Tag Archives: Hornby Railmaster

Warley Show this weekend a preview

Organised by the Warley Model Railway Club their annual, self styled National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham is this coming weekend 24th and 25th November. It has become a major event in the model railway calender with a large number and wide of layouts along with many associated trade stands, the key manufacturers and model railway press all present.

Many newly released models are available for the first time at or around the Warley show (also in time for Christmas too of course).  In addition number of announcements of new models or first views of work in progress are timed to coincide with the show. I will be summing up any announcements or news of interest to Southern Modellers next week (although as a teaser, there is one announcement being made at 10am on the Saturday morning of the show that is of Southern interest and this announcement will also be posted here at the same time!)

I shall be at the show all weekend once again assisting Mike Wild editor of Hornby Magazine operating his N Gauge Midland Region layout Hettle that will be operated using Hornby’s Railmaster Software, so wrong scale, region and it’s DCC so somewhat away from my usual comfort zone! We shall be located on the joint Hornby Magazine / Ian Allan stand A18.

The show is a bit like Marmite you either love it or hate it, if you are in the camp of the former and attending please feel come along and sat hello.

Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane at Warrington Exhibition this weekend – 20/21 October

Regular readers of my blog will know, by now I am sure, that  I can often be found assisting Mike Wild, editor of Hornby Magazine operate some his many layouts at the various shows they attend to promote the magazine.

Bolsolver and Seven Pit Lane

This weekend it is the turn of his British Railways Eastern  Region layout Bolsover and Seven Pit lane  to make a appearance at the Warrington Show.

Bolsover is an Eastern Region layout (so not a proper engine in sight) with exchange sidings for a local coal mine and well as a frequent main line train service empty coal trains arrive to be shunted by the colliery engine, taken to the screens, filled up with coal before departing back on the main line as a loaded train.  This keeps plenty of movement on the layout and Mike has put together an interesting fleet of both Sound and even smoke unit fitted stock.

One of the interesting aspects of operating this layout is that it is one of the very few,  to date, on the exhibition circuit operated by Hornby’s Railmaster system and the only one utilising the beta version of Railmaster on  hand held Palm devices.

If you are planning on attending this exhibition at the Warrington Collegiate Institute, Winwick Road Campus, Winwick Road, WARRINGTON, WA2 8QA, please come and say hello.

Ashland at Hornby Magazine Live in Hartlepool on 7/8th July

Last year at the Hornby Magazine Live exhibition the Hornby Magazine editor Mike Wild, fellow modeller Richard Proudman and myself undertook the challenge to build a layout in a weekend and having successfully finished with an hour to spare Ashland was born. Based on Southern practice in North Cornwall we used Ashbury and Dunsland Cross as the inspiration, hence the name. Ashland will be returning to Hornby Magazine Live  at Hartlepool on 7th and 8th July to enable those visitors who attended last years show and saw only a part built layout to view the completed challenge.

Ashland in 1946 -1949 guise with my Bulleid Light Pacific 21C102 ‘Salisbury’ awaiting departure from  the station.

Making only its second appearance since completion, we shall be operating Ashland in Post war 1946 to 1949 guise on the Saturday using my own rolling stock and moving forward in time to the BR Southern Region era of 1955 to 1965 on the Sunday using Mike and Richard’s stock. If you are planning on visiting the show please make sure you come and say hello!

A Drummond T9 runs through Ashland with a parcels train.

This year’s show, being held in the centre of town in a new venue at the Hartlepool College of Further Education, Stockton Street, Hartlepool, TS24 7LB will feature over 20 quality layouts in scales from ‘N’ to ‘O’, many having been previously featured in Hornby Magazine, plus full trade support and catering. Proceeds from the event go to Hartlepool Families First and RNLI Hartlepool.
Other Southern related layouts include: Rowland castle – 00 wartime Southern, Hedges Hill – N 1980’s BR Southern Region and Meopham East Junction – 00 1960’s BR Southern Region.
Although not Southern based another one of Mike wild’s Hornby Magazine layouts, that I can often be found assisting with,  Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane will also be in attendance and operated as usual by Hornby’s Railmaster system and is well worth a watch.  Further details about the show can be found here on the Hornby Magazine website.

If you are unable to get to Hartlepool, Ashland will also be making an appearance at the High Wycombe and District MRS’s Wycrail show on the Saturday 3rd November also at a new venue this year at the Cressex Community School, Cressex Road, High Wycombe, Bucks  HP12 4UD.

Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane at the Leamington Show this weekend 21st/22nd January

Regular readers will by now know that I can often be found behind one of the many layouts built and exhibited by Mike Wild, Editor of Hornby Magazine as part of their stand at shows.

This weekend sees Bolsover and Seven Pit lane making an appearance, along with 22 other layouts, at the Leamington and Warwick Model Railway Society’s 37th annual exhibition, being held at the Stoneleigh Park Exhibition Centre nr. Warwick. I will therefore be playing with mainly Eastern Region stock rather than my usual Southern bias (not to mention the black art that is DCC!) but I am sure I will cope.

Myself at the Railmaster controls of Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane, whilst set up at Hornby Mag HQ, with the new fiddle yard clearly shown. (Image copyright and courtesy of Mike Wild.)
Mike has been very busy working on Bolsover since its last outing at the Spalding show last November as the traverser has been been totally replaced with a more traditional fiddle yard. This along with a few adjustments made to enable the goods yard to be fully operational will enable a more varied scope sequence of operation to be achieve.

One of the intersting aspects of operating this layout is that it is one of the very few,  to date, on the exhibition circuit operated by Hornby’s Railmaster system and the only one utilising the beta version of Railmaster on  hand held Palm devices.  Also much of Mike’s fleet of Eastern Region stock being used is now sound fitted giving an additional dimension.

If you are planning on attending this exhibition please come and say hello.

Two down, one to go…

I am now two thirds of the way through my three exhibitions in three, back to back, weekends marathon. The second of the three shows last weekend was the Spalding show assisting Mike Wild and the Hornby Magazine team operate his layout Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane.

Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane on the right at the head of the Hornby Magazine showcase aisle.

The Spalding show is a large provincial show and is certainly one of the best in the East of England. This year in particular saw an extremely high standard of layouts on show including the likes of Stoke Summit, Hassell Harbour Bridge, Penhallick  and the extremely impressive Gresley Beat. This line up is good on its own before you add the entire Aisle of layouts that formed the Hornby Magazine showcase of layouts that have featured in the magazine including Treneglos, Romley Midland and New Haden Colliery. With another of Mike’s layouts Hettle having to be a last minute stand in it meant out team of operators were a little stretched. Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane is DCC controlled using the Hornby Railmaster system which I believe is a first for an exhibition layout, and included the beta testing of a hand held device version of the software.

A closer view of Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane

Mike has also amassed an impressive line of sound fitted locomotives that proved very popular with the visitors.  The technology, and to a certainly extent physical parts of the layout too, seemed to work against us a little on the Saturday (the expression a bag of bolts springs to mind) although frustrating for us as operators we kept an intensive service of trains running and the viewing public would have been none the wiser. Things certainly settled down on the Sunday and therefore was a much more rewarding day all round.

Ashland Station somewhere on the North Cornwall Railway

This coming weekend of course sees the final part of the trilogy; operating at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition,  Ashland. This is  a layout built by in a weekend at the Hornby Magazine Live Hartlepool show last July by Mike Wild, Richard Proudman and myself. This will be forming part of the largest Hornby Magazine stand to date at the show. I am certainly looking forward to running my own Southern 1946 to1949 era stock on the layout on the Saturday whilst tome will move to the mid to late 1950’s on the Sunday with Mike’s own Southern Region stock. With over 16,000sq feet of space, 75 layouts and a zillion traders the Warley show can be quite an experience; this being the third year in a row that I have exhibited at the show, I was there two years ago with my own Fisherton Sarum layout, and last year with Hinton Parva from the High Wycombe and District MRS. I personally  feel that it can be more fun to exhibit than to attend as a visitor and is seen as a ‘Marmite’ love or hate show by many. If you are thinking of coming alone and want to avoid the usual scrum area around some of the traders by all means come and say hello to us on Ashland.

Three exhibitions, three weekends.

Following hot on the heals of last weekends excellent and successful Wycrail exhibition hosted by my own local High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society for the next two weekends I will be assisting Mike Wild of Hornby Magazine operating layouts at; firstly this coming weekend, the Spalding Model Railway Club exhibition with Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane; and the following weekend at the Warley Model Railway Club’s National Model Railway Exhibition with Ashland.

Spalding MRS Exhibition with Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane. 

Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane

Bolsover and Seven Lane Pit made its exhibition debut at Model Rail Scotland in February 2011 and meant I had to get to grips with not only DCC control (I am still very much in the DC camp with my own fleet) but also Hornby’s Railmaster control programme. As when we last exhibited at the Southwold show last August we will be using the yet to be released wireless hand held control with Railmaster utilising Palm devices. Although as hinted I am a DCC Luddite I have been impressed with the Railmaster system and the added dimension it brings to the operation of such a layout.

I know Mike has been spending some time prior to the Spalding show giving the scenic’s a bit of a refresh and also paying attention to the loco fleet with weathering and also newly sound fitted locos. At the show there will be a whole aisle showcasing layouts that have featured in the Hornby Magazine over the last few years.

Warley National Model Railway Exhibtion with Ashland.  

Ashland somewhere on the North Cornwall line

Ashland was a challenge to build a working and fully scenic model railway in just two days at the Hornby Magazive LIVE! Exhibition in Hartlepool last July. I was part of the challenge building team along with Hornby Magazine editor Mike Wild and fellow modeller Richard Proudman. We started the build as the doors to the show opened at 9.30am  on the Saturday and by 3pm on the Sunday the layout was complete and operating for the visiting public to watch.

Ashland will be making is full exhibition debut at the Warley MRC National Model Railway exhibition being held at the Birmingham NEC over the weekend of 19/20th November.

Being based somewhere in North Cornwall on the Southern Withered Arm we will be running my own 1946 to 1949 era stock on the Saturday and Mike’s BR(s) stock on the Sunday. It will be nice to be exhibiting a Southern based layout again with Mike,.

So if you are planning to visit either show come and find us as part of the  Hornby Magazine stand / showcase area and say hello.

Southwold show, Bolsover and Hornby’s Railmaster

I have just spent a pleasant weekend operating Mild Wild’s / Hornby Magazine’s layout Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane at the Southwold show in Suffolk. One of the more unusual aspects of this layout is its use of the Hornby Railmaster DCC system, probably the first exhibition layout operating an intensive sequence to do so. 

I don’t intend within my blog to critic shows / exhibitions that I attend as I find this too subjective and “one mans trash is another man treasure” kind of thing, but I will happily discuss any interesting events or topics that arise.

Mike Wild behind the controls of Bolsover and Seven Pit Lane at the Southwold show

Bolsover is an Eastern Region layout with exchange sidings for a local coal mine and well as a frequent main line train service empty coal trains arrive to be shunted by the colliery engine, taken to the screens, filled up with coal before departing back on the main line as a loaded train.  This keeps plenty of movement on the layout and Mike has put together an interesting fleet of both Sound and even smoke unit fitted stock. The sound and smoke fitted A4 is certainly very popular with the public, both the younger generation and the young at heart oldies!  The layout was a subject of two modeling supplements spread over two editions of the Hornby Magazine and was actually sponsored by Hornby Hobbies (Other than the use of the name Hornby Magazine is produced by Ian Allan Publishing and is  not actually part of or anything to do with Hornby Hobbies!) hence the use of Hornby Hobbies track, buildings and most of the scenic’s. 

We first exhibited this layout at the Glasgow show back in February using a then Beta version of Railmaster and reported back to the development team any issues that we found at the time and some of these were corrected over the three days of the show itself and we were able download updated versions overnight! For me being a total DCC Luddite this was quite a baptism of fire but interesting all the same.

With this outing of Bolsover we were also Beta testing a future addition to the Railmaster system, this time the use of Palm device (I guess Android phones and iPhones etc will also be developed) coupled to the Railmaster allowing full wireless control of the system as a handheld unit (and I believe up to eight such devices will be able to be used with Railmaster). We have some feedback to give back to developers on the system, as you would expect for Beta testing, I am unable to say too much more about it at this stage other then to advise that I found intuitive, quick and easy to use and think it will be a very popular addition to the system when released.

One other interesting snippet is that this weekend news broke of the latest limited edition shop commissioned models. This time it is Hatton’s commissioning, via Heljan, a limited edition LMS Beyer Garrett in a number of guises and liveries. Full details will be on their website this week and also in the September issue of Hornby Magazine that should be available from the middle of this week.

Southwold Exhibition 6th & 7th August, this coming weekend

This coming weekend I shall be exhibiting at the Southwold model railway exhibition in Suffolk, as I have done the last couple of years, with Mike Wild editor of Hornby Magazine.  This year we shall be operating his layout Bolsover which is fully DCC. It is operated using Hornby’s Railmaster software and is  probably the first exhibition layout to do so!  I last opearted this layout at the Glasgow show earlier in the year and being a bit of a luddite when it comes to DCC it takes a bit of getting used to but ceratinly adds a different element to operation, along with sound and smoke fitted locomotives.

This is usually a cracking show and well worth a visit. The venue is as usual St Felix’s School just outside Southwold.  The organisers , as ever, are Waveney Valley MRC further information can be found on the club’s website here