Ron and the Rhine – days 4 and 5

Meanwhile, back at the Rhine, day 4, the weather’s about as bad as the UK….

An overcast day with rain late afternoon. A long day today on a group trip. On 0854 to Bonn walked down to the Rhine to catch a boat for a three and a half hour trip, roast dinner included, then to Brohl for a round trip on the Vulkan Express. After a short break returned to Brohl for a train back to Remagen reaching hotel around 6.10pm. It was interesting that when we got to Brohl there was a one carriage train, which took us up 3 zigzags to their station, where it coupled with more carriages for run up the line.

The Rhine at Bonn

Ron’s having a whale of a time!

Remagen from the Rhine

Between Remagen and Brohl

Brohl DB station

The Vulkan express

Day 5

Started off sunny but turned wet in the afternoon. Turned down the offer of joining a hotel trip up the Ahr Valley which included a horse cart ride and red wine tasting for a round rail trip to Frankfurt. Took 0905 into Cologne Hbf and transferred over the Rhine to Cologne Messe for ICE trip down the high speed line to Frankfurt Hbf but had to stand in the buffet car to Frankfurt Airport. In Frankfurt walked down to the city centre and went in Kaufhof Galleria for Kafe and Kuchen. Made my way back to Hbf and took train to Mainz for an Intercity back to Remagen. However I found the train was running 20 minutes late due to a points failure at Stuttgart Hbf.


Cologne Messe station looking towards cathedral

Frankfurt Hbf

Mainz Hbf


Posted in Inspiration, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Croydon MRS show 2019

Having visited the Farnham show, next stop was Warlingham School for the Croydon MRS show.  It was an easy run, overshooting Redhill by a couple of junctions on the M25, then a quick drive up the A22.  Strangely, Warlingham School is only about 3/4 mile from Riddlesdown and the venue for our show this year, but is accessed from the other side of the hills and the two are separated by fields and woods.

I got into the show to find that there were already a few fliers out.  Not sure where they came from, but I added a few more.  And then went to look around the show.  Unfortunately, it seemed that two layouts had dropped out at the last minute, and the exhibition lost quality because of that.  But there are always trains to look at, and some photos of some layouts are included below…

Knuddelstein (N) is a bit of a rabbit-warren layout, set in Austria, but there’s plenty to look at an it’s a lot of fun.  Interestingly, it may operate with DC or DCC, and the overhead catenary works in DC.

Cicely Bridge TMD (OO) is set in east Lancashire and the addition of a steam shed means that any period from 1956-2000 may appear.  (Now this is one totally reasonable approach to different eras – rule 1 and mix and match!)

Red Hook Bay (HO) is a regular at exhibitions, but it’s always worth a look, and I discover some new detail that I’d missed before – it’s scenically so dense…

Oakbourne (OO), a terminus ‘somewhere in England.’

Saint-Jude Les Mines (HO) is a minor station on a French light railway.  It’s interesting to see a French railway, as they don’t seem to be modelled that much in the UK.

Hemlock (3mm) is fine-scale TT, 14.2mm gauge.  It’s a lovely little model based on Hemyock Station on the Culm Valley light railway.

Upton Lacey (N) is set in the Cotswold’s.  I very much like the station building, and the hand built track looks good – even with code 80 rail.

Meinrheinszene is loosely translated as ‘My Rhine Scene’ that sums it all up – a fictitious scene somewhere close to the German, Swiss and French borders and Basle.  This allows a wide range of stock to run – all plausible, but not always prototypically accurate.

And finally, this nameless OO9 micro next to the pay desk caught my attention.  No points, just a sector plate, but an attractive cameo that allows a little idle shunting.  Never let it be said that you haven’t room for a railway!


Posted in Exhibitions, Inspiration, Layout design, Out and about | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

ESNG meeting – 16 October 2019

Was wondering how many members would be around, with Mr Atfield on holiday and Mr Dawes on early rounds again, but we managed a healthy 9 to play trains.  We soon had a layout, but had to wait a little while to get it working, as Mr Apps had taken the power box home and forgotten to bring it back.  An age thing…..

Trains running included Network SouthEast, Southern passenger and Midland goods….

We finished a little early, as everyone had taken their trains off the track, and we’d run out of milk for Graham’s second cup of tea.  Cake was provided by Maxine and the WI, and that also ran out!

Posted in ESNG, ESNG meetings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Farnham & District MRC 2019 #3

The Farnham OO9 modular layout is obviously a work in progress, but it was all working well on the day, and has a lot of potential for future years.

Thorneycroft Factory Sidings (N) models this corner of Basingstoke around 1930.  The commercial vehicle factory was shunted by an ex-LSWR G6 (in the photo) and the passenger trains passing were hauled by an ex-LSWR O2.  Both locomotives have been modelled for the layout.

Wickwar (N) is always worth a look.  A lovely slice of English countryside, and the trains passing through are almost a bonus.  One of the operators was showing off the moving bus in the first photograph, that worked well, except when he drove it into a stone wall.  There is a nice bit of animation, as the lady standing outside the station raises her arm to hail the bus.  Of course, she is still standing there after the bus passes, so really it shouldn’t stop – just like the real thing….

Calstock Halton Quay (On16.5) has some good ship modelling.  I liked the fact that the tide is out, and that they had modelled the sandy sea bed.

Corwenna (OO) has a bit of the feel of Iain Rice’s Tetrice, but is larger and the similarities are probably completely coincidental.  I hadn’t seen this layout before, but really liked it, with an interesting track layout, details and rolling stock.

Dent Head (N) is based on the area around Dent on the Settle and Carlisle.  The station has shades of Garsdale Road, the 1960’s EM layout of the late, great, David Jenkinson.  However, that tight curve through the station looked better in EM than it does in N…

Finally, 29th Street Wharf (HO) is a standard, but nicely executed, USA switching layout/shunting puzzle, moving stone from one end of the layout to the other. (Reminds me of the Two Ronnie’s in the 1970’s, where the gardeners were moving a hole from one end of the garden to the other.  Or Redhill, where the gas and water companies are similarly occupied!)

So that’s Farnham for another year.  We’ll move onto Croydon now….

Posted in Exhibitions, Inspiration, Out and about | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Ron and the Rhine – days 1 to 3

Ron’s back in Germany, so here are a few of his pictures  – concentrating on transport (but with a little tourism thrown in).

Left home on 0558 to St Pancras to meet up with tour party and then caught 0855 Eurostar to Brussels. After a gap of 2.5 hours we caught 1425 ICE to Cologne. Due to supply problems we lost half an hour between Liege and Aachen. On arrival we had a quick connection to Remagen where we are staying but it was so full we could not get on it. After 30 mins wait we managed to get on the next train but until we got to Bonn it was more crowded than a rush hour tube train. We are due to go to the Peace Museum tomorrow morning but it is temporarily closed and moved into a smaller hall so I think I will try to go up Drachenfels,

St Pancras…

To Bruxelles Midi….

Remagen station, night and day….

Day 2

Overcast but turned sunny. Decided not to take part in group visit to Remagen Peace Museum as it is temporarily housed away from its historic site. Took train from Remagen to Cologne changing there for train down east bank of The Rhine to Konigswinter for trip on Drachenfels Rack railway. Having returned to Konigswinter I carried on down to Koblenz for train back up west bank to Remagen. Then took a stroll down to river promenade.

A bridge at Cologne (not Remagen!)

Drachenfelsbahn train at summit.

View of the Rhine from Drachenfels.  The river engineer in me is impressed by the river training works on the near bank.

Back to Remagen….

View from Remagen river promenade

Remagen station

Day 3

A hot and sunny day and saw an outdoor thermometer showing 28°.  Today was a group visit to Rudesheim leaving on 0904 returning at 1642. From Remagen we changed in both directions in Koblenz to use trains running down the east bank of the Rhine. As on a previous visit due to the amount of freight the platform door is not open until the train is arriving in the station. At Rudesheim the train runs along the river bank separating the shops from the promenade


Posted in Inspiration, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Farnham & District MRC 2019 #2

One of my favourites from the show was Midland Sidings (P4) modelling the Midland Railway around Birmingham in 1920.  Lots of excellent industrial buildings, and some very attractive wagons on show.  I’ve added the track plan.  It started life as an Iain Rice idea, but has grown and evolved from that, adding the low level yard and canal basin.

Bevois Park and St Denys (N) could almost be mistaken for an N-mod layout, with its 4-track main line.  But it’s a 1990 representation of about 1/2 a mile of main line near Southampton.  Plenty of interesting stock on display (though at one point when I was watching, they had a few electrical problems, and it was more like SouthWest Trains than Network SouthEast.)

Durham Road TMD (O) is loosely based on the depot at Hither Green.  It’s one layout where sound seems to work.  Unlike some depot layouts that have the sound wound up too high, Durham Road just has a gentle tickover in the background.  And there are some beautiful diesel models (and occasional steam specials) on show, though I hate to think what the insurance value of the layout is.  Just down the line is one of the best modelled set of allotments that I have seen.  You can work out what the plants are!

Ashbury Wharf (OO9) has been renovated from the original built as an OO layout in 1968, but soon converted to narrow gauge.

One more set of photos from Farnham to go….

Posted in Exhibitions, Inspiration, Out and about | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Farnham & District MRC 2019 #1

I can hardly believe that a year has passed by, and I’m starting to visit the usual autumn run of exhibitions.  This weekend was a double header on the Saturday, at Farnham and Croydon.  I wanted to get to both shows to put out NSGE 2020 fliers.  The Farnham club show is an easy 40 minute drive from home over the Hog’s Back, and as usual they have put together a good show.   I got there early to find a parking space, and was at the front door in the rain 20 minutes before opening time.  I was impressed that punters were let in, then directed away from the show halls, that were not yet open, but along to the canteen at the other end of the building.  Coffee and a very respectable bacon roll were on offer and consumed whilst waiting for the show to open.

Brixcombe (P4) models the Great Western in South Devon.  Two time periods are modelled, before and after the Great War.  (This is an idea I have been meaning to blog about for weeks – how to model different periods on one layout.  Here’s another example.)  In some ways a pretty standard branch line terminus, but lots of scratch and kit built rolling stock and good, clean, scenic.

Langstone Bridge (N) is a exact scale model of the old wooden bridge linking Hayling Island to the mainland.  Chatting to the builder, he claims that he has exhibited this layout 5 times, and is yet to wear out his first Terrier!  I think that I must have been to 4 of the 5 shows.  Langstone is a simple but fun model of an interesting prototype.

Rolvenden (P4) models the Kent & East Sussex Railway in the 1920’s.  It’s a slightly modified model of the station at that time.  Lots of interesting rolling stock on view!

De Tenderloc (HO) is an interesting circular layout from the Netherlands.  It’s notably full of little animated scenes.  As the show guide says:

At the centre is St. Hercius dairy.  A dairy employee unloads the milk cans from the truck and places them on a conveyor belt.  Other animations include “truck driving backwards”, “man bites dog” a startled dog and much more.

Also of interest is the curved, vertically moving, fiddle yard.  In the station yard above, the yard crane loads and unloads crates from a wagon.  A stunning little model that is really interesting despite having no points at all!

Burdale Colliery (O) is based on the Burley Colliery in the North Staffs field.  Lots of shunting of open wagons by pretty little industrial locomotives – and an O8 diesel shunter.

Blackgang (gauge 3) is a regular on the exhibition circuit, but worth a look.  Gauge 3 is getting into serious model engineering.  There were some lovely models on show, though I really think this Terrier needs a crew.  Interestingly, all the locomotives are battery powered, and radio controlled – there is no power in the track.  I can think of a number of times when that would have been very helpful, though I can’t see it working in an ‘N’ gauge Terrier!

Bear Creek Junction (HOn3/HO) is a spectacular slice of old Colorado.  The builders must have incredible confidence in their trackwork (and their operators) as I wouldn’t trust my very expensive models to the top of that unguarded viaduct!!!!  There’s some interesting dual gauge trackwork around the loco shed, and some fine scenery throughout.

To be continued…..

Posted in Exhibitions, Inspiration, Out and about | Tagged , , | 1 Comment