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MODEL Railways in Film and Television


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15 hours ago, steve1 said:

Sadly, such stereotypes about the hobby are still prevalent in the mass media, despite the efforts of programmes like TGMRC

Ha ha!  I seem to recollect an editorial in MRJ (or possibly the late lamented MORILL) many years ago lamenting television drama’s habit of using possession of a model railway as shorthand for “there’s something funny about him.”

 

And in that context: Track 29:  Nicolas Roeg’s film adaptation of Dennis Potter’s Schmoedipus, starring Gary Oldman.

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On 04/06/2020 at 22:52, steve1 said:

I'm sure I remember a railway modeller being the murderer in an episode of Morse. Or am I confusing it with some other show?

 

steve

 

On 04/06/2020 at 23:58, TJ52 said:

I think it was Frost.

 

Terry

 

It was in Morse. It was a guy in his early 20's that lived with his grandmother, had a massive model railway and I remember he got annoyed with his grandmother because she didn't pick his new GWR brake van up from the model shop.

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5 hours ago, sandwich station said:

 

 

It was in Morse. It was a guy in his early 20's that lived with his grandmother, had a massive model railway and I remember he got annoyed with his grandmother because she didn't pick his new GWR brake van up from the model shop.

 

The Sins of The Fathers.

 

Apparently there was also a layout featured in an episode of Frost. https://railwaypages.com/trains-on-tv-and-screen

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In the american TV series NCIS, the pathologist Dr Mallard (David McCallum) had a OO model A4 in a case on the wall of the lab. I assume it was 'Mallard'.

 

As an aside, in one episode a female doctor takes an interest in Dr Mallard, and asks his friend, special agent Gibbs, what did he look like when he was younger. After careful consideration he replied, "Illya Kuryakin".   (youngsters, look it up)

 

 

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On 17/06/2020 at 23:22, RichardT said:

And of course, Emmett Brown’s model railway in “Back to the Future 3” (testing the feasibility of a steam loco pushing the DeLorean to 88mph).

 

Can’t find a film clip but here’s one modeller’s attempt to recreate it.

 

The loco driven off the bridge having pushed the De Lorean up to 88mph was a 7 1/4" gauge model IIRC.

 

Another train wreck sequence involving a model, which I'm surprised nobody has already mentioned, was the derailment scene in The Titfield Thunderbolt.

 

 

 

An episode of Father Brown featured a model railway enthusiast - although his layout looked much better than what could have been assembled using 1950s equipment!

 

IIRC there was also a model railway enthusiast in Coronation Street - who was murdered by his wife connecting his layout to the mains!

 

IIRC a 

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50 minutes ago, RJS1977 said:

 

The loco driven off the bridge having pushed the De Lorean up to 88mph was a 7 1/4" gauge model IIRC.

 

 

Some interesting photos of them filming BTTF with the model here: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.reddit.com/r/interestingas/comments/aapz0b/filming_the_train_scene_in_back_to_the_future_iii/

 

 Presumably not live steam? I find it slightly surprising that they would bother to build the track for the model yet not have a rail-based tracking camera.

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Hi.  another late entry here as I rarely browse this area of the forums.

 

But, to the point, a memorable  model layout sequence occurs in Trier's "Europa" -- itself full of notable railway stuff including an awesome tunnel sequence -- when the main protagonists share a tender moment on the tracks resulting in the inevitable derailments...

 

A teaser for this occurs about halfway through the following trailer.  A wonderful movie on many levels.

 

--  Mike

 

 

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On 18/06/2020 at 03:05, sandwich station said:

 

 

It was in Morse. It was a guy in his early 20's that lived with his grandmother, had a massive model railway and I remember he got annoyed with his grandmother because she didn't pick his new GWR brake van up from the model shop.

There was one in the prequel series, Endeavour, as well,IIRC.

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A couple of minor appearances of US 3-rail 0 gauge.

 

Not live action, but early in The Triplets of Belville (well worth a watch as it's hilarious, especially the slow motion chase at the climax), one of the main characters has a loop of track with what looks suspiciously like a Marx or Lionel F-unit diesel. Given that mechanical/technical objects in the movie appear well researched and accurately drawn, I suspect it is based on an actual example.

 

In a Christmas episode of The Murdoch Mysteries, Inspector Shouty-Yorkshireman's son is seen playing with a Lionel(?) train set that is only about 50 years out of period.

 

And, of course, there is Lionel's rather prominent product placement in numerous episodes of Young Sheldon.

 

And moving on to 00, An early episode of Ripper Street, a murder victim is a toymaker (IIRC) who has made a box which automatically unfolds and reveals a gold painted Triang(?) Jinty on a foot or so of track.

 

I think it's been mentioned on RMWeb previously (possibly by me), but an episode of Midsomer Murders (John Nettles era), had some shots of what appeared to be a fairly extensive and quite nicely done 00 layout, complete with narrow gauge feeder (I seem to remember a Jouef/Playcraft Decauville and hoppers being seen running).

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I always remember a childrens programme in the early 90s were it was set in the past and with giants. 
 

The giant lifts up a coach with people in it, when it cut from the set inside the coach with the actors inside the giant was holding a Hornby LNER celestory coach.

 

Does anyone recall this?

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I'm not certain. But could it have been The Borrowers. The BBC TV series rather than the film.

 

I have very vague recollection that the tiny people went on to a model railway and the "normal sized" person was wondering what was wrong with his "toy train".

 

 

 

Jason

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In the 4th book of the series "The Borrowers Aloft", they live in a model village for a while, so that would make sense.

 

steve (Who will happily admit to have read all of them several times)

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In the deepest recesses of early childhood memory lurks an American film occasionally shown on British TV during the Christmas season circa late 1950s early 1960s. I can't recall the film title at all, but the scenario was of a family falling on hard times at Christmas. The young son of the family has just woken up on Christmas Day to find the Model Railway of his dreams assembled and running. I can recall only that the loco was of the classic 1950s U.S. Diesel type and I think it may have been 'O' Gauge (possibly Lionel ?). If I remember correctly, the train set was a gift from an Aunt or other close relative sharing the family residence.

              On first viewing at about age  five, I recall being deeply upset for the boy, when his Mother appears and declares that the train will have to go back to the store, because it can't be afforded in the family's newly impoverished circumstances. I couldn't watch the rest of the film after that.

                 Can anyone identify the film from these scant details or recall the conclusion? I'm sure there must have been a happy ending, wasn't there always?

 

                              Regards,

 

                                             John

 

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The latest Uswitch advert on TV has a number of suggestions as what you can do with the money you save after switching your energy supplier, one of which is starting your niche hobby which shows a couple with a model railway running around their living room. Looks like they have the Hornby Flying Scotsman set running as it shows the loco with 3 teak coaches.

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52 minutes ago, Brit70053 said:

In the deepest recesses of early childhood memory lurks an American film occasionally shown on British TV during the Christmas season circa late 1950s early 1960s. I can't recall the film title at all, but the scenario was of a family falling on hard times at Christmas. The young son of the family has just woken up on Christmas Day to find the Model Railway of his dreams assembled and running. I can recall only that the loco was of the classic 1950s U.S. Diesel type and I think it may have been 'O' Gauge (possibly Lionel ?). If I remember correctly, the train set was a gift from an Aunt or other close relative sharing the family residence.

              On first viewing at about age  five, I recall being deeply upset for the boy, when his Mother appears and declares that the train will have to go back to the store, because it can't be afforded in the family's newly impoverished circumstances. I couldn't watch the rest of the film after that.

                 Can anyone identify the film from these scant details or recall the conclusion? I'm sure there must have been a happy ending, wasn't there always?

 

                              Regards,

 

                                             John

 

    I am going to make a huge guess here!  The film is Queen for a Day which was based on a American TV quiz show of the same name. The show had contestants who were down on their luck compete to win prizes. The ultimate winner was the contestant whose story was voted as most deserving by the TV audience.

    My memory of the story is very very hazy but one scene that is stuck in my mind is where the boy is lying seriously ill in hospital with the locomotive tucked into the bed with him.

    Hopefully this is the film that you are thinking of.

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Hi Goldhawk, thanks for your reply. I'm not saying you are incorrect with your guess and I appreciate you say that's what it is, but I don't recognise the scenario you describe from the film I'm very vaguely recalling.  There again, you'll recognise that my very incomplete recollection is from over 60 years ago and it seems the only scene I can pinpoint with any clarity is the mother announcing the train set will have to go back to the store as it can't be afforded. ( Perhaps ingrained as a shock to the mind of a five year old viewer with a firm belief in the magic of Christmas?) 

Perhaps someone else will recall further details for a positive id on the film.

 

Thanks again,

                          John

 

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Steven Spielberg's 'Super 8' leads me to think the great man might be a modeller, though the train crash itself is a computer generated job. The movie includes some railway modelling content and the leading young hero even, at one point, explains to his girlfriend the technique of dry-brushing! (CJL)

 

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Bob Rowlands from Liverpool model railway club had his OO scottish layout Kinmore used several times in the filming of Brookside circa 95-96. The character Ollie Simpson had it in his garage. I remember when Bob was approached by Channel 4 at the Liverpool model railway show in the Albert dock for this.

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3 model railways in film and tv that I don't think have been mentioned (appologies if they have).  They are from 30+ ish years ago so hopefully my memory is still serving me ok!

 

A Goodies episode where a full scale, but only 2D, model of a train goes over a level crossing where I think it cut their lorry in two?

 

A special effects program that showed how a scene in the 60's film 'Doctor Zhivago' was made with a model train in a landscape of 'snow' made of salt.

 

An 80's 'science' show where they took a scene from a film to explore if it was better for a train to go slowly or rapidly across a rickety wooden trestle bridge. They demonstrated it was better to go slowly by running a model train across a deliberately badly made bridge a different speeds.

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Im trying to recall something which I am reminded of every time I see those videos filmed from the front of a Lego train going around a garden or floor.

 

1980s. 
 

Had that similar fast sharp curves feel to it.

 

may have been a sort of ghost train but more akin to a sort of indoor rollercoaster.

 

I can't recall if it was a music video,  intro to a kids tv show or what but its something I can remember from childhood and its bugged me for a long time.

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