Jump to content

Is it dead?


cromptonnut
 Share

Recommended Posts

So... 18 months since the last post, and several years since the one and only modular meet.

 

Is anyone still working to modular standards in the vain hope that something may one day happen... or has everyone given up?

 

'Nut

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, I had always wanted to participate but I found I just did not have the space to build or store anything other than my current layout :(

 

A single board was all you needed to participate.  In fact, I had an "end piece" of a 4" long x 18" wide board, consisting of two inches of track and a buffer stop for an end.

 

Although 16ft station modules and suchlike are impressive, it is possible to build much smaller and still contribute, even a 2ft long board with a bridge over a river or a level crossing would have been able to be fitted in somewhere.

 

I think one of the big problems was the UK mentality of "everything must match".  Looking at some of the huge American layouts you go from urban to rural to desert to mountain and back again, and as long as the trains can run smoothly across the joints nobody seems to mind, whereas in the UK we expect everything to match perfectly even down to the colours used on the grass.  Even the 18" wide boards I think was potentially an issue, as long as the tracks matched in positioning and were able to be joined to others, what's the problem if we use different width boards?  Something like a 12ft (consisting of 3 x 4ft x 1ft) scenic countryside module would provide a good run between two station modules, and take up minimal space in storage... plus of course we don't all have big cars to transport big boards in.

 

Although the modular concept for UK railways was quite radical... were we really radical enough in moving away from "traditional UK standards"?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I too have no space - never mind the time - to build a module.

 

However it does seem that there is a real lack of interest in the modular concept in Britain.

 

I suggest one possible reason is that there is a great lack of interest in operating model railways in the British hobby. The tyranny of "Little Johnny wants to see the trains run!" coupled with the equal and opposite tyranny of the 8' finescale plank modelled with exquisite accuracy over a 10 year build period has generated that. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest one possible reason is that there is a great lack of interest in operating model railways in the British hobby. The tyranny of "Little Johnny wants to see the trains run!" coupled with the equal and opposite tyranny of the 8' finescale plank modelled with exquisite accuracy over a 10 year build period has generated that. 

 

To​ a degree you are probably right - however those of us who met and made the initial modular meet work did because we could see potential in the concept, it wasn't perfect and of course you had a mixture of finescale virtually completed projects and others where the scenery was a coat of green paint put down a few days beforehand to "give the impression".  You don't necessarily need both extremes to meet, simply a common understanding of what you are hoping to achieve.

 

​On that first meeting, we just wanted to prove "it worked" which it did.  Future meetings may be themed around everything being matching a GWR branch line, or trying to run to a timetable, or a card system to make up trains and shunt wagons from A to B, or whatever.  We leant more towards "trains running" on meeting 1, with a mix of steam and modern trains interspersed.  For most of us, a 40+ ft run from one end to the other of a "layout" is way beyond anything we are ever likely to build or erect at home, so by putting our manageable component parts together in a plan that gave us some operating potential with the junction and the station sidings, it needn't be the "finescale accuracy" nor the "trains every 30 seconds".

 

​Our main aim was to have fun.  That's one thing we certainly did, despite a few glitches on the day that we soon overcome and think we managed to solve anyway.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have liked to participate, I could make the time

to build a module (and store it), but got the impression

that no-one else in my area was willing to have a go, it

rather dampened my enthusiasm.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have liked to participate, I could make the time

to build a module (and store it), but got the impression

that no-one else in my area was willing to have a go, it

rather dampened my enthusiasm.

I too followed this from the start and also got the impression that everyone else was outside my area (West Midlands). It would have been no trouble to knock together a few baseboards with basic scenery and get together to prove the concept (I know of at least one possible venue - in a very good pub with large parking facilities!!!). I have had an interest in what I call ‘system ‘ layouts- ie ones where trains run from station A to B through to C, branches off to D, E, F etc. The sort of thing seen in old modelling magazines, and probably the preserve of those living in big old vicarages! - the sort of thing Cyril Freezer used to touch on in some of his more ambitious schemes.

Let’s face it, anyone could build an interconnecting board, a small station (branch?) etc with not much effort, even if the scenery is sparse, just to prove the concept.

I seem to recall Andy Y promised some support, but then seems to have got busy at the crucial time then things petered out...,

If anyone in the West Midlands fancies having another go (or from further away if you are prepared to travel (the venue I’m thinking of has a reasonable B&B attached!) I’m willing to have a go.....

Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone in the West Midlands fancies having another go (or from further away if you are prepared to travel (the venue I’m thinking of has a reasonable B&B attached!) I’m willing to have a go.....

 

Obviously I've also moved and am now in Hampshire (about 10 minutes west of Andover just off the A303) so quite accessible to many of those that came to the original meeting, and for those needing accommodation there's plenty of chain hotels nearby.  There is a village hall (which I haven't looked into yet but could if there was any interest - obviously although originally under the SECAG area group banner, we aren't far from SWAG territory which may bring in new interest that Surrey was too far for).

 

 

It was dead to me from the moment a new standard was created rather than using the freemo standard that already existed, and which presumably is still going...

 

If we had simply anglicised (or blindly adopted) the Freemo standards, do you think we would have had more success?  I can't see many existing US based Freemo modules fitting well in with UK scenery and standards (except for perhaps unscenic storage yards), so we'd still be starting from a ready module base of practically nothing.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Premium

I adapted my boards to the US standard and used them there after unavoidably missing Nut's first meet. I've also started my own individual 009 version which several others have now got the laser cut ends for and hopefully we will have a meet later in the year. I already did a demo of Freem009 at the WNGM open day last December where others just had a go. Like the US groups, where there are now four meets a year from the original rmweb meet, narrow gauge modellers seem less worried about the 'will it match' and just dive in and give it a go. The initial take up to my 009 version, which was only ever designed for me, is no bigger than the first Britmod meet but the small group want to give it another go so we aren't racing to big deadlines but tagging it on to existing meets and just nabbing a bit of space. The Taunton members day did ok with the modular layout to pre Britmod. I'd give it another go if there was a meet I could get to.

Edited by PaulRhB
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Premium

A bunch of us who met through RMweb locally and help with each other's layouts have considered it but got too absorbed in other projects. I'm looking at the possibility of tagging a Freem009 meet onto the Wimborne show next year using the stage which they didn't want to put layouts on due to access so it would be a free space.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

I'm only 40 minutes from Andover and 30 mins from Salisbury. I don't have anything like the time that I would like for modelling but I am certainly interested in this modular concept. It is worth pursuing as it would give many more people the chance to get involved in clubs/exhibiting.

 

Agree with an earlier post that it is a lot about operation - which is perhaps not a priority for many. Perhaps also it works better for 009 where the inter-station distances are less significant.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I already built the first model railroad parts in 1977 that could be combined. I didn't like the facilities in a box that were common in America. For me this was a diorama which I could pair with another. Since I also founded the Fremo, I have also incorporated my thoughts on these flexible systems and built the first samples of the Fremoduls. Then the term module was used for the first time. If you really want to motivate many people to build and participate, you can only regulate the most necessary. In the meantime I have concentrated fully on the scale 1:22.5 and on this scale also my first modules, which still exist today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

​Well I must admit there's more interest than I originally thought so tomorrow I'm going to go and measure up the village hall to see whether it's big enough (not been there yet) and whether it's practical for a meet, and if so then I shall put up a proposal and see who wants to commit.

 

​If there aren't enough numbers, then no big deal.  But if there is enough interest based on a firm plan then we can set a date and get started.  After all, you don't have to have modules ready right now, you can build them in the meantime...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Premium

But with what I ask myself ;) must dig out the standard.

 

Edit:

Here's the link

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/88537-rmweb-modular-project-standards/&do=findComment&comment=1533866

 

As it matches the Freemo (RStower) standard I could also use the 15ft yard to give another location initially.

Edited by PaulRhB
Link to post
Share on other sites

But with what I ask myself ;) must dig out the standard.

 

I'll save you the bother: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/88537-rmweb-modular-project-standards/

 

But what to build?  Here's some suggestions.

 

- Station

- Engine shed/carriage sidings/depot

- Junction (on a Y shaped board, as long as all ends are to 

- Siding with industrial facility

- Plain scenic boards, which are always handy to extend distance between stations.

- Crossovers

- Passing loop

 

Modules are generally best as 'double ended' so as not to end up with too many dead ends making it impossible to fit in, unless you provide a junction as a separate module or part of a module.  Remember that you can have a Dave standard module of only a couple of feet long, with a point coming off to whatever you like so if you wanted to make a junction followed by a 10ft long x 6" scenic section terminated by a quarry scene of whatever dimensions (including a below ground functional narrow gauge system, for example), that's perfectly acceptable as long as it's a self contained unit.

 

Remember that the most important thing is that the boards are built to standard at each end, and all track is wired and functional with local point control where necessary.  Scenery is a secondary issue and "under construction" boards are perfectly acceptable (although even a base coat of green or brown paint as necessary is better than just bare wood) as it's the operational side and the joy of running trains far longer distances than we can dream of at home.

 

It's also worth making an 'end board' if you can, I have one which is 4" long x the 18" width consisting of 2 inches of track, a buffer stop and a bit of scenery.  An hour to make and takes up no room in the car.

 

Curved boards are particularly useful as obviously it allows us to have a much longer run and utilise the space better.  Although harder to build, in many ways curved modules are more use than straight modules and obviously in a few years time when hundreds of UK modules are in existence it won't be such a big problem.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to confirm that the modular concept is quite doable we have a group of five of us down in Devon who have a modular 009 layout built more or less to Paul’s ‘standard’.

 

Our overriding directive has always been that anybody can do whatever they want on their own module - the only requirement is that they can bolt together at the right height and they use a DCC bus connected by red/black banana plugs.

 

So far we have had two meetups in February and March this year at a local Bowls Club clubhouse which have been a real blast! We started at 9:00am, the layout took an hour to assemble, we played around with it till 3:30pm, half an hour to pack it back into the cars and then off to the pub for a post session pint and wind down! Have to say that both sessions have been great fun all round. Our last session consisted of 7 main modules (3 stations, a couple of junctions, and a quarry) and 6 linking boards...roughly a 50ft run from end to end.

 

post-32017-0-57100000-1523696107_thumb.jpg

 

post-32017-0-63747100-1523696479_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

009 definitely lends itself to the modular concept as the trains and stations are generally small and the running speeds are slow and narrow gauge railways tend to be a bit quirky allowing more freedom to ‘build whatever you like’.

 

We are considering attending a local show in the summer with maybe 3 main modules and a couple of linking boards but the emphasis will be very much that this is 3 individual layouts connected together rather than one complete layout, in an effort to promote the idea of modular layouts.

 

I would certainly be up for a ‘big’ meet-up and I suspect other members of our group would  - how about a venue somewhere in Somerset for the day?

 

All the best

Pete

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Greensman

 

I'm talking to Paul about modular 00-9 at the moment, and in 20 minutes am off to measure up the village hall.  I'm looking at organising a OO "Dave" meet, although there's no reason that there couldn't be a OO-9 meetup on the same, or another, day depending on how things work out.  Ok it's near Andover, but only 10 minutes off the A303 so very reachable for many.  I do like the idea of modular OO-9 as well, and I could certainly fit more in the car than OO not just because the boards are narrower.  

Whereabouts are you based in case I fancy a trip down to one of your meets?  I do need to get more stock though... and find the box it's all packed in since the move.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking at organising a OO "Dave" meet, although there's no reason that there couldn't be a OO-9 meetup on the same, or another, day depending on how things work out. 

 

I can only second that. It can help to keep the costs low, especially at the beginnings, when there are only few participants. And it's nice to have more people to talk with and have a play... We organize our Stromberg meetings mostly with a standard gauge arrangement along the walls of the hall and the narrow gauge in the middle. Even an interchange is possible, the Leek&Manifold with its transporters comes to mind...

 

 

Michael

Edited by teetrix
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...