Railway modelling

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Japanese H0e scale model railroad
One of the smallest (Z scale, 1:220) placed on the buffer bar of one of the larger (live steam, 1:8) model locomotives
HO scale (1:87) model of a North American center cab switcher shown with a pencil for size
Z scale (1:220) scene of a 2-6-0 steam locomotive being turned. A scratch-built Russell snow plow is parked on a stub (Val Ease Central Railroad).

Railway modelling (UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland) or model railroading (US and Canada) is a hobby in which rail transport systems are modelled at a reduced scale.

The scale models include locomotives, rolling stock, streetcars, tracks, signalling, cranes, and landscapes including: countryside, roads, bridges, buildings, vehicles, harbors, urban landscape, model figures, lights, and features such as rivers, hills, tunnels, and canyons.

The earliest model railways were the 'carpet railways' in the 1840s. The first documented model railway was the Railway of the Prince Imperial (French: Chemin de fer du Prince Impérial) built in 1859 by Emperor Napoleon III for his then 3-year-old son, also Napoleon, in the grounds of the Château de Saint-Cloud in Paris. It was powered by clockwork and ran in a figure-of-eight.[1] Electric trains appeared around the start of the 20th century, but these were quite crude. Model trains today are more realistic, in addition to being much more technologically advanced. Today modellers create model railway layouts, often recreating real locations and periods throughout history.

The world's oldest working model railway is a model designed to train signalmen on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. It is located in the National Railway Museum, York, England and dates back to 1912. It was in use until 1995. The model was built as a training exercise by apprentices of the company's Horwich Works and supplied with rolling stock by Bassett-Lowke.[2]

General description[change | change source]

Some people just have a train set. Other people may spend hours and large sums of money building a large and exacting model of a railroad and the scenery through which it passes, called a "layout". Some of the models are large enough to ride on.

Modellers may collect model trains, building a landscape for the trains to pass through. They may also operate their own railroad in miniature. For some modellers, the goal of building a layout is to eventually run it as if it were a real railroad (if the layout is based on the fancy of the builder) or as the real railroad did. They may build track-by-track reproductions of the real railroad in miniature, often using historic maps.

Layouts vary from a circle or oval of track to realistic reproductions of real places modelled to scale. Probably the largest model landscape in the UK is in the Pendon Museum in Oxfordshire, UK, where an EM gauge (1:76.2 scale) model of the Vale of White Horse in the 1930s is under construction. The museum also has one of the earliest scenic models – the Madder Valley layout built by John Ahern. This was built in the late 1930s to late 1950s and brought in realistic modelling, receiving coverage on both sides of the Atlantic in the magazines Model Railway News and Model Railroader. Bekonscot in Buckinghamshire is the oldest model village and includes a model railway, dating from the 1930s. The world's largest model railroad in H0 scale is the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany. The largest live steam layout, with 25 miles (40 km) of track is Train Mountain in Chiloquin, Oregon, U.S.[3] Operations form an important aspect of rail transport modelling with many layouts being dedicated to copying the operation of a working railway. These layouts can become extremely complex with many routes, movement patterns and timetabled operation. The British outline model railway of Banbury Connections is one of the world's most complicated model railways.[4]

People may meet in clubs. Clubs often display models for the public and run exhibitions. One specialist branch concentrates on larger scales and gauges, commonly using track gauges from 3.5 to 7.5 inches (89 to 191 mm). Models in these scales are usually hand-built and powered by live steam, or diesel-hydraulic, and the engines are often powerful enough to haul dozens of human passengers.

The oldest society is 'The Model Railway Club'[5] (established 1910), near Kings Cross, London, UK. As well as building model railways, it has 5,000 books and periodicals. 'The Historical Model Railway Society'[6] at Butterley, near Ripley, Derbyshire specialises in historical matters and has archives.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Chemin de fer du Prince imperial". Le Monde Illustré (in French): 229-230. 8 October 1859.
  2. Hollowood, Russell (9 April 2014). "Model students mark record for world's oldest working model railway". National Railway Museum. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  3. "TMRR". trainmountain.org. Archived from the original on 2020-09-30. Retrieved 2005-10-29.
  4. "Banbury Connections".
  5. "Home". themodelrailwayclub.org.
  6. "HMRS: HMRS". hmrs.org.uk.