Saturday, 28 November 2009


A couple of weeks ago I found a couple of videos on YouTube showing what looks like standard (if a little short) intermodal containers being hauled on wagons on the South African 2ft gauge lines. I've lost the link to the first video I found but here's the second one. I'm guessing that the containers are 10ft long ISO containers, it's difficult to tell exactly what they are from the video but I'd be surprised if they were much smaller. The wagons they are loaded onto don't appear to be specially designed for carrying them as the containers look slightly wider than the wagons but it shows that transporting ISO containers is possible on 2' gauge.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

A1 Models 009 Diesels

A while ago whilst browsing Mick Thornton's pictures of Sussex Downs Group Open Day I spotted this picture of a body kit for the Bachmann Plymouth. The kit is only £6.95 and it's available from MG Sharp and Parkside Dundas. it looks like it should be a good introduction to soldered kit construction, and saves me from scratch building something on my Plymouth chassis.  Martin of the Mog Trains Blog has been building one too.

A1 Models now make a second version of the diesel, and a boxcab loco for the Kato tram chassis, both of which are £7.95. Over on ngrm-online "Snowdon Ranger" has detailed how he has built all three kits in his workbench thread.  He's also build the test etch for their next release - a centre cab diesel which was inspired by his conversion two of their original kits which recently featured in the 009 News.

At Warley I bought the second version of the Bachmann Plymouth conversion kit and some brass rod and tube to make an exhaust for it. It'll be the first brass kit I've built and I'll let you know how I get on.

Monday, 23 November 2009


Emsland-veenbaan by Spijkspoor

I had an enjoyable day out with my father in law at the Warley Show on Saturday. There were a lot of very nice layouts and we didn't have long enough to look at any of them. We missed quite a lot too (including Dinas, Briding Noora, Fisherton Sarum, Willesden Junction and the T guage layout) since we wanted to be back in the South at a reasonable time. I can see why they offer two day tickets! If we go again then I intend to get advance tickets and the show guide in advance so I can work out what I want to see and get into the show and start looking at layouts as soon as we turn up.

Whilst I'm not usually that interested in European trains my favourite layout was Emsland-veenbaan (listed as Emsland-Moortrack in the program), the detail and presentation was stunning. It was a fairly large layout (9x5 meters), but by no means the largest at the show. The presentation was unique - it was a larger oval with a high backscene and completely hidden fiddle yard in the middle. The fiddleyard was accessed by a door at one end of the oval. It combined a double track H0 mainline, a lower level line to some docks, an H0e line and an H0f Peat line. Starting at the access door and going clockwise, once side of the oval was coastal with the H0e line running past a lighthouse, over a bridge and past fishing harbour. The H0 mainline and dock line then appeared and ran past/through the docks. At the other end of the oval the lines ran through a small town and the dock line disappeared. The main line then ran on an embankment behind a line of trees (something I have been thinking about including in a model) and then an H0f (6.5mm gauge) track appeared from under the main line. This ran to a scene where traction engines were cutting peat.

I took a few photos which I've uploaded to Flickr. Some still need some editing.

For pictures of some of the layouts I didn't photograph see Colin Lea's post, Phil Parker's Photo set, this photo set, or this gallery

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Flickr Galleries and The Avontuur Railway

Recently Flickr introduced galleries which they describe as "a way to curate up to 18 public photos or videos of your fellow members into one place". There is a limit of 18 photos, and you can't include any of your own photos, but they allow you to write a reason why you chose each photo and an overall description. Flickr has some good photos for modelling inspiration and I think galleries could be a good tool for collecting them for projects. I've also recently be looking at pictures of the South African narrow gauge lines so I decided to put some rather nice photos of the Avontuur Railway into a gallery. The Avontuur Railway was 177 miles long and ran from Port Elizabeth to Avontuur. The tourist Apple Express runs from Port Elizabeth but many of the stations, including the terminus at Avontuur are now closed. To see what Avontuur looks like now take a look at these recent photos posted on RMWeb.

I've also been watching more YouTube videos recently. Here are two that I found and watched with my daughter tonight.

A Class 91 crosses Van Staden's Bridge:

An NG15 leaving Port Elizabeth: