Running Shed

This commissioned collectors cabinet diorama Is fully lit, both inside and out, and it depicts the interior of a small two road Victorian locomotive shed.  The once grand interior has seen better days, but the building still performs it’s function. The shed’s outdoor environment is visible though the round topped windows present along the mid section and between the piers of the rear wall, and it includes another shed to the left, a town skyline, carriage sidings with signalbox and a coaling stage surrounded by other depot and industrial architecture.  

The cabinet will eventually house an exquisite collection of Great Western locomotives, while allowing different lighting effects as a photo background for mood portraits and silhouettes.  At either end, mirrored access panels help by providing the illusion of a continuous view, these are also hinged allowing multi stage focus pictures looking along the shed as well as through the front aperture.

For the time being, here are a few basic pictures using my old Metropolitan Railway locomotives, while I wait for Chris Nevard to work his magic for a feature for Model Rail magazine.


The G.W.R. Running shed cabinet, with just the outdoor lighting on.

This press release picture anticipates a feature in a Model Rail Compendium volume, and it shows a G.W.R. 0-6-2T in the shed, weathered by Neil Podbery. Chris Nevard.


The left hand end shows the doors leading out to a works area. This shows the scale interior lights on.


Some of the backscene can be glimpsed through the windows, and there are a few piles of clutter and obsolete equipment leaning against the wall.

A view looking out, shows a few locomotives, and a trolley with new brake blocks. Dave Thomas.

This looks like a cold early morning, with the crew of No 4937 ‘Lanelay Hall’ looking at the duty roster. Dave Thomas.


There’s enough room for six mid size locomotives, or four pacifics, but with only two or three, it’s easy to come up with a near infinite number of cameo positions. The green is summer grass growing on the coaling stage incline, and there will be a row of TT gauge GWR loco coal wagons silhouetted against the bright skyline. A pair of finescale 4mm locomotives will eventually appear where the basic Dapol prairie now appears through the window on the right.

running shed 2

The closest the Metropolitan got to a thoroughbred..A handsome ‘H’ Class 4-4-4T No107 on shed.


A sunny day outdoors silhouettes an ‘A’ Class Metropolitan Beyer Peacock 4-4-0T.


An ‘E’ Class 0-4-4T rests in the gloom to the left of this contrast view, and the dirty rooflights and widows are the only light source.