The Model Railway Club

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The Model Railway Club Blog

There's always lots happening at the Model Railway Club. Keep up to date by following our Blog. If you would be interested to edit a blog and you are an MRC member please contact the webmaster.

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Posted by on in News
Where to buy model railways in London?

Since originally writing this blog, another shop has gone. Meanwhile, WH Smiths has given up on Modelzone, with all the concessions closing over the last few weeks perhaps precipitated by Hornby closing most if not all of its concessions. Whilst it's sad to see any shop close, Wheels of Steel was perhaps the most restricted with its generally second hand range. So there are 6 shops left  - use them or (as we've just seen) lose them. TC Feb 17

 

You may be one of the hundreds of households that has received a Hornby or Bachmann OO model railway train-set for the first time this Christmas - perhaps even a Graham Farish one in N gauge. We hope you enjoy it.

Once you have discovered the fun of what is included, your mind (or certainly that of the child for whom it might be officially intended) may well turn to buying something else for it - whether that is a bit more track, another locomotive, coach or wagon. Or perhaps some buildings, kits, tools or paints. Perhaps the shop that sold the set doesn't sell much more than that set, so where can you go?

20-30 years ago, there was a network of shops across London selling a vast range of items which meant you didn't have to travel too far - depending on your age the names Beatties,  W&H, Hamblings, King's Cross Models, Blunts, Puffers, Engine Shed may ring a bell - all long gone. And most toy shops now have only the most basic of ranges from one supplier.

Of course, there are a plethora of websites you can use to order by post, but if you want to browse before you buy, or buy things like paints that can't be posted easily these days, where can you go? Especially if you want some advice. Well here are some suggestions of the seven shops we would call 'model railway shops' - ie that have a range of different products - that are still left in London itself. The views are those of the authors and based on last visits to the shops (which is a while ago in some cases), and they are in no particular order. But do use them - or there will be even fewer of them.

Posted by on in Modelling
A G-scale commission - Part 1

As you can imagine, we get a fairly steady stream of requests to help others make bespoke model railways, from a huge range of people - private individuals, TV and film productions and fixed installations in  commercial premises.

We aren't in a position to help with most for all sorts of reasons (normally unrealistic budgets and timescales), but from time to time we get asked to help with a project that is both interesting and achievable in the timescale. Although a few years ago now, you can see some of our work in Bernard Butler's video for "Not Alone" which had specially built O gauge tracks and ran some of the stock from our layout Happisburgh.

Recently we were approached to build a working railway for a pop-up restaurant in Vauxhall. For the uninitiated, a pop-up is a temporary venue, and in this case it's a lovely old mews area, normally used by a steel fabricator. Except over the summer it's being turned into an American gold-rush themed restaurant every Friday and Saturday night, with a five course meal and music for about 80 people a night. So the whole restaurant has to be set up on Friday afternoon, and taken down again and put into storage by Monday morning. So a bit like an exhibition every weekend but with better food and drink.

Posted by on in Ingatestone
It's a wrap !

In preparation for Ally Pally this coming weekend, the Ingatestone crew have been busy getting ready the boards that we are taking to display. On Sunday, the packing crates for the corner boards were finished, with an extra day of work by Tom, Bob and myself getting the foam core for the scenery being cut. What is on display will be a work in progress to show visitors how we are building the scenery, to allow them to ask questions, learn and hopefully come and visit us at our open day in May. To act as a "place marker" for the PECO