Farnham & District MRC 2018 #1

Visited the Farnham club show last weekend.  It’s an easy 40 minute drive from home over the Hog’s Back, and they always put together a good show.  This year they had some fun and games when a full sized boxing ring appeared in the gymnasium, messing up all the planning to date.  The layouts at the show were slightly different from the programme and the list on the club website.  (A couple of layouts I’d hoped to see were missing.)  Who’d be an exhibition manager?

There was plenty of ‘N’ gauge at the show (not that I don’t enjoy the other layouts.)  Pride of place must go to James Street.  This gigantic layout is in the American basement style – stations and track everywhere, but it’s so big that it doesn’t look cluttered, but like the prototype crammed into an urban area.  I think that the success of the layout is due to the consistent standard of modelling throughout.  The scenery and buildings have a uniform ‘style’ on all four sides of the layout, and I especially enjoyed the large factory and works buildings and the port area.

The layout ran very well – obviously everything was carefully tested for derailments and uncoupling.  It’s interesting that there is no fiddle yard.  There are enough stations, carriage sidings and goods yards to hold all the stock visibly on the layout.  Just like the real thing…..


I’d seen South Walton before, but Australian prototype layouts are (unfortunately) not that common, and it’s a lovely little layout.  It represents a small town station on the single track northern main line of the New South Wales Government Railways.  The scenery is typical of New South Wales, including the timber buildings, the hotel with drunks outside, lots of sheep, and kangaroos, emus and koalas (I didn’t spot the koalas.)


I’d seen Melton Mowbray (North) at TINGS but this quality layout was well worth another look.  Unfortunately, I arrived (and probably caused) multiple derailments, so I moved on before creating further mayhem…


Mike Le Marie has sold on his large Settle & Carlisle layout, replacing it with a smaller Scottish layout, that is easier to take to shows.  But the scenery is still wild!  Kinlochlaggen could be anywhere in highland Scotland, with the typical limited freight facilities.


And to finish today, here’s a helping of pizza….

The rest of the layouts, in the larger scales, will appear in the next blog.

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ESNG meeting 17 October 2018 – and On my Workbench

A good turn out of 10 members at last week’s meeting – but missing the Cha(I)rman who is camping in Mayday Hospital (hopefully out now) with gall stones.  They say they are just observing him – it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it…..

The usual variety of stock was on display….


And some evidence of things happening to my N-club modules…..

Ballasting has started on the second, small board, together with some scenery in place.  The buildings are in place, but not fixed.  I’m not sure whether the water tower belongs there, but its a fine structure, and I wanted to put it somewhere on the layout.

All the buildings for the main board, except for a second signal tower.


I was very pleased with these Blair Line loading platforms – very fiddly, but they’ve come out rather well.  There will be an end loading ramp, plus side loading.  I saw these used on another layout blog and they seemed an interesting (and quicker) alternative to another line of sheds.

It should be presentable by the time we go to Stuttgart – about 5 weeks to go….

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Ron in Austria #5

Last 2 days

A sunny day and a group round trip behind steam on Zillertalbahn from Jenbach to Mayrhofen with 2 hours to kill before return trip.

May be another blog tomorrow if I can get into Kitzbuhl before trip back to airport. If not it is goodbye until December.


The Zillwetalbahn.


OBB at Jenbach


Could not get into Kitzbuhl as no Saturday morning trains either to Kitzbuhl or St Johann in Tirol so took walk to rest of the village on the other side of the railway line.


The village war memorial – most of the Second World War deaths were on the Eastern Front.

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A railway in the news

Reading more column inches about the tragic Salisbury poisonings, I came across this interesting snippet:

The tiny village of Loyga in the Russian far north is not the kind of place you would expect to be at the centre of an international spy scandal.

With fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, it has rail access but no paved roads.

But Loyga has proved crucial to piecing together the story of the real “Alexander Petrov” – the second man the UK authorities suspect over the Skripal poisoning case in Salisbury.

The BBC published this photograph of the railway.

This little logging railway would make an interesting model.  And it made me wonder how many barely documented lines there are in the world, unheard of here in the UK, but providing a vital service to the locals?  And indeed, how may places are left that rely on their railway for access for much of the year?

But of course, Wikipedia came up with some more pictures of the line, and a fascinating set of pictures they are too… (All creative commons, Leg29).  It also says that:

The Loyginskaya forestry railway first line was built in 1947, in the area of Ustyansky District, Arkhangelsk Oblast, starting from the village of Loyga. The total length of the railway at the peak of its development exceeded 308 kilometres (191 mi), of which 200 kilometres (120 mi) is currently operational. The railway operates a scheduled freight services from Loyga, and is used for transportation of felled logs and forestry workers. In 2014 a railway bridge was built over the river Porsha.


There are some great pictures in the Russian language links lower on the Wikipedia page.

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Ron in Austria #4

Day 5

A misty start turning into a warm sunny day. Full day today. In the morning we went by coach to Berchtesgarten to visit the infamous Eagles Nest. Contrary to popular belief nobody stayed there overnight as it was a Nazi conference and entertainment centre. Hitler only visited 14 times due to his claustrophobia and fear of heights and stayed further down at the Berghof. It was at this site we had to leave the coach and transfer to a specially adapted bus to travel up a mountain road to an upper car park where you walk down a 124m tunnel to a polished brass lift to take you up to the building. Afterwards we went to Konigsee for a return trip on the lake to St Bartholema. Then back to hotel.

Eagle’s Nest


Konigsee and boat on lake


St Bartholema


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A pot pourri for Thursday

Firstly, my modelling mojo has returned, and an update on my workbench will follow soon.  It’s really a matter of getting into a habit of retreating to the workbench for an hour – or even just a few minutes – to progress a little.

Next, this would exclude most of our club members (except the females, who are all of extremely good reputation.)  Times change, but people always find something to write officious notices about.

Now a link – are trams the future of transport?  Some excellent photographs here.

And the modelling challenge for the day.  A little something from the Haagsche Tramweg Maatschappij (Holland).  An electric streetcar carrying a dummy steam locomotive in 1908.  No one would believe this if you built one! (Or more likely they’d complain that you’d left out the overhead wires, or got the brickwork with the wrong coursing.)

And finally, a dreadful warning.  Selfies can be very dangerous – though from what you read in the papers, standing in the middle of the railway track is one of the safer options!

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Ron in Austria #3

Day 4

Rest day so left early to do Achnerseebahn. It was a chilly morning and when I arrived at Jenbach for first train of the day found I had to sit in open sided carriage as compartment coach was reserved for a party. On arriving at the lake it was raining so declined the boat ride as it’s arrival back would have meant over an hour wait for train back to Jenbach. Therefore took opportunity to return straight away and carry on to Innsbruck where I knew half tour party was heading to, Reacquainted myself with Innsbruck and returning to Oberndorf with the members of the tour group.

Achenseebahn today…


Innsbruck transport….


Views of Innsbruck…


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