These true to 16mm scale kits represent a typical selection of vehicles from the 2ft 6in gauge, Great Whipsnade Railway, which operates on a circular route within the ground of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
These carriages originally started their lives as 14 ton, ‘all steel’ Pulp Wagons, and were built by the Butterley Company between 1951 and 1953 for use on the Bowaters Paper Railway system in Kent. Along with several steam locomotives, a number of these wagons were subsequently acquired for use on the fledgling Whipsnade and Umfolozi Railway, which first opened in 1970.
The wagons were rebuilt as passenger carriages and have since given reliable service, carrying visitors to the zoo on a circular journey of around a mile, travelling past and in some cases through, various animal enclosures. Whilst a number of steam locomotives have worked the line at various times, Kerr Stuart 0-4-2ST Brazil Class locomotive ‘Excelsior’ and Kerr Stuart 0-6-2T ‘Barretto’ class locomotive ‘Superior’ have provided the mainstay of motive power for many years.
The kits themselves came about after I was approached by a Customer who was looking to recreate a typical rake of Great Whipsnade Railway carriages in 16mm scale, to accompany his Accucraft ‘Leader’, which was turned out as classmate ‘Excelsior’. He also happened to be a ‘Seasonal Footplate Crewman’ on the railway and as such was able to supply all the information necessary to create accurate models. It was also agreed that these kits could be made available for general release and I am pleased to say orders can now be taken.