Another prototypical Minories…..

Reading the July 2011 Railway Modeller, I came across another ‘almost’ Minories design, and a very attractive one at that.  This is the ex-LSWR station of Windsor and Eton Riverside.  Windsor had an LSWR and a GWR terminus, both angling, no doubt, for the royal patronage to get to Windsor Castle.  Both were just a few hundred yards from the station.  The LSWR terminus is slightly smaller, with the attraction of being next to the River Thames, and having the castle as a backdrop.

Here’s the track layout around 1900….


National Library of Scotland – Creative Commons

The castle lies just to the south-west.  Note the queen’s waiting room on the south wall of the station, and the Thames to the north.  Here’s what it looks like today, with two platforms still in operation, and a South West Trains service at one of them.


The Railway Modeller plan is for modern days and suggests moving the station a little closer to the Thames, so that the river forms a foreground feature, and moving the castle slightly east, so it forms a background to the station.  Reasonable enough changes, if you are not concerned with total accuracy.

Most of the ornate station buildings are still in place, as is the curved south wall of the station with its large, high, doors for mounted soldiers with funny pointed hats, and the royal waiting room itself.  I’ve added a few non-commercial photos below.






I think this would make an excellent model in electrified days (the third rail was added in 1930.)  The same layout would allow Southern steam and multiple units and also early BR livery with the same track layout and scenery.

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Good, bad or ugly?

A letter from the October 2011 British Railway Modelling….

No room for graffiti

One of the many reasons I have for subscribing to BRM is that you not only inspire and inform but give food for thought in an adult, mature, manner.  The article by Paul Warburton, ‘What a load of rubbish’ in the April 2011 issue certainly did that.  Although the article was mainly on the subject of dirt and debris, it included the problem of graffiti on models which is always going to be controversial, and is often misunderstood.  It is not ‘dirt’ in that the graffiti is usually clean paint of the wrong colour in the wrong place; neither is it ‘weathering’ in that it is not caused by the action of rain, snow or wind.

Graffiti in the forms it usually takes is nearly always vandalism, and illegal.  Nearly all is intended to be offensive, and at its basic level an attempt to impose one’s authority on another by defacing of otherwise altering the appearance of other people’s property without their permission.  To portray it in model form as part of ‘modern society’ therefore implies some degree of acceptance of it as part of ‘real life’.  Modern society has many aspects which are offensive such as alcoholism, violence, foul language and child abuse.  Young people who see it at a model railway exhibition may be encouraged to believe that it is acceptable and therefore encouraged to emulate it themselves, and that is not acceptable.  A lot of the performing and visual arts portray offensive subjects.  I, for one, would be very, very, sorry if railway modelling, which has always been a civilised art form, were to portray offensive subjects like graffiti, and become objects of offense themselves.  David Fairgrieve.

Wow!  That’s a bit of a broadside.  I’m not sure I agree with all that’s written, but it’s an interesting point of view that can be considered as part of our hobby.  A couple of points can be made here….

This letter again highlights something I have mentioned a couple of times on this blog.  There are two sorts of modellers.  There are those who model society as realistically as possible, warts and all.  These models will be dirty, heavily weathered, and may include graffiti.  There are others who model what they remember – often through rose tinted spectacles – with English picture postcard villages and every item of stock on the railway beautifully turned out.  And neither of these approaches is ‘wrong’.  It is a choice of the modeller to construct a picture of society, past or present, that shows what he or she wants to show.

And secondly, I am concerned how this letter demonises the present day.  The industrial areas of Britain 100 years ago could be as squalid as anything we see today – possibly more so.  It is debatable how much alcoholism, violence, foul language and child abuse have increased – in some cases it is just more open or society has become more aware of it.  Perhaps there is a need for more realistic pre-grouping and pre-nationalisation layouts, that can educate the viewer in the social ills of those times.  And perhaps there is also a need for modern, escapist, ‘garden of England’ layouts that allow us to enjoy the trains and forget the world outside the exhibition hall.

But you have to admit this would make a good model….


And it’s not new – here’s a college football supporter’s train in the 1920’s.  A bit basic, but the intent’s the same.


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Tonbridge MRC show 2017 #2

Now for the larger scales.  First off is Mers les Bains, French metre gauge in 1/32 scale.  Some typically French buildings (including the town brothel on the right) and all the engines and stock scratch built.  There are also plenty of little cameos around the layouts (including the local priest outside the aforementioned building!)



Another mainly narrow gauge line, Theobald’s Yard includes both standard and narrow gauge.  Some large industrial buildings provide a backdrop for attractive narrow gauge stock.


Bedlam Heath in OO is a small Southern Region station and yard, allowing shunting whilst third-rail EMUs pass by behind.  In the pictures below, a Class 33 diesel delivers a cut of ballast wagons.



Perhaps my favourite, Harlyn Pier, an ex-LSWR branch line in O gauge.  Anything that runs a T9 4-4-0 and a Beattie well tank gets my vote…..



I’ve seen Arigna Town at a number of shows, but this 7mm scale standard (5′ 3″) gauge Irish branch terminal is always worth another look.  Very tidy scratch building of some quite exotic prototypes (at least to English eyes!)


Again, Red Hook Bay is a regular on the exhibition circuit, but always worth another look.  Most of the building are from craftsman kits, making a unique layout.



Modern china clay wagons on St Paddy….


Harpur Hill Quarry in 00 is set near Buxton in the Peak District.  Some interesting industrial locomotives are on show, and some well kit-bashed quarry buildings.



Liss Forest Depot is a shunting ‘Inglenook’ layout in 00 set on the Longmoor Military Railway.


Finally, Modbury Tor in TT had an interesting variety of milk tankers on show.


Overall, a very good show.  Only two complaints.  One small room had too many small layouts in it, and it was almost impossible to enjoy gems like Kyle of Lochalsh.  The other problem was the long queue to get in.  This was not just a sign of success!  There was only one pay desk, and with two main halls, it would have been better to have two desks, one at each hall entrance.  Credit to the Tonbridge club, as I suggested on NGF and a member said he would forward it to the exhibition manager.

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Tonbridge MRC show 2017 #1

After a busy week, I decided a little model railway therapy was required, so I asked Derek whether he was going to the Tonbridge show.  He was, but was starting early to visit the Maidstone toy fair.  So 7am on Saturday morning, I was waiting to be collected.  In fact, I must have been very keen, as I misread my clock and got up at 5am by mistake.  Having got downstairs, I realised my mistake, and retreated back to bed for 90 minutes!

The toy fair had some interesting stalls, but nothing I wanted to buy.  Not even a second hand book or three – I was very disciplined for once!  And we were soon arriving at Tonbridge some 20 minutes after the show opened. to find a long queue trying to get in.  In fact, the queue seemed no shorter when we left.  They were obviously getting plenty of visitors, but the queue moved very slowly.  With two main halls filled with trains, it would have been sensible to have someone selling tickets on both doors, speeding up entry.

Today, I’ve got some pictures of some of the ‘N’ and other small scale trains.  Next post will have the larger exhibits.  We start with Rusbury Basin, layout with two double track main lines at different levels, giving the chance to run four trains through the attractive countryside.  The two main lines are perhaps more interesting than our N-mod system, but a bespoke layout like this can be free of modular conventions.


Umbridge is another four track main line layout, with a fifth single line crossing the station.  Another layout giving a chance to just watch the trains go by, but this time in an urban context.  A very large and ‘busy’ layout, it sometimes felt that there was too much going on.


Sturminster Halt is a fairly small 8′ x 2′ layout, representing the Somerset and Dorset Railway.  The sense of location is very strong, with ex-LMS 4F 0-6-0’s pulling ex-Southern Railway coaches, and a milk depot in the background.


Hinksey Yard shows 18′ of the main line just south of Oxford.  It’s a DB Schenker (EWS) ‘virtual quarry’ for distributing ballast for engineering works.  The main line allows a wide range of trains to pass whilst shunting continues in the background.



Llangerisech is a GWR, ex-Cambrian, terminus on the North Wales coast.  All delightfully modelled in 2mm fine scale, with plenty of scratchbuilt models on show.



It’s always interesting to see a ‘TT’ layout, as it is such a minority scale.  Daconby Town is set in Linconshire, an includes some well detailed washing on the balcony of the flats.  Hope there are no steam trains scheduled today!


Kyle of Lochalsh was perhaps the smallest layout on show, 5′ x 6″, modelling the west coast of Scotland in 2mm fine scale.  Despite its small size, it’s recognisable as Kyle, and the delicate 2mm track work and the evocative Scottish weather on the back scene stand out.



Tanner’s Hill is a small 7′ x 6′ layout, set in suburbia.  For a show south of the Thames, it was strongly Network South East, but could model almost any of the outer London approaches with a change of stock.



A simple 009 layout, Wisteria Collop, stood out for its trees in springtime bloom.  I didn’t  spot the wisteria though….


Next post will include all the larger scales.  I think some of these were even better than the small scale ones….

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Ramble on Ron #3

The weather is still the same!!

Woke up to find a new dusting of snow with low cloud/mist. During my travels it was sunny but cold. Returned to hotel to find weather as it was this morning.

Today travelled via Berne and Biel to Ride the CJ from Lauterbrunnen Chaux de Fonds to Glove lier and then back via Delemont, Biel and Berne Did a bit of shopping in Interlaken and paid the sterling equivalent at tills. The exchange at the Co-op showing on the bill was 1.2057490100 !








Started out again in low cloud/mist to do a round trip through the new Gotthard Base Tunnel to Bellinzona via Luzern and Arth-Goldau. Entered tunnel in misty conditions and exited 20 minutes later to heavy snow. At Bellinzona saw return train was running around 20 minutes late but unlike us Brits the Swiss laid on an extra train to run in the scheduled path of the delayed train. By the time we got back to the tunnel the snow had started to lay. On return to Interlaken there was a clear blue sky and the snow had almost gone. On return to Lauterbrunnen for the first time this week I could see up the valley and to Wengen.
Returning home tomorrow so there will be no further emails as I will be packing the tablet in my case – so enjoy my last selection of photos.







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ESNG meeting – 15 February 2017

Eight members, plus Andy & Lindsay visiting, made a pleasant evening.  The tracks were a little empty, with Paul missing, preparing for his Japan trip on Friday.  But we had some interesting trains running.  I tested a second-hand Farish 03 shunter, from a certain Liverpool company. It ran perfectly, and I hope to build an 07 body for it.

The usual suspects filling the fiddle yard….


Simon was testing this brute of a Pennsy road-switcher, the Baldwin DT-6-6-2000 – 3D printed body on Atlas chassis.


Andy had these two Dapol diesels in action….


Peter’s black Flying Scotsman was running far better after a little work on the front pony truck…..



Allan was missing, but sent me a report of a visit to the Bournemouth show.  With a few pictures – a little blurry, but I’ve included the best!

Had an early start to travel down to just out side Bournemouth on the Poole side.  After picking up Derek had a nice run down. The weather could have been a lot better. This is our 3rd. visit to this show. Held by the East Dorset Area Group of the N Gauge Society.

It was held at The Hamworth Club, which is a sport and social club.  The show spread over two halls and a room.  This year they added the two badminton Courts.

There was a total of 16 layouts with the normal trade support. There were four N Gauge layouts at the show.  The best layout in the show just happened to be a N gauge. This was Wickwar. The is basted on an actual location. On the secondary line between Bristol and Gloucester. The modelling was of a very high standard. The back scene was made up of four photos joined together and then printed.  The modelled area just blended into the back scene. Had a very enjoyable chat with some of the team from Farnham & District MRC.



Down stairs in the badminton courts were the other 3 N gauge layouts.  Hillview was a fictional location, with a main circuit with a larger marshalling yard added to one side. A very busy layout.



In the same court was Penworth.  A small terminal layout with some lovely thatched roof cottages. Still quite a bit of work needed to finish this layout. I was told it is a ten year project. On its first outing and well worth looking at.


In the second court was “INNs and OUTS”. Original built by the Rumors MRC in 2001. Was up for sale on our first visit here in 2015. Brought by a member of the North Dorset group. It shows what can be done in a small space and made to look interesting.


Also in this court was a friend of our club. Richard with his collection of Yellow Bus (or to you and me Bournemouth Transport). He has a excellent collection of bits and pieces. Videos, books, photos & models. Could have spend hours looking through all his books & photos.


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Ramble on Ron #2

A few more pictures from Ron’s Swiss holiday.  The weather has not improved!

Fresh snow overnight so had a lie in. Left hotel in sleet with slippery pavements and made my way over via Berne to Zurich. As it was mild had the idea to head up to the Uetliberg. Wrong. At the top was deep lying snow with fresh snow falling. Also very misty so got no views so got next train down. Went back to Berne and spent pleasant to two hours walking around. Back to Interlaken and found it was raining but back up the valley I walked back to the hotel in snow

Whilst back at Zurich Hbf saw a train showing destination of “Geschlossen” (Closed) but by the time it took to set up camera on tablet it had been changed to the correct destination.





r3_5 r3_6

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