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Hello from Cambridgeshire

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Hi all,

Just joined the forum and so I thought I would say "Hello". I hate writing these things so I will just do some bullet points, but I look forward to having some fun in here, and you never know, maybe, just maybe, actually building a railway... LOL

  • I was heavily into railways when I was younger, from 1978-1993, until I decided that girls, music and beer were better. This is the period I plan to model.
  • Got back into the hobby at the start of Covid. I have built a couple of little test layouts indoors since then, but I'm waiting for a proper garden - see below.
  • Seeing Crepello_100's videos on YouTube back in March 2020 inspired me. Also a big fan of Micks layout. Not really interested in indoor stuff.
  • I like the operational side - loco rostering, correct formations, train planning more than anything else.
  • Currently living in rented accommodation with an acre as my garden, but I have to move as the house is for sale.
  • I plan to move to France (eventually) as I can't afford to do what I want in the UK.
  • For most of the time I was originally interested in railways I was what is referred to as a 'loco basher', so haulage was my thing, with class 47's being my preferred choice. Also partial to class 25's and 73's...
  • Part owner of a number of real class 47's, although I have very little to do with them these days. (Time and location being a factor).
  • I hope that my layout will have many proper operational features like feeding the birds, running departmental trains to maintain the lineside vegetation, etc. A good mix of real and functional.
  • My layout plan is BIG!

That seems like rather a ramshackle random list, but there we go. Let's see where all this goes.

Second from the right in the attached picture, which is just after we bought 47401 from BR and had it delivered to the MRC.



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Good to have you on board!

I wonder if an interest in railways/model railways 'at an early age' is common with all of us? Do people ever develop an initial interest in railways in their more mature years? I can't say I've ever been all that interested in railways but I've wanted a model railway layout for as long as I can remember.

Crepello100's videos are truly inspiring. It would be a dream to have such a space available for a garden layout.

I have to admit that I get more enjoyment from the garden layout than I do from the one in the attic. The garden layout is so much more hands on and you actually feel as if you are running and maintaining a proper railway at times. It's also much better lighting and more natural surroundings.

I'm not quite so sure about the practicalities of running departmental trains to maintain lineside vegetation unless you're planning on using a larger scale? Certainly in OO gauge I think 'feeding the birds' like in Crepello100's videos would be about the limit. You do state that your layout plan is BIG though.....and you are part owner of a number of class 47's.......hmmm! Nahh...that would be overkill for feeding a few birds wouldn't it?

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Ha, ha, yes it would, but an interesting thought... lol

My plan is to build something at about waist height and have planters filled with Alpines running down the side so hopefully the cuttings won't be too large and so they can be carried away in customised (repainted) Hornby 21t open wagons, probably with a stone or something inside to weigh them down. The birds will be fed using the old Hornby Iron Ore unloading unit with the feed going down a short shoot and into a bird feeder positioned below. Having the layout at waist height will hopefully give me enough room to do that in a position where the birds don't feel threatened as they can be quite choosy. I have a whole long list of other things to do to.

You hit the nail on the head with your comments regarding the garden railway, natural light, natural vegetation, a living thing and proper operational requirements. I love it when you see the bees flying around or insects crawling across the track, it all feels so much more real than something indoors.

It's an interesting point about developing an interest in railways. There can't be many people who develop an interest in their later years. When I was a child my dad built a model railway that filled our living room. He had an idea about trains, but he couldn't really identify them or anything, he just enjoyed watching the models going around, and collecting all the ones in the catalogues, back when you could!

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I was one of those people who yearned for an actual layout but never had the space to be able to construct one. I began collecting models, as many people do, in anticipation of some space eventually becoming available but it never did and when a divorce reared its head all the models needed to be sold off. There was a break of a few years before collecting began again in earnest and ultimately on to where I am today. During that time I took employment with BR as it was at the time and spent just over 25 years working on the railway, mainly with class 56, 58 and 60 locos, but it wasn't something I actually enjoyed. To me it was just a job though I suppose it gave me the inspiration and ideas I could put to use on my model layouts.

Since constructing the garden layout I've spent the whole of the time trying to keep birds away from it due to their habit of dirtying the tracks with their droppings - Good luck with the feeder LOL! You'll probably require a decent track cleaner too.

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Welcome to the forum.

I'm another like you who had a childhood interest, probably from my Dad who worked for BREL at the time. Went away through teenage years and then came back to it after my Dad retired and I got my own house.

Like a lot here, outdoors gives the opportunity to have a bigger railway, longer trains, gentler curves and , since I don't like having to create scenery, ready made landscape.

Bird droppings are a real problem for me too. I expected some, but my neighbour has moved her bird feeder close to the house so I'm going to have to take drastic action. Repellant spikes along the fence top or something. I expected a problem along the back fence and I suspect I will need a transparent cover along that bit.

Nice of you to do your bit to preserve a bit of railway heritage too. I wouldn't know where to start with something like that.



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Hi, thanks for all the replies. I work nights and only get a few minutes to pop in here at present, but I have a week off from tomorrow morning, so be warned I will be going looking at all your threads!! LOL

My understanding of the bird poo issue is that birds try to poo in water. For some reason they believe that everything that is reflective is water - or at least counts - this is why birds will always poo on your newly cleaned car. To give some credence to this my professional training is running bus companies, and like everyone who works for independent companies that means going out on the school run. I had the luxury of pretty much my own double decker and one Christmas a Robin managed to get itself locked inside. When I went to clean up any mess it had made the only poo I could find had been neatly deposited on the chrome tops to a couple of the seat backs. I had been hoping that model train tracks were too small to attract this kind of attention, but it sounds like maybe not...

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I'm sure the shininess could be a factor, I find the pigeons poo on whatever is underneath the tree branches. Ive found it on the covers that I use to cover the particularly badly effected spots, and also around the grass and flowerbeds so it seems that they dont mind to much. 

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