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Model Rail Radio
Model Rail Radio


I have way too many podcasts But back in the beginning of my podcast listening journey, one Christmas I was with family and tired of endless turkey sandwiches and the usual sibling rivalries the thought crossed my mind where there any podcasts for railway modellers? Continue reading “Podcast promote”

??Reference Material – RhB metre gauge, Switzerland

There is some great footage of operations on the new tunnel construction at Preda on the RhB. A couple of new found channels that I have added to my watch list. Now with HD content and the ability to not only see things in great detail but also to grab ref pictures from these videos it makes researching a current prototypical location a doddle. In this first video I particularly like the attention to the unglamorous. It’s so easy to see the trains going by but as I’ve said previously it’s the stuff away from this I’m interested in. In the future this will probably by of most interest to historians.

Up next is some footage of everyday movements showing many different consists that could be modelled. Great quality too.

I have realised that I can create a playlist on YouTube specifically for my RhB viewage. I just need a way of cataloguing this ever growing backlog of material but then I can’t complain about watching footage of the Rätische Bahn.

One day I hope to go to Switzerland and take my own reference footage.

Until next time..

Awayday plus three

It is still some what of a frantic time with much dashing around but not much actually physical progress at the moment. I am however getting a lot done behind the scenes, setting myself up for what I really want to and need to be doing. In fact I’m not sure if it’s because I am being way laid from the hands on work or whether the gods are smiling on me at the moment but I am really fired up with all the projects I have whizzing around my mind. Maybe it is because the winter nights are drawing in and traditionally thats when more work gets done just need to find the time to do it.

One of those diversions was a weekend away in Wales that I referred to in my last post. I seem to be making the trip down to see my friends in North East Wales about twice a year which usually consists of a day of trains and a day of walking. This time however with an appointment on the Tuesday I spent an extra day there and as it was a school day we had the opportunity to slope off and take in an event that both my friend and I wanted to see, it being the last opportunity to do so. The event was a sister loco to the Snowdon Mountain Railway steam locos over from the Rothorn in Switzerland.

The first day was spent at Crewe Railway Heritage Centre, nestled right between four lines in and out of Crewe. It was once one of the epicentres of the railways but now is a shadow of its former glory. There is the one remaining train manufacturer left in town though not a resident rather a transient visitor. There is also the rather sad figure of the Brits efforts at an Advanced Passenger Train and like many of the ground breaking projects money was whisked away before the the project was allowed to mature. Even today with a new coat of paint and a spruced up interior it would cut the mustard, pass muster and any other phrase you car to think of. As can be seen from the pics though time has not treated it well left to its own devices and the elements. I wonder if one day some preservation group may come along and attempt to save a deteriorating piece of our past like others have, ATP-E, HST-P, H-BEL amongst others.

The second day was spent at the Seven Valley Gala and the weather gods shone on us! There was a lot going on even at the passing halt Hampton Loade. There were some pretty big celebs of the loco world there with Britannia and Royal Scot being the ones we managed to catch. I also finally managed to catch up with the NELG J27 Loco that had been on my local line for a month and somehow I had managed to miss it before it headed off down to Bewdley. No doubt it will be back next year on its more natural stomping grounds.

I have managed to piece together some video from the camera which seems to have decided to go mute at certain sections and introduce a certain amount of image stutter also. Maybe its trying to tell me something, but at the moment I have more pressing needs for the hard won pennies so I hope that the limping duo of camera and phone can carry on till point where they can be decommissioned.

I have also started learning a bit more about taking video and I can see that my efforts lag way behind my visions of what I should be creating. But then I don’t have large chunks of cash invested I’m my equipment unlike my friend. But  as the saying goes the best camera is the one you have in your hand and it’s also more about the shots being taken. I would however like to sharpen up my skills a bit. I week of watching some beautifully shot European railways has certainly given pause for thought.

I was going to post my first video but it would seem that the ducks are not in a row and it’s still uploading and on the basis that I post every Sunday I’ll add it tomorrow when the old laptop should have done its thing!!

Until next time..

Volunteers needed

Many of us enjoy the railways we visit, taken pictures of locos or ridden the rails but most of us don’t stop and think about how this is achieved or presented to us. The majority of heritage railways are run on volunteer labour, from tea room staff, workshop fitters to loco crews giving up their time to preserve these lines. It has never been a better time in preserved railways especially here in the UK and the growth of all sorts of railways has been impressive. It would seem that you are never very far away from the heritage railway. It’s not that long ago since the demise of much of our railway history was enacted in order to “modernise” and streamline. However this has led to the creation or re=creation of times lost that people seem to miss.

There is something about a steam loco chuffing through the countryside that evokes a quieter, slower more peaceful bygone age that somehow we respond to. Just witness things like the Flying Scotsmans return to service after a decade long refit. I digress a bit, but the point of this post is to highlight those scenes are largely brought to use by a dedicated and often small bunch of people doing it because they love it and want to carry it forward to the next generations. As this band of enthusiasts grow older we need to be carrying on the flag of preservation with newer hands and minds. In this day and age of computers it is hard to attract attention to seemingly antiquated things but by the numbers of people turning out to see trains chuffing by there should be interest in protecting the past.

With all this in mind and the desire to do something myself I have signed up to volunteer on a little railway that may not be the most glamorous or biggest but has given me and many more pleasure over the years. It’s not that close to me and there are many more between me and it but there’s just something that pulls that no other has so far. I will no doubt post more about this as I am inducted and assimilated into the railway but for now I just wanted to highlight the need to do something about saving our heritages where ever you are. If you have some time, even if it is only a day a year, consider a local railway or any other interest you may have as they rely on the likes of use to keep the wheels turning.

Until next time..

Reading Room 06 ?

Whilst at the Seven Valley Railway yesterday I popped back into their shop on Hampton Loade station to see if I could pickup some more missing MRJs and I wasn’t disappointed. Yes it’s become a bit of a quest. However my cunning plan of knowing what I had and what I needed fell down as the spreadsheet I had created on my phone was not accessible and consequently I ended up with some duplicates, so much for modern technology. Oh well I’ll just donate them back to my local railway shop, if they will have them. But I’ve now created a much simpler notes list that I can keep track of the missing issues whilst out and about.

There are some real quality reads in my haul including articles about layouts I never got to see in the flesh but wished I had, such as Gordon & Maggie Gravett’s Ditchling Green, Ddaullt and Darenth, not to mention Roy England’s buildings for Pendon, which I really need to go back and see.

I’m looking forward to getting home and reading these with a cuppa and note pad to revive the inspiration.

Until next time..

Days Out – 2018 Seven Valley Railway Gala

It has been over a year since I visited the SVR for it’s annual autumn steam gala with my friends and again we took the walk through the xx country park ending up at Hampton Loade where we watched trains and ate cake. The was a star studded cast of locos with Britannia in the leading roll. There was also Royal Scott and the recently rebuilt J22 amongst others.

It was a beautiful autumnal day with distant whistles and the exhaust bark that could be heard up and down the Seven Valley.

Many photos were taken for reference such as tress and the general landscape in wonderful autumn colours. As I’m away from home I am absolving myself from 15minutes as I’m doing prototype reseach. I’ll post a short video once I’m home of locos going past!

Until next time..

Reading Room 05

Whilst out and about today I saw that the latest MRJ on ‘Smiths’ shelves and took a quick flick through to see if it was one I wanted to get but with my new scan and bin it strategy it takes no physical space and limited digital estate so it makes sense to collect them all as you don’t know when a close interest in pre-grouping wagon chassis might hit! A rather cracking issue and particularly liked the Talyllyn wooden buildings article by Peter Kazer.

Layout design drawing (1)

In a brief lull in this mornings schedule and a cheeky fumble on YouTube I came across this video of recent traffic movements with some interesting lash ups. It lead me to doodle up something that’s been in the back of my mind for some time and originally was going to be a narrow gauge logging layout. However in this iteration it is transported to the Swiss Alps and is a fictional RhB location. It’s certainly not the first time this noodling has come up and I’ve a couple of posts about this but I thought I would use the blog as a bit of a scrapbook to look back on long after the paper has been chucked or the digital doodle has settled to the bottom of the pile. I may mock this up at some point..

Until next time..

Pressure valve(s)

Some times life throws curve balls and things don’t go according to plan, see last weeks post, and it seems as though I’m running in treacle. I did go upstairs and sit down at the modelling table but I just felt I wasn’t doing something that I wanted to be doing and just doing it for the sake of doing something. Maybe this is important but ultimately one has to feel like one is enjoying it. So this last week I have tinkered with a number of kits but I’ve been distracted by a number of things not least the gogglebox in this case Youtube. I started off looking for some info on soldering white metal kits and went down the rabbit hole of home casting. I have a 009 narrow gauge kit that I told a friend I would build and without too much exaggeration it is probably a year since I made that commitment. Now the fly in the ointment is that it must be decades since I last took a soldering iron to one of these stress inducing box of bits. I remember the first time I endeavoured to join even to bits of white metal together and ended up with a pool of molten gloop. This didn’t inspire courage or progress in this particular brand of model building and since that day I haven’t touched said white metal in any shape or form. However not one to shirk ones duties I decided to look up “effective white metal soldering” on the Toob to see if I could take the box of bits given to me and turn it into a reasonable rendering of a Bagnall loco. After watching these videos I decided the best course of action would be to get a sacrificial goat and test out my skills before committing to turn friends prized possession into another pool of crud.

Now some of the inactivity was down to the fact that next weekend I’ll be going away for a bit of a jolly to Wales to stay with friends and as is custom we will go an visit a railway of some shape. They are pretty much a cats swing from just about any railway related attraction in Wales and so quite often going down there provides a dilemma to which we should visit. Next weekend there’s a Gala at the SVR but I’m not totally sure of the itinerary yet.

So what of the fifteen minutes a day? Well I am in the process of building another baseboard to put a micro layout on and that will be the focus of my efforts for coming weeks until I can get room sorted out. Oh yes and then there’s the white metal kit and a track plan for that.

I’ll leave you with another sneaky peak at another stock roster for the up and coming layout on the last run home..

Until next time..

Move to the left, move to the right

As the picture shows life is somewhat frenetic at the moment and although this looks like a complete mess it really is. Why post a picture then? Well not only is it a snapshot of time but also a rather graphic reminder to “Get things done!” I really struggle with all this time management malarky and seemingly to some I have all the time in the world but it never pans out that way in this little corner of the world. Search the internet and there is noooo shortage of gurus and experts telling you how to maximise ones time, get up at 3am and do your best work and a whole host of other mantras that breed success in life, but as you can see I am struggling to fight my way out of a pile of plastic boxes. Is this a cop-out, where’s the modelling you’ve been promising? Good point! Yes where is it? I look at prolific modellers and wonder how they manage to produce all these wonderful models and layouts…. but there is no secret and ultimately I am not following my own mantra, rather allowing lethargy to rule. In fact this the whole reason why I set up this blog and here I am a number of months in poodle faking my way through the internet lands of railway modelling. There’s always an excuse, family came to stay, hard day volunteering, didn’t have the right stuff to start or finish a project and so on.

However on a positive note writing about this inactivity consistently it is helping me be consistent about at least one thing. One can skip reading this but the act of sitting down once a week and typing away is some kind of discipline that is needed to carry forward any project. With on average 25 views a week and quite frankly I’m staggered that there are that many people visiting my record of inactivity it is however really about keeping momentum going in the face lethargy and hopefully inspire others suffering mojo motivation to consider giving a small bit of time a week to their modelling.

As the weather slowly starts to turn over into autumn and the nights start drawing in and the modelling season really gets into full swing there should be no excuses for me not making progress. I really need to start practicing what I preach.

With that in mind I am going to carry out an experiment of writing one post per day for a week to see if I can get the myself doing just 15 minutes a night and see what I can achieve. Putting things off and procrastinating was why I decided to start this and that’s pretty much what I have done since moving to this new house. So many plans on paper and in my head but that’s where there’ll stay unless I can at put aside fifteen minutes. These minutes may be used in different projects as I have quite a few builds to either complete or start for myself and others.

Until next time..

I will leave you with a little mockup

Kato Allegra 3 car unit
Kato RhB ABe 8/12 Allegra 3 Car EMU