(F) Military Moving Target Tramways

Want to talk about Sir Arthur Heywood's 15" gauge railways? About modern day minimum gauge lines? Have you found a minimum gauge line you've not seen mentioned on the website? Want directions to one of the railways that is mentioned? Whatever your interest in real minimum gauge lines, post your questions (and answer other modellers' questions) here.

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(F) Military Moving Target Tramways

Postby DCRfan » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:10 am

I have been browsing my collection of photos and realised I now have about 30 of various military target tramways. While prototypically they were not minimum gauge (well not that I'm aware of) they are Gniffy in nature.

Typically they are winch, petrol or electrically powered (both two rail overhead and three rail). For some pictures of an Air Force aerial gunnery range look at the Australian War Museum website which show aircraft turrets mounted on trailers. They were also mounted on three level towers.

http://www.awm.gov.au/ then search for picture numbers VIC0089, VIV0091, VIC1979 and 140519.

See also http://proarchives.imagineering.com.au/index_search.asp?searchid=41 and search for 'target range' you find more of the Air Force range
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Postby Simon Hargraves » Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:12 pm

Hi Paul, there was (maybe still is?) a very extensive target railway at Lydd in Kent, about 25 miles from where I live. Of 2' gauge, it went all over the extensive Lydd Ranges, which are on the massive shingle point of Dungeness. As well as for target practice, it was used for maintenance purposes as large areas of the site are inaccessible even to tracked vehicles owing to the shingle which seems to break everything that tries to go across it!

As you say, although it's broad gauge, it is very suitable as inspiration
for Gn15. I will try to see if I can find the photos I took on two visits to the site in the 90's. This may take some time as I'm mid-house move at the moment!
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Postby DCRfan » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:16 am

:shock: Wow, Lydd was a busy place as it has had 39 locos and powered trollies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_military_narrow_gauge_railways
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Postby Pandy » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:51 am

In either 1946 or '47 my late father was attached to an anti-tank artillery regiment that went to the Lydd/Romney Marsh ranges. I recall him saying that a quad towing a 17 pounder broke down on a track and the one following pulled out and attempted to drive around it, sank into the shingle and took a whole day to recover.

He did also mention that certain elements of the regiment took to spoiling everyone's fun by shooting at the track not the target trolley and managed to mangle it and then swear blind it was an accident -- railway vandalism is nothing new ! Apparently they also had one or two incidents where the running gear of the trolley got hit "by accident".
Dave & Lorraine, more ideas than space, time & finance permit !

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Postby dana » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:33 am

This photo came from a 7/8th gallery of the name "wreakin havoc".

I saved the pic and thought this could be used as an idea:

Image

I love the simulated bullet holes in the balsa board.
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Postby DCRfan » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:53 am

Ah, the universal 'Figure 11 target'.
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Postby Pandy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:18 pm

I do like that little cameo, now is that the top of a glue bottle or a scale mug in the foreground ? Can't help wondering if the holes scale out to 5.56mm or 7.62mm though. Must file that idea away for future use, add a scale box of glue pots with brushes, not sure what to use as patches though. Must try to rationalise ideas or we're going to need an aircraft hangar to house a layout!
Dave & Lorraine, more ideas than space, time & finance permit !

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Postby DCRfan » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:20 am

Just noticed the targets have even got the prototypical grouping of hits in the centre of the target with a few strays around the edges.
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Postby DCRfan » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:30 am

One for the 'A Prototype for Everything' file. Check out the loco shed - a pile of stones with grass top and some doors :D

http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=45191
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Postby Steve Bennett » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:03 pm

More festive pic of the target railway :wink:

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Postby Steve Bennett » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:02 pm

The snow picture is up on the top of Dartmoor, not far from Okehampton, but a bit remote. You need 4WD to get up there though and have to time it for when the range is not in use, obviously :lol:

Not sure if it is still there, but one of the target trollies was in the car park at the rear of Okehampton Town Museum. Partially dismantled and hidden under a tarpaulin, but all the bits apart from the targets were there.
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Postby Simon Moore » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:04 pm

I thought I'd post this pic, not exactly a target but a dummy, the original caption states that it is a dummy tank designed to run on Decauville track, intended to confuse the enemy, presumably if they could see it they'd shoot at it. So kind of a rail mounted target :lol:

Image

Oh, First World War by the way, if the tank design and use of trench tramways wasn't a give away.

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Postby KeithB » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:06 pm

Looking at Steve's photo of the Dartmoor range as well as the ones on the "28dayslater" site, it seems the track is a "dumbell" shape with a turning loop at each end. Now, the points appear NOT to be sprung so was some poor squaddie assigned the task of running out and changing them without getting shot? ("Keep yer 'ead down, laddie, and you'll be all right!"... :D )
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Postby Steve Bennett » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:08 pm

It's a very extensive system at Lydd. At one time I think they had over 50 target trollies there, along with 10 or more diesel locos.

By contrast the Dartmoor one is tiny, almost perfect for a small self contained layout, though would be quite a size in Gn15. Here is the whole system courtesy of Google Maps:

http://tinyurl.com/y89hg2d
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Postby Steve Bennett » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:06 am

KeithB wrote:Looking at Steve's photo of the Dartmoor range as well as the ones on the "28dayslater" site, it seems the track is a "dumbell" shape with a turning loop at each end. Now, the points appear NOT to be sprung so was some poor squaddie assigned the task of running out and changing them without getting shot? ("Keep yer 'ead down, laddie, and you'll be all right!"... :D )


No, not sprung but they were weighted which was enough to return them after the trolley passed through, so it was fully automatic. From what I understand the guys who operated the railway, went for a cuppa in the loco shed while the firing was taking place, rather them than me :lol:
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Postby Simon Andrews » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:40 pm

Here's a few more pics of the Lydd target trolley:

http://www.bala-lake-railway-society.org.uk/express03/d-wickham-a-son

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Postby DCRfan » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:17 am

:shock: This threat hasn't seen the light for several years so how about this 15 inch gauge (!) 3 rail target tramway
http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?3517-SECOND-WORLD-WAR-200-yard-Moving-Target-Ranges
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Re: (F) Military Moving Target Tramways

Postby Igor » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:41 pm

Regarding the Okehampton range line, you may be interested to gnow that the current one is self propelled and 2' 6" gauge, but the original was cable-hauled and 18" - close enough to 15"?

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Re: (F) Military Moving Target Tramways

Postby Duncan Adam » Mon May 04, 2015 8:30 pm

There is (was) a small target railway at Barrybuddon Camp, near Carnoustie in Scotland. I can well remember seeing it when I was periodically there in 2002/03. It looked to be in good condition but I never managed to get into the shed to see if there was anything there. Sadly those were the days before smartphones so I did not get any pictures. Barrybuddon is still owned by the MoD and the ranges are used for live firing so it's not particularly accessible.


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