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........... After that, my current inclination is a big 4mm Bristol & Exeter Railway broad gauge layout,.................

Hope it will have those Pearson 9 foot singles :)

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Hope it will have those Pearson 9 foot singles :)

I don't really want a main line, just somewhere to run a few 4-4-0 saddle tanks. Although as I'd like to create a scene similar to the area around Nynehead boat lift (see page 3 of this PDF), maybe I'll need some!

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Late to this thread, but the following link will take you to the 1st page of layout info that is one of my major influences. I'm amazed at the amount of info accumulated with regards to the layouts.

 

http://early-lbscr.co.uk/

 

Jim F

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As, in the North-East, Grouping appears to have occurred as early as the 1860s, I guess this is a pre-grouping layout! 

 

It's the Darlington club's model of the Stockton & Darlington at the Head of Steam museum, Darlington.  I will add my voice to that of Cornamuse of this parish in praise of this museum.

 

Note the Dandy Carts in which the horses rested(!) whilst gravity took over!  

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I remember seeing that lovely S & D layout in a Railway Modeller many years ago. It must be around 40 years old now and still looks very nice indeed.

 

I have a vague recollection of seeing it at an exhibition, possibly at York, around the same time.

 

Does it run at all or is it now a static display?

 

Do we need another category of pre-pre-grouping?

 

Thanks for posting,

 

Tony G

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It appears to be a static display.  A considerable challenge in producing a working model of this period (I am guessing its no later than early 1830s) is the working of passenger, and some mineral trains, by horse traction.

 

Another feature that you would not find on a layout is the use of cards identifying the various places and features, which, of course, is pretty essential in the museum context.

 

It's a lovely model and I could look at it all day.  From left to right it takes your from the coal pits (including a rope worked incline) to the coal ships, so it tells the story and illustrates the rationale of the line. It was, frankly, refreshing and inspiring to see models representing this early scene.

 

It made me want a similar, working, model, probably set slightly later, in the 1840s with the, then, new North Road station (1842) (which houses the museum), and a model of the locomotive Derwent (1845) (which is in the museum) and some of the passenger coaches of the same period.

 

At least on RMWeb we have the considerable pleasure of Cornamuse's Gainford Spa, which is, I believe, set in the 1860s, and features a version of North Road station building and all those good north eastern things such as coal/lime drops, and chaldron wagons.

 

I do recommend the museum.  It is not a huge place, but very informative and set in a lovely structure.  The former train shed houses just 4 locomotives: Locomotion (yes, the original No.1), Derwent, A Tenant 2-4-0 of 1885 (which is simply stunning), and a Q7 0-8-0 of 1919.     

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The problem with "pre-grouping", as I've probably said before, is that it spans around 90 years, compared to the 25 of the grouping. It starts with the invention of the railway, and ends with something that didn't change hugely until the 1960s.

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Do we need another category of pre-pre-grouping?

 

 

I've always thought there should be a group/category of 'Pioneering Railways' which can cover the period 1800 - 1850. This would cover the earliest steam powered locomotives to run on rails up to just after the Railway Mania of 1846 and 1847. So many of the early railways had their one-off designs and ideas that it is an interesting period to model. A few years ago I built a small 8'x4' layout, partly inspired by Mike Sharman's articles in Railway Modeller, with a variety of early locomotives and rolling stock of British, Continental and North American types. Due to the fact that the models were so widely dispersed in origin I labelled it as a (please don't groan) 'Recreation Society Museum'. I have every intention of building a newer version in the same style but with a broad gauge demonstration line and transfer shed included next time.

 

Dave  

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John, I assume you mean there is a problem with the term "pre-grouping", not with the pre-1923 era!

 

Consider, the overwhelmingly dominant era to model is the '50s-'60s, a fact likely to change only in favour of the '70s-'80s.  Grouping is well within the realm of historic railway modelling.  Late Grouping is fairly accessible, due to the, frankly, co-incidental ability to use stuff produced for the BRmodeller.  Anything before, say, 1935, is quite difficult.  Trust me on this as one who is working his way through a list of 125 or so coaches intended to represent the South Devon mainline in the mid-'30s.  Not a single Great Western vehicle required is available RTR to a reasonable standard - that will remain the case until the new Hornby Colletts arrive.

 

Pre-groupers get a single section in this vast RMWeb forum, presumably, because that is all the level of interest warrants.

 

Given that, I have no problem including anything from 1825 to 1923 - the most interesting railway century!  

 

As to terminology, all era definitions are for convenience and can be helpfully descriptive, but he danger is that they become too rigid and, therefore, any utility they had quickly becomes lost.  One of my, I hope few, pet hates is Bachmann's adherence to the stupid era system, which achieves no more than confusion as to what in the catalogue can run with what.  I have a pet theory that the system was invented by German manufacturers so as not to have to mention the war or certain grimly resonant dates. I could be wrong, of course!

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The grouping that interests me happened in 1876. The 1923 one is way off in the future! I was just making an observation really, about how this thread can wander from the early 1920s back to the 1830s. It's like posting stuff about the introduction of the GWR Castle Class in the Great Western Main Line Electrification thread!

 

I'm a bit concerned about my thoughts of modelling the 1950s, as it's the dominant period. Having given up on my OO Gauge Western Region BLT, I'm finding it hard to get my head round selling the stock I bought for it, so might have to build something else to run it on. And I'm thinking the O-16.5 layout it's evolving into might be set in the mid to late 1920s, so I can do overgrown track, rust, and an general air of decline. My other projects are remaining firmly pre WW1 though.

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Interesting thread.

 

Could I provoke interest in building a model of Kew Gardens station c1903?

 

It was a modest, two-track, semi-rural place, with a small goods yard, but was served by LSWR, NLR, District, Met and GWR, with a train-frequency that would satisfy any operator. http://maps.nls.uk/view/101201988(well worth a "research visit", because not only is the station in quite original condition, but there is a very good pub on the up platform)

 

If it is too small for your tastes, Gunnersbury had the same, with more platforms, plus an extra set of LSWR extra services that got to Richmond by going round the sun to meet the moon, using railcars and rail-motors, and some extra goods services too.

 

I haven't got the time to do it myself, you see!

 

Kevin

Edited by Nearholmer
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 I have a pet theory that the system was invented by German manufacturers so as not to have to mention the war or certain grimly resonant dates. I could be wrong, of course!

Which war!?!

I honestly don't think your theory has much credence, sorry. Also, the Bachmann 'era' system is quite different from the German/European 'Epoch' system.

WW1 occurred during the latter part of Epoch 1.

WW2 occurred during the latter part of Epoch 2.

Epoch 3 starts immediately after WW2 simply because there were some pretty large changes happening in Germany at that time that stayed in place until the early 1990's.

If you're upset by what a certain Austrian corporal did, please be aware that he didn't come to power until 1933 when Epoch 2 and the DRG had been around for quite some time.

Only being factually and historically "correct",

John E.

 

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A while ago I purchased some drawings for a GCR loco that had been taken from the pages of an engineering magazine.

 

What was n the back of the drawings was almost as interesting as the drawings themselves. There were various business reports and snippets of information about factories and supplies. There was a brief note that a factory was being set up to make slide rules as those from the previous supplier were no longer available. There were reports of large increases in orders for steel and iron. there were mentions of staffing shortages at some establishments.

 

The date.... 1915.

 

The only mention of anything to do with the war was a report on a number of employees from a German factory being "away on active service" and quite a few having been casualties, causing a fall in output.

 

Quite how a UK magazine was obtaining detailed business information on German industrial companies is a bit baffling but they were certainly doing it in a very "matter of fact" and non-sensational way.

 

So the idea of not mentioning the war goes back that far.

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I suppose that the problem with forum post is that the mildly tongue-in-cheek remarks don't always get read as such [sigh].

 

Nearholmer, you have my attention.  A less ambitious alternative to Addison Road is clearly worth investigation.

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On not mentioning the war:

 

A discussion in another forum educated me about the fact that WW1 was not fought as "total war" in anything like the same way as WW2. If you delve into contemporary sources, you will find all sorts of normality continuing until very late dates in the conflict, and an astonishingly amateurish approach to the actual conflict and its direct impacts. An instance is the creation of hospital provision for the wounded, which seems to have been conducted on the basis of a series of village fetes for funding, keen gels for nursing, and grand ladies in 'drawing-rooms as coordinators. And, the byways of the Sussex Weald seem to have been choked with wandering artistic types, who were deeply impressed by the fact that they could hear the big guns over in Belgium, but felt it quite acceptable to float around in floppy hats, writing poetry about hedgerows.

 

On Kew Gardens station:

 

Go for it Edwardian. If you get the date exactly right, it allows for electric and steam stock inter-running, and you could depict the ultra-modern concrete footbridge under-construction.

 

BTW, if you look closely at the map that I linked to, you have an excuse to include two narrow-gauge railways too. One at the pumping station, and the other more of a mystery ........ To me it looks as if it might be an agricultural line, and the presence of a loop hints at a locomotive, rather than just horse-haulage. I shall be pursuing that one further.

 

It would make an uber-Edwardian scene, showing both elegance and technical advance. You might even add a few chaps with TB, and some children with no shoes to get the necessary balance into it.

 

Kevin

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Let's not forget rickets; bow legged malnourished urchins surely a must.  Kew does sound worth a go.

 

By adopting the Era/Epoch system, you can avoid troublesome dates, especially if you 'hide' 1933 in the middle of an "Epoch".  My main problem with it is that, as a system, it's what my Yorkshire Grandmother would have condemned as "neither use nor ornament". 

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Edwardian

 

When I get an obsession, it takes a while for me to work through it, so here is more regarding Kew Gardens .......

 

In 1901, F C Blake, an early motor car manufacturer, opened a new factory, slap bang in the middle of the scene under discussion, and provided a 33" gauge petrol-mechanical loco to work the lines of the pumping station next door (see 'The Engineer' Jan 9, 1903, p47) ......... More cutting-edge Edwardian technology to include on a layout.

 

The other, not in the pumping station, narrow gauge tramway seems to have been extended during the early-1900s, then disappeared somewhere around WW1.

 

I'm beginning to think there might have been some connection between the tramway and Mr Blake, because the whole scene is very similar to what went on at the works of McEwan, Pratt & Co, another early motor-car and petrol-locomotive builder, at Wickford, Essex, at pretty much exactly the same time. They had a tramway adjacent their works for testing new locomotives.

 

Early car and petrol-loco builders folded-up, or went into combinations with one another, during WW1, I think because only those that secured substantial War Office orders could survive.

 

And, the adjacent tramway was electrified c1901, but I can't find a picture, so here it is in 1894.[ Wrong! The route was horse-worked until it closed in favour of motor-buses in 1912, and the photo may show the final run, K]

 

Kevin

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Edited by Nearholmer
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I understand the antithesis against eras/epochs, but I think those who dismiss them misunderstand their correct use.  This is not helped by "standards" that have been set that may be inappropriate  (more anon).

 

For me, eras are abroad brush approach to get you close to a suitable time period for a model.  They are not a substitute for detailed research.

 

They are a bit like a road atlas.  If I want to travel from here to Brussels, I have a road atlas.  However if I want to find 25, avenue 11 novembre in Brussels, the atlas is useless once I get to the city.  For that I need a street map (or google maps).

 

Likewise eras get me close to where I want to be and I can then do the detailed research of would/could x and y have run alongside one another.  Eras stop me wasting time looking at things that would be hardly likely to be seen together. 

 

Of course, once I know how to get to Brussels, I may well not need the atlas again for that trip.  That does not make the atlas worthless.

 

The eras thing is muddied however by the standards set by (IIRC) Morop for epochs.  The epochs are set around key events in the history of German railways (not German history per se).  As such it works well. 

Epoch 1 - Pre 1920 - individual state systems aka Laenderbahnen.

Epoch 2 - 1920 - 1949 - Change of administration to National system - Deutsche Reichsbahn

Epoch 3 - 1950 -  Change of administration to Deutsche Bundesbahn, East West split   - etc.

 

 

The Epochs are even broken down into smaller time periods.

 

Each change of administration, brings with it changes in direction, liveries etc.  Naturally these changes do not occur overnight, but they do happen.

 

The problem is that these cut point dates are very specific to German / (Austrian and Swiss) Railway history and are totally arbitrary when used for French, UK or Kazakh railway administrations.  In that respect I think Bachmann are to be applauded  for introducing eras that are applicable to key dates in UK railway history.

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Quite how a UK magazine was obtaining detailed business information on German industrial companies is a bit baffling but they were certainly doing it in a very "matter of fact" and non-sensational way.

I wonder if they got their information via mutual contacts in one of the neutral countries such as Holland or Switzerland. I

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I have read the detailed explanation of the epoch system, and conclude that it remains, for me, neither use nor ornament.

 

It's like the man in Middle Ages who goes to bed one day believing that life is a vale of tears and that death will free him of his corrupt corporeal existence, but wakes up the next day celebrating his humanity and suddenly able to draw in perspective because an historian has decided it's now the Renaissance.

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Not at sure that I can work up such passionate distaste for the Epoch system, but it seems to me to be an overly sophisticated way of conveying information that could easily be summarised by printing a couple of dates on the box the model comes in, and in the catalogue, e.g. c1926 to c1953.

 

BTW, Edwardian, I have a better idea than you modelling Kew Gardens in 4mm scale.

 

Why don't you build a layout using actual pre-WW1 model trains, drawing inspiration from the pages of 'Model Railways and Locomotives', the model railway magazine of the time? You might be surprised by how far advanced railway modelling was within about ten years of its emergence as a hobby.

 

There are some very good pre-WW1 model trains around in the market. Have you looked at "The Station Master's Rooms" website?

 

Kevin

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Nearholmer - Feel free to PM if you want to co-operate on Kew or any project.  I am currently almost homeless with all my kit and books in store, but hope within a few months to become active in layout building.

 

Epoch/Eras mislead people into thinking that loco A and coach B could run together in circumstances where they could not, so it's, in fact, worse than useless.

 

What you need is blurb saying "in condition running date X to Y in A location or B services"

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Two interesting examples of pre-grouping modelling.

 

The locomotive is by Bing, for Bassett Lowke; the lady's name was not recorded.

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In Edwardian days, they still built in plenty of curves to the design.  They did so with their locomotive designs too.

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