Cost of Exhibitions

I do not often go the exhibitions as I find my time is taken with other things at the weekends, however with a growing grandson I may 'have' to go more often in future.

However, I moved this year to Bracknell and found to my pleasure that ExpoEM was literally just down the road, and within walking distance. Being a skinflint I noted what trade stands would be there before I went I figured that the cost of admission would be less than the cost of postage and packing if I had bought what I intended to buy online. I made a list of what I wanted because if you put me in a model shop there is always something I really need, even if I had never thought of it before.

I duly purchased nearly everything I wanted and found that I was £70 lighter and could not buy anything else as I had run out of cash. I was then free to go and look at and (being a railway modeller), criticize other people's work even though it was of a far higher standard than I could achieve. However, the organisers had thought of that and made the ticket valid for two days so I had no option but to go back on the Sunday afternoon when there were less people there so I could take my time looking at the layouts and spend more money buying the things I had not been able to the day before. I did save some more postage though.

All in all not a bad weekend. I might go to Wycrail on 2nd November. I could take my wife as it is her birthday, I am sure she would appreciate it. I am also sure she would like the weathering powders I would buy her, along with the next Cambrian Railways goods truck if it is now out and it would be much cheaper than taking her out for a meal.

Chris Nottage


Being on the door at the local show over a number of years it is always amazes me when people get as far the ticket desk, see the price of entrance and then declare its too much and walk off! At the show they have to get there, park up, walk down to the venue and then not enter because of the cost! (Show has normally 20 good quality layouts and 30 traders for £7 )

Stephen Foster Secretary Wakefield Railway Modellers Society


Model Rail Live

The show at its new location of Newark was thoroughly enjoyable with a wide range of layouts and traders. Below are just three photos from the show. Apart from the fully-finished layouts, it was good to see the occasional ‘work in progress’, such as ‘Lincoln Central’.

My only ‘improvement comment’ – for this and many similar shows, including Swindon – is for the ticket queues to be more clearly marked (pre-booked; credit card; cash).

Brian Macdermott


Fictitious Liveries

The list of fictitious liveries on preserved locomotives is no doubt going to run and run (unlike, sadly, many preserved locos). I remember being puzzled back in the late 1970s or early 1980s by a loco in Caledonian Livery where nae such livery should be, this being one of the Fairburn tanks on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. The same railway more recently ran an Austerity 0-6-0T named Cumbria in Furness Railway livery. As that belongs to the Furness Railway Trust, one might say fair enough, and it did look very attractive.

A number of preserved railways have, of course, also run locos in their own livery. The Keighley and Worth Valley was one of the pioneers of this practise, with Ivatt 2-6-2T No. 41241and USA 0-6-0T running in maroon K&WVR livery, with crest, for the re-opening special. Their later repaint of the USA tank with "Worth Valley" inscribed on its side in American style lettering was a neat nod to the origins of the loco.

Given that the original Georgian and Victorian owners of our railways painted their rolling stock in their company's colours, perhaps the only "correct" livery for locomotives running in preservation is that of the railway on which they operate, making the K&WVR livery the proper one. Museum exhibits should, of course, wear an historic livery. This principle does, however, lead to the scary prospect of mainline steam appearing in Network Rail yellow. Maybe we should just relax and enjoy seeing what might have been as well as what was.

Richard Simmons


Regarding the discussion on non-authentic liveries and the mention of the 7F No 88 in Prussian blue, readers may be interested in the attached photo of Kilmersdon, the S&D Trust's other loco, which last winter was also turned out in fully lined S & D colours.

The general feeling on the West Somerset Railway is that an excellent job has been done and the loco looks well in its bogus livery. The loco was used this Summer at both Thomas the Tank weekends, shunting troublesome trucks in Minehead yard. It also made an appearance at the other end of the line, complete with its six wheeled coach during the WSRA's steam fare at the Norton Fitzwarren triangle.

Perhaps this is the excuse needed by one of the big boys to produce a 4mm model of an industrial tank as discussed earlier on this site.

David Temple


Were we more content?

No we were NOT more content, at least not in the late 60s and early 70s else there would not have been as many *different* “prototypical” scale movements out there as you cared to notice.

There simply were not many public forums on which to air that dissatisfaction, and the ones we had were owned by the people serving up the stuff people were complaining about, so it isn’t surprising we never saw much in the way of complaints.

Were you seriously more happy with underpowered can motors or locomotive that could only pull on the right sort of track?

Readers! If you want to run more toy-like stuff for the sheer fun of it, do so with everyone’s blessing. Just stop calling for everyone else to support a general call for a return to those “halcyon” days, because some of us remember it like it was, not how we wished it was. Rolling stock wheel bearings that had prototypical drag at 1:1 scale, locomotives that stopped at every point and needed a nudge, speed control that had three settings: stop, go and go fast, the list goes on and on.

Which was actually what my point was and not a gesture of support for a movement I honestly feel is a (rightfully) lost cause.

Except for the need for a new Battlespace Turbo Car. That should be addressed tootsweet.

Steve Mann


Too much of a good thing?

Our editor pondered and asked: “I wonder if we were happier, or at least more content, when the models we could buy looked less like the real thing than they do now. Do we have too much of a good thing?”

I suggest we can’t view the model world in isolation – it has to be taken in context with life in general.

Were we ‘happier’ when car radiators had to be drained to prevent freezing up in winter; or when televisions had a black & white picture on a four-two-five line tiny screen that suffered ‘snow’ every time a car passed by in the street; or when life expectancy was a lot lower.....etc etc.

If you look back at magazines from a bygone era – and I’m looking at one from 1955 as I write this – you will read of modellers’ constant attempts to ‘improve things’, by better electronics, better use of existing or new materials or adaptation. The advert pages all proclaim ‘new’, ‘improved’, or somehow ‘better’ products.

One thing that has changed dramatically is that – back in 1955 – there were only a handful of printed magazines, shows or clubs where an exchange of views could be undertaken.

Compare that to today’s multiplicity of platforms for expression. Perhaps therein lies the rub?

Brian Macdermott



I agree with you Josh ,and with Model Rail the existing subscriber pays the same,but bear a thought for the overseas readers we get nothing and usually the magazine take 3-4 weeks to arrive after publication date. We did when Ian Allan used to own the Hornby Magazine but since Key Publishing took over overseas subscribers get nothing. It is surprising that the Railway Modeler has never offered anything as far as I can remember but still manages to sell a awful lot of magazines.

Brian Honess


The same thing applies in several areas of commerce. Take broadband for instance. New customers to several different suppliers can get a better deal than existing customers, for an admittedly limited period usually, but still with significant savings. The 'small print' specifically states that it does not apply to existing customers.
They want your money, simple as that. It's called capitalism…

Steve Grantham


Bachmann 64xx

I had sent a number of comments to Bachmann on various aspects of its 64xx engineering sample, photos of which can be seen on Bachmann's website. Peter Rich is quite right to pick up on the splasher size, and this could be
Bachmann either allowing (perhaps overgenerously) for 00 wheel flanges, or has in mind a potential future 54xx model, the latter having larger 5'2" wheels. Using the same body moulding parts for the 64xx and 54xx is not
quite so simple however - in addition to the splasher size, the boiler pitch, cab roof and chimney on a 54xx are higher than a 64xx. Also note that the body style Bachmann has chosen does not apply to the last ten of the class, or to the 74xx for that matter, owing to different styles of cab roof and bunker. Bachmann's footplate-mounted lubricators restrict the applicable 64xx prototypes even further, but is a minor point of detail.

Regarding the top feed, it is not known whether Bachmann regard a pre-1943 version as commercially viable, since this would entail an alternative tank moulding. On the prototype, the original backhead-feed boilers did continue in existence in the boiler pool, and a number of the class could be seen with those boilers until the end of steam. As usual, dated prototype pictures should be consulted.

Some notes on the 64xx class can be found at

Russ Elliott


Hornby 01s

Many thanks t all who responded to my recent for information on the Hornby 01. It has been acted on and hopefully I will be the extremely pleased owner of one such.

As an aside I was today in Hattons shop and what a great place to spend an hour wallowing in my passion. I came away penniless but fulfilled and with another four locomotives to add to my stud. Sadly I discovered the Garratts imminent arrival and my wallets subsequent hammering. Long may it be so!

Pete Blencowe


Preserved B1s

Whoops. Sorry. Apologies, also, to all concerned with 61306 for apparently disregarding your efforts.

I am not generally into things LNER/ER and I took a casual remark by someone who is as fact without checking it out!

John Street


Hachette Part Works

Has anyone bought Part 2 of this. At £8.99 for parts of a building plus two bits of track (and a thin book) it hardly seems to be leaping off the shelves in the local newsagents. I suspect most of us will stick at the coaches in part 1 (plus the 16 page book).

Alan Brant


Jumbled Reviews

I spoke to the people manning the Hornby Magazine stand at the recent Steam exhibition in Swindon. They asked me if I would like to see any changes to their magazine. I said yes - what really annoys me in the mixing of gauges in the reviews - especially in their yearbook.

I model in 00 and have no interest whatsoever about N gauge or 0 gauge. I am sure there must be others out there who would prefer to see the gauges reviewed separately - I am not saying the other gauges are less important - just not relevant to me.

Hornby magazine is not alone in having this jumble of gauges and I sure people miss a review say of a N gauge wagon when it is amongst 00 locos or a 00 gauge accessory hidden among N gauge releases. Bachmann are pretty good in their club magazine having dedicated sections for their 00; the N gauge Farish and other gauges.

What do other readers think?

Nick Lamkin


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