The Gauge 2 Model Railway

'Gauge 2' or 2" Gauge is unique amongst model railway gauges in being deliberately 'snuffed out' by the model railway industry. It survived at most 17 years - from 1900 to 1917 - and yet in its time it was a serious rival to other gauges for the loyalty of railway modellers. It is a lasting tribute to the manufacturers and amateur builders of the day that so much of their output still exists, more than 100 years later.

Writing as someone also engaged in Gauge 1 models, I can say that Gauge 2 models are impressive! Much bulkier that Gauge 1, they were often built oversize in addition because of the poor steaming of early boilers. But Gauge 2 never quite crosses the line into Gauge 3, which is really a model engineering scale. The Gauge 2 models were built with minimum external detail and today, to our eyes, have a simplicity of form that is evocative of the 'Golden Age', before the world went mad in the horrors of the First World War.

These pages describe an effort to bring back into operation a representative part of the Gauge 2 model railway in such a way that these superb and often unique treasures of a bygone age can be seen running, not just living out their retirement in glass cases. This project has involved not just restoring ancient mechanisms to life, but also building suitable track and in some cases replacing long-lost components. The result is impressive in several ways - not just in terms of the quality of work being done in Edwardian times, but also in the scale of the models - the smallest gauge in which you can feel, not just see and hear, the trains coming!

Today, there are no known Gauge 2 model railways, with the possible exception of my own 20' x 40' test track. Back in the day, there were some astounding set-ups, of which Messrs Krabbe and Brabazon's garden layout at Theale, Berkshire (pictured) must have been the grandest.

Gauge 2 Index

Here you can see the various types of stock made for Gauge 2, mostly before 1914, and still surviving to the present day and details of some Gauge 2 layouts.

What was Gauge 2?

Gauge 2 Standards

The Jubb Atlantic
Henry Greenly's first 'Challenger'
Six Coupled Goods Locomotive
G.N.R. Saddle Tank
Four Coupled Tank Engine. Bassett Lowke, c. 1910
Six Coupled Tank Engine

Models built by Bing and Carette for Bassett Lowke

Passenger Stock
Passenger Carriages

Non-Passenger Stock
Horseboxes, Carriage Trucks and other vehicles.

Goods Stock
Open Wagons
Dumb Buffered Wagons
The Goods Train


Keswick Lodge
The Smoghampton & Greenhills Railway
Model Railway News 1933
Calcot Grange