The British railway turntable has a long-history and literally operated where steam locomotives had to be turned around. One company, Ransoms and Rapier, a business spun off in 1869 from the much larger agricultural equipment manufacturer firm Ransoms, Sims & Jefferies, became one of the UK’s foremost railway equipment manufacturers that included overseas railway construction. Ransoms and Rapier’s railway activities included the production of railway turntables which they were destined to become very well-known for. Other important manufacturers Cowans Sheldon & Co – best known as crane manufacturers – who exported their railway, dockside cranes and turntables the world over.
The Great Western Railway (GWR) produced their own turntables and a variation known as the overbridge. This was typical of the GWR striking out on their own, but there appears to be little evidence of other railway companies producing their own turntable variations preferring to rely on other specialist suppliers. Railway turntables were synonymous with the steam locomotive era but also with the requirement for fixed carriage formations and with the alignment of observation cars that would need to be turned around at journey’s end. The Caledonian Railway, LNER and the Pullman Company were some of the most prominent users of this specialist railway carriage.
Greenwood Model Railway Products have been producing turntables since 2016 and have gone through a series of design modifications. The 70’ scale turntable model is designed to accommodate most large British O gauge locomotives; typically, Pacific or Duchess Class engines and tenders. 65’, 60’, 55’, 50’ and 32’ turntables are designed for smaller or tank locomotives or layouts with limited space. Turntables are produced with a standard well specification and come with the turntable well built into a standard square plywood base allowing straight forward installation to track systems. The turntable itself can be built into larger dimension base if required. Different styles of turntable and overbridge models are available in two and three rail track formats to suit the needs of both fine scale and standard scale railway O gauge modellers. Available as either pre-built models or as self-assembly kits.
Two Rail Track Bridge Versions
- Peco code 143 flat bottom (fine scale) to match Flexitrack rail. For use with ACE Trains and ETS locomotives and rolling stock.
- Peco code 200 SM 32 (Gauge 1 rail for use as standard scale) – for use with ACE Trains and ETS locomotives and rolling stock.
- Code 125 bullhead. This is Greenwood’s standard fine scale bullhead offering.
- Peco code 124 bullhead (fine scale) also available as an option to match Flexitrack rail.
Three Rail Track Bridge Versions
- Code 200 Maldon Rail/track (standard scale).
- Code 200 Greenwood-designed Bassett-Lowke style track with raised centre rail (standard scale).
- Merkur tinplate tubular style (standard scale).
O Gauge Turntable
Standard well turntable offered as either a Ransoms and Rapier or Cowans Sheldon & Co unit. The Ransoms and Rapier model is identified by an extended platform form to accommodate vacuum pumps and by circular cutouts on the bridge underframe. The Cowans Sheldon & Co model has a straight platform bridge. Both models available as 70’, 65’, 60’, 55’, 50’ and 32’ turntables.
O Gauge Solid Deck Turntable
This turntable is a scale 70’ deck model with a filled in well and completely covered top that moves with in tandem with the bridge. This is like one of the four that were based at Old Oak Common.
Price: £350.00 complete; £150.00 kit.
GWR O Gauge Turntable
This turntable is designed with the distinctive GWR overbridge and comes as either a 70’ or 65’ model.
Price: £350.00 complete; £150.00 kit.