Following the lifting of legal restrictions earlier this month in England, and observing the good practice we have all got used to in the last 16 months, the UK FREMO group met last weekend (unofficially -- this was not a formal FREMO event).
Over the period of the pandemic everyone has been able to make progress in various areas from rolling stock to scenery, timetables to waybills. The new abilities we shared made the event more enjoyable than the last one way back in February 2020. Slowly we are becoming closer to a fully-fledged FREMO group.
Here are some of my impressions of the arrangement. One day I might be able to control the camera on my phone properly; until then everything is a bit more pointilliste than I would like.
First up, a view of my own small branch station, Wasserbach. It's still a 'plywood desert' with foam and Bristol board providing only the broad outline of the scenery. I've left some of the curved fascia of the small end board in shot. This board is a semicircle of 300 mm radius that finishes the end of the station off quite neatly. The track and turnouts are now pretty reliable but as is obvious there is a lot more for me to do. The buffer stop is a massive one designed to slide on the rails and take up the energy of a heavy train running into it. I hope to swap that out for something much more lightweight. One suitable model is available from Auhagen. Unfortunately the kit that just arrived has turned out to contain N scale mouldings in a box labelled H0!
Happily, elswhere there was plenty of nicely finished scenery.
Here's a 'joker module' -- a small board, in this case 400mm in length, that can be used to make transitions between distinct scenic areas on larger modules either side. Joker modules are often used between hill profile and flat profile modules, for example. This one features the classic trope: a second railway line running at a picturesque angle under the track used by trains on the arrangement.
Some deer graze in the rough pasture alongside the track on this 1800mm stretch which is scenically complete, and, as used this time around, formed a picturesque curved stretch for trains to be viewed in the landscape on their way to Wasserbach. There are two boards making up this section and though they were designed and built together and pair nicely in a single curve, they could be connected to form an S bend or split and used in different parts of the arrangement -- that's up to the arrangement planner.
I'm happy to say that the two modules I've built that are similar in proportions to these ones were included -- their first outing, and no issues were revealed.
By far the busiest station was Schwarzhausen, which was the junction station for the branch line to Wasserbach. The stationmaster and shunter were kept extremely busy breaking up and re-forming the local goods services passing through. In shot is a good variety of stock, and a couple of loaded wagons are visible. The loads will be removed on arrival and might end up going out again on a later service.
There were quieter moments at Schwarzhausen, as here with a railbus waiting at the platform, but these were few.
Finally, more timber awaiting shipment in the sidings at Werfen.
Covid-19 kept two of our group away and prevented visitors who are still shielding from coming along, but it was a good weekend and I feel hopeful that the next meeting will not only be to a higher standard still but also accessible to the whole of the UK FREMO group and any visitors.
Edited by readingtype