I have just returned from a 10 day holiday back home in England. OK, so January/February is a strange time of year to go but happy family circumstance dictated the time of year, so we were more than happy to be there. We, (the wife and I) also got time to do some touristy sight seeing in Lincoln, London and Oxford. Of particular importance to this blog was our trip to Pendon, the world famous "Museum of miniature landscape and Transport modelling" to give it its proper title. It is an absolute treat for model makers of all disciplines but particularly railway modellers.
There are three models to see there, all famous, if not legendary in the railway modelling world. First to see is John Aherns' "Madder Valley Railway". Its attention to detail and realistic approach to the presentation of the models is nothing unusual by todays standards but when this layout was built in the 1930's it was unheard of. The Railway is totally fictitious with narrow gauge locomotives stretched to Standard gauge proportions and structures (some freelanced) and locations from all over England. But the whole thing comes together to make a perfectly believable whole.
The layout is still operable but due to its great age is only operated a few times a year.
The Next layout you see as you tour the building is the Dartmoor scene. Inspired by the railways of South Devon, a single track branch line struggles across Dartmoor to reach a junction station where trains meet the main line. The model itself must be about 30 feet long with the centrepiece being the 13 foot long model of a typical Great Western Railway Timber viaduct. The model has a definite operating sequence of trains that would typically be found on such a branch line. These trains are described in detail by one of the many Pendon volunteers on hand.
Then I'll ramble on a bit about what we modellers of small layouts can learn from such huge models.