Society magazines recently received

French Railways Society

For the last 40 years known as the SNCF Society, but apparently some thought the SNCF organisation was somewhat “devalued” and that the interests of the members was more accurately represented by the new name.

That aside, the quality of the magazines content is thankfully unchanged and as always a “good read”  covering the modern scene, memories of earlier times and of layouts/modelling.

N Gauge Journal

I am a very new member of this society which is 50 years old this year. I joined because of my involvement in the Liphook U3A Building a Model Railway Group and the need to build a small  tramway layout in this scale.

Fortuitously the latest issue contains an article about the availability of N gauge trams and covers the main Japanese makers of same in 1:150 scale. It seems I am well up to speed on this, but I need to read the article in more depth.

Again a potential good read.


Southern Nouveau & the Lineside

Just received my copy of this book from Irwell Press and for devotees of all things Southern what a a book.

I have had only the briefest of looks but it is a feast of all the items that made the Southern have such a distinctive “house style”. Buildings, lamp standards, signage- it all appears to be here in this book, which was definitely a labour of love for all those who were involved over many years and there were many- all listed on the first pages.

Well done all- many hours of armchair reading awaits plus also hopefully lots more fine Southern layouts in all scales.


Local club member’s layout featured in Continental Modeller

In the latest issue (June) received by post today, Graham Ashley’s Italian layout Travo is featured in a 6 page spread. An interesting article with some great pictures.

The layout was displayed at the L&DMRC’s Model Trains in the Valley Open Day in 2015 and at Eurotrack earlier this year, at which Nick H and myself assisted.

This is the 3rd time an L&DMRC layout has been featured in CM- will there be a 4th with the club’s Friedrichstrasse layout?


Recent Anniversaries

Yesterday- 14th May

Railway preservation- The first operating railway company in the world to be taken over by a volunteer preservation society- Talyllyn 1951

Today- 15th May

Birth of Frank Hornby in Liverpool 1863

Inventor of Meccano construction “toy” and founder of the company of the same name, who’s products included Hornby Trains, Dinky Toys & Hornby Dublo

Southern pre-cast concrete footbridges remembered

An interesting article in the Southern Railway’s Group Notebook just received today, reminded me that these structures, which were prefabricated to a standard design and such a feature of Southern Railway stations, were nearly coincidental with the formation of the company in 1923.

The first such example was designed by W.H Shortt M Inst CE, the L&SWR later SR Divisional Engineer at Exeter,  in whose patch the Exmouth Concrete Works, where they were made, had been established in 1913, and was erected in 1924. This first installation took 13 hours and the design was described thus by the designer in a report published in The Railway Engineer- “No bolts or tie rods are anywhere used to hold the various parts of the bridge together, all being designed to be mutually self-supporting when once fitted together; further, no reinforcement is anywhere exposed for the purpose of joint making..”

The design continued to be used well into British Railway days and spread far & wide, in many cases well beyond SR or BR(S) territory. I have seen one at Towyn (North Wales)- now demolished. Hornby Dublo produced a die-cast metal model version in OO which probably means there was one within easy travelling distance of the Meccano works in Binns Road, Liverpool 3!

There are plenty still around, which for a 94 year old design ain’t bad!

Last trolleybus in London- 55th Anniversary

Fifty five years ago today ( 9th May 1962) the last London Transport trolleybus ran in London- Route 657 Hounslow to Shepherds Bush.

They were modern, silent, swift and clean, but the road lobby didn’t like them. Today with London air pollution at dangerous levels, we need them (and trams) back.

The politicos gave us Borismaster- hugely expensive- unreliable and too complicated- we had the “keep it simple solutions” and we threw them away in the 50’s & 60’s. So sad.

Update on Liphook U3A-Building a Model Railway Group

The group held its first session on the 19th April at the Committee Room of the Milland Valley Memorial Hall- 6 members, including the writer attended. 1 member was unable to attend.

Subscription cheques received from all members and passed to the Liphook U3A Treasurer one week later.

Refreshment donations £6.40

Members were shown varying types of baseboard construction. There was a discussion on members interests and on the type of layout/s to be constructed during the 12 sessions of the group.

Subsequently the following layouts were agreed- East Hants Link  (N) & Bennetts Mews (OO)