Main-Line Rallies

The Gilling Main Line Rallies are among the star events in the 5-inch gauge railway world and attract model engineers who prefer to run their locomotives or rolling stock in prototypical fashion. There is also a growing following among the public who just like to watch the trains go by. The Gilling rallies are organised by the RSME and take place on a weekend for two days in early May and three days over the August bank holiday.

The timetable starts at 08:00hrs and runs continually until 17.00hrs. During this time, the Gilling railway is operated as per full size practice with steam and diesel outline models hauling time tabled trains around the double track main line. The track is controlled in the Giling station area by a 30-lever signal box with automatic signals on the outer sections. A second thirty lever box controls operations in the Erimus Yard. See the Signalling Page here. Extensive shunting with four duty-pilot locos takes place in the three yards throughout the day with transfer locos taking stock from one yard to another as required to ensure correct train formations.

For entrants to the rally, this is a chance to drive their locomotive on a superbly constructed track under conditions approaching the real thing, with fully interlocked semaphore signals controlling their every move. Training will be given to those who are not sure what the signalling system means, so that trains run safely. Just as with the full size, a passing a signal at danger means trouble!

For those who like building coaches and wagons this is the opportunity to see them running under ideal conditions. A bonus is the chance to meet and make friends with those of a similar mind. Visitors can watch locomotives pulling scale trains in an ideal setting with beautiful countryside all around. Refreshments are available for rally entrants and visitors each day of the rally.

Most participants come to Gilling for the period of the rally, but some also make a week of it and either come early or stop late to enjoy the surrounding attractions of York, the NYMR railway, Whitby, or Scarborough. There is space for tents for the duration of the rally itself and there are numerous B&B establishments and caravan sites in the surrounding area.

For those wishing to run a locomotive or rolling stock please Click Here.

All entries must be five-inch gauge scale models of locomotives or stock that ran or have run on the British Railway’s System. Locomotives should be capable of staying in steam for at least an hour, as should diesel outline models regarding their battery capacity. Current boiler certificates are required. Wheel profiles, buffer and couplings should be to the current GL5 standards and the lowest point of driving truck footrests must be 1″ above the railhead. If in doubt, ask. Locomotives should not deposit oil or water onto the track as scale length trains can be heavy and the track has gradients. Ash pans must be fully enclosed so that hot ash cannot be deposited on to the track.