More train tips and pics

Rod’s been in touch again. You may remember his layout – there aren’t that many with an Italian theme.

Anyhow, thought his pics were interesting and worth posting.

“We had a trip on this line a bit south of Auckland, with a guided tour of the shops by a friend of a friend, very nice day out.

New Zealand Railways are 3’6″ gauge but the stock’s impressive, they have a 4-8-2 in use (sorry, parked in a dark shed behind a pillar) and several old British export diesels, such as the red Bagnall Dsa shunter shown, as well as the 4-6-4T in the pix, which reminded me of the old Tri-ang Transcontinental loco I used to lust after in the catalogue – only that, mind, I was brought up on Hornby Dublo! Glenbrook station itself is nicely restored, with working signalbox and a connection to the Kiwi-rail main line, and the train has open cars as well as closed so you can soak up the cind… err, atmosphere.






“Hi Alastair,

If my memory serves me well one of your latest posts refered to being “messy”…. normally I’m not, but due to the warmer weather gardening duties are the top of the list….. (so she tells me!) I went into the ‘Fat Controller’s’ room earlier to be confronted by this!

Soooooo in between cutting grass, stimming, general upkeep etc, I grab an hour or so on the layout which includes surround boarding, staining, fitting of transformers, backdrops, etc! by which I don’t get to clear away much…. are we all the same?

Happy modeling guys.

Keith… UK”




I do agree with Keith – every layout is a complete mess before it takes shape.

Talking of which, here is Keith’s first post.

It just goes to show you need to roll those sleeves up and get messy if you want a layout! And that’s why the Beginner’s Guide is here.

Please do keep ’em coming folks.

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.



15 Responses to More train tips and pics

  1. Joe Howe says:

    Alistair: Rod’s remark that the New Zealand gauge is 3’6″ brings back to me memories of a train of that gauge I once rode from Singapore to Bangkok — the Eastern and Orient Express. Its cars came from New Zealand and were refurbished in the style of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express — fitted woods with inlaid brass — ahhhh. The entire train was the creation of the man who recreated the famous London-to-Istanbul Orient Express back in The Day. The last car was half closed bar and half entirely open, so one could enjoy an adult beverage while taking in the musty air of the jungle. Sort of like some of the videos you’re running these days! Joe

  2. David V. Corbin says:

    Took that same train in 2012….it was a fantastic trip! The only “down side” was that I did not get ot leave the Station when we stopped in Kuala Lumpur

  3. Rod Mackay says:

    My layout was just the same during building, indeed when I got to the last corner of the scenic work I was flummoxed, there was nowhere left to park stuff, leave contact glue drying, put tools down, cut things on… very awkward! And as for small components dropped on the floor of the workroom, the rule seems to be you only find the previous thing you dropped, which you’ve already replaced, not the bit that’s just gone missing.

    A particular hate of mine is working over my head, I struggle to see through the right bits of my glasses and my arms get tired very quickly and no matter where you put a light it’s still harder to see the bit you want while working on it. In hindsight, I would have not designed the boards with fold-up legs at one end only – if they were free standing it would have made it easier to take out the one you wanted to work on and lay it on its side for wiring jobs etc.


  4. Thomas Meleck says:

    Wow. Keith should see my own layout to see what “messy” really looks like. His layout is an island of calm and serenity in comparison. Thank you Keith for sharing.

  5. Barry says:

    Mine is more messy

  6. Brian Morgan says:

    That’s extremely tidy I am in the plaster scenery mode and there’s rubbish all over the layout – good to see there are tidy people though

  7. BigBill Londell says:

    A messy work place is from an active mind!

  8. Rick Wetzel says:

    Looks very nice

  9. Ian Mc Donald says:

    like the photos. all layouts are messy until running night or day, don’t stop do the garden first.

  10. Lawrence says:

    Hi Kieth
    I thought it was just me who didn,t have time for the layout amongst all the other jobs around the house. 11 Years now the train room has looked as though a BOMB has hit it, but I,m pleased to say that the end is in sight. Keep going forget the mess the end result is worth it
    Photographs to follow soon of a decade modelling

  11. paul Otway says:

    Hi i once visited the Glenbrook Vintage on a Grand Pacific tours trip.

    Ja 1250 hauled our train called the Grand Pacific Express.

    I was very privileged to have a ride in the cab of 1250, she is called Dianna.

    Paul otway

  12. Jim Sulkosky says:

    Looking good nice photos

  13. Lindsay McIsaac says:

    Hi there – a bit off topic for this site I know, but. Rod and Joe’s comments reminded me that the ex NZ train now in use between Singapore and Bangkok, was indeed the “Silver Fern”, we traveled on it from Wellington to Auckland when my father was a Guard on board, it was full of asbestos lining so I imagine there was lot of work to make it useable again, great to hear about it though.

  14. Rod Mackay says:

    I believe there’s a Silver Fern DMU set in use on the main line in the South Island of NZ running day excursions for the Taieri Gorge railway company, which mostly runs up the old Central Otago branch through the gorge but also runs some north-south services. I’ll send Alistair some pix of the Gorge trip when next I’m on the “proper” computer.

  15. Keith Willoughby says:

    Thank you all for your comments, I’m inbetween garden and layout atm… I’m not too far of laying track now, so I’ll try and get the upper level running soon ….. my wife and I are off to a 8 week cruise in September. ….. so would love to get a train running by then!…… maybe no scenery but a train hopefully.
    Happy modeling guys.


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