Heritage Modelling

Jerry Clifford writes in Model Railway Journal #249…..

There have, of course, been some superb finescale models of railways in the heritage era.  Tom Everett’s contemporary model of Ropley is just one example, but there is no denying they are thin on the ground.  Why this should be is a mystery, all the more puzzling when a few facts are taken into account.

Heritage railways provide the only experience of steam for anyone much under retirement age [ouch, that hurts. Ed], and a number of them have been around a very long time…..

The staple motive power of many preserved lines, the BR standard classes, have spent far longer in private hands than they ever did on BR, in some cases three- or four-fold….

Whilst the contemporary heritage scene has much to offer, there remains plenty of scope for a more traditional, historical approach.  How about modelling those heady days in the 1970’s when your train might consist of a couple of patched-up Mk 1’s headed by a brightly coloured saddle tank recently retired from industry?

Of course one can model ‘real’ heritage railways, and real preserved stock.  Then there must also be potential for ‘imaginary’ heritage lines.  This could be ideal for application of ‘Rule 1.’  Imagine a preserved portion of the Somerset & Dorset Railway, with preserved S&D 2-8-0’s running with Class 33’s, and whatever coaching stock one fancied.  And there there could be the new build of an unrebuilt Merchant Navy pacific…..

It certainly has potential, although one would miss out on the goods workings.  But then we move one of those Somerset quarries slightly and have modern aggregate hoppers running behind the preserved diesels…

Read more of Ropley on RMweb.  The photo below from RMweb shows what can be done in N gauge.  It is difficult to work out the scale of this Black 5…..


About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
This entry was posted in Hints and tips, Inspiration, Prototype and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Heritage Modelling

  1. Chris Mears says:

    I must confess that the idea of modelling a preserved line is growing on me further. I hadn’t considered it until reading the suggestion on Steven Gardiner’s blog, where he proposed modelling Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway.

    I hadn’t heard of the layout, Ropley, but am reading through the blog on RMWeb now. Neat stuff.



    • Chris, In some ways it’s a bit like modelling a US shortline – any loco you fancy bought second-hand. I would miss the goods traffic though, and the idea of a modern traffic source, with modern wagons, on an otherwise preserved, heritage, railway could offer the best of both worlds. Jon

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chris Mears says:


        Not sure if they do elsewhere, but in Canada and the United States, many museums and similar preserved lines run “photo freights” for the fans to see favourite engines running in freight service.

        Building on the idea, there must be marshaling of cars to prepare for these runs. While not traditional freight traffic as we’d normally think it, this could be the same amount of “work”.



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