Leeds SMEE at Eggborough Site from 1978 - 2019
The site at Eggborough began in 1978 after agreement with the power station. The track made a great addition to the eventual Power Station Sports Club with its golf course, bowling green and football fields.
As can be seen from the images of the construction, the works were extensive and required a great deal of effort from society members. Over the next few years the track, tunnel, meeting room and workshops was completed culminating in the opening on the 23rd May 1982. The carriage shed was constructed in 1990.
From that date the site continued to be developed by the Leeds SMEE members, with weekly Working Parties maintaining the site to a high standard, see features added over the years, the last main feature being the station built in 2007/8 and officially opened in August of that year by our chairman. Shortly after this we carried out extensive works adding anti-tip system to the whole track as an additional safety feature. During the winter of 2014/15 the whole track was re-laid with new sleepers and some rail replacement. All the track being levelled using survey instruments.
The society held regular running days when members ran their locos and presented other models. We also ran special events on Bonfire night and Boxing day as well as Rallies, open days, entertained visiting clubs and national events sponsored by the Federation on Model Engineers.
The society also attended many exhibition events over the years whilst sited at Eggborough namely Harrogate and later Doncaster which became the National Model Engineers exhibition.
The track was also used for private parties by members and in recent years held education events for local Guides & Scout troupes plus Home Ed groups for children with learning difficulties. We also have a portable track which is often taken to community events in the area.
In 2018 we were informed by the Power station management that the site had to be cleared as it had been sold for redevelopment. We had our last running day in May 2019. From then we cleared the site and sold off items and moved some reusable items to storage. All this just 4 years after the track was re-laid.
Beyond the clearance of the site we now have to look to find a new site, design a track, buildings etc and apply for planning permission. The new owners and developers have understood our situation and offered a site area where they do not intend to build.
With an average of 80 enthusiastic members who are keen to rebuild a new society venue where members can meet and discuss their projects as well as run their locos. We are keen to look more closely at this offer, make a plan, look for financial support and build a new future for Leeds SMEE.