Dear Members

We hope this week you have all survived lockdown and are feeling suitably refreshed with your first pint or two now that the pubs have reopened. This week we have a bumper bundle for you to read, including a reminder of what we would have been doing next week with an article setting out the the trials and tribulations of running and exhibiting a model railway exhibition.

You will also be pleased to know that we will be speaking to the church to discuss our possible return to our clubroom after June 21st.


Keep safe

Phil and Nigel



Please email all submissions to  or



The City of London’s First Terminus


Part 3



At a signal from the telegraph all carriages are hooked onto the cables by their guards. The cables are wound forward dragging the carriages to their destinations. In the diagram the upper cable is pulling the trains towards the Minories. All the carriages at the intermediate stations will (without stopping) travel through to the Minories (7), each guard disengaging the cable and coasting into the Minories and then applying the brakes for a gentle arrival. At Blackwall the seven coaches pinned together in a single train will similarly be dragged towards the Minories but as it approaches an intermediate station the end coach will be unpinned, disengaged from the cable and braked, all by one of its’ two guards, to arrive and remain at the intermediate station. Thus a single carriage is slipped at each intermediate station.

At the same time the lower cable in the diagram is dragging the seven coach train and the individual carriages at the intermediate stations towards Blackwall. The train of seven coaches will slip one at each intermediate station so that it arrives at Blackwall with only two carriages to join the five that have already arrived from the intermediate stations.

The trains were intended to be run every fifteen minutes with a maximum speed of about 30 mph, thirteen minutes being allowed for the journey, less to or from for intermediate stations. This intensive service was usually available between the hours of 8.30 am and 8.45 pm. Speed compared very favourably with the horse omnibuses which took about 45 minutes via Commercial Road.




There are a number of problems with this system. Firstly, how did the passengers know which carriage to enter? The issued tickets were of flimsy paper and carried an emblem similar to the crest carried on the doors of the carriages. (See the drawing of a carriage above). However, the centre of the emblem was left blank leaving plenty of space for the booking clerk to write or stamp the intended destination and possibly even the number or name of the individual carriage. Sadly, there is no direct evidence to suggest that names or numbers were ever carried on the outside of carriages. It is known that a passenger entering a carriage had immediately to surrender his or her ticket. As each carriage had two guards it seems reasonable to assume that it was the carriage guards that collected these tickets and redirected passengers to the correct carriage in the case of confusion. It appears that the tickets were then handed back to the booking office before departure.

In the early days of operation there was one problem encountered with this arrangement. As the tickets never left the issuing station some booking clerks fraudulently resold old tickets and pocketed the money. To prevent such fraud an inspector had to be appointed to supervise the booking clerks and monitor the issue and return of tickets. He was given the grand title of ‘Ticket Master’.

Assuming most passengers were second class there appears to be little opportunity to employ first class carriages other than as one of the two front carriages on each line which never stopped at intermediate stations. It appears that this problem was overcome by creating composites but details of these do not survive. Perhaps there was a small first class compartment at each end, each supervised by a guard, with a large central standing compartment in the middle. It is not clear whether these carriages were rebuilds of existing carriages or were completely new and an addition to the existing stock.

It transpires that trains could be shorter or longer than seven carriages with a maximum of about 24. This implies that there must have been sidings and even connecting points between the two lines at each terminus. These could hardly be operated by the two cables and must have involved each carriage being separately shunted by porters or horses, a not uncommon practice in the early days of the railways.

Another problem was the awkward arrangement of travelling between two intermediate stations. For instance, a traveller arriving on foot at Stepney and wishing to travel by train to Popular could not travel direct. He would have to catch a single carriage to the Minories and then take a train to be slipped off at Popular. The only alternative would be to travel via Blackwall. This was so inconvenient that most people preferred to travel via horse omnibus instead and the railway company had to start offering reduced fares for those travelling between intermediate stations.


The winding drums visible at the Minories. At extreme left is the telegraph instrument and at right the brake handle for the drum. Courtesy Wikepedia.


The Official Opening

The 3½ mile line was formally opened on Saturday, July fourth, 1840 at 12 noon. This was the time of the departure of the first ceremonial train but thousands had attended the Minories station and the surrounding area to view this departure from a very early hour. The directors had invited some fifteen hundred guests to a celebration at Brunswick Wharf riverside terrace, Blackwall and for most this included a train ride from the Minories. Each coach was supervised by two guards in their blue uniforms with white trimmings whilst other similarly uniformed guards directed those with tickets through the crowds to the carriages. Brass bands provided musical entertainment at both ends of the line.
The main problem with these arrangements was that only one cable was in operation and several trains must have been used to transfer so many invited guests necessitating some empty stock working back on the one cable.
At 1 p.m. a formal party of dignitaries, headed by the Lord Mayor in his mayoral regalia, joined a train at the Minories and headed for the official banquet which was held at 3 p.m. in the East India Dock’s warehouse at Brunswick Wharf which had been specially festively decorated for the occasion. The sumptuous meal was provided by the landlord of the local Brunswick Tavern to be followed by the usual lengthy and congratulatory speeches. After the celebrations some of the party returned to the city by specially chartered steamboat.
The line was opened to the public on the Monday but Shadwell and Stepney stations
remained closed as they were still being built. The second rope did not commence operation until the 3rd of August so only a restricted service was able to operate until then, probably a train every 30 minutes. The full service involved a train in each direction every 15 minutes between 8.30 am and 8.45 pm, the trains usually taking 13 minutes for the journey between each terminus. This was more than half an hour faster than the horse omnibuses although the latter provided a service about every 5 minutes.
Initially fares for a single journey were set at 6d first class and 3d second class irrespective of which stations passengers were joining and departing. In October the latter fare was raised to 4d and as most passengers chose the cheaper fare despite having to stand the line gained the unofficial title of ‘the fourpenny rope’.


The Fenchurch Street Extension

Remarkably, in 1839 the company was given parliamentary permission to extend the line into the City of London via a short extension to a terminus at Fenchurch Street, subject to a number of conditions. The extension had to be fully enclosed so that no horse travelling along local roads could be frightened by the sight or sound of a passing train. This involved building a timber structure roofed over especially in the vicinity of the Minories viaduct.

Also, on Sundays, Christmas and Easter, trains had to terminate at the Minories. This meant both the original Minories station and the new Fenchurch Street station had to be kept in operation yet only one could be open at a time. This was because the trains for Fenchurch Street had to rely on momentum to coast, on a slightly rising gradient, from leaving the cable at the Minories, into the Fenchurch Street terminus. Stopping at the Minories station would deprive Fenchurch Street terminus bound trains of the necessary momentum.

To depart from Fenchurch Street a number of porters had to push the train until it gained speed on the falling gradient and was eventually able to pick up the cable at the Minories. Thus the latter, now an intermediate station, had to be open to the public on Sundays and be closed the rest of the week. This requirement was abolished in 1842 and the Minories station then ceased to be regularly used for passengers.

Also in 1839 the company received parliamentary approval to change its’ name to ‘The London & Blackwall Railway’. The modest 415 yard extension from the Minories and Fenchurch Street station itself were opened to the public on the 2nd August 1841 at a final cost of about £ ¼ million. 
In 1842 the line tried to encourage freight traffic by the building of small goods yards at West India docks and between the Minories and Fenchurch Street. There is no suggestion that cables were laid in these depots and thus carriages had to be pushed around by porters. There is no evidence that proper goods trucks were supplied at this time and it is possible that second class carriages were used instead. Some of these may already have been used as goods wagons on passenger trains to carry the large amounts of luggage passengers on holiday were likely to bring with them. The freight service was poorly used, most dock bound goods travelled by road, and the railway goods depots were closed after a couple of years.






Part 2


Sunday 28th May

Today we were to visit the Bergishe Museumsbahnen Wuppertal-Kohlfurth which for a quick interpretation is a tramway museum. After breakfast we left at 8.00 to catch the Schwebebahn for a couple of stops to the bus station from where we caught a bus out into what seemed to be (and was) the middle of the countryside.

Having alighted from the bus we then had a short (ish) walk to the tramway museum which really was in the middle of nowhere. In this it resembles the Crich Tramway. However the restored section did actually carry trams on a cross country route of which there were several in Germany at one time. Trams stopped running in Wuppertal many years ago which as I am sure that you are aware is quite unusual in Europe.


Left: Tram No. 105 at Petrikshammer 
Right: Trams 107 and 105 at Greuel


The museum line begins about 50m east of the Kohlfurth bridge, where the depot may be found with its exhibition of vehicles and a bookshop. A track coming from the bridge is currently out of use. East of the depot the line winds its way south and then swings around in a 180° curve in order to follow the Kaltenbach valley north. The end of the line is currently at Greuel halt, although it has long been planned to work the section beyond that to Möschenborn.

Near Möschenborn halt the old line turns south again in order to reach Cronenberg.


The depot at Kohlfurther Brucke. These two may need a little work!


The route has a height difference of about 150 metres, which means that it has an average incline of 5%. The largest part of the route cuts through a wood and is therefore typical of the former overground tramway network. On the other hand the route does not really have any town sections. There are seven stops.


Left: Unidentified tram  at  Kohlfurther Brucke           
Right: Trams 337 and 107 at  Kohlfurther Brucke


The party had a ride on a chartered vintage tram to the end of the line with photo stops on the way. A second tram was running a service for the public. On return to the museum end we had a guided tour before departing to catch the bus back to Wuppertal for lunch.



It was then back to the station to catch a train at 14.15 to Hanover and then having changed trains onto Goslar where arrival was at 17.50. From here we should have caught the 18.05 to Wernigerode. However just to prove all does not always go smoothly in Germany either the train was cancelled. The next service was at 19.05 and there was very little to do in Goslar.


Couple of photos of Wuppertal station


The tour guide tried to find some taxi’s and if memory serves correct a few of the party did so. The rest of us found a bar and waited until the 19.05. Arrival at Wernigerode was therefore a couple of hours late at 20.00. A walk to the hotel and a late dinner at 20.30 ensued. After dinner a suitable bar was located before the end of the day.

Tomorrow would be our introduction to the Harz Railway system.




As we approach the date for our once again cancelled exhibition, I thought I would share this article I found on the 009 Society website. It sets out the trials and tribulations of running a model railway exhibition for the exhibitor, exhibition manager and the model railway club!
Although lengthy, its well worth a read to the end!



the pitfalls of exhibiting laid bare


You have been to a few exhibitions as a punter, you model railways, and now you are thinking of exhibiting one.

Ask yourself why you wish to exhibit? If you are looking for feedback on your efforts, you can easily post images of your line on numerous forums or launch your own website, like this one. You can even show how well it works by posting a video, on say, YouTube.

If you get your layout featured in magazines you can really consider your efforts are getting somewhere. If you are listed as 'Railway of the Month' or 'Inspirational'; consider that you have arrived. What is even better, if you write the article, they even pay you!

Some associations have 'at home' days when like minded folks will take turns visiting members homes, play with your trains, show off their latest models, chat and enjoy tea/biscuits and if you are lucky, fantastic cakes. This can be a pleasant informal way of sharing your hobby; normally a very solitary pastime.. Local groups of the 009 Society do this on a regular basis.

Already, as a railway modeller, you will have come to terms with the fact that as far as most women are concerned, it ranks as one of the most uncool things you can possibly do; just about in the same category of beer mat collecting, spotting buses and watching paint dry. This may explain why very few exhibitors are virile good looking young men! In fact, model rail exhibitions are largely a repository of middle aged and older blokes. Don't get me wrong, a handful of women are railway modellers but they are as rare as hens' teeth. So if you are a female railway modeller and single, you have already arrived at the happy hunting ground! If you are in to uncool middle aged and older men, that is!




If you are located near a model railway club, you may wish to join them and become involved with an existing club layout. This has the advantage that you will be able to share the experience with like minded people and go out on exhibition with them and have a good jolly. You may find that the club layout holds little interest to you but all is not lost. You can build your own under the auspices of 'members layouts' and still get a lot of help to exhibit.

For many others, a model railway club may not be an option so you will be on your own. Fortunately, a wealth of information is available to you, from some excellent magazines to numerous websites. There are many forums where you can ask for help and the answer will probably come back almost immediately. However, I have never seen a balanced article on the business of exhibiting. This is perhaps because some in the hobby consider the whole subject a 'holy cow' and any negative comments can be met with a storm of outrage and protest. I may very well find myself the subject of a model railway 'fatwa' after writing this!



Well, the answer is simple Most exhibitions are run by model railway clubs. They cost a lot to keep going; maybe it's the rent of the clubhouse or buying supplies and there are all the other expenses experienced when running a club.



"So we could run a model railway exhibition and collect money from punters at the door and from traders who wish to show their wares."

Now this article is largely concerned with the larger shows that draw exhibitors from around the country. The small local show in the church hall has its own charm and perhaps a lot fewer pitfalls.

Let's take a look at the expectations from both sides of the fence.
The exhibition manager of a larger show wants:





  • A large selection of good model railways which will 'wow' the visitors. Remember, you want them to come back next year.


  • That exhibitors will not let you down at the last minute.


  • That exhibitors set up their layouts in time and are ready to operate when the doors open.


  • That the layouts are properly run during the opening times and exhibitors do not start to pack up early.


  • That  someone is available to answer questions from the public.


  • That the exhibitors cause the least amount of bother to the organiser and demand the smallest amount of expenses for getting there.



The exhibitor's requirements are perhaps more varied but here are some factors to consider:




  • That the exhibition manager sends them a complete information pack about what is expected of them and about the locale they are visiting before the exhibitor commits to the venue.


  • That if the venue is away from your locale, suitable accommodation is provided. The exhibitor may even wish accommodation for the night after the show rather than drive home exhausted through the night.

  • That acceptable expenses are paid to cover your costs.


  • That acceptable free food and drink is provided for during the show.

  • That there is security for the layout at the venue during the evenings and at night.

  • That it is properly insured during transit and during the show.

  • That the layout is protected from the ravishes of the public by good barriers.

  • That there is a good 'social opportunity' for exhibitors.

  • That the exhibitor feels valued and cared for.



The whole arrangement, and don't let's forget it, depends on getting a good selection of excellent layouts in show to interest the public. OK, layouts from other clubs will come, but a good show needs more than the 'usual suspects' and this is where the good privately owned layout is sought. Without the layouts, the public and of course the traders will not bother to come either.



There is a country mile between having a demountable layout and one that is suitable for exhibition.

Probably the best way to discover what is required is to note where the crowds are at exhibitions or how long they remain at a layout.

Again, there is often a difference between club layouts and private ones. One of the stars of the club layout is called Dewsbury. The layout is huge and is superb in detail, quality and operating interest. It arrives in a massive truck and takes hours to assemble by a large team who seem as practiced as a Formula One pit crew. They even wear matching uniforms!


Dewsbury at exhibition


Not all layouts have to be built to such exacting standards to be popular. A few layouts are down on realism but have loads of trains rushing around, which can be very exciting to the public. One has no scenery at all, just several tracks laid down as a large loop and kids are allowed to control the trains. Kid paradise!

The private entry is often very much smaller but can have exquisite detail.


Privately entered gem, Pempoul; Reseau Breton in 1:50 scale


When designing your layout, you may wish to consider these factors:

Lighting: Many halls have inadequate lighting and some larger ones use sodium bulbs which wash out all colour. Ideally your display should include its own lighting system which makes the best of your model.

Presentation: How will you frame your layout for the viewing public?

Composition: How will your layout look to the public? Does it 'hang together' from the viewing point

Activity: Does the trackplan allow sufficient train operation to maintain the public interest?

Atmosphere: A indefinable factor, but these may be pointers. Does the layout invoke memories of a certain area? Can visitors mentally 'place' themselves in the landscape and feel part of it?

Reliability: Will your equipment run for two days without failure?

Transport: How easy is it to transport your layout? Will the rail joints between baseboards always line up? How many people do you need to help carry it and set it up? Can your stands be adjusted to allow for floor irregularities?

Health and safety: Yes, the cold clammy controlling hand of bureaucracy has even descended on model railways! Your layout may have to pass various tests, often to do with some woman called Pat and you may have to supply RCDs....( you may have to Google this to find out what on earth they are).

Showmanship: Don't forget you are part of a show, so get into the role. You must consider how best to operate your layout to maintain public interest. This is not quite the same as 'playing with trains'.


There are just so many factors to consider, it can be a bit overwhelming.



So you have built your exhibition layout and are 'raring to go' ......but where?

You will need to acquire photography and colour balancing skills using a software programme like Fireworks or Photoshop. You should also be able to post submissions on the internet. If you really cannot do it, persuade someone who can to do it for you.

Now is the time to post photos of your layout on a few of the better forA. Indeed, if you have been smart, you will have regularly posted during construction so that the layout has had maximum exposure.

You should also place your layout in listings like the UK Shop Directory.

Not everybody is computer literate and there is still nothing quite like being featured in a major magazine. It is best to send photos by post or email and offer to submit an article to the editor.



You will have to make sure that your layout is completely ready and that everything is working to perfection. Work out how you are going to operate it to create maximum interest. You will need to get together a tool kit for running repairs, RCD plugs and all the rest of the paraphernalia. It is very useful to use a checklist so you do not forget something vital.

If you have a larger layout which will not fit into the back of the car, you will have to organise the rent of a van or Luton. This will also need collecting. Larger layouts have many more logistic issues. You may need more than one person to help load and operate. You could experience some difficulty in conning friends to go with you! If you do manage to elicit help, your volunteers quite rightly, may expect you to provide all meals throughout the journey and at location. This can become very expensive.

From the moment your model leaves your front door, it is going to be under threat.


weather: Can your model survive rain? Are your bricks hand painted with water colour? What will you do if you have to move the model around under a deluge?


heat/cold shock: Your layout may very well have operated perfectly at home, but after a few major changes in temperature and humidity experienced during transport and erection at a venue, the story could be very different.


transport: Even with the most careful driving, anything that is not fixed on your model will be elsewhere when you arrive. Loose scatter will be all over your track and bits of ballast can be jamming the point blades. Think of taking a small vacuum cleaner with you.


Shows generally open at 10.00/10.30 hours and you have to be ready by then. Often, it is necessary to get there the evening of day before to offload and set up. Sometimes the exhibition hall is not open sufficiently early on in the day of the show to get it all done by then. If the venue is a long way from home you will have had a tiring journey and may have had to stop for resuscitation at a motorway service area where it costs a week's salary for a tea and a bun.

It always takes much longer than you think  to offload and complete setting up and you may have some problems getting things to work right. It is made more difficult because everyone else is trying to do the same thing all around you. There is no such thing as organised chaos! Further delays can be experienced because you might have to wait for the electrician to do a safety check on your wiring. It is always better to get your trains out onto the track to give them the maximum time to temperature and humidity normalise. Never lock them in the boot and leave them overnight. Half the locos will not wake up the next day for some time.

Watch out for the 'curved ball'. You will know what your requirements are to operate your railway and you should have made these very clear to the exhibition manager. If you arrive and the facilities promised are not provided, don't give in. Insist on your table, operating space or whatever else you required. If they are not forthcoming, don't give in to emotional blackmail. Pack up and go home.

Although the exhibition manager expects you to attend a booked show, be aware that some will cancel you out within weeks of a show, despite having booked you months earlier.

With all of this going on, you will already be feeling tired and hungry. Many clubs do not offer any food at setting up time the evening before and you can find yourself driving around a strange town late at night trying to find somewhere to eat. If you have brought helpers, £100 can disappear very quickly!

Hopefully, barriers will have been already set up for you at your allocated position and these also have to be properly adjusted.

You will then have to find the hotel or B&B (unless you found this earlier). It is amazing how hard this can be after setting up as you will feel completely brain dead. This is a time when GPS comes into its own.

Getting to bed exhausted, you will have to be up early enough to get to the venue to do any last minute adjustments and checks, provided that a host club member has remembered to get up early too, to open the door to the exhibition hall. This is not always the case!

With any luck, you might get a fleeting glance of the other exhibits before the door opens to the public.



Many visitors have no more than a passing interest in the hobby and have no idea of how delicate models can be. After all, toys are made from unbreakable lead free plastic...aren't they???

A proportion of the public come well equipped with small children whose sole purpose for existence is to destroy your precious layout. Sadly, it is not allowed to insist that they have their hands tied behind their backs and what is worse, the doting parents do not keep the little dears under control.

If one does get through your defences and pulls off your line side fences, you are very likely going to shout and you will almost certainly get an angry response from an indignant  parent saying "Well, he's only three". Amazing: when did they breed out common sense in these parents?

This means that you will not only have to concentrate on operating the railway, you will also have to watch for kids and the occasional adult who has crawled under or around the barrier. This can be a tad stressful.



Some visitors will be great pointers. Given half a chance, they are quite capable of pointing their fingers right through telephone wires or model ship rigging. Others are the 'touchy feely' types, who just cannot resist touching everything, no matter how delicate it may be. It is amazing how they can manage to reach your layout even if you have a barrier.



Then there are the 'danglers'. They will lean over the layout and in doing so remove trees, fences and anything else in their path with their hanging camera, handbag, coat or beer belly.



Finally, there are the photographers, who may very well thrust their zoom lens in your delicate model, destroying all in its path.



How are you feeling so far?

Throughout the day, you will be expected to keep operating your layout in an interesting manner and continue to answer the same questions, over and over again while still smiling. If you are to retain any sanity, you will need  relieving by a companion for food and a few breaks. If the whole affair becomes mind numbingly boring it can be a good time to get into comfort eating!

If you are a smoker, you may discover that you are not only prohibited from smoking indoors but also outdoors.....even if there is a howling wind. Check this one out before you agree to go.



Hopefully the food will be OK but sometimes it can turn out to be little more than a bag of crisps.

Once the doors close, you may get another fleeting glance at the exhibits and then, hopefully, but not always, you have a get together with the other exhibitors. Realistically, it may be the only opportunity you get to socialise other than during a rushed lunch. With any luck, the get-together will be in a hotel where everybody is staying. This is by far the best arrangement as you can have a few jars and not worry about driving to a digs afterwards.



What better way of having all your hard work validated than by winning a prize at a show. Well, all is not quite as it seems to be. Many clubs appoint their own judges who award the prizes. It is not surprising therefore, that they may be awarded to 'friends' rather than for merit. Sometimes, one can actually predict who will win by reading postings by club officials made on forums prior to the actual show!

If winning a prize is important to you, then attend those shows which award a trophy for best in show, voted by the public. After all, it is the public who pays to go and their votes will not be affected by the 'old boy network' which can pervade this hobby as surely as the Masonics do elsewhere!



So at last the doors close and you can get packed up again and sort out expenses, which should be paid in cash. Some organisers now expect you to send an invoice which will be paid at a later date. Avoid these shows like the plague as sometimes the expenses are not fully paid. Some exhibitors depend upon immediate payment to have enough money to get home!

There will be a rugby scrum of exhibitors and traders at the doors and it can be some time before you are able to load up your Luton/van/trailer/car unless you are prepared to carry your stuff half way across the car park. Tempers can get very frayed by then, so do not be surprised to find yourself being shouted at! If you are a very long way from home, are you going to feel OK driving through a dark winter's night? This is when it becomes a good idea to stay a further night and leave Monday. The additional hotel night must be organised in advance with the exhibition. This is all very well, but how many of your friends will be prepared take off Friday and Monday and be away all weekend just to help you with your trainset?

By the time you arrive home, you will no doubt be doing a very passable imitation of the 'living dead' but you will still  have to offload your layout and return any rented vehicle.




Some exhibitions are run extremely well and the host club is charming and welcoming. Others are organised badly and your weekend can turn into a nightmare. The same goes for exhibition managers. There are some wonderful individuals but there is also the occasional rude bully who can reduce all but the toughest to tears. You may find yourself being 'blacklisted' at exhibitions if you argue with some of these 'good old boys' so it is best to get everything really clear before you agree to go.



You are the guest of some railway club and have the right to be treated as such. Rather sadly, some clubs have the arrogance to consider that you should feel 'honoured' to have been invited! Some clubs may actually be downright unwelcoming unless you are part of their little group.



If the worst happens and your layout is damaged, you may be facing many hours of repair work. This is the time to inform the exhibition manager...after all, it was insured, wasn't it?

Hmmm....what can actually happen is that the manager will start muttering about the insurance excess and how expensive it is for the club to make a claim. It you are not careful, you will leave making no claim and be made to feel how unreasonable you were to think about it in the first place.

So before you agree to accept an invitation to exhibit at Twitty Fee Model Railway Exhibition find out exactly what you are letting yourself in for before agreeing to attend. This is often not as easy as it should be as some managers can be very evasive at the booking stage of the game.

If you feel that you have an acceptable offer, send the manager a letter stating the terms as you understand it and get them to sign and return it. Better still, if you have strong views about what you expect from the exhibition, send them a copy of your terms. The exhibitions are only too keen to send you their terms but often seem quite put out that you may have some of your own.

Your terms can include requirements for hotel accommodation, (do you really want to spend some nights in what appears to be a young offenders facility? - I did recently and have to say the experience was ghastly! Apart from anything else, the place was the centre of the Birmingham sex industry!)

You need to make it quite clear what your layout needs as a 'footprint'. This includes the space you need around it to operate properly. If this is not clearly understood and accepted some real problems can arise. Below is the 'footprint' of County Gate as an example.



Check up for what is on offer for food at the exhibition. Ask to see menus from the previous exhibition. Nearly all exhibitions do not pay for evening meals; the exception being Utrecht.

Remember. without good layouts, there will be no exhibition. You are the exhibition. You may be happy to go but do you want to find yourself a few hundred pounds out of pocket apart from the considerable investment in time?

Perhaps it is time to review this whole thorny issue. The better private railways are one of the highlights of a good exhibition and some will be lost to the circuit unless some expectations of managers change. Perhaps this explains the current trend to have pizza layouts and 'railway in a shoe box' displays. I doubt the public will stampede to the show to see too many of these though.




I do not want to give the impression that all exhibitions are frightful; they are not. I have only been very unhappy at three shows: a tiny percentage of shows we have attended. Indeed some can be really fun and fulfilling. There will be the odd time however when things go really wrong and you end up in an impasse with the Exman. What can you do about it? Model railway exhibitions do not belong to some national guild that monitors standards so anything can happen at a show if they are so inclined. The club will always close ranks against you so unless you are prepared to go to small claims court, there is not a lot you can do. If you complain on forums or websites as I do, be prepared for a great deal of unpleasantness!



There it is. The world of model railway exhibiting. Some folks thrive on it and others find the whole system so ghastly that they watch daytime TV or join SAGA instead. Just make really sure what you are getting into and have it in writing!





UKTV’s Yesterday channel announces new Hornby series this autumn



The new 10-part UKTV series is an observational documentary following Hornby. Currently in production, the new series follows Hornby’s staff of dedicated engineers and model makers, as well as collectors and model shop owners.

Based at the company’s HQ in Kent, Hornby: A Model World is a nostalgic look at the world’s most famous modelling company, home to Hornby Railways as well as the Corgi, Airfix and Scalextric brands.

With multiple new product launches, the immersive series documents the ups and downs of trying to get these much-loved collector’s pieces to their customers on time and on budget, exploring how, by studying the original full-sized machines, these replicas are faithfully reproduced in miniature with incredible attention to detail.

The series also features a passionate community of collectors and their layouts; whose expertise and knowledge is invaluable to the company.

Senior commissioning editor Helen Nightingale said, “At Yesterday, we’re always on the lookout for hidden stories with fascinating history and passionate people, so we’re thrilled to work with leading factual producer Rare TV to share an exclusive behind the scenes look at Hornby, a quintessentially British institution.”

Rare TV’s Emma Barker said, “Hornby have welcomed us into their wonderful world and we’re delighted to be sharing it with Yesterday’s audience. It is the perfect home for the programme.”

Yesterday's Gerald Casey said, “Since 1920, Hornby has inspired a cult-like following amongst hobbyists and Yesterday viewers are going to love rolling into this world of British model-making, with its fastidious attention to detail, skilled engineers and passionate super collectors.”

Flame Distribution’s SVP Acquisitions Philip Barnsdall-Thompson added, “As Hornby recently celebrated its centenary year, this exclusive access series promises to reveal all about this iconic company and will no doubt enchant model enthusiasts the world over.”

Hornby: A Model World is filming now, adhering to all COVID-19 procedures and regulations. The series will air on Yesterday later in 2021 and will also be available to catch-up on UKTV Play.

By Phil Parker

06 April 2021





The Piko R/C Starter Set – A Brief Review

By Julian Butcher

Having been alerted to the possibilities of this set by a friend and wanting a starter r/c loco for testing track whilst building my new railway following a house move last year the Piko battery powered RC starter set looked quite a good idea. Given our desire in the Journal to cover forms of power for Garden railways in a forthcoming article I thought this set might be a useful introduction to r/c for other members as well.
I would express the usual disclaimers, in that these are my personal views of the product and based upon initial reaction over a few days.
The set for £200-£250 comprises a GE Diesel loco, flat wagon and 4 wheel coach, with a circle of R1 brass track. Looking at the bits individually you’d probably spend double buying them individually, though not in this livery, so it looks like a very good value offering.
So, first impressions on opening the box and comparing with other stock. All three are nice crisply liveried. “Standard G” couplings, like LGBs, are supplied and adaptors are supplied for fitting Kadees to the loco. One item of note the coach and wagon have twin buffers, but the loco has none! All handrails and details are plastic. Loco wheels are metal with tyres on all four wheels and weighs in at a Kilo, so haulage ought to be fairly good, while the coach and wagon have plastic wheels.
How do they compare for size/scale with others? Pretty good. Comparing the loco with a USA trains 20T Mighty Mo, the Piko one is sits quite well. It is smaller but then the prototype presumably is and the drivers doors are similar in height. Comparing the coach with the ubiquitous LGB 4 wheel starter coach it looks a good match in actual size and scale, though the Piko 5 window coach is obviously longer, and the wagon looks a reasonable size too. The approximate dimensions are :-
Loco – 180mm Long (to front of coupling housing), 100mm Wide (footplate), 140mm High
Coach – 310mm Long (to balcony ends), 115mm Wide, 160mm High
Wagon - 300mm Long (exc buffers), 115mm Wide, Height 70mm
Getting going. The track is a full circle of Piko standard brass small radius, so compatible with LGB. The loco is powered by 6 AAA batteries neatly tucked away in a holder in the engine compartment. Switching on, with the switch under the left footplate, the cab interior light comes on. Control is with a neat little “car fob”, being a basic model, with which you’ve just got forward and reverse with an emergency stop. The front and rear headlights come on dependant upon direction of travel. Slow speed is excellent, a really slow walking pace. Pressing the fob again speed gradually goes up to a moderate maximum, just guessing perhaps a scale 20mph, so if you’re a speed merchant you won’t like that! I haven’t tested the operating range, but the instructions say 30m which should be adequate. Also not being run in, I don’t know it’s haulage limit but adding two LGB starter coaches didn’t bother it all. Another feature that I couldn’t determine before purchase is that the R/C has the option of being set just with a screwdriver to any of 8 channels (so given you can buy the receiver and remote as a spare for £60-70 this could be a cheap system to r/c a small stud of locos).
Moving on to my initial negatives. The wagon looks a bit “plasticy” but I suspect making the interior a wood finish will take that off. The coach is also similarly “plasticy” particularly the balconies, but again a lick of paint on the wooden floor and picking out the fall plate with a metal finish will help. The twin buffers and none on the loco are a bit of an issue particularly if running with LGB single buffer stock, but that’s not too difficult a job to sort. The loco cab is also rather bare and will need a driver at least and maybe some stylized controls. Also the slider on/off switch, though neatly hidden under the footplate can’t be used on the track so I may consider replacing with push button somewhere on the frames. The batteries in the engine compartment are also crying out for buying, or making up, a rechargeable pod with charging socket underneath the frame.
So overall, I’m very pleased with my purchase. As it comes, it’s very good value for money and I’m sure many people will like it, as it is, for their own use or as a cheap one for children to play with. With a few not, really major, modifications it will make up into an even nicer looking set which will fit in with and complement stock from other makes.







Not enough room for a station


The platform of this one, scaled against by the door size, is probably only about 25 feet long (c4” scale!). Think most of us could find that space! To save you looking it up Grainsby is just south of Grimsby and was an LNER station(!).



Not sure how long before I actually have a garden railway.
Over December/January suffered with surface water flooding in the area where railway is going! So had to shift where the storage/stock shed is going and that is under an overhead electric cable that we’ve got to wait for Northern 
Powergrid to come and cut back trees near the line. Otherwise there might be a bit more than 24 volts on the track! The joys of country life!
But I’m hoping I’ll be able to get going fairly soon, should be something running sometime during the summer, though it may only be a short out and back.
Hope you can get back together in the club fairly soon.





Sir William Stanier



Sir William Arthur Stanier, FRS (27 May 1876 – 27 September 1965) was a British railway engineer, and was Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.



Sir William Stanier was born in Swindon, where his father worked for the Great Western Railway (GWR) as William Dean's Chief Clerk, and educated at Swindon High School and also, for a single year, at Wycliffe College.

In 1891 he followed his father into a career with the GWR, initially as an office boy and then for five years as an apprentice in the workshops. Between 1897 and 1900 he worked in the Drawing Office as a draughtsman, before becoming Inspector of Materials in 1900. In 1904, George Jackson Churchward appointed him as Assistant to the Divisional Locomotive Superintendent in London. In 1912 he returned to Swindon to become the Assistant Works Manager and in 1920 was promoted to the post of Works Manager.

In late 1931, he was "headhunted" by Sir Josiah Stamp, chairman of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) to become the Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of that railway from 1 January 1932. He was charged with introducing modern and more powerful locomotive designs, using his knowledge gained at Swindon with the GWR. Stanier built many successful designs for the LMS, particularly the "Black 5" mixed traffic 4-6-0 and the 8F 2-8-0 freight locomotive. His Princess Coronation Class 4-6-2 No.6220 Coronation set a new British record of 114 mph, beating the previous record set by a Gresley A4.
During WWII he worked as a consultant for the Ministry of Supply and retired in 1944. He was knighted on 9 February 1943 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on his retirement, only the third locomotive engineer after Edward Bury and Robert Stephenson to receive that honour. He was also president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for 1944.
He died in Rickmansworth in 1965. He had married in 1906 Ella Elizabeth, daughter of Levi L Morse; they had one son and one daughter.
Sir William was a vice president of the Stephenson Locomotive Society for a number of years until his death in 1965.

Locomotive Designs




LMS Stanier 5P5F 4-6-0 'Black Five' class locomotive number 5305



LMS Coronation Class 4-6-2 No 6233 Duchess of Sutherland


William Stanier, with the backing of Sir Josiah Stamp, Chairman of the company, reversed the small engine policy, which the LMS had inherited from the Midland Railway, with beneficial results. Designs introduced by Stanier include:

  • LMS Class 2P 0-4-4T (designed in the Midland Railway design office)
  • LMS Class 3MT 2-6-2T
  • LMS Class 4MT 2-6-4T (3-cyl)
  • LMS Class 4MT 2-6-4T (2-cyl)
  • LMS Class 5MT 2-6-0
  • LMS Class 5MT "Black Five" 4-6-0
  • LMS Class 6P "Jubilee" 4-6-0
  • LMS Rebuilt Royal Scot Class
  • LMS Class 8P "Princess Royal" 4-6-2
  • LMS Class 8P "Princess Coronation" 4-6-2 Pacific
  • LMS Class 8F 2-8-0
  • LMS Turbomotive


Stanier's designs were a strong influence on the later British Railways standard classes of steam locomotive designed by R A Riddles, which adopted LMS design principles above those of the other "Big Four".
There is a secondary school in Crewe called Sir William Stanier Community School.





I am selling my Iawata Neo TRN2 airbrush and Mini Air Compressor. Used only once by my son for a university project.
The large cleaning bottle is missing, otherwise all good. Price £100 or vno.
Might appeal to a club member. I'll deliver it if necessary.

If anyone is interested, please contact Barry direct.







From Bill Drummond
Hi all, well things are looking a little better I have even had my 2nd Jab so will be good to go when Bojo says we are allowed out, hopefully sooner rather than later although the way the EU are performing it might not be a good idea to hold your breath! For now all keep well and stay safe.



Nigel spoke to Steve on the telephone last week. He is fine, has had his first jab and is due to receive the second in 4 weeks time. 



T&DMRC Single Line Working newsletter

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Answers in the next issue.


  1. How long is the Hammersmith & City Line? A: 25.5km B: 26km C: 28.8km
  2. What road is Latimer Road station located on? A: Bard Road B: Bramley Road C: Latimer Road
  3. How many London Boroughs does the line pass through? A: Seven B: Nine C: Ten
  4. What was the original name of Euston Square station? A: Gower Street B: Flower Street C: Tower Street
  5. Which station was originally designed to transport livestock to Smithfield Market? A: Baker Street B: Great Portland Street C: Farringdon
  6. Which station apparently replaced a building said to be William Shakespear’s house? A: Barbican B: Moorgate C: Whitechapel
  7. How many stations does the Hammersmith & City line serve? A: 20 B: 27 C: 29
  8. At which station does the Tube line pass above the Overground? A: Goldhawk Road B: Mile End C: Whitechapel
  9. Which station’s ticket hall is now a Grade ll-listed building? A: Aldgate B: Barking C: Plaistow
  10. What is the newest station on the Underground network? A: Edgware Road B: Westbourne Park C: Wood Lane


Thanks to Barry for sending in this quiz






  1. In which year did the Piccadilly line open?

B: 1906

  1. Which station is named after a former pub that hosted artists such as Fleetwood Mac and the Jimi Hendrix Experience?

B: Manor House

  1. How many stations does the line serve?

C: 53

  1. Which football club lends its name to a Piccadilly line station?

C: Arsenal

  1. Which abandoned station was used as a private air-raid shelter by Sir Winston Churchill during the Blitz?

C: Down Street

  1. The shortest distance between any two London Underground stations is from Leicester Square to Covent Garden, but how far is it?

A: 0.26km

  1. The first escalator on the network was opened at Earl’s Court station, but in which year?

A: 1911

  1. How long is the Piccadilly line?

A: 71km

  1. Which station was originally named Gillespie Road?

B: Arsenal

  1. Which station lies between Boston Manor and Hounslow East?

C: Osterley