Search billions of records on


by Bill McKenzie

Genesis steaming through the leaves

The original idea came many years ago and was a long time coming to fruition. However, I had a large vegetable patch which was too much work and a Mamod conversion and some scratch built bug boxes. Then at the Kew exhibition in 1995 I acquired a Pearse Genesis. Then, after the front drive had been relaid and a new retaining wall built between the upper and lower gardens, I had all this broken up concrete and old bricks crying out for use. Thus the Cuffley Dales Railway was born.

The basic idea was to encircle the vegetable patch that I wanted retained and so provide continuous running with a passing loop and main station complete with siding and shed. The site sloped towards one corner so it would mainly be at ground level. In addition I had plans to extend around the side of the garden and along the back boundary at a higher level to provide a comfortable steaming up area. This extension would eventually terminate in the garden shed so stock could be kept safe in the running season. To facilitate both turning round locos and entering and leaving the loop in either direction I incorporated a 'Y' loop.

The main circuit was laid in 1995 and topped off with concrete being on a rubble base with either brick or stone (from the old garden wall) retaining walls and was mainly at ground level. Track and pointwork was Peco SM32 screwed into the concrete and supported where necessary to keep it level. This was not always as succesful as planned as the area near the 'Y' loops dipped rather in the approach to the main station and the curves, although supposed to 5 or 6 feet radius, pinched in places and the Mamods were not sufficiently powerful on these areas with low steam pressure. Another problem I had not foreseen was the benefit of transition curves, or rather, in my case, the lack of them.The extension was built in 1996 using the broken up lumps of concrete, which had become an eyesore in the garden. It was laid as a dry "stone" wall and the trackbed was levelled with any old material including carpet off-cuts and cemented over. At the end of the extension was a curved run around loop; this was eventually intended to be a station.Where they were built the platforms were formed of quick drying concrete mix. From the photograghs it can be seen that the railway was never completed by the time I moved in 1997. A new railway was planned for a smaller garden in Bedfordshire but after many years on the shelves this has proved a pipe dream and the stock and much extra for new locos and stock remains in the loft.


Three Mamods: My original blue one acquired at Merstham in 1995 was converted with to meths firing and had new cylinders, chimney, regulator, bunker box, lubricator, etc and was painted crimson.An almost original green one bought at Kew which ahd already been successfully converted to gas burning by the previous owner and still awaiting many further improvements - all bought but never fitted.The third Mamod GLOSTER was acquired at 16mm AGM at Stoneleigh and already had many modifications, including bunker and chimney.

Genesis, a very powerful radio controlled internally gas fired 0-6-0T from Pearse Locomotives, originally their demonstration local and acquired at Kew.

In addition I have an IP Engineering Lister Simplex caravan awaiting contruction as well as their Lister. My original engine was the original Brandbright Railbus which I have added working headlights and interior lights and finished Brunswick Green. This was complemented by a plasticard look-a-like Ford Inspection vehicle using a Cambrian Models chassis.

oaching stock is all currently scratch built. A rake of three bogie coaches in 3-ply using Brandbright bogies and wheels and two plasticard Festiniog Bug Boxes. A further Bug Box and Tenmille GVT clerestory coach have remained under construction.

Goods wagons are all from Binnie being three tipper trucks, flat wagon, bolster wagons and five Coopercraft,kits.

There are five battery powered chassis awaiting conversion or building into various items but all on the drawing board.

Bill McKenzie

email graphicSend email: Bill McKenzie

November 2000

Member 3015 Association 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers

Site Meter
The 16mm Association:
East Surrey 16mm Group:
East Anglian 16mm Group:
West Herts 16mm Group:
Chiltern MRA:
Mentmore Model Railway Group:



Mamod on the wall

Ralph Copnall in charge, showing future site of railway

Genesis in the snow

CUFFLEY DALES RAILWAY under construction

The vegetable garden

Under construction

Main Station area under construction

Testing the curves

Testing the track

Main station under construction


Action at the main station

Genesis approaching the station area

Genesis approaching sight of the halt, platform laid

Brandbright Railbus - used to test the track

Genesis & coaches at Main station (under construction)

Genesis & coaches at station

Genesis and train in the country

Genesis on extension

Genesis pounding the extension

Leaves on the line

Mamod and bug boxes

Mamod at the site of the unfinished Brandbright shed

Rake of scratch-built coaches on extension

Genesis running round the loop on the extension

In storage awaiting new home


email graphicSend email: Bill McKenzie

Copyright © William Ernest McKenzie 2000

1 December 2000 and updated August 2009