Archive for the ‘2009 12’ category

A grand day out

December 2, 2014

I don’t go to many model railway exhibitions, but the few I do select to visit are much anticipated. The shows organised by Mike Walker in Cheltenham usually get my attention, although for whatever reason the usual autumn offering didn’t catch my attention this year. No criticism, just nothing quite fired my enthusiasm. But no worries, this year Mike has organised an additional show, and it’s on this Saturday. It looks like it’ll be an excellent one too!

It’s perhaps unfair to single out any particular layouts, there are a whole host there which I want to see, but the two “headliners” from my point of view are Abbotswood Junction


and Pixash Lane

Pixash Lane

As these photos readily show they very much pander to my Western Region hydraulic leanings, but they are excellent layouts which have an extra special something by running “oil-pushers”.

Another attraction of Mike’s Cheltenham shows is that I make a grand day out by travelling to and from by bus. Using a Stagecoach West “Explorer” ticket it’s cheaper than driving, and I can sit back and enjoy the view. Even better now that the 51 from Swindon to Cheltenham is run with coach seated Scania double deckers. I must remember to catch the D in the opposite direction when I get to Cheltenham as the show is at Bishop’s Cleeve rather than it’s normal venue.


I never knew I wanted one…

November 19, 2014

Sometimes something comes along which you just didn’t know you wanted until someone produced it. Rather like the limited edition 0-6-0STs which Hattons announced this week. Produced by DJ Models these retailer specials come in a whole host of tempting liveries, several of which are extremely tempting.

In the end I decided that the Austerity which would be joining my fleet would be No 7 of Littleton Colliery in National Coal Board lined blue livery, with light weathering.J94 BluePerhaps not the obvious new addition to my fleet, (more…)

Back in time

December 27, 2013

There is a wonderful new (OK, recent) invention which allows time travel. No, not a time machine, we’re still waiting for that, but following some activity on a well-known on-line auction site I have been transported back 40 years. My Christmas reading this year has been a selection of late 1960s Working Time Tables. DSC_0048 I’m gradually working my way through the detail with the aim of establishing a realistic set of workings for my Mortimore’s Yard layout. True, the yard itself would have been served by various trip-workings, but these need to connect in with long distance services at the main marshalling yards. The late ’60s are rather earlier than the period I model, but so far that is the closest the auction site has yielded. But the workings therein are amazing to see. Some will no doubt be surprised to see that back then there was a goods train from Stoke Gifford to Exeter Riverside every few hours during the day. Today wagonload freight is gone, completely. But compare that to the passenger side. My local station on the Paddington – Bristol mainline used to have a train in each direction roughly every two hours; today we enjoy trains every half an hour, all day. How times change….

Non-stop from the sea

June 23, 2013

Railway modelling is a great way to recreate the past. Indeed it could be argued that that’s why all modellers indulge in the hobby. What was current 30 seconds ago when I started this blog is now history. There are of course layouts which are a right mishmash of eras and regions, but so long as they make their owners happy who am I to say anything?

And in a way railway preservation is just a big train-set. OK, if you get it wrong on a full-sized railway it will hurt, and I don’t mean a scalpel cut or a soldering burn, but in many ways it’s only the scale that changes as we all try to recreate a by-gone era. Every now and again I find it useful to visit one of these “full size train sets” to recharge my inspiration battery, get a few lungfuls of diesel fumes and titivate my ear-drums.

Seaside departure

One recent event was the West Somerset Railway’s “Mixed Traffic” event (more…)

Type fours

June 16, 2013

Having concentrated on Mortimore’s Yard for a while, now is a good time to return to “town” and the mainline station at Westonmouth Central. It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon, and basking in one of bay platforms are a pair of Type 4 locomotives, engines running.

Type 4s

The class 50 will be working back to Paddington, while the Peak will be awaiting the arrival of an inter-regional working from the far south-west which it will head to Birmingham, before it hands the train over to an electric loco for the run through to it’s destination.

Early one morning

May 30, 2013

Once a familiar scene in the early morning, an electric milk float, burdened with dairy produce – milk, cream, eggs, and later on new “trendy” products like yogurts and orange juice calls at houses on Langley Road. Early one morning Milkmen, rather like dustmen, seemed to do their round on the run, the “job and finish” style of work encouraging them in this habit. Probably dressed in white coat, dark blue apron and , peaked cap, with a leather cash bag slung across their body, the milkman was part of the British landscape, a scene that would never end – rather like blue diesels… I was going to add “and the BR double arrow”, but that does live on. However, how many younger people know what the symbol really means, nowadays it has become the symbol for a railway station? At least it survives, unlike BR itself, and indeed unlike most milk rounds. Still, we have our models.

Welsh Workhorse

March 16, 2013

The distinctive growl of the English Electric type 3 has long been part of my life. I can remember a visit to Chippenham station with my grandfather, and while he spoke to the booking clerk I stood by the ticket barrier and watched two class 37s head west with empty stone hoppers. Two matching blue locos are impressive to a child, the silver handbrake wheels shining on the Secondman’s side nose bulkheads stick in the memory. About the same time, whilst staying at my grand-parents I awoke early and on the warm summer air came a distinctive sound, “a 37!” I thought. The noise that bright morning would have come from driver opening-up at Thingley East as he gained the mainline. Eventually the train came into sight across the rooftops, not one but two 37s, now slowing again to return the token for the single line from Bradford North Junction.

In OO the class 37 has had a variable history (more…)