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10 minutes ago, Philou said:

Just a passing thought: Is there an element of xenophobia (trainophobia?) when it comes to railway (railroad) modelling outside of your home country?

I think there definately is. I've noticed that anyone who is interested anything out of the ordinary (UK mainline standard gauge in this case) tends to be more open minded about other unusual stuff, even if its not their main interest. If you look back through this thread which contains curent and former modellers of US rail, although there are some people saying they're turned to modelling standard gauge UK stuff, there seem to be more saying they're still modelling foreign or narrow gauge, just non American.

Edited by Talltim
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4 minutes ago, Talltim said:

Scarily, that period is half as long ago again as it was when modelled!

Also interesting that it's a period that's been quite popular with modellers, mainly thanks to "westerns" I suppose, with RTR equipment available. But, how many many have modelled that period in British or European railway history?  Mike Sharman did but,  for historical modellers, the turn of the 19/20th centuries has been as early as even modellers like Richard Chown and Dennis Allenden tended to go. 

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Well I've got my HO US switching layout Salinas Valley out on the following two weekends. Chesham on 1 March (Sunday) and the WRG show at Lancing on 7th March. Plus further ahead the Hemel Hempstead show on 25 April.

 

It's only small 5ft x 2ft with a sectorplate/fiddlestick, I run all sorts of slightly quirky little switchers and it's set around 1960/70 (ish). It's just shuffling freight cars around to the operators whim, so nothing special or dramatic

 

I'll also be honest and admit that I didn't build it, Steve1 of this parish built and exhibited it as a German prototype  Starcker Verkher I obtained it an USified it.

 

Please make yourself known to me if you get to any of those.

 

John

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26 minutes ago, Philou said:

Just a passing thought: Is there an element of xenophobia (trainophobia?) when it comes to railway (railroad) modelling outside of your home country? The reason I ask is that I remember a few years ago reading, on another forum, a story of an UK ex-pat over in the States who found a railway club near-to where he lived (possibly a couple of hours drive away) and asked if he could come over. Sure, no problem. He took some of his UK stock with him to show and hopefully run and when he arrived he was greeted with 'You can take that Eurosh!t back with you!'. He didn't stay and didn't go back. Despite being a broad church here, perhaps, just perhaps, there is an element of 'if it's not UK/US/Euro/whatever' then it's not 'of interest'. Teamyakima of this parish I think has found a similar issue on the circuit with his Chinese based exhibition layout.

 

Just musings on my part.

 

I don't do Facebook at all and I wondered if you guys may want to put some photos here occasionally just to keep your thread alive - I'd be interested in looking!

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

 

Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in France. Most French modellers only buy SNCF rolling stock even though many of the goods wagons and not a few trains are formed of stock belonging to other UIC railways.

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51 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

Perhaps nowhere is this more true than in France. Most French modellers only buy SNCF rolling stock even though many of the goods wagons and not a few trains are formed of stock belonging to other UIC railways.

Sounds like GWR modellers over here...

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Getting back on topic, I have always fancied US modelling and buy the occasional copy of Model Railroader (I agree it has not improved over the years). The reason is the wonderful running of the Kato and Stewart locos that I used to sell. I just find it such a vast, daunting subject to research, especially if going back to earlier eras. I think that any layout I built would be full of glaring errors.

And then, of course, is the issue of space. Even "short lines" seem to run enormously long trains as the norm.

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35 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

I just find it such a vast, daunting subject to research, especially if going back to earlier eras. I think that any layout I built would be full of glaring errors.

Hi Joseph,

I always think of these topics when confronted by that type of query; (it's good to know that you know about quality mechanisms!)

and,

Hopefully, some decent food for thought in there!

Cheers,

John.

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I think there's also different types of modellers - and they are sometimes not compatible with the others.

 

I like a diversity of rolling stock - locomotives, liveries, coaches, wagons - a typical UK mainline with an attached branchline is what gets me buzzing. So like many others, BR steam/diesel transition scratches much of the itching there!

 

A BNSF SD70 hauling 100 identical wagons one a single track, then another one, and another... doesn't do it for me.

 

But for others it's the scenery. Or the operational interest. Or modelling somewhere they know. Etc etc.

 

For US outline I'd be interested in 40s, 50s, 60s, probably somewhere around New England where you could throw in a couple of competing lines - some commuter etc. That doesn't fit most peoples' space constraints and budgets though!

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47 minutes ago, Allegheny1600 said:

Hi Joseph,

I always think of these topics when confronted by that type of query; (it's good to know that you know about quality mechanisms!)

and,

Hopefully, some decent food for thought in there!

Cheers,

John.

I thought that Cargill covered hopper looked familiar, it's mine!   Maybe I should build another small switching layout after all.

mb 21.3.18 002.JPG

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23 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

Sad to hear about Model Junction, I was considering a simple US shortline layout to go around my room and having a UK based supplier was a key part as I'm not confident buying from abroad.

I get most of my stuff from eBay in the U.K., the only stuff I’ve bought from the US has been from direct from Tangent and Moloco. Both have been just as easy as ordering from the U.K., if a bit more expensive.

Mind you, I’ve been buying stuff online from around the world since before PayPal, I used to have to go and change currency and send notes in the post. It was never huge amounts so I decided the risk was worth it, sometimes I got change in coins with the item! Still got a lot of obsolete European currency in a pot somewhere!

Edited by Talltim
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9 hours ago, Talltim said:

I have to say I find the US modern scene a bit boring. However the way I look at it, there 's 200ish years of history to choose from, just the same as there is for UK modelling.

 

For those of us interested in trying to recreate the real thing the modern scene, regardless of country, has issues of creating interest.  The modern multiple unit UK railway doesn't offer a lot of operating potential, the equivalent of the North American large unit trains.

 

Thus, as you say, there is lots of history to choose from and why the transition era will likely remain popular even though based on age the prime era for modelling should likely be the 80s by now.

 

 

9 hours ago, Talltim said:

I've noticed the drop in posting in this forum, some stuff has moved to FB, but its not the same, its sporadic and tends not to go into as much depth as you get on a forum.

 

I wonder if one of the reasons is that FB is more smartphone friendly, with an app, compared to the traditional forums that can be interesting to attempt to read on a small screen.

 

8 hours ago, Philou said:

Just a passing thought: Is there an element of xenophobia (trainophobia?) when it comes to railway (railroad) modelling outside of your home country? The reason I ask is that I remember a few years ago reading, on another forum, a story of an UK ex-pat over in the States who found a railway club near-to where he lived (possibly a couple of hours drive away) and asked if he could come over. Sure, no problem. He took some of his UK stock with him to show and hopefully run and when he arrived he was greeted with 'You can take that Eurosh!t back with you!'. He didn't stay and didn't go back. Despite being a broad church here, perhaps, just perhaps, there is an element of 'if it's not UK/US/Euro/whatever' then it's not 'of interest'. Teamyakima of this parish I think has found a similar issue on the circuit with his Chinese based exhibition layout.

 

Years ago, when there was still a train show in Toronto(*), one of the most interesting layouts I saw which sadly only appeared one year was based on a railway in India.

 

But to your point, I don't know that it is so much trainophobia but rather it seems that most clubs in the US are run by people who lack social skills and who do their best to discourage new members - and then moan that the hobby is dying as well as would their club lack members.

 

Sadly, while the example you gave may have run into such a thing, one is just as likely to run into it even with North American stuff if it is the wrong era, prototype, or even manufacturer.

 

* yes, there is one (sort of) in Brampton, but for many that doesn't count.

 

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7 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

Getting back on topic, I have always fancied US modelling and buy the occasional copy of Model Railroader (I agree it has not improved over the years).

 

In many ways the best choice these days is Model Railroad Hobbyist, with a large amount of free content.  For more detailed stuff some of the historical societys have free PDF magazines aimed at modelling.

 

Quote

The reason is the wonderful running of the Kato and Stewart locos that I used to sell. I just find it such a vast, daunting subject to research, especially if going back to earlier eras. I think that any layout I built would be full of glaring errors.

 

How about a hint - the vast majority of US layouts will have errors, many of them glaring.  There simply isn't the abundance of information for North American railroading in the same way that BR and the big 4 were covered in the UK, and even 50 years ago many people wouldn't have been experiencing the real thing except maybe by being stopped at a grade crossing.

 

But the first step for you might simply be to visit one of the freemo meets that are announced on here.  Or even build your own module, that isn't a lot of glaring errors to make in a say 4' long module...

 

Quote

And then, of course, is the issue of space. Even "short lines" seem to run enormously long trains as the norm.

 

Well, the shortline that runs near where I currently am is frequently loco and 2 to 5 cars each way two days a week.  Of course the problem with that is that it is struggling and there isn't a lot of operational interest, but not everything is long trains and nothing says you need to try and recreate the trains accurately - anyone who ever gets to actually building a layout has to shrink things.

 

It's all about something that looks reasonable (to the builder!).

 

And anyone who has watched US TV over the last 15 to 20 years knows that the unfinished basement is on the endangered species list - most home buyers are looking for finished basements that provide extra space for home theatres, kids play rooms, extra bedrooms, etc.

 

 

6 hours ago, Nova Scotian said:

For US outline I'd be interested in 40s, 50s, 60s, probably somewhere around New England where you could throw in a couple of competing lines - some commuter etc. That doesn't fit most peoples' space constraints and budgets though!

 

As long as it doesn't have to be prototypically accurate, there is no reason one couldn't proto-freelance a New England minories style layout - move it forward to the 70s and one could have fun (budget allowing) with all the stuff Rapido is bringing out or hopes to bring out with the Comet Cars/Horizon Cars/Tempo Cars and the hopeful Amtrak Turbo and they heavily hinted at redo of the CN/VIA Turbotrain.

 

Or alternately make it up with older Athearn/Branchline/Bachmann passenger stuff.

Edited by mdvle
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An idle question to those of you that model the US scene - given that 'man caves' are of a generous size (though seemingly their use is changing to things more domesticated) - is the scale more towards 0 or H0? I ask simply as despite the lack of room (generally) in the UK, 0 suddenly seems to be making a very strong comeback.

 

Despite what may have come over above, I have always been impressed by the generous proportions - horizontally and vertically - of US model railways, something that is missing from our more humble offerings on the UK scene.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

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While the loss of Model Junction is a big hit, there are still other shops that can fill the void somewhat. 

Hattons: some Athearn, BLI, Atlas, and Bachmann US. Peco 83 and 70 line track. 

Rails of Sheffield: Rapido stockist. Actually cheaper to order from them than PWRS or Credit Valley in Canada. 

Invicta: The whole upstairs of the shop is North American. However, now that Vernon has passed it is unknown whether Kerry will continue to stock. 

Gaugemaster: Walthers stockist with some other bits. 

Kent Garden Railways: Kadee, Walthers, some Garden gauge stock as well. 

Mech Models: Scale Trains, Athearn, etc. Great selection but their prices can be eyewatering. 

 

We are still well served for structures and stock. The biggest downside of MJ retiring is the loss of the smaller detail parts. For these it is going to have to be order from the US or Canada. Which brings me to another reason for the apparent cooling off of North American modelling in the UK. 15 years ago the £ was worth $2.05, postage was reasonable and VAT/customs was collected with much less enthusiasm. Today it is £1 = $1.29, USPS postage costs have more than tripled, and you can bet on getting the 20% of the FULL value including postage added by HMRC as well as the ParcelFarce "processing" charge that averages around £13. My last big purchase was a Rapido Hudson. $699CAD ended up as £620 after all the forex, postage, & customs charges. 

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I've just paid a ransom demand from the Post Office for a package from Right o Way in the States. Apart from the cost, it adds 3 days to the delivery time. Agree about the change in collection attitude; my best result was a Red Caboose GP9 kit plus P&D motorising kit with brass bogies that was delivered without being caught. Happy days!

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The price of shipping from the States sometimes puts me off buying from there as an example I decided to look at fixing a noisy Bachmann USA loco but the postage on a simple motor was more than the price of the motor itself which begs the question why do some charge stupid shipping rates. Its sad to see the likes of model junction closing and less and less american train shows over here there was a brilliant one in Crewe at the heritage center but it seems to have gone makes me wonder if its dying off

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22 minutes ago, Ref44 said:

I've just paid a ransom demand from the Post Office for a package from Right o Way in the States. Apart from the cost, it adds 3 days to the delivery time. Agree about the change in collection attitude; my best result was a Red Caboose GP9 kit plus P&D motorising kit with brass bogies that was delivered without being caught. Happy days!

 

3 days, you are lucky. If you've got a tracked parcel you can see when it lands at Heathrow, when it gets schlepped to the customs warehouse, and how long it ages before the ransom demand gets sent and the parcel is released to your local depot. I've had instances where it was 12 days from the time it hit the UK until I got the ransom note. Depends on how busy they are. 

 

9 minutes ago, jamessolomon said:

The price of shipping from the States sometimes puts me off buying from there as an example I decided to look at fixing a noisy Bachmann USA loco but the postage on a simple motor was more than the price of the motor itself which begs the question why do some charge stupid shipping rates. Its sad to see the likes of model junction closing and less and less american train shows over here there was a brilliant one in Crewe at the heritage center but it seems to have gone makes me wonder if its dying off

Got this info from a friend who deals with a lot of exporting from the US. The USPS is using their parcel fees to try and subsidise the rest of the service, that loses money hand over fist. USPS also has very poor loss compensation. That means small businesses that have been burned in the past are forced to add insurance to the postage costs. When I used to order a lot from PWRS the insurance part of the postage pretty much doubled the shipping costs as it is a percentage of the value of the item.  There seems to be a sweet spot when ordering. Too little and the price of postage and insurance is as much or more than the item. Order too much and the postage + insurance + HMRC increases exponentially. From my experience $250-$350 is the optimum range. 

 

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The three days quoted is the time between getting the ransom note and getting the parcel after paying. There can't have been too much of a holdup in the overall process; the bits were only ordered on the 18th of this month

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I'm still here (though not all there) !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I've modelled N American O scale since the early 80's. More on my site below - I really ought to post more as things have changed this last year or so (not drastically though).

 

Rock Island in the Rockies is my theme (the old Colorado Midland that closed in the 20's - on my layout the RI took it over !!)

 

Whats not to like about the Rock island, and what wonderful old, short, long distance trains to model (though this vid is at Enid & El Reno - Flatlands !!)

 

 

View of my layout - started in 1994 !!

 

DSCF0311.JPG.8f155cff8c2a16f7b8d614e30d0ffcc3.JPG

 

Still lots to do.

 

Brit15

Edited by APOLLO
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