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Model railway exhibitions in France.


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This is my first posting here, so hello.

Anyway I exhibited at RAMMA in Sedan last year. It was my first French exhibition , as an exhibitor or visitor. I had heard French exhibitions were a bit different to those in UK, but I enjoyed the experience, but next time I will pay to stop night before. I did find at one point that I was the only person operating a layout in our small area, so I went round to look at rest of layouts. My mini layout has an auto control mode so always has something running.

The quality of the other layouts, in particular some of the 'challenge' layouts was superb and it did not matter that no trains were running on many.

I have a house in south of France, but have noticed most of the exhibitions in France tend to be in top half of the country. I would be interested in exhibitions further south. There is a big club not far from me in France, and I will pay a visit some time. Not sure if they have an exhibition, but they do have a public open day every Sunday I think to show off their main layout.

I had intended to travel up to the RAMMA exhibition from my house in France, but it was both close and easier to travel from here in Lancashire. Most of my exhibition layouts are therefore based in the UK, and suspect I won't be doing much exhibiting once I am based full time in France.

 

Simon

I'd suggest contacting the Federation Francais de Modelisme Ferroviare ( http://www.ffmf.info/jo-25/), who might be able to put you in touch with clubs or other organisations in the south. If there's a possibility of a show at Aubenas, go for it; very friendly people and great hospitality, whilst the lodging was in a holiday camp directly overlooking Vogue, which is a 'listed village'.

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If you remember a round and round 00 layout in the far corner of the exhibition at Sedan, that was me. I travelled via P & O ferries, Hull to Zeebrugge. This was my third visit to Ramma, taking my daughter with me this time. We enjoyed ourselves as always and hopefully a fellow club member will be taking up the invite for next year. I am sidelined now awaiting a heart operation. My advice to anyone going to this show is, firstly learn a smattering of French at-least. Secondly, pay the surcharge for a hotel upgrade as the accommodation offered is about 20 miles away, in a "hotel" which has a name which may make you think you are going motor racing!

This e-mail address may be useful www.cmsedanais.com/

Bon chance.

John

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This is my first posting here, so hello.

Anyway I exhibited at RAMMA in Sedan last year. It was my first French exhibition , as an exhibitor or visitor. I had heard French exhibitions were a bit different to those in UK, but I enjoyed the experience, but next time I will pay to stop night before. I did find at one point that I was the only person operating a layout in our small area, so I went round to look at rest of layouts. My mini layout has an auto control mode so always has something running.

The quality of the other layouts, in particular some of the 'challenge' layouts was superb and it did not matter that no trains were running on many.

I have a house in south of France, but have noticed most of the exhibitions in France tend to be in top half of the country. I would be interested in exhibitions further south. There is a big club not far from me in France, and I will pay a visit some time. Not sure if they have an exhibition, but they do have a public open day every Sunday I think to show off their main layout.

I had intended to travel up to the RAMMA exhibition from my house in France, but it was both close and easier to travel from here in Lancashire. Most of my exhibition layouts are therefore based in the UK, and suspect I won't be doing much exhibiting once I am based full time in France.

 

Simon

Hi Simon,

 

Whereabouts in South? I have some contacts down there.

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John,

I remember you and your Southern region layout if I am right. Talked to you about your old layout Chessington.

When it comes to accomodation I prefer to use the B&B chain, which is only slightly more expensive than the F1 chain, and you get a better breakfast and ensuite facilities. Unfortunately there wasn't a B&B near Sedan, and the 'better' one locally is where I would opt for in future.

You should have heard the comments from the Scots on Sunday morning!!! I knew what to expect, even though I would not choose to stay there if I have a choice. What amuses me about the F1 chain is that they are part of a much bigger company which has some good quality hotels , some are next door to F1 in some towns, and one of our local hotels here is part of the chain.

 

My house is about 50 knm from Beziers towards Castres(where there is a big club). I have been told there is a model shop not far away, models not necessarily railway models,, and my next door neighbour(English) is into wargaming so we have quite a bit in common.

By the time I get down there permanently I probably won't want to be travelling too much. I am still developing my 3D printing busiiness(designing, not actually printing), and the aim is for that to carry on , hands off as it is internet based.

 

Simon

Edited by rue_d_etropal
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John,

I remember you and your Southern region layout if I am right. Talked to you about your old layout Chessington.

When it comes to accomodation I prefer to use the B&B chain, which is only slightly more expensive than the F1 chain, and you get a better breakfast and ensuite facilities. Unfortunately there wasn't a B&B near Sedan, and the 'better' one locally is where I would opt for in future.

You should have heard the comments from the Scots on Sunday morning!!! I knew what to expect, even though I would not choose to stay there if I have a choice. What amuses me about the F1 chain is that they are part of a much bigger company which has some good quality hotels , some are next door to F1 in some towns, and one of our local hotels here is part of the chain.

 

My house is about 50 knm from Beziers towards Castres(where there is a big club). I have been told there is a model shop not far away, models not necessarily railway models,, and my next door neighbour(English) is into wargaming so we have quite a bit in common.

By the time I get down there permanently I probably won't want to be travelling too much. I am still developing my 3D printing busiiness(designing, not actually printing), and the aim is for that to carry on , hands off as it is internet based.

 

Simon

Yes Simon, I do remember our conversation on the late Chessington. As to the lads from Bonnie Scotland, well they had had quite a journey because the high winds blowing in the North Sea that Thursday and the hotel put the tin hat on it. We were comparatively lucky with our crossing, it only sent us to bed early because it was too dangerous to walk about the ship. About an hour after setting down as best as I could, I was awakened by a loud crash caused by the breaking of pottery. I remember saying to my daughter, "There will be no early morning coffee tomorrow", but there was.

My target now is to return to Sedan in 2017, with what, who knows.

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John,

I remember you and your Southern region layout if I am right. Talked to you about your old layout Chessington.

When it comes to accomodation I prefer to use the B&B chain, which is only slightly more expensive than the F1 chain, and you get a better breakfast and ensuite facilities. Unfortunately there wasn't a B&B near Sedan, and the 'better' one locally is where I would opt for in future.

You should have heard the comments from the Scots on Sunday morning!!! I knew what to expect, even though I would not choose to stay there if I have a choice. What amuses me about the F1 chain is that they are part of a much bigger company which has some good quality hotels , some are next door to F1 in some towns, and one of our local hotels here is part of the chain.

 

My house is about 50 knm from Beziers towards Castres(where there is a big club). I have been told there is a model shop not far away, models not necessarily railway models,, and my next door neighbour(English) is into wargaming so we have quite a bit in common.

By the time I get down there permanently I probably won't want to be travelling too much. I am still developing my 3D printing busiiness(designing, not actually printing), and the aim is for that to carry on , hands off as it is internet based.

 

Simon

 

Simon,

 

Without going to an atlas, I guess that puts you close to LaBastide Rouairoux (which I have probably spelled wrong).

 

In my time there (living and working that is, still have houses in the Aude), there was a good club in Beziers - part of the SNCF railwaymen's cultural association and with clubroom actually on the platform of the station.

 

Going a bit to the south of you, there was a club based near Limoux (AMHVA) but with several members living in Carcassonne. AMHVA is mostly railway modellers but with some modellers of other stuff.

 

Just east of Beziers and south of Pezenas, you have FB Systems at Bessan who should be able to supply most of your modelling needs.

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Simon,

 

Without going to an atlas, I guess that puts you close to LaBastide Rouairoux (which I have probably spelled wrong).

 

In my time there (living and working that is, still have houses in the Aude), there was a good club in Beziers - part of the SNCF railwaymen's cultural association and with clubroom actually on the platform of the station.

 

Going a bit to the south of you, there was a club based near Limoux (AMHVA) but with several members living in Carcassonne. AMHVA is mostly railway modellers but with some modellers of other stuff.

 

Just east of Beziers and south of Pezenas, you have FB Systems at Bessan who should be able to supply most of your modelling needs.

The people from Limoux had a stand behind us at Aubenas; they had a model of the old Quillan- Axat line. Bizzarely, one of the members was mayor of a small commune near Quillan, and knew one of my Eurotunnel colleagues, who had a house in his village.

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John,

I remember you and your Southern region layout if I am right. Talked to you about your old layout Chessington.

When it comes to accomodation I prefer to use the B&B chain, which is only slightly more expensive than the F1 chain, and you get a better breakfast and ensuite facilities. Unfortunately there wasn't a B&B near Sedan, and the 'better' one locally is where I would opt for in future.

You should have heard the comments from the Scots on Sunday morning!!! I knew what to expect, even though I would not choose to stay there if I have a choice. What amuses me about the F1 chain is that they are part of a much bigger company which has some good quality hotels , some are next door to F1 in some towns, and one of our local hotels here is part of the chain.

 

My house is about 50 knm from Beziers towards Castres(where there is a big club). I have been told there is a model shop not far away, models not necessarily railway models,, and my next door neighbour(English) is into wargaming so we have quite a bit in common.

By the time I get down there permanently I probably won't want to be travelling too much. I am still developing my 3D printing busiiness(designing, not actually printing), and the aim is for that to carry on , hands off as it is internet based.

 

Simon

Simon, welcome to RMWeb!

 

If you live near Béziers then there is a good railway model shop in the village of Bessan, east of the city.  It is called FB Systems and has a website.  No OO gauge but very good HO, even some North American.  I suspect that most of its business is mail order though there have always been people in the shop when I called by.  I used to live in Nissan lès Ensérune but have now moved to Aude, south of Narbonne.

 

I once stayed in a Formule 1.  It was on A1 and full of noisy Dutch families.  Once is enough.  Ibis Budget (was Étap) is the next up in the Accor Group hotel chain hierarchy and much, much better.

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Paul,

I am north west of Beziers, so not that far from Narbonnne. Have gone that way when flying down to Carcassonne, when I missed turning.

F1 used to be acceptable when it was really cheap, but about the time they tried to launch themselves in UK, prices went up. I tend to use a very nice B&B group hotel in St Quentin on way down, and then just about get down to house in one go via A75.

I would like to get down thee more, and spend moire time down there, but am currently workiung on my 3D printing business hich fingers crossed will keep me in wine for a few years.

 

I go near to Bessan quite often , but normally either on autorioute, for speed or nearer the coast , except when there is summer holiday traffic.My brother lives over near Arles, as did my parents, which is one reason I am currently researching the CF de Camargue. I had started looking into the history of the metre gauge around Carcassonne, but they closed down in the 30s so offereed limited modelling scope, bu the Camargue line not only lasted to the 50s but was also electrified. I plan to do a test working diorama in 1/76 (it fits the 12mm gauge chassis I have), then up the 3D printed models to 1/55 scale using slightly under gauge 16.5mm track. I have a lot of info already incuding drawings but can't find out colour of locos or coaches.

 

 

Just looked through messages above, it looks like there is actually quite a lot of interest in model railways in the part of France I eventually hope to call home. My next door neighbour who happens to be English, and has interest in WW2 wargaming had not mentioned the shop near Beziers. My house is actually in St Pons, and I had been told there was a model shop in Mazemet , on road to Castres. I wonder if there are enough of us down there to have an informal club. I know another SNCF member who lives just up the road and has written about railways in the area.

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  • 3 years later...

The Orleans show is this year and it's on the 8th & 9th of November. I went to it in 2012 and was very impressed, a lot of good modelling and plenty of very high quality layouts. http://www.amfc-orleans.fr/ It's organised by a local club Association des Modélistes Ferroviaires du Centre.

 

The Paris show is RailExpo http://railexpo.info/ It's three days 28th-30th Nov.in a large exhibition centre in Cergy-Pontoise and organised by a group called Traverse des Secondaires who took control of the old Expometrique show from GEMME. This show and another in February seems to be their main activity.  Expometrique used to be a specialist narrow gauge show a bit like ExpoNG but Rail Expo is far more generic and tends to focus more on traders than on layouts though there about two dozen layouts there this year. It is very large and a good place to meet all the tiny artisans who make specialist parts and who never seem to use the internet. I find it a bit too commercial compared with a good club show like Orleans but I might go this year.

Hello, what does GEMME stand for?

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Hello, what does GEMME stand for?

Hello Roger

 

Groupe d'Etude du Modelisme Ferroviaire a Voie Metrique et a Voie Etroite

 

Group for the study of railway modelling of metre and narrow gauge.

 

I was a member for quite a long time from when it was GEMM and focussed purely on metre gauge modelling (Om, H0m and Nm). They used to organise the annual Expometrique exhibition in the Paris area which started out as a small and rather initimate get together but grew into a very large operation. In 2007 a number of members split off from GEMME to form a new private association Traverses des Secondaires and took the exhibition with them. The ostensible reason for the split was that they wanted to include standard as well as narrow gauge light railways in their remit but I suspect that ownership of Expometrique had a lot to do with it; organising that and a smaller exhibition for artisanal suppliers seems to be the main activity of TDS but the two groups seem to be on amicable terms.

 

Eventually TDS renamed Expometrique as RalExpo with the narrow gauge becoming a minor theme. GEMME did subsequently organise their own exhibition at the now sadly defunct TVT preserved line at Richelieu  and used the Expometrique name but I don't think there have been any others.

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What, or where, is the best source of information on forthcoming model railway exhibitions in France? Is there a comprehensive website somewhere? Thanks in advance.

 

Hello my friends !

 

Being a french company, in my opinion, the best exhibitions in France are :

 

- Railexpo, now called Chartresexpo, located in Chartres

  This is the biggest one ; every year in november

 

- Orléans (south Paris) every 2 years in november

 

- Montelirail located in Montelimar (south of France), every 2 years

 

- Meursault located in Bourgogne. Every 3 years, this exhibitions is also very dangerous for the british people because there is thousands caves around it !!!!!

 

- Sedan, in ... Sedan (North-East) every 2 or 3 years

 

There is another one in Lille but I don't remember the name and date, sorry. Last year, Loco Revue magazine organized a big exhibitions in Lille again (North) called TRAINSMANIA ; a real success, so they decided to do it again in 2019.

 

MINIFER go to most of these exhibitions, so you can go to our website http://www.minifer.fr/agenda/ and you will find the informations. Otherwise, you can go to "espacetrain" http://www.espacetrain.com/index.php?page=agenda/agenda witch is good too.

 

Thanks to come in France !

 

A bientôt :-)

 

Sylvain

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I have found the most comprehensive calendar of model railway exhibitions to be that of "Cles pour le train miniature" - http://blog.clespourletrainminiature.com/p/calendrier.html

 

There are of course several other such web-based calendars, and most items in the year are "Bourses" or Swapmeets.

 

There is only one exhibition of note in my region, that of Rochefort, every two years, organised by the only local club "Traction 17". It is charming, around a dozen layouts and well catered, but not really worth a long distance trip to visit, I am ashamed to say. I have not yet found a regular one in Bordeaux, which is surprising given there is a fair size club there and a good model railway shop (Jouetec). I tend to go to Paris or the several around Limoges, for a decent fix.

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Hello, Philou here,

 

I know you've been discussing mainly shows 'dahn sarf', but for those 'oop north', there is one in Toul tomorrow - free!! Our club, Rotonde 52 will have some modules junior on display.

 

Those that may still seek info regarding show dates, there is usually a large listing in the monthly 'Le Train'. They also have the timings of railway related TV programmes transmitted by the German station SWF (usually Mon - Sat afternoons). The programmes, in German, are not necessarily German based - they tend to be world wide. Recently there was one on Welsh narrow gauge railways.

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

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  • 1 year later...

I'm about to move to France, Chabanais 16150, and being an active modeller I'm looking for any clubs etc within a reasonable distance. Limoges and Angouleme are about equidistant at 1 hour driving and that would be fine.

 

Any help or pointers would be much appreciated

 

Thanks

 

David

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Theres a few RMwebbers resident in France. One, Olddudders lives near Le Mans and another jamie92208 lives in the Charente region. I would suggest asking them if there is a list of French model railway clubs. Best of luck with your search.

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Be aware that a lot of shows are not exclusively rail-orientated, but have model engineering, plastic models etc. The opening hours can be a bit strange to us as well; often, the show will open at 09:00 on Saturday morning, but only for the formal welcome by the mayor, followed by groups from local schools. This goes on until mid-day, when everything shuts for (a copious and well-irrigated) lunch. Crowds are much more mixed than in the UK, with the entire family being present. There is often subsidisation by local and regional authorities, which makes entry cheaper than in the UK.

I had the good fortune to accompany Paul Wade, and Tonbridge West Yard, on several appearances at French shows; one at Aubenas, in the Ardeche, and two local ones in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Certainly very different to our experiences on the UK 'Circuit'

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5 hours ago, JohnDMJ said:

TrainsMania (next Lille 2020) and RailExpo (same weekend as Warley, usually) are certainly worth a Eurostar ride!

Has TrainsMania become annual- excellent if it has? I went to the first one in 2017 and it was a really good show. Unfortunately I couldn't make the second one this year due to a friend's 60th and assumed the next wouldn't be till 2021. 

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