Article I wrote for Merkur, journal of the German Railway Society

It was with some excitement that I drove down from Skye to Glasgow to attend my first model railway exhibition in some 50 years. I had been asked by Mike Burberry if I would be prepared to help out on the GRS stand so was also travelling in some trepidation, totally unjustified. There were nearly 150 stands at the exhibition, of which 50 were home to some amazing layouts. I was delighted to find that several of these depicted continental scenes.

When not manning the GRS stand I had a good look round the exhibition, but especially at the continental layouts. These came in two types: scenic with a railway running through an extended landscape and rail dominant, with the scenery supporting the railway. In the former category were St Adrian cff (East Neuk MRC), a long section of Z scale double track carved out of nearly ½ mile of cliff face, and Paul Hannant’s rendition in N scale of the Arlberg route’s Trisannabrucke. Both these layouts included a simple station that just seemed insignificant within the vast landscape with dwarfed trains running at scale speed. Station based layouts included Helmstadt (Perth & District MRC, N scale), centred on a simple four track through station within a highly convincing cityscape, Kalana (Falkirk MRC, N scale), complete with a short rack and pinion line to a high level resort, and Blausee Mitzholts (Clydeside MRC, HO scale), a small terminus based on a prototype on the Bern-Lotschberg-Simplon line.

The two remaining layouts were Pauline McKenna’s N scale Stahlwerks, depicting a typical West German steelworks, and Peter van den Wildenberg’s HO scale Petershof from Holland. This latter was almost impossible to see because of the constant crowds of children and adults trying to spot the moles that keep evading the frustrated gardener, pecking chickens, and the other 18 working scenes within this very detailed layout. Finally, organisations and trade represented at the exhibition included the GRS, Alte Zeit Gruppe, the Austrian Railway Group and, with a large stock of continental models, Model Masters of Weston-Super-Mare.

To sum up, this was an excellent experience and well worth the hassle of the journey from and to Skye. There was enough continental material to justify as least one day’s visit, and I will be kept busy reading all the GRS and AZG material I came away with for some time to come! I will certainly be back next year.

Click on thumbnails to open larger images in a separate window.
Arlberg route, Trisannabrucke – Paul Hannant (N scale, Stand 33)

Next Year's exhibition
is in the SECC on the
20-22 February, 2009

Blausee Mitzholts – Clydeside MRC (HO scale, Stand 67)
Garden Railway – G Gauge Society, Scottish area (G scale, Stand 137)

Helmstadt – Perth & District MRC (N scale, Stand 89)

Kalana – Falkirk MRC (N scale, Stand 98)

+ extra photo
Petershof from Holland (HO scale, Stand 132)

Stahlwerk – Pauline McKenna (N scale, Stand 94)

St Adrian cff – East Neuk MRC (Z scale, Stand 142)

Alloa – Scottish Region Study Group (O sclale, Stand 87)

Carron Grove – Falkirk MRC (N scale, Stand 129)

Edinburgh Southside – DEMU (OO scale, Stand 134)
Lower Hatton Junc – Bishopton mrc (OO scale, Stand 128)
Luib – Rutherglen mrc (OO scale, Stand 138)
Milford – Kyle MRC (OO scale, Stand 118)
Wouldham Town – Cobdown Model Club (OO scale, Stand 133)

SOCIETIES AND TRADE (with European outline content)
German Railway Society
Alte Zeit Gruppe
Austrian Railway Group
Model Masters of Weston-Super-Mare

Thank you for looking.