Adding Realism

This new venture introduced by the Weymouth Model Railway Association is to assist modellers in progressing their model railway from the train set (where we all start) towards a real railway in miniature. Members of the Association are keen to share their knowledge and expertise and this initiative is just as suited to newcomers to the hobby who wish to get involved in building and operating a simple, but realistic layout from the ground up.

The above picture shows what can be straightforwardly achieved with the right know-how and was built by members of the Weymouth MRA as a team project - incidentally they also built the rolling stock.

  If you want to know how, or think you can do better, get involved with the ‘Adding Realism Initiative’.

Our ‘Adding Realism Initiative’ is currently comprised of two components, as follows:-
  • Articles and items of interest and information accessible from this website;
  • Monday evening sessions in learning and improving skills.

The serialised article on realistic operation is now available on this website.

All too often, designs for model railways evolve without any major consideration given to how, eventually, the layout will be operated, other than trains will trundle or thunder in this direction and that. This series provides a method for tackling the operational aspects at the design stage of a model railway, thus ensuring the resultant layout provides the owner with as much pleasure as possible.

Much satisfaction can be gained from watching trains go by, but considerably more can be had by the trains having a specific purpose to fulfill. Whether the model trains are operated to a timetable or schedule, they provide a service of either conveying passengers or goods. In reality, goods and passenger services are inter-mixed and this is where the fun begins. Planning the marshalling, dispatch, reception and movement of the trains at the design stage involves ensuring there is sufficient capacity at stations and goods yards to handle the traffic. A further consideration is how locomotives will be stabled when not in use, and also serviced for their next turn of duty. These challenges are there in reality and the resolution of them in model form transpires to be incredibly rewarding and result in a model railway that is absolutely enthralling to operate.

If you’re contemplating building a model railway, in the process of building or have built one, you are bound to find something of interest in the series of articles.

Other articles in the pipeline are:-

  • Timetables for Railways Large & Small – a discussion of timetables for “real railways” and some thoughts on model applications.
  • A method for constructing an operating schedule complete with a worked example.
Evening Sessions

These are coordinated by Harry Marshall who as well as being an active member of Weymouth Model Railway Association is the President of Wimbledon Model Railway Club.

Over the years, Harry has accumulated a wealth of railway modelling experience that he is more than happy to pass on. Indeed, the plan is to involve other experienced club members, from time to time, to share alternative ways of doing things e.g. gluing as opposed to soldering, the use of alternative materials for building structures, etc, etc.

The intention is that the whole gamut of railway modelling skills will be covered on a rolling programme basis such that beginners can participate alongside more experienced modellers.

So far the Monday evening sessions have touched upon the construction of buildings (using card AKA breakfast cereal packets) for the Association’s existing Bridehaven layout. Several buildings, of various levels of complexity, are planned to be constructed. This gives everybody the opportunity to try their hand and if you thought you never could, you will probably be amazed that you can. All it takes is a little basic instruction (which is provided along with the encouragement) and the nerve to have a go! What you will learn is that there’s hardly ever a wrong way of doing things. However, there are many ways which are better suited that you need to experiment with to find your favoured way. Above all, these Monday evening sessions provide the opportunity to have a dabble and a bit of fun along the way!