IMG_9514 The Boys had their sixth birthday at the start of September and were fortunate enough to get enough money between them to go out in search of a post-party treat. Many of you will know Hamley’s Toy Store in Regent Street, and many of you will know that on a Saturday morning it’s the very definition of hell! Thankfully the Boys already had a clear idea of what they were after and found it, on the fifth floor, in minutes. It was a Hornby starter set called the ‘West Coast Highlander’ which basically comes with an oval of 00 gauge track, an 0-4-0 tank engine and a short train of four wagons. Their model railway adventure had begun!

That was all a few weeks ago, since then things have moved on apace with a pin board from school being commandeered as a baseboard; the board attached to legs and a home found for the whole things in the middle of their bedroom.

As you’ll see in the photos below, we’ve had the track out (mmm, you’ll have noticed that I’m now using ‘we’, that’s because, well… I’m a big kid at heart and I’m having as much fun as the Boys in sharing their ‘small world’ model railway adventure!).

Creating their own railway world has fired their imaginations and they’re full of wonderful ideas of things they’d like us to have a go at making… I’ll keep you in touch with how we get on as Winter settles in.

We’d a few pieces of shelving lying around after building a set of library shelves and they’ve proved to be an idea subframe for the railway’s baseboard…
Here’s the baseboard in place on legs, acting as a temporary play table whilst we sorted out the Boys bedroom around it… That baseboard is HUGE!
The first morning with track down, Joe’s learning the fine art of placing wagons onto the fiddly track, it’s certainly tougher to do than placing Brio wooden trains on their track…
He soon got the hang of it though, and took to the analog controls like a natural!
Lego and building blocks with the magic of childhood imagination soon took form as railway bridges and stations… That veg box is a quarry in the mountains by the way.
Utterly engaged and contented…
Oh, and in the afternoon, for a bit of inspiration, we headed across to West Hampstead Thameslink station and saw the real thing in all their ponderous, powerful glory. Here’s a Class 66 ‘Good Old Boy’.
After the visit to the station, Joe drew out his track layout ideas, with a factory siding and quarry…
And this is Fin’s, with loops and stations and a bit of town and country…
We finally came up with this idea, town and country, factory and engine shed and industrial line into the quarry… I’m as excited as the Boys!

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4 thoughts on “It’s a small world (1.)

  1. Have you taken them to the Bluebell Railway yet? Not too far from London and ideal for immersing yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of the steam age. Last time I was there the shop also had a good stock of model railways!


  2. No we haven’t, that’s a great idea Graham, though perhaps we’ll delay the visit until the Spring… Meanwhile we’ll get a little scenery building done.




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