Cliffhanger in exhibition

This text and the images in this website may be used freely for exhibition guides and adapted if required.

Cliffhanger is a 009 scale model of the Glenthorne Harbour branch line that hangs on the North Devon sea cliffs at Countisbury Loop. Unusually, the 16ft long, 5ft high cliffs extend down to the ground and is visually spectacular. At the foot of the cliffs is a 1930s lido which is served by a funicular railway which goes to the top of the cliffs. The era modelled is the summer of 1935.

The model is a celebration of the famous North Devon cliffs. They are the highest in the UK and the only place where native oak trees descend right down to the shore (in the lee of Countisbury Head). They are also famous for waterfalls which crash right down to the sea. Our waterfall is animated! We think this is a first.

Trains bring coal and other goods from Glenthorne harbour and climb towards County Gate, the junction with the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. Passengers are also brought to and from the harbour and may alight at the loop and take the funicular down to the lido.

Operation is controlled by an advanced DCC system which will allows for automation with a laptop computer using Railroad and Co software. A large display screen announces and describes the trains arriving at the station and explains the history of the L&B and how the layout was built (also in German and French as required). There are ambient and train sounds. (the display screen is not available at the Warley show).

our needs as an exhibitor

click on image to enlarge

There is a high lighting rig in front of the model.

We require the provision of three 13 amp sockets (two for lighting). We can supply RCD plugs when required. We also require the provision of one table (which cannot be placed in specified clear area) and three chairs.

One of our members is disabled so we require a disabled access venue including toilet. Two members will come with the layout so we require one single disabled access room and another single. We do need a hand to load and unload the model (three fit persons required).

If the travel distance exceeds two hours (average speed 45mph) an option to stay Sunday night is needed.


We require that the layout is insured at its quoted value of 35,000 GBP throughout its transit from our home and during the show and during its return its base in North Herefordshire. The exhibition organiser is required to confirm in writing that this is the case. Stock is valued at an additional 10,000 GBP

crowd barriers

We require that a suitable barrier is provided.

Many exhibitions provide barriers of different kinds.




The model railway is transported in a long wheelbase 'Luton' van. At present prices, van hire costs about 350 for the weekend. Fuel cost is calculated on the average fuel consumption 20 miles/gallon (diesel). The layout is loaded and unloaded from the van from its storage by local farm workers and we have to charge 60 for that service.

Rental for the van is more if travelling abroad due to additional insurance and recovery costs.

Time to offload and assemble the layout to operating condition is 3 hours.