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News from the Model Railway club 2022

The Birmingham train spotter

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The Birmingham train spotter

The fleet of Japanese Engines are being decided we want to go with one freight and one Passenger for the Japanese side and one English steam engine for the English side

For the Japanese we're going for a C12 with some passenger coaches and for freight we will have a EF65. We plan on making a huge depo too

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28 minutes ago, The Birmingham train spotter said:

We plan on making a huge depo too

Maybe, make a small one, you will only have three locomotives.

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I’m a firm believer in “it’s your railway, you can do what you want.”


Having said that, this is a forum for sharing ideas, so take as much or as little of my input as you see fit. 


Adding a depot to this relatively small board won’t give you a huge amount of space for much else. I would also say your locomotive choices are quite eclectic, a light steam engine designed for low volume rural lines and a mainline heavy traffic passenger and freight locomotive. 


Perhaps the first question should be, will the Japanese scenery be modern, historical, urban, rural, passenger or freight centric? That will then help you decide on rolling stock choice and may be of more interest to viewers if you exhibit and better educate them about Japanese railways or it’s history. 


Everyone has their preference. For me seeing a British layout with an APT, a Mallard with teak coaches and a modern goods train running around, feels more like a train set rather than a layout. 





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We've had a number of layouts in the past which include depots/stabling points. Whilst it to a nice to plan big depots or lots of sidings, the reality of operating a non permanent or exhibition layout is that you only need a few sidings in a depot to make it operationally interesting. Three or four sidings, with a number of sections (if DC), will give you plenty of operational scope.

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That’s what we have found as well in the show layouts. Only reason for more sidings is a lot of members wanting to run their trains. In our next club layout (if ever finished) we decreased the sidings for more scenery space so that there were enough for 2 or 3 trains per line at any one point. This gave enough for variety for the audience and operations. We figured if members want to run their trains then they need to be more active in putting a train on and running it then switching off to a different train and taking the other one off so someone else could run, not leave then there all the time. We did design (and have the modules constructed them) a large yard extension for just a lot of extra train storage if we had space for it at a show and the umph to transport and set it up.


in our last layout it was funny on the regular lines with passing sidings and stub sidings with trains stored on them folks sort of ignored the trains there, they just focused on the moving trains. I could really judge this from the sushi train, the little freight train I made carrying plastic sushi. When on a siding I would rarely see/hear comments on the train when on a siding right near the front of the module, but when running it was a constant stream of hey did you see that! The shinkansen yard, though, was a different story and was a huge visual draw on its own being able to see up to a dozen shinkansens right next to each other on display. Granted it was on its own off the end of the layout, so not like a siding on the layout, but I doubt regular trains would have gotten the eyeballs in a yard like this. We would have folks stand there for 5 minutes just looking at the shinkansens. But they do look like they are running when they are parked.😜



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