The Model Railway Club

The Model Railway Club

Members log in here

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.

Recent blog posts
Ingatestone gets ready for open house !



Great progress has been made on Ingatestone since the last appearance at Ally Pally last month. We are now attached to our joint fiddle yard. We have run the main track power bus along the remaining front boards 1,2 and 3 and added jumper connections between the boards. The foam sub-base for the landscaping has started to be applied and shaped - see the photo.

Our next aim to have a full circuit available on May 8th when The MRC's open day takes place - come along and visit us at home and see what the team has been achieving. There might be something very interesting running around the layout !!



Minories at 60th Anniversary Exhibition in Romford

We were delighted to be invited back to the Ilford and West Essex Model Railway Club's exhibition "West Essex Modelrail" on 23/4 April, their 60th annual show. It took place at the St Edward's School in Romford,






We were in a small pocket of EM layouts,

Posted by on in News
Ingatestone goes to the Palace !

A very successful weekend for Ingatestone at the London Festival Of Railway Modelling held last weekend at Alexandra Palace. After the safe delivery of the three boards (numbers 4 to 6), the "in progress" demo drew a lot of attention and positive comment from the show-goers. Over the weekend, all of the group took their turns helping out on the layout or with the stewarding. See above for a picture of the lads on the Sunday afternoon !  Next stop will be at the MRC Open Day on May 8th at Keen House. More information is at:  See you there !

When was the first model railway exhibition?

This was the question posed recently on the excellent mremag - the thrice weekly supply of news and views for railway modellers.

I suspect that as the oldest model railway club, our first exhibition is probably the first - in which case the answer would be March 13th 1912 as one of our club evenings that was also open to the public. The first two day show was at the Kingsway Hall in Holborn in 1924. It's timing over the Easter weekend led to the start of the traditional London Easter show. With the changes in working and holiday patterns, Easter isn't such a good time for a London show, so the equivalent event - the London Festival of Railway Modelling takes place at the end of March each year, in which the MRC is proud to play a key part providing the 'amateur' content of the shows.

There's more detail in the MRC's centenary supplement from BRM - which you can read here.

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

Posted by on in Putnam
Getting ready for Alexandra Palace

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_4613.JPGPutnam will be among the 40 layouts appearing at the London Festival of Model Railways.  The team have been putting in extra hours to finish a number of mini-projects before we pack everything away ready for transportation 'up the hill'.  Visually there are a number of new buildings along the back of the yard, and a number of bigger and better handmade trees on the more rural end board.  Equally important are a number of re-wiring exercises which aim to improve resilience.  All of which helps make Putnam better than ever.  Come along to Alexandra Palace on March 19th and 20th and see the layout, and feel free to pose any questions you have to the operators.

Posted by on in Ingatestone
Ingatestone turns the corner !

After a lot of wiring, testing of the track power on Ingatestone has started - here we have Bachmann Class 37/4 37421 on the up line on board 6 powering round the corner - next Thursday we will be testing the boards that will be attending London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace. Come and meet us and see the layout - we'll be in the West Hall !  The hard work to progress the hoods for the corner board storage also took a step forward today as Maurice and Tom completed the panelling and secured the strengthening battens in place.

Posted by on in Ingatestone
Ingatestone powers ahead !

This weekend saw Lawrence. Mo and Tom make progress with the power wiring for the layout, as well as on the woodworking. Protector boards to avoid track damage on board ends are being fabricated, and the covers for the trolleys that will be home to the corner boards 5 and 6 took more steps forward. See the pictures of Lawrence making connections on Boards 3 and 4 above and below. We welcome anyone who would like to joing us - all skill levels are most welcome!


Posted by on in Ingatestone
Ingatestone readies for Ally Pally

With our first official outing only 6 weeks away, when we will be showing as a work in progress at the London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace - have a look at:


This last weekend, Lawrence, Mo and Tom were hard at work progressing the side board boxes and getting our wiring further down the line (pun intended) to allow us to run demonstration trains at LoFORM. We are to have a similar wiring pattern to Putnam, our HO scale sister layout, as we will be sharing their fiddle yard.

We look forward to seeing you at Ally Pally, don't be shy, if you have any questions, ask!

Posted by on in Ingatestone
Ingatestone is so Bracing !

Progress today on the storage and transport boxes for the two side boards - five and six. Tom and Maurice spent today adding the bracing to the side panels which will eventually be mounted on the skates and provide protection. I took the opportunity to do some wiring on the aforementioned boards, to get them ready for their first outing to London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace on March 19th/20th. Please feel free to drop by and say hello to us and see the latest progress first hand !



3 Red Panniers Project - Blog 2: It's 'EM' Easy

Progress on L96 continues as I make preparations for detailing on the tank body.
Meanwhile, I have started work on the second Pannier 'L90' which will be converted to EM (18.2 mm) gauge.
For this, I have bought a Gibson conversion package which includes the following:
OO/EM Wheel set + Axles
Coupling Rod Bushes
Brass washers for 1/8" axles.
This was the first attempt at converting a model from OO to EM. While the instructions seemed straight forward, there were some obstacles to overcome with the process such as; Soldering, application of crankpins, application of washers and quartering.

3 Red Panniers Project - Blog 1: Farewell GWR

Red Pannier Tanks became a standard feature on the London Transport Network until the 70's. Their small size was ideal for transporting goods across the Sub-surface network, many were seen trundling across the Metropolitan Line in the final years of Steam on the Underground.
There has always been something about Panniers that I have found fascinating, so I decided to start modelling them in 4mm Scale.

In this project, I will be making three 5700 Class London Transport Panniers in OO, EM and P4 Gauges.

Posted by on in Ingatestone
New Year progress on Ingatestone !

Although we have been quiet over Christmas, that doesn't mean that we have not been active on Ingatestone, as the photos will attest !


Progress since the last update:

Posted by on in Minories
Track building

One of the more frequent questions I get asked at exhibitions is how the track is built. Modelling in EM there isn't much choice for anything other than plain track, but my track building goes back to my teenage OO days.

Despite living only a couple of miles away at the time, I originally stumbled across The Model Railway Club at a Model Engineering show at Wembley Conference Centre when I was probably around 11 or 12. A demonstrator (to this day I can't recall who) was busy making track, and after a moment of asking myself why would anyone bother, I suddenly saw why, as it looked infinitely better than the Triang and Hornby track I had at home. The demonstrator explained what he was doing and why, and encouraged me to 'have a go', and in the process encouraged me to visit the next IMREX (also at Wembley at the time) and Keen House.

Posted by on in Ingatestone
Off our trolleys?

It is often said that rail fans are off their trolleys! But the guys working on Ingatestone 00 are now firmly on and in control of their trolley’s.


We have been putting in some painstaking work (gold star for Mo for his skill and guidance)  to build some trolleys so the layout can be mobile  This is very important part of the project as we need robust cases on wheels  to store and protect the layout as well as transport it in the months to come .....


The is a MRC tradition of  giving packing cases ships’ names - Copenhagen Fields has Titanic & Carpathia   I think I will have to look up the names of the Harwich to Hook of Holland train ferries -anyone know them off hand ?


Tom Slade co leader

Posted by on in Modelling
London Underground at Keen House

Mind The Gap! in our railway modelling range.

What was once a very Niche part of Railway Modelling is now gradually becoming ever more popular.

Posted by on in Ingatestone
Leaves on the line

We are looking for an 00 scale modern tractor as tractors of today are quite  big and sophisticated as can be seen from the pic of a New Holland (monster sized) tractor crossing the level crossing at Ely. Does anyone know of a 4mm model?



So why the obsession with a farm tractors?  Well it’s because the landscape of Ingatestone 00 is to be autumnal to give us a justification to be running top & tailed rail head treatment trains (leaves on the line trains to the general public), hence tractors ploughing fields and half naked trees etc...

Posted by on in Copenhagen Fields
Progress on Copenhagen Fields

We have had a very productive two days working on the layout. The track plan at the southeastern side of the goods yard, especially at the front, has been finalised and has  gone to Keith Armes for turnout manufacture. We have included an extra crossover to allow a twelve-wagon run-round in the goods arrival sidings, without conflicting with the main up goods traffic.  This area can be worked as an independent front yard. Interestingly, we have identified a loop line that would also be an excellent way for transferring trains between the Up & Down lines.  

The goods lines fiddle yard track at the back has always had a ghastly S bend on the big fiddle yard board. This was no longer needed as any crossover of passenger trains between Up & Down main lines will now be accommodated on the Sopwith Camel-shaped southern board, therefore removing the need for this kink. We have therefore straightened it out and realigned the section, as can be seen in the photo: our goods engines will hopefully no longer need to attend agility classes.  At the same time we have laid in a straight piece of track on the new raised baseboard for loco testing.  This could be connected to the Up Goods line as a storage spur for the train that shunts the yard.  There is also now a comfortable rounded

Posted by on in Minories
Class 127 DMU


Class 127 4-car DMUs formed the local passenger services on the Midland main line south of Bedford, so have always been on the list of stock required for Minories. A club member started work on a unit back in 2007, but it didn't get very far. In the interim, I made a 3-car 116 which provided the Midland service pending the arrival of the 127 - which made it's first exhibition appearance at the National Festival of Railway Modelling in October where we got some very kind comments and questions about how it was made, prompting this blog.


Both the 116 and 127 units are made from Lima class 117 bodies, b2ap3_thumbnail_127-5.JPGand the techniques are similar, the key difference between the models of the 116 and 127 on Minories is the windows used.

Posted by on in Minories
On our way to Peterborough

Our invitation to the National Festival of Railway Modelling has been the incentive to get a few more things progressed on the layout.


A major resignalling scheme has seen searchlight starter signals mounted on an etched brass gantry installed, replacing the Berko 3-aspect signals originally installed as a temporary measure hours before the first proper exhibition in 2007. The LEDs in the new signals have common anodes whereas the old signals and the remaining ground signal were common cathode, which meant reconfiguring the wiring on the 'interlocking' which clears the correct signal based on the route set. I hadn't written down how it was originally wired, so the most tedious part was working out the existing wiring had worked...b2ap3_thumbnail_Signals-Oct-15.JPG


The original signal box, again built as a temporary stand-in from a Prototype card kit, has been replaced by a small cabin, kit bashed from a Peco kit.

Tagged in: 4mm EM gauge Minories