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


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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….

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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…..

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Odd modelling ideas #3216

Sorry, but there hasn’t been much blogging time this week, as real life seems to have caught up with me!

However, if you want a simple paint-only conversion for your layout, that will provoke comment from rivet counters – or at least from farmers – try this:

Why do zebras have stripes? Japanese researchers had a theory that they wanted to test out: that the stripes confused flies, who then bit the zebras less often than they would if they had no stripes. But how to test this? Well, why not paint some stripes on cows?

Sure enough, the striped bovines had 50 percent less flea bites than their plain-jane sisters

American modellers have ready made Santa Fe stipes on their decal sheets!

Through next week, I’ll post some pictures from the Farnham and from the Croydon shows.

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An interesting concept?

Received an email today:


Hoping this will be of interest to your members.

Over the last year or so I’ve been developing a soundscape system for my model railway. Basically it’s a set of web pages that pipe controlled sounds into your layout via bluetooth speakers set in parts of the scenery, sounds include animals, birds, vehicles and possibly of most interest a working station tannoy.

The system is now to a standard where it shows what is possible given time.

The soundscape can be found at :-

I would be very grateful if you could take a quick look, any feedback would be most welcome whether good or bad!

It’s free to use but of course a small donation would be most welcome to help with the cost of the Tannoy voices and more sounds.


Martin Murdoch.
Also available on Facebook

This appears an interesting approach to sound – concentrating on the ambient surroundings rather than the trains themselves.  It could be of real interest for small layouts, where a few speakers could give real atmosphere – unless off course it just gets annoying!

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The Redhill Brick & Model Show – 2019

ESNG’s next exhibition will be a return to the 17th Reigate Scouts Lego and model show.  Not many trains, but nice and local, so good local publicity.  And above all, another chance to impress young people with N gauge modelling, rather than antique anorak wearers.

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Dorking MRC Exhibition 2019

I was going to visit the Folkstone or Fareham shows today, but a heavy cold meant a slow start to the day.  So I watched the rugby World Cup, then slipped over to Oddfellows’ Hall, Dorking (what an appropriate location for a model railway exhibition) for the main Dorking MRC show of the year.

Bridlington Quay (O) – minimum space and completely scratch built.

Strathmore LIP – a very creditable model from 15 year old enthusiast (with a little help from dad.)

Oakworth: the Railway Children (OO).  The model of the film of the book.  And an accurate picture of Oakworth station during the filming.  I failed to spot Jenny Agutter, though.

Holly Bank Grove (OO finescale).  A fictitious running shed situated near York, with a great selection of steam and diesel.

Ian Redman’s layout in a gun case.  It’s amazing what will go round a 6″ radius curve.

The Vine Line (OO) was on its first outing in extended form.

Another running shed, Eastbridge (OO), this time in southern England on the Brighton mainline. The layout is similar to Redhill. I love the Brighton Atlantic on the turntable. This was going to be my first scratch built locomotive. Predictably it was a failure.

Always good to see the Milroy’s and Ferrocarril San Maria Gandia (HO and HO9).  One of this lovely layout’s last outings as it is being retired later in the year.

Dorking West (N).  Not much moving as I went past due to a slight DCC hiccup.  The adjacent layout was also running on wi-fi control, and the locomotives had the same numbered addresses – so the operator on one layout moved the locomotive on the other.  They had sorted it all out by the time I left!

Birch Coombe (OO).  Cromptons by the sea side.

As usual, a small but interesting show, and well worth a look and a chance to have a chat with a number of old friends.

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