The Home Pages of The Platelayers Society
The term 'platelayer' was the name used in Britain for the men who laid and maintained the "plateways" that were primarily used for coal haulage in the early 19th century. Whilst not wishing to take away from Wikipedia or similar sites, "plateways" were built using L shaped rails and the vehicles that ran on them did not have flanged wheels. Eventually, around 1830, with the coming of heavier engines and wagons, plateways gave way to edged rails and flanged wheels. Plateways were less able to carry the increased weights, and the track was prone to wear. With the coming of the first railroad and then railways, the word "platelayer" continued to be used to describe those workers.                                                                                                               
"Ganger" is a term used to describe the person who would be in charge of a "gang" of platelayers. 
"Lengthman" would be a member of the gang of platelayers responsible for a length or stretch of track.

("railroad"  was originally a British term before becoming American vernacular)

An interesting article appeared in the "The Dalesman" in May 1976 describing "Gang Life on the Long Drag" on the Settle & Carlisle  line of the Midland Railway.  It expands  the explanation of platelayers and gangers. By kind permission of The Dalesman   whose website can be found here The Dalesman  we can reproduce the article. Long Drag..

Despite our name, we do more than just lay and maintain model railway track. Not all our members are modelers or have the facilities to construct a model railway layout, but we all enjoy that aspect of the hobby. Some members have extensive layouts. Some have end-to-end layouts. Other members are interested in the historical aspects of British Railways.
Our members have interests covering all of the popular British scales which include N gauge, OO/4mm gauge and O gauge. Some members also model  2mm, the various forms of 4mm=1ft (00, EM. P4/S4), S scale, coarse O Gauge and Gauge 1 (usually LGB). Narrow gauge is also popular.
Although many of our members have an interest in the railways in Britain, it is probably more accurate to say that, as a group, we have an interest in non-North American railways. For example, at past Great British Train Shows, we have featured displays of the Bombay, Baroda & Central India Railway, and the Darjeeling & Himalayan Railway. 
This website was decided upon in the mid-1990's by the Executive, as a means of providing British modelers in the Greater Toronto Area with a resource and information on current trends and tips. 

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February 2015