West Midlands Area Group
The West Midlands area group covers the Birmingham / West Midlands conurbation and Worcestershire. We hold monthly meetings at our club room, the Scout HQ, next to St Mary’s Church Hall, in Solihull on Saturdays between September and May – see diary for dates. The club room is only minutes away from junction 5 of the M42.
We have our own club layout which is available for any member to run trains on during meetings, see “Blythe Valley” below. Refreshments are available throughout the day. There are members bring and buy stalls and retailers’ sales stands at some of our gatherings. Anyone contemplating joining us is always welcome to attend one of these monthly meetings to see what we get up to.
Additionally, one of our meetings (usually in February) incorporates our annual model railway exhibition.
During the Summer months many of our members hold open days on their own railways thus providing us with a full social calendar throughout the year. We like to see ourselves as a friendly bunch and would welcome anyone who has an interest in G Scale to come and join us.
For more details, contact Paul Blake Group leader 01299 826022
Your Area Group News
1) Members were reminded that that people were needed to open their gardens during the summer, for our usual visits.
Saturday 29th April 2017 at 09.30
Scouts’ Hall, Hobs Meadow
West Midlands Indoor Meeting
6th May 2017
Scouts’ Hall, Hobs Meadow
Gn15 Group Meeting
Saturday 29th April 2017 at 2pm
Scouts’ Hall, Hobs Meadow
Garden Open Days
Paul Blake – Tel: 01299826022
Stourport – 1.30 pm
Control – Massoth
Alan Eccles – Tel: 0121 2438446
Solihull – 2 pm
Control – Battery & Steam
Roy & Gerry Pedder – 01902752061
Wolverhampton – 2 pm
Anne German – 01214723788
Dave Tilling – Tel: 0121 7830917
Yardley – 1pm
Control – MTS
Mike Rymill – Tel: 01214756424
Northfield – 1 pm
Control – Train Engineer
Peter Reynolds – Tel: 01922417737
Cheslyn Hay – 2 pm
Sutton Model Railway Exhibition,
22th May 2017 10:00:00
Bishop Walsh School, Sutton Coldfield
Something for the winter – Gn15
At the Group meeting on 11th April 17, Alan said he would organise a Gn15 section within the Group if there was sufficient interest. Following our Meeting on 8th April sufficient numbers have signed up to make the idea worth pursuing. Another meeting is planned in April. See the Diary for details.
The meeting is to discuss the following points:-
• A common theme, it seems most preferred the Sir Arthur Percival Heywood Estate Railway principle, which indeed can open up some continental prototypes as well, but we will see?
• Set track standards
• Set Scenic dressing – same ballast – same grass etc.
• method of securing boards
• Method of connecting power, and what power 12v DC Track / 12v DC Accessories / 16v AC? I showed the tag method on Saturday, not sure this is viable as to run a board independently it will need its own connection?
• Name for the Group
Gn15 is “G” scale “n” narrow gauge modelling on “15” inch gauge track, the scale utilises proprietary 16.5mm track systems (‘00’or ‘H0’) and proprietary loco mechanisms (Smokey Joe etc.).
Prototypes are such as the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, Evesham Vale Light Railway, or historically based on the Sir Arthur Percival Heywood principle of estate railways as on the Eaton Hall Estate.
It is envisage that: –
Work could start in September at the Group meeting.
Lightweight modular boards be used 600mm x 400mm with a jig built connecting edge and standard track joining position.
Each member uses a modular board to build their own scene, either
o To a common theme
o To their own design with a dividing panel,
o A run round and fiddle yard is possible if there is enough interest.
Initially self-funding with no obligation to Group funds.
o Flat pack baseboard has been identified at under £20.00 (see below)
o Dividers, run round etc. discussed later
o There are a number of simple kits available from :
Exhibit at next year’s Solihull show and/or other shows, if asked, to promote the group in a different way.
If you are interested contact Alan Eccles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 243 8446
Making a start
Our 2017 Annual Exhibition was held on:-
Saturday 11th February 2017
Chicken Grit Railway – Phil Saint
Fiddlers Green – Larry Simpson
Thomas’s Track Way – Mike Smith
Little Aller Junction – Chris Morris
Wellington Street – Mike Bragg
Birkberg – Martin Leech
Tardebigge Treacle Factory
– Colin Brooks
Campbell Quarry – John Campbell
Fairground Organ – Steve Harbach
Damar Valley Railway – Alan Eccles
Maintenance Depot – Dave Tilling
Blythe Valley – John Bint
Small Demo Layout – Keith Harbach
John Sutton Books
Barley Pit Works
G Gauge Galore
Black Cat Bridges
Blythe Valley is erected at our monthly meets for members to run their trains. The picture opposite shows the layout when still under development.
Blythe Valley can be set up to run all trains under analogue control, or to have two of its four tracks using analogue control and its other two tracks running digital control. Our third option allows us to have all four tracks under digital control. This final option offers the greatest operational flexibility.
Whichever operating set up is used members are able to run battery controlled or live steam rolling stock.
The Maintenance Depot
The Maintenance depot is part of our layout, “Blythe Valley”, that can be used as a separate layout when an additional scenic section and a fiddle yard are added to it. It shows an aging steam depot which has had facilities for diesel locomotives recently added. The original steam depot is shown as tired and worn in comparison to the newer diesel facilities.