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Club Night Activities - 10th March 2023

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

We had four nations of railway prototypes out and about last night, with several layouts (both club and member's) in various stages of progress.

The new fiddleyard boards for 'Inspired by Friedrichstrasse' (our H0 German project) continue to develop, with PCB strips being installed on the board edges. These will ensure the rails will be held firmly and will match up closely to the next board when fully assembled. If you look closely you can see the traced track plan inscribed into the black foam.

The new boards are laser cut plywood from a well-known baseboard kit manufacturer. They're nearly twice as wide as the old ones and will fit more than twice as many storage tracks as the old one - 14 tracks as opposed to the previous 6! The layout is already expected to attend a show later in the year (more details when officially confirmed!) and there's a fair bit of work to get these boards ready for that. Expect a work day or two in the next few months to get these further along!

One member's layout under development is modern image N scale layout (English) with a continuous run through a station connected to the terminus of a heritage railway; along the lines of Alton station with the Watercress line, or East Grinstead with the Bluebell? It's designed to be a fairly simple layout, quick to get running that might inspire new members and first time layout builders.

After useful feedback from members, the layout will be tweaked a little to make it simpler to build and transport by incorporating the fiddle yard into one board of 4ft by 3ft. This size means the layout will be easy to bring to meetings to work on and benefit from expertise from the rest of the club. It will also fit in a space at home in a former garden office.

Narrow gauge (Welsh) was out in force again, with the now painted 3D printed slate wagons going for a ride behind another members' Quarry Hunslett. Like the Small England locomotive the week before, the Hunslett one of a recent flurry of 009 RTR offerings, this time from Bachmann UK.

Unlike the Small England locomotive, this one is set to be stripped down to the chassis for a member's planned G9 layout - this is G scale stock running on 9mm track, representing 7.25" gauge miniature railway operation. This wanton destruction of beautifully made boiler and cab detail is quite horrifying to some members so will be done behind closed doors...

And the last nation (Japan) was represented by the series 103 EMU, which ran throughout both the Tokyo and Osaka metropolitan areas and is considered one of Japan rail's iconic designs (a much overused description, but certainly apt in this example). The units were painted in the distinctive colours of the routes they operate (bright green for the circular Yamanote Line, or yellow for the Sōbu Line). This example carries the orange livery used by both the Chūō Line between Tokyo and Ōtsuki and the Osaka Loop Line (the image below taken from Wikipedia commons is of an Osaka unit).

This example is 4-car Kato basic set (they operated in a number of different formations up to 10 carriages) from eBay. The series 103 has been a continuous presence in the Kato catalogue for almost all of the company's existence - a testament to the enduring popularity of these units.

It was noted that the very old label on the box was priced in yen; perhaps originally bought as a souvenir? Such is the mystery of second hand purchases...

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