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The Broad Gauge Society


About the Broad Gauge Society

The Broad Gauge Society was formed in 1980, to promote research into the 7ft 0žin gauge railways of Britain in the 19th Century.

Although the last main-line 'Broad Gauge' trains ran in May 1892, that is no reason to assume that interest in this period, or railway, has faded away.

In fact the initial goal of the early Society was to promote modelling of this period, to be able to create an impression of what was lost.

But as the Society's membership has grown, this has embraced persons with varied interests that cover all areas of the railway operation, including modelling, historical research, industrial archaeology, model engineering, and through to full size re-creation of track and a steamable locomotive.

An analysis of membership interests (circa 2014) reveals a 50/50 split between those interested in research and history, and members whose primary interest is modelling; and of the latter there is a close 50/50 split between 4mm and 7mm scale modellers.

Although the early broad gauge lines tend to be associated with Mr. I. K. Brunel and the fledgling Great Western Railway,  many other local, and larger railways like the 'Bristol and Exeter' were built as broad gauge, and later absorbed into the G.W.R. umbrella.  However the 'London & South Western', and 'Midland Railway' also owned and operated broad gauge lines for some years.  The researching of a specific railway Company can often be a fascinating pursuit, particularly where someone has had an association with the area of interest.

The Society has over 350 members, holds meetings, field trips, and attends exhibitions on a regular basis, as well as having an active email group, and this web-site which enables the display of some activities, and modelling products.

Building into a personal archive - new finds, photographs, research, and articles on operational details of the broad gauge railways are presented in the Society's magazine  'Broadsheet',  along with articles on modelling this era.  (Copies of previous issues are also obtainable.)

The Society also publishes a bi-monthly News-Sheet giving news of forthcoming meetings, new drawings, model kits, and other items of interest to members.

For information about joining the Broad Gauge Society, please go to the  BGS Membership page  for details