitted in at Dewsbury.  The lines shown dotted in red are the lines depicted in this model.  Parts of this layout date from 1989 when it was decided that a decent size layout built to Scale7 standards was required. During the next few years the layout was exhibited a number of times with the last showing taking place at the NEC Warley Club exhibition in 1997. By now the baseboards for the goods yard were in poor shape so the layout was stored until 2000 pending a decision what should be done. One option was to scrap it and build something smaller, the other was to build a new larger goods station, make some alterations on the mainline and rewire it. Operating experience suggested that it would be better if the signal boxes were fitted with fully interlocked, mechanical and electrical lever frames rather than the conventional switches to control everything. Towards the end of 2000 work began and by 2004 a lot of progress had been made but in that year the East Staffs S7 Group decided to build a smaller portable layout and the only location available was where Dewsbury was kept. Given the space available it was not easy and work was diverted to the new project, but in due course Ellerton Road was ready and it has been exhibited a number of times. In 2007 Bob Essery, the owner of Dewsbury decided to donate the still unfinished Dewsbury to the HMRS and Warley Model railway Club and it was divided into two parts. The goods station was donated to the HMRS and this part of the layout plus a new high level passenger station that was part of the story, but which did not exist in model form, is now a working layout at the HMRS Museum and Study Centre at Butterley. The mainline section was given to the Warley Club

where work to restore it into working order began in the Spring of 2008.


Although there is still much to do before this section is complete the club members felt that it would make an interesting exhibit at the club’s 2009 exhibition. The Warley group meet every Wednesday evening, which is the 7mm night, so if any visitor would like to become involved they will be made very welcome.


1. Midland Record No. 19 - ”The West Riding Lines of the Midland Railway - Part 1” - Bob Essery - Wild Swan Publications Ltd

2. Midland Record No. 20 - ”The West Riding Lines of the Midland Railway  - Part 2” - Bob Essery - Wild Swan Publications Ltd

3. Midland Record No. 22 - ”The Bradford Through Lines or what might have been” - Jamie Guest - Wild Swan Publications Ltd

4. Model Railway Journal No. 49 - “Dewsbury Goods Shed” - Graham Rayner, Chris Perry - Wild Swan Publications Ltd

5. Model Railway Journal No. 88 - “Water Orton Station in 7mm” - Bill Hudson - Wild Swan Publications Ltd

6. Model Railway Journal No. 71 - ”Barrow Crossings” - Bob Essery - Wild Swan Publications Ltd

7. Model Railway Journal No. 68 - “Stone Walling” - Bob Essery - Wild Swan Publications Ltd

Contact: Alan Turner