Third Spanish rail trip renews interest in Spanish themed layout

I have just returned from a holiday in Estepona mainly to play boule (petanque) with local ex pat teams & a local club in Gibraltar.

Although the main U3A boule group travelled out  and back by air via  Malaga, I travelled by train  from London to Paris, Paris to Barcelona (overnight stay) Barcelona to Malaga, then bus to our hotel in Estepona.

This added two days to the holiday- I left a day earlier and got back a day later.

Previously I have done a similar trip to Estepona (2012) going via  a Paris to Madrid sleeper- a service suspended a few weeks later. A trip in 2014 to Altea was via Barcelona (overnight stay) and Alicante, then on the local light rail (tram line) virtually to the door of the hotel.

I have been a member of the Iberian Railways Society for a number of years, but I am no expert on the system.

I have toyed with the idea of a small HO scale layout- firstly a “what if” layout situated in Gibraltar – connected to the Spanish system. In the end I decided this was a bit too politically charged!!

On the recent trip I renewed my interest in a layout- this time a “what if” layout situated in Estepona. The town has a very interesting and historic town centre with surroundings hugely expanded in all the recent economic boom times- mostly to quite a good standard with lots of well thought out landscaping.

Luckily Spain has a number of model railway manufacturers the leading one being Electrotren owned by Hornby.

So watch out for developments on the layout blogs


Workday 17th May 2015

All in all a very successful day


We did a trial car packing exercise and were able to fit the layout sections including legs in two Berlingo type vehicles.

We will need a checklist of additional items to be taken with the layout. All the wiring items and controllers are now in one plastic box

There was a very successful trial of the automatic tram operation- thanks to Ben for his work on this.

For the first time trains traversed the whole layout, following Ben’s work on simplifying the fiddle yard wiring. Some fine stock from David entertained us.

There are some issues of track alignment at the joints between the FY sections and the main scenic sections- there is a solution which will be worked on at sessions before the 7th June


Southern layout.

Again good progress on the layout with trains traversing the whole layout, with only minor electrical “niggles”

An Italian express visiting Cornwall was a very special event you might miss in the railway press.

For the first time the layout can be packed face to face in two sections, despite each board being of different size.

The store cupboard now can contain both layouts!


To emphasis the different construction dates the S-Bahn section is of separate construction to the remainder.
When track laying & ballasting is complete the top coss beams of the bridge will be added.
Picture by Nick H Bridge-work by Ben R and Tony G

IMG_5943.JPG S Bahn bridge.JPG

LAST NIGHT AT THE CLUB- We had use of main hall

We had use of main hall as carpet bowlers had a break
F/Strasse fully erected for track laying in station approaches
Matt brought along a part of his new H0n3 layout with steam sound loco which proved to be distracting to track layers who kept on having a look!
Discussion about location of church and scenic treatment of LH tram turning circle.
Gordon, who we have been encouraging to come along for 3 years or so, finally made it and is going to come monthly- welcome to him.
Simon brought along his brother for a visit
Another planning session for the Southern 00 group, who have accepted the offer of some Weyford (Chesilford) baseboards and bits.
In all a session with lots of buzz.
The Black Fox benefitted somewhat from an adjournment meeting!?

FRIEDRICHSTRASSE PROGRESS Further work on Friday evening (yesterday)

Further work on Friday evening (yesterday) means that tram track is complete and should allow the workday on Sunday to be used for test running trams and ease any curves/ check rails giving problems.
Some track laying on the main line sections should also be possible.

Last night we were without our foreman ganger David P. but John B. carried out further work on Fried…

Last night we were without our foreman ganger David P. but John B. carried out further work on Friedrichstrasse tramway with work on  check rail continuing.
Matt W. carried out some more painting on the river and an “Arcitec” tug has been purchased and a barge has been selected.