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London & North Western Railway Society
Modelling Gauge 3 Scale

Gauge 3 Models for LNWR Rolling Stock

Gauge 3 (2½in) was probably the most popular scale for modelling until the early 1930s, when mass-produced railway models began to be affordable by the lower classes who lived in relatively smaller houses. It is starting to enjoy a revival, but is still very much a minority interest. The scale was originally ½in to 1ft, but changed to 17/32in to 1ft (13.5mm to 1ft) around the Second World War period in order to accommodate larger boilers giving more power. The revised scale is now used universally and gives an almost exact scale-to-gauge ratio.
The following commercial models and/or kits are known to have been made of LNWR subjects. The dates given are when the models are known to have been advertised, but the actual dates of introduction could well have been earlier. Some are extremely rare, but others are relatively easy to find today, especially those in need of a rebuild:


  • 4-4-0 Black Prince 1901 Bing for Bassett-Lowke (B-L). According to books on Bassett-Lowke was the very first commercially made model locomotive ever sold by Bassett-Lowke, in any scale. Low pressure steam
  • 4-4-0T NLR tank 1909 Bing for B-L Low pressure steam
  • 4-4-0 Precursor 1906 Carson High pressure steam
  • 4-6-0 Experiment 1906 Carson High pressure steam
  • 4-6-0 Experiment 1912 Carson Electric
  • 4-4-2T Precursor Tank 1907 Carson High pressure steam
  • 4-4-2T Precursor Tank 1912 Carson Electric
  • 0-6-0 18in Goods 1912 Carson High pressure steam
  • 4-4-0 George the Fifth 1912 Carson High pressure steam
  • 4-6-0 Claughton 1925 Bassett-Lowke High pressure steam

  • When Carson ceased trading in 1913 their stock and tooling was bought by Bassett-Lowke, who re-introduced the steam versions of Experiment and Precursor under their own name.


    These are more difficult to find today than locomotives. Contemporary trade catalogues and adverts often used engravings or merely lists of models which may not have actually existed. Consequently a reliable list has been difficult to produce, but manufacturers of LNWR carriages in Gauge 3 are known to have included:

  • Bing 1902 tinplate (sold by Bassett-Lowke)
  • Carette 1912 tinplate (sold by Bassett-Lowke)
  • Bassett-Lowke 1912 wooden
  • Jubb 1919 believed to have been wooden
  • Carson 1909 cast aluminium alloy (12 wheelers).
  • Wagons

    These were mainly of generic appearance, painted in the correct liveries of contemporary railway companies. Those known to have been produced include:

  • 4-wheeled brake van wooden Bassett-Lowke
  • 6-wheeled brake van wooden Bassett-Lowke
  • Cattle wagon wooden Bassett-Lowke
  • High sided open wagons wooden Bassett Lowke
  • 4-wheeled brake van tinplate Bing for B-L
  • High sided open wagons tinplate Bing for B-L
  • Most of these early models are accurate and look the part, with one or two exceptions. The overall dimensions were usually exactly correct and the steam locomotives, particularly by Carson, are good, reliable performers even today. The ex-Carson Experiment 4-6-0, in kit form, continued to be listed in Bassett-Lowke catalogues into the 1930s.

    If you know of any current of historical models which we have omitted or if you have any comments on the above list please send an email to the Modelling Group