Insurance 2016-11-04T19:18:51+00:00

Public Liability Insurance arranged by the Association

The Association has taken Public Liability insurance, with a limit of indemnity of £5 million for any one incident, on behalf of members in the UK and Europe. The insurance provides cover for any event organised by a member of the Association that is attended by other members and invited guests, provided the track gauge is no more than 2½”. Depending on the circumstances, our Public Liability cover may also extend to certain events and exhibitions organised by members or local area groups and open to the public.

This page gives an overview of the cover provided. Further details of the cover and other files relating to insurance and locomotive maintenance can be found at the foot of this page.

Further Information on Public Liability Insurance

The Treasurer, Colin Slight, is the director who is responsible for organising our Public Liability insurance. Our Technical director, Mark Rennie, is the best person to address questions about the insurance. Mark can be contacted on A printed copy of the current certificate of insurance is available at the foot of this page. Finally, on the back of the address carrier sheet used to mail May SMT & Bulletin, each member is provide with a personal copy of the certificate bearing their name. If a replacement is needed, please contact the membership secretary at

Members and organisers of events or exhibitions should note that the Association’s insurance provides Public Liability insurance only. Members and event organisers who require additional cover (such as All Risks cover for models and home workshop cover) may wish to obtain a quotation from the Association’s insurance brokers:

Walker Midgley Insurance Brokers Limited
Yorkshire Bank Chambers
S1 2HD
Tel: 0114 250 2770 – contact Mr Tony Wood

Insurance Conditions Relating to Boilers and Gas Tanks

The guidelines used by the Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers, for the testing of steam boilers is based on the “Examination & Testing of Miniature Steam Boilers – (Revised Edition 2008)”. Fundamentally this code states that small boilers with a capacity of not more than 3 bar-litres are exempted from the requirements of the code.

For example a standard Roundhouse Argyll has a bar-litre capacity of 0.766, i.e. well inside the limit required by the code. However it is recommended that small boilers be fitted with a safety valve and a pressure gauge which has been marked by a red line to indicate the pressure at which the safety valve is set to lift.

A steam test should be carried out and documented by the owner every 12 months in order to ensure the correct operation of the safety valve at the correct release pressure. This should be recorded on a copy of the Boiler Test Record sheet. The boiler and the pipework installation should also be checked at the same time.

Where any injury or damage is caused by a member’s boiler, resulting in a claim under the Associations insurance policy the member needs to show that the boiler was in compliance with the guidelines of the code.

The 3 bar-litre limit is defined as the internal volume of the boiler (in litres) multiplied by the working pressure (in bar)
Where 1 bar = 14.5038 lb/in² and 1 litre = 1.76 pints.

It should also be noted that the 3 bar-litre is the guideline which is required by the Associations insurance policy – other insurance policies may differ (especially for some exhibitions). If you are in any doubt, contact your local boiler tester via

If your boiler is above the 3 bar-litre limit then a hydraulic test to one and one half times the working pressure (1.5x) is required and this will be valid for 4 years from the date of the test. A steam test is also a mandatory and required at intervals not exceeding 14 months.

It should be noted that a test certificate is invalid if the test equipment does not have a valid calibration record.

New professionally made boilers fitted to a locomotive or as part of a kit should be provided with a valid boiler certificate. It should be noted however that the boiler certificate generally only covers the hydraulic test and not a steam test. It is strongly recommended that a steam test is carried out if your model falls below the 3 bar/litre rule. For “Homemade” boilers a hydraulic test at should be carried out at twice working pressure by one of the associations boiler testers followed by a steam test.

Currently there are no laid down rules for the testing of gas tanks, although generally locomotive manufactures provide a test certificate with a new model.

Where a gas tank has been constructed at home then either contact us via or your local boiler tester to discuss the test requirements.

Insurance-related files

Locomotive Maintenance

You will also find useful resources (including our Locomotive Maintenance Chart, and guidance on carrying out the annual steam test) on the Loco Maintenance page.