About Us

The South Cheshire Model Engineering Society was founded in 1968 by five men, each with a strong desire to build and drive live steam locomotives. A site was rented from the Horseshoe Public House, Newcastle Road, Willaston and a six hundred foot track was built. It was well equipped with signals, steaming bays, hut etc. The membership grew to around seventy.

In 1990 it was announced that a new main road would be built across the site.

Months of searching produced a second site - owned by Greenalls Brewery. We took over the two and a half acre site in 1991. It had previously been used as a tip for builders waste etc. and was far from flat and level. Money was raised from the pockets of members and help in other ways came from various sources. The local Agricultural College prepared and seeded the site. The local Ordnance Factory has threaded thousands of bars for the track and the Cheshire Corn Seed Fund has provided trees and shrubs. Members cast over five hundred concrete track support pillars. Three quarters of a mile of steel rail was used plus thousands of bolts for securing fish plates etc.

The result is that we have a track almost a quarter of a mile long for 3 1/2" and 5" trains with automatic signalling. Our old track has been re-erected within the new track for 2 1/2", 3 1/2" and 5" trains. We have a new pavilion after the original one was damaged in a fire.

Some interesting details:

There are 3 rails for the whole length of track, totalling 3/4 mile of steel. There are over 200 fish plates, 2100 tie bars and 4200 spacer tubes. There are 500 holding down bolts into 500 support pillars made from 24 1/2 tons of concrete. There are over 10,000 nuts and bolts in 11,600 holes (or about 250 feet of hole drilled).

In March 1996 the interests and activities of the society were transferred to a Company Limited by Guarantee.

We offer rides at the site to visitors some Sunday afternoons in spring and summer and during Bank Holidays.