Tag Archives: 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.

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