LFRM Logo 2015Given it was a wild and stormy late March Sunday there seemed no better place to be than mooching around Alexandra Palace with the Boys seeking inspiration for Version II of our model railway. Version I came to an abrupt end this week when we took a long hard look at what we’d achieved so far and pretty much decided that we needed a bit of a rethink as we’d ground to a halt and weren’t sure how to proceed.

The Boys have called the new version ‘Water Lane’.

It’ll still be a traditional chase-your-tail circular railway, but we’re planning to halve the amount of scenic space and increase the size of the ‘behind the scenes’ fiddle yard (or storage sidings) to house the Boys’ growing collection of engines and wagons.

The new layout will form part of a new Family Room I’m planning, with space for all of us to enjoy our interests, drawing, painting, railway modelling, computers etc. More of that another day, in the meantime it’s back to the Festival of Railway Modelling.

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I’ve got to say it was all a bit of a disappointment, more a trade fair, less a celebration of railway modelling. There were a few wonderful layouts on show, but they were adrift in a sea of stalls.

If I had deep pockets and a bulging wallet I’m sure I’d have had a wonderful time around the stalls, but really what we wanted to do was watch the trains pass, enjoy the scenic modelling and be inspired.

There were jaw-dropping layouts, the Model Railway Club’s Copehagen Fields took my breath away with it’s epic scale and scope. It seeks to capture a whole section of the capital around Kings Cross and is achieving it in staggering detail. As this video shows…

And there were enthusiasts quietly getting on with playing with trains, and seemingly oblivious to the press of the crowds pushing against the barriers. It was those enthusiasts, sharing their passion and their skill that caught my attention as much as their layouts. I admired them, and their focus and evident enjoyment in what they were doing encouraged me to get on with our own small effort. With the Easter holidays around the corner perhaps it’s an ideal time to get going on building our little bit a ‘railway Eden’

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