IT'S COOL TO
AROUND THE WORLD
ISSUE SUMMER 2017 FREE
FOR THE WORLDWIDE RAIL FAN
AS AN ART FORM
PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES & MORE TRAINS
THE JAZZ MUSICIAN
WITH A LOVE
ON THE COVER
by @yoichi uzeki
Well, it's taken us a while to get our second issue out. I did need to draw breath and say, let's "do it again". It's been a job, but I couldn't have done it without the help of a growing number of Instagrammers who are willing to support Off the Tracks. People who'll send over some pictures or even put fingers to keyboard to produce an article. It's been so nice to have train fans from all over the world really want to share their specific interest and let others see topics from the rail world we wouldn't normally. Russian 0-10-0's anybody? Well, you can read about them in this issue.
This issue of Off the Tracks is very much what I envisioned when I had that brain wave just before last Christmas... The idea was to create a train magazine that was not just about trains and railways... what?! Well, okay, it is very much so but it's also about people (who are train fans).
Off the Tracks talks to these types - artists and videomakers and even a jazz musician in this issue. And we even have an article on a WW2 airplane. You like trains, chances are you'll like planes.
Thanks for supporting Off the Tracks, please do all you can to promote it - paste the link onto your instagram or facebook page. Copy our pages and link those back. We are after all a social media created and promoted train magazine. Let's take railway editorial into the 21st century, using the power that we have as "citizen rail journalists, photographers and editors..."
We've also set up a website where we will be posting regularly - offthetracks.com - so do check that out.
For thiose new to Off the Tracks - you'll find issue 1 at the caboose/gaurds van end of this issue. Plenty to look at then!
John Shepherd aka @modelrailroaderUK
Off the Tracks is a FREE digital distribution magazine
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The images and text belong to their creators and should not be re-produced without prior consent. The publisher has tried to ensure the accuracy of all content, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies. Reproduction (other than digital distribution by the official link) is not allowed. Rail Tracks Magazine accepts no liability for any products or services directly or indirectly promoted. This was a fun project to promote railroading. model railways and its derivatives worldwide from instagram inspiration.
OFF THE TRACKS issue 2
04 Rail World
24 Pure Class - The Orient Express
Pt1 Prototype history Pt2 in HO
66 Soviet Steamers
50 Adding lights to your models
74 Nurnberg Toy Fair
80 Peterborough South OO Layout
14 Yoichi Uzeki Jazz Player & Train man
40 Joshua Smith - Miniature Artist
54 John & Dan YouTube's dynamic train duo
92 A Plane! The WW2 Arado Jet
96 Cars - Merc gets repaired!
99 Issue 1 (for those that missed it!)
Pictures Doug Wallace aka la_vida_rhombi
STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco's famed cable cars are only half of the city's Museums in Motion - streetcars of the world make up the rest of this historic fleet.
More info, streetcar.org/streetcars
Look at those Curves...
This is Duchess of Sutherland in the UK's National Railway Museum.
The Pacific was built in 1938 by the London Midland & Scottish Railway. She was one of five originally painted red, another five were Caledonian blue. In 1939, she visited the USA as part of the New York World Fair. She was in disguise there as she assumed the identity of sister-engine Coronation.
More info, NRM.org.uk
Never to be seen again
The last run of Italian an E.428 class to pass the sea in Liguria, Italy
These locomotives were introduced in the 1930's for the Rome-Florence route. The 3,000V DC machine was produced in a number of batches and were updated over the years. The second series had a more profiled front end and no bonnet as in the engine featured.
Pictures Francesco Bochicchio
The Man with the Golden Train
Where else could you have a gold train that takes you on a journey to a chocolate factory? Yes, it's Switzerland. And to get to the Maison du Gruyere, you pass stunning scenery. The journey starts in Motreux - where the train is pictured. Trains and chcoolate - a match made in heaven for many!
London Festival of Railway Modelling
This March thousands of UK railway modellers converged on Alexander Palace, for the London Festival of Model Railways.
There were over 40 layouts to view. Although most naturally focused on the UK rail scene there were layouts based on US, Swiss, Czech and Austria protypes. When Off the Tracks attended on the Sat around noon, it was difficult to view some of the layouts due to the crowds. Good from the hobby's point of view, but not so good if you wanted to see what was running. By mid afternoon, numbers had thinned out, and we were able to study some layouts closely and chat to a few operators.
We particularly enjoyed the modular, National Model Railway Association (British Region's) Essex Belt Lines (HO) - see bottom right. It was massive!
Ghosts become Zombies
In our first of Off the Tracks issue Doug Wallace aka @La-Vida_Rhombi shot our cover now its become even more creepy as the Pacific Northwestern ghosts become zombies
STRAIGHT TO THE HEART OF TEXAS
@trainsequallife sent in this shot of the only remaining Texas class steamer. It's a Bessemer & Lake Erie locomotive and was used to haul ore trains from Conneaut, Ohio, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The 2-10-4 aka "Texas" class was put into storage by the B&O. In the '80s it was moved via air to its present resting place in Glenwood Pa.
From what @trainsequalslife indicates it's been a struggle to keep the last giant at least slumbering.
Take the JAZZ TRAIN
Trains and Jazz have a connection perhaps it's the rhythm and the syncopation. Miles Davies took the A Train and Duke Ellington the Night Train. We take a journey into the New York rail network in pictures and talk trains and Jazz with Yoichi.
I was born and raised in Tokyo until I moved to the United States in 2000. My parents still live in Tokyo and a lot of my relatives as well. My father is now retired but used to be a lighting technician for TV commercials and movies. My mother really wanted to learn piano but the time (right after WW2) did not allow her to do so. As a result she was the one who put me into piano classes when I was four years old. I think I had a good time back then but as I got older, it became harder to practise for a long time but I never quit. I kept showing up to the lessons until high school. I still remember that the classroom was right next to the train station. Whenever the new trainset (of course back then) pulled in, I stopped playing, opened the window and watched the train. And most importantly, my teacher was fine with that! I have had great teachers throughout my life and I am so thankful for that.
I was never a serious classical pianist. But I started composing when I was little. I was one of those kids who "once I hear, I play" and I can play in different meter or rhythm. My teacher was totally fine for me to demonstrate my original work in piano lessons too. In high school, I joined with friends to play Rock 'n' Roll. I wanted to just play for fun throughout my college days. So, I visited some rock clubs at college. However, I was unable to join one because they had enough keyboard players. So I tried the club next door - the jazz club! And that's how an economics
student from Hosei University in Tokyo started playing Jazz. I met great student players there who got me serious about playing Jazz piano. Since that time, my life has changed.
Funnily enough I wanted to be a journalist or news anchor rather than a jazz musician at college. I became a member of The Waseda University High Society Orchestra as a pianist in my junior year of college, even though I was a student of Hosei University. The Waseda University High Society Orchestra was one of the clubs in Waseda University but it is very common in Japan for clubs in colleges to accept members from different schools. The Waseda Band won the nation-wide Yamano Big Band Jazz contest two years in a row - therefore I have never lost any contests!
I can't really categorise my style. I should never do so. "Category" is something that record companies make up. Yes, I am a product in a way, but I would never put myself into a product. I'm still trying to keep my playing as an art form. I always try to play something funky, soulful, emotional and full of energy. I have performed with Najee - that was a fun performance. (Off the Tracks editor John is a fan!).
I have also recorded with Ornette Coleman, through a great bass player and friend of mine who used to play with Ornette a lot- Jamaaladeen Tacuma. This was in 2011. Our recording For The Love of Ornette is available worldwide.
In addition to playing with Ornette and Najee I have played with Jamaaladeen, Oliver Lake, Alex Blake and Craig Harris, Najee, Pharoah Sanders, Terell Stafford, Cecil Bridgewater, James Spaulding, Tony Kofi (from the UK), Wolfgang Puschnig (from Austria) and many others.
I do a lot of local performances in New York City and Philadelphia, where I used to live.
My goal for now is to be a touring musician - going out on tour (and it doesn't have to be for too long, maybe from a few days to two weeks at a time) almost every month. I want to do this with both someone's band and my project. I also want to teach at college level which I did in New York. This is the nature of music - many jazz teachers still do go out on the road often. I'll travel but I have no plans to go back to Japan to live.
We asked Yoshi about music and his love of trains, could he combine the two?
This is a good question. I have heard people using train sounds in their tracks and Duke Ellington once wrote a piece called Night Train too. I have to come up with a different way now to do it. I have a few ideas but I can't say what they are at the moment.
You have played in train stations...
Yes, the AirTrain Festival performance was great. And I am sure that people got to see how Jazz in NYC is played. But passengers did not have the time to stop by and listen, nor did they mentally open up to the music because they were rushing either to the airport or home. I would rather perform in a concert situation. People wouldn't leave in the middle of a piece unless they hated what I was playing!
And your photography...
I always carry my camera with me. I take shots on my way to my performances. Sometimes, I spend the whole day shooting. I tend to get better shots while I "commute". I am thinking about a photo exhibition sometime in the future and eventually selling my work.
And what's your favourite location to take photos?
I have to admit that Broadway Junction, East New York Station is my favourite.
Yoichi will be playing some concerts in NYC, NJ and PA this year and is planning to tour Japan & possibly Europe too.
Yoichi Uzeki @ www.instagram.com/yoichiuzeki is a jazz musician whose creativity extends to his train photography. Off the Tracks catches up with the New Yorker who would love to play a concert in New York's Grand Central Station.
VIDEO - see & hear Yoichi!
Yoichi playing with the Carl Bartlett, Jr. Quintet "Sold Out" @ Smalls Jazz Club (Manhattan, NYC) June 2016
I always carry my camera with me.
I take shots on my way to my performances.
Sometimes, I spend the whole day shooting...
The Sunrise to Remen (left), The Landmark of Queens (above)
Hide & Seek (above), The J Train Moment (left)
CIWL Restaurant-car in r
CIWL restaurant car
Many have said to me, how can a nineteen-year-old boy have a great passion for luxury trains? The amazement I see in their eyes prompted me to write this article... it all stems from
Murder on the Orient Express
Words Francesco Bochicchio aka @francesco_bochicchio & Andrea Sosio
Pictures Francesco Bochicchio & Andrea Sosio
When I was nine, I remember watching Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient-Express (1974), directed by Sidney Lumet. It was love at first sight, simply because I remained so fascinated by the train which was the perfect setting for the mystery novel.
My father had a model railway; he showed me the only Orient-Express car he had in his collection - a passenger coach, Pullman, equipped with a kitchen. This was produced by the Italian company Rivarossi (now owned by Hornby). This passenger coach became mine and I started to collect an increasing number of passenger coaches of the famous Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL).
Ten years later, I managed to complete an Orient-Express rake (consist to railroaders) of 17 carriages. I was very lucky to do this considering the availability of these passenger coaches. So let's take a look at the history of this train and its legendary company.
Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits
CIWL was born in the second half of the 19th century at the behest of the Belgian entrepreneur Georges Nagelmackers, under the patronage of the Crown of Belgium. Nagelmackers’ aim was to revive luxury travel in Europe using special trains; taking as a model what George Pullman had done in America – with the construction of the first passenger coach equipped with beds (sleepers) for long distance travel. The most famous CIWL train was undoubtedly the Orient-Express which fulfilled the rail link between Paris and Istanbul from 1889 to 1977.
The golden age of the company dates back to the ‘20s and ‘30s, when all CIWL trains were equipped with passenger carriages that were considered cutting-edge for their time and were equipped with every luxury. Many of these cars survive today on tourist trains, including the famous Venice Simplon Orient-Express – now owned by Belmond - of which more later.
Let’s go back in time…
I want to indulge you… let’s take a one-day trip in northern Italy in the first half of the '30s. Lean back and enjoy the ride.
First, we must understand the historical period in which we find ourselves. The impact of WW1 and the decisions made in response to the Treaty of Versailles reflect on the reorganisation of CIWL’s services. This era saw the birth of the Simplon-Orient-Express; the train that replaced the old Orient-Express. The new train’s implementation was a result of punitive measures against the Great War’s defeated nations (Austria and Germany) by the will of the Allied countries, and the Swiss and Dutch diplomats. For this reason, the new train avoided avoided German rails, for example, through Strasbourg and Bavaria. Instead it reached the Balkans, and then Constantinople (now Istanbul), through the then new Simplon tunnel - from where the train took its name.
The heyday of the Simplon-Orient-Express, like much developed world rail travel, was in the first half of the '30s. It was at this time when the CIWL company decided to completely renovate the Simplon-Orient-Express with new passenger cars made of steel. These replaced the old passenger coaches made of wood.
In Italy – on our “our journey” the Simplon-Orient-Express travelled between Domodossola and Postojna – where Italian railways largely controlled the train’s movements – including engine changes.
The train arrived in Domodossola station in the early hours of the morning after leaving the French town of Calais the previous day.
The Simplon-Orient-Express consisted of: a luggage carriage three-door (Fourgon); a sleeping car (WL) Luxor type; a sleeping car (WL) type Y; a dining car (WR) 1925; a Pullman car WPS (Pullman Wagon-Salon) and two sleeping cars (WL) S-type.
Some of the older cars, such as the WL Class S, were built in 1922 in England by the Leeds Forge Company - and were CIWL’s first coaches to replace the natural brown teak or two-tone cream and brown of the much older carriages with the famous blue (also called Bleu de France or Bleu nuit, or Royale) with yellow gold threads.
In Domodossola, the Swiss three-phase electric locomotive would be replaced by an Italian class 685 Caprotti or Classical type steam locomotive and sometimes, but much more rarely with a class 691 Pacific.
The train, after completing the engine swap and customs operations, then departed for Milan Central Station. On arrival in Milan, two sleeping cars - coming from Lyon and from Ostend (this coach came to Milan by a train passing through the Gotthard line) - were coupled to the Simplon-Orient-Express.
Our train needs to go…
The 685 Caprotti, lets off steam, whistles and clanks over the rails to begin its journey to Verona and Venice. As the train travels along the Po Valley, let’s take a look inside one of the most luxurious CIWL cars: the sleeping car WL - Luxor class. The carriages were built between 1928 and 1929 in 90 units, some in France, by Entreprises Industrielles Charentaises Aitre La Rochelle) and partly in England, by the Metropolitan Cammel Carriage & Wagon Company Ltd, Saltley, Birmingham. These luxurious cars boasted walls beautifully decorated with inlaid wood, designed by English craftsmen: of particular note are the sinks enclosed in a curvilinear cabinet with two doors.
The “Express” (as it’s called by Italian railroad workers) arrived in Verona, at the same time as another CIWL train - the Wien-Cannes Express. The train was inaugurated between 1923-1924 – and rose from the ashes of the St. Petersburg-Cannes Express. The train’s carriages gathered passengers on sleepers from Warsaw, Bucharest, Budapest and Strasbourg (a pair from each city except Vienna), and the train journeyed to the French Côte d'Azur through the Italian Riviera. At its head was normally a class 685 steamer. Verona station was a notable staging post for luxury trains, with the Simplon-Orient adding to the Wien-Cannes, for example, which ran from Trieste to Paris and Calais.
There were many "fast" connections at this time and the addition of Pullman cars to express trains of the Italian railways. From Verona - for example, a traveller could also continue to cities like Rome, Ancona, Syracuse and Palermo. But we’ll talk more about that later.
We leave Verona with the Wien-Cannes toward Milan. On the way we stop to have lunch in the dining car which was built in 1925 to be used with the new sleeping cars. It’s of metal construction. This coach has 42 seats divided into seven modules, with tables of two or four places. Other dining cars, especially in France, are organised with an internal arrangement of 52/56 seats, only to be used for occasional services.
We arrive at Milano Centrale. We take a look at the board to find the two Pullman cars going direct to Genoa, Livorno and Montecatini. These passenger coaches alternated with another four sister-carriages used in a pool for the Gotthard-Pullman-Express – which journeyed to Milan-Zurich/Basel. Once we find our train, we take our place in one of the four cars. We leave Milan heading for the Italian Riviera. In front of us is a steam locomotive, a class 685 that will stay with us up to Genoa.
The Pullman cars are CIWL’s crown jewels: the first carriages were conceived in 1926 and they represented the perfect combination of luxury and functionality. These carriages carried travellers bound to and from London from/to Paris and terminated/commenced their journey at Calais. Passengers in England would travel in equally opulent English Pullman Company cars.
… the steam locomotive makes its entry into Genoa's Piazza Principe Station. Here our coaches are connected to the CIWL train Rome-Express, from Calais to Rome.
The Rome-Express was considered one of the most important of CIWL trains because in 1883 it was the main method of contact between the West and the East. In fact, this train continued its journey from Rome to Brindisi where passengers could take the connections by sea to the Middle East, Africa and India. The train was finally surpassed in the '20s by the Simplon-Orient-Express that made the connection by land without changes.
In Genoa, the train arrived with an Italian three-phase electric locomotive. However this was changed for a steam locomotive, which continued with the train to Livorno. Steam was used due to the frequent failure of the electrical power lines. Traction would often be in the hands of a class 686.
Added to the train would be one of the last of the old teak sleeping cars. Behind this would be two sleeping cars of Y-type. These cars represented the largest class built for the most part in Italy (Ansaldo Breda) and divided into four variants, based on the arrangement of the booths. These sleeping cars were numerous - 270 units were built. They survived until the ‘80s, when they assumed the livery of TEN (Trans-Euro-Night).
It’s now time for us to end our reminisces as we let the Rome-Express continue its journey to the Italian capital. But lets take a look at what happened to those beautiful cars...
CIWL to the present day: Venice-Simplon-Orient Express
Unbelievable but true, Murder on the Orient-Express rekindled worldwide interest in the great luxury trains of the '30s. In 1977 an era ended and another began when Monte Carlo staged one of the most extraordinary auctions in railway history.
CIWL’s luxury cars were put under the gavel - its entire fleet of cars built between the two world wars. Possible buyers included the main European railway networks and private enterprises. Among the latter was James Sherwood, a native of Kentucky. He had deep pockets and emptied them of sixteen million dollars when purchasing fifteen carriages. Sherwood beat an extraordinary rival, King of Morocco, Hassan II. His aim was to revive the famous train of the Poirot mystery. Five years later on August 7, 1982, the first luxury “cruise” service begun between Venice and Paris with the reborn Orient-Express, renamed Venice-Simplon-Orient Express (VSOE).
The train was still made up of eleven sleeping cars, nine of the Luxor class and two of the S class; two service carriages, belonging to the Y-type and modified for staff; and four Pullman cars with a living room and restaurant section. In recent years the company has purchased additional carriages currently awaiting restoration in Venice Mestre. The train is now the flagship of the British company Belmond Ltd, which manages other trains and hotels for luxury tourism all over the world. The train travels regularly between March and September. The train is a living legend – a real reminder of the great trains of the ‘30s and one that draws attention and people from all around the world.
More info, Belmond.com/vsoe
CIWL Luxor class sleeping car
One of the first CIWL steel-made sleeping cars. No 3309 of the Swiss class. The carriage is normally part of the VSOE
CIWL’s luxury cars were put under the gavel - its entire fleet of cars built between the two world wars. Possible buyers included the main European railway networks and private enterprises.
Perhaps the most famous and interesting carriage in the VSOE rake... it's the ballroom car, where travellers can dance the night away to a piano player whilst sipping on a cocktail
The VSOE is stopped at Buchs Station in Switzerland in Aug 2016. Between Venice and Calais the train runs along the Arlberg line from Innsbruck to Feldrich. It then passes through Lichtenstein up to Buchs. where a pair of Austrain OBB locomtives will replace the Swiss one.
Take a look at the trailer to the best rendition of Murder on the Orient Express
"When I was nine, I remember watching Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (1974), directed by Sidney Lumet. It was love at first sight..."
The Campaigne Internationale des Wagons-lits (CIWL) carriages have been produced by various model manufacturers. Let’s start with the Italian Rivarossi company – now part of Hornby International. Rivarossi initially produced a significant number of passenger cars mainly for the French market. In the early part of this century after Hornby’s acquisition of the Lima-Rivarossi group, there was a return to producing CIWL passenger coaches. The classic luggage Fourgon three-door restaurant cars in 1925 and 1925R types; the Luxor class sleeping cars; and various Pullman cars of all kinds were made available.
Modellers who wanted other car variants turned to the French company Jouef which produced another type of sleeping car which belonged to the class Y. It was only in 2011 when the French firm LS Models began to pull together a new set of CIWL coaches with completely new molds, which featured numerous innovations, that a much more comprehensive model line-up was available.
When it comes to the older prototype CIWL teak cars, for example, there’s a wide range of models available via Liliput, Hobbytrain and Trix – which can permit modeling of reasonably accurate specific CIWL trains.
My rake is composed of seventeen carriages, of the '20s and '30s era. They are made by Rivarossi and LS Models. There are some differences compared to the current train that’s operating on the real rails because I wanted to add carriages which were part of the large trains run by the CIWL between the two world wars. Thus my train is a composite between the contemporary VSOE Orient-Express and former CIWL trains.
At the front and rear of the train, we have two three-door luggage compartments (Fourgon) used for staff
There are four Pullman cars which make up the restaurant and lounge section of the train. Included here are a dining car class 1925 and a Pullman car with a bar service (former Flèche d'Ôr) entirely blue liveried.
There are six sleeping cars of WL Luxor class, a WL Y class and two WL S class.
I decided on presenting CIWL’s cars from every era – hence you’ll see the newer blue carriages dating from the ‘30s and the older teak cars dating back to the turn of the century. My train can circulate in all European countries except Great Britain (where there is the British Pullman run by Belmond) and Spain because of the country’s different gauge (known as Iberian Gauge at 1668mm (just over 5’5”). So what’s up front? It’ll be a large European steam locomotives (of Pacific or Mikado type) up to the most modern electric locomotives (for example, the French BB.26000, the Italian E.444R, E.656, E.402A and E.402B, the Austrian Rh.1116, the Swiss Re.4/4 and Re.460, the German Br.120, or the Czech ČD 362).
MODELLING THE ORIENT EXPRESS
Want to enjoy the splendour and grandeur of the Orient-Express everyday, well you can in HO (or other scales). Francesco Bochicchio takes us through some of the models that are available and make up his piece of timeless glamour.
Words & pictures Francesco Bochicchio & Andrea Sosio
Words John Shepherd
Pictures Andrew Beveridge
Title: 23 Temple Street
Joshua Smith is an Australian urban artist whose miniature works of art are taking both the art world and the model world by storm
HAPPY CHRISTMAS & HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR!
MODEL ARTIST JOSHUA SMITH
Where did your interest in art stem from and specifically your work as a miniature artist?
I have always been interested in art and creating ever since I was a child. I remember when I was very young Mum giving me cardboard cereal boxes to make things out of. As I grew up I loved building with Lego and by the time I was a teenager I was creating and exhibiting my own stencil artwork. This lead to studying Graphic Design at University and then launching and running my own successful Art Gallery called Espionage Gallery for four years. After four years I wanted a bit of a change, and after a year I delved into making miniatures.
Your work tends to focus on urban buildings and artworks - we'd probably call them dioramas (!) - why this focus?
I am fascinated by the urban decay of old buildings. Everything from the rust and grime to discarded cigarettes all tells a history and a story of a building or environment. I choose to focus on the often overlooked aspects of the city.
There's also an obvious nod toward Hong Kong in terms of imagery and text as seen on the walls of your structures, why so?
I have had a long love of Hong Kong cinema and the architecture and urban Sprawl of Hong Kong. For decaying old buildings Hong Kong is the obvious choice.
We note you have a love of Hong Kong films, where did this come from and why?
In Australia there is a TV station called SBS which programmes foreign TV and films. Often they would showcase Hong Kong cinema, specifically films of the Kung Fu or Action genre and I fell in love with Hong Kong as a result.
Where does the specific inspiration come from for a particular creation? Do you work from photographs and real buildings and to what extent do you use your creativity to alter, re-direct and re-inform?
When I started out it was being inspired by buildings I either saw in real life or using Google Maps. Now I try and get as close to an accurate representation as possible with a few small minor details changed. With my work it is more of a focus on getting the look and feel of an area right rather than a 100% accurate representation.
How long does it take to make one of your structures?
It really depends on the complexity involved. Most facades take two-three weeks to build working 8-16 hour days but some builds like the Temple Street miniature can take up to three months to build.
Where did you learn and develop the skills and techniques needed to make such small creations?
I am more or less completely self-taught. I try and learn from doing and trial and error rather than copying others. OFT: How did you get the graffiti so accurate? JS: I worked with two graffiti artists Xeme & Yumoh from Hong Kong who approached me when I was building the miniature. I was already aware of their work as they are very prominent on the Hong Kong graffiti scene. They sent me photos of their graffiti and allowed me to recreate their work using stencils and spraypaint.
What materials do you in your construction?
Three millimetre and six millimetre MDF is my go to for structural walls and the base, one-millimetre card for detailed sections such as window frames and paper and black card for really detailed sections. I also use a lot of Plastruct for things like the pipes on the buildings. Corrugated card is also used a lot for roofing and roller doors.
Do you use CAD?
i've never used CAD. I am aware of it and roughly how it works but I have not been trained in how to use it or worked out how to use it myself. It would most likely be a valuable asset so in time I will most likely train myself in how to use it.
How do you model the most minute of details?
Reference photos and patience are everything. I will gather as many reference photos as possible to make sure that the detail is as close as possible.
Where does the patience come from to spend so much time on your projects?
I guess doing stencil art for 17 years taught me how to have an incredible amount of patience. Being able to sit down in front of a stencil for hours on end hand cutting something really focuses you.
Do you look to the model railroad world for tips or techniques?
I certainly admire and promote what other modellers and railroad modellers do. I sometimes look at how they do specific things such as grass or weeds but am fascinated by anything to do with miniatures and or scale modelling.
Do you think that some of work created by model railroaders worldwide could be an art form and could indeed re-invent itself in part as such, in terms of the craftsmanship, attention to detail and creativity of those that participate?
Most definitely! Model rail road enthusiasts have been doing what I do for years but unfortunately most of the public sees it as a hobby rather than an art form. For me personally knowing all the intricacies that go into it all these people are artists in their own right.
Have you had contact from railroad model makers?
It is certainly something that has happened since I started. I went to a model railroad expo last year and showed a bunch of people what I do. Because I work in 1:20 scale though a lot of them admired my work but didn't think that I would be able to create things specifically for them.
What other buildings/areas of the world would you like to turn your attention to?
I am working with a photographer in Tokyo and another in LA to use their photos as a base for making miniatures for future exhibitions. I have had people worldwide get in touch with ideas on what to make next and am open to most ideas providing the subject matter is either covered in rust, grime or decay.
If there was one building that you could make what would it be and why?
Gawler Chambers which is a building in Adelaide. Every time I walk past it I know at some point in my life I have to make a miniature of it.
Have you ever thought of creating sci-fi/fantasy structures?
At this stage it is real world only but that might change. I did have an idea for some Star Wars structures which is on the backburner at the moment. I recently came across another miniature artist who is building a scratchbuilt miniature backdrop which is Bladerunner-inspired for his Spinner car.
Where have you exhibited and where can people see your work?
I have exhibited with Muriel Guepin Gallery in NYC and San Francisco, Westbank Gallery in London, Next Street Gallery in Paris and other exhibitions in Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. I am currently working towards an exhibition in Hong Kong and also talking with galleries in LA.
What are your plans for the future?
Keep creating! I really want to get a solo exhibition in Hong Kong but for the next two years I have exhibitions in Adelaide, Sydney and Arizona in the United States.
Could you provide a number of tips that modellers could use in their work?
The majority of the weathering I do for my work is done using chalk pastels crushed into a fine powder and then applied using a soft brush by dry brushing or a fine tip brush with a little water. For replicating rusty and grimy metal I first dust it using a dark grey or black to do the shadows then a burnt umber colour to do the rust sections. I then use a graphite pencil along any edges to get a scraped metal look. Photo references are key for perfecting
I really want to get a solo exhibition in Hong Kong but for the next two years I have exhibitions in Adelaide, Sydney and Arizona...
For more on Joshua Smith www.iknowjoshuasmith.com
Youtube video C/O Henry Thong
Title: Republic Dumpster
"Model railroad enthusiasts have been doing what I do for years but unfortunately most of the public sees it as a hobby rather than an art form'
Woodland Scenics Just Plug Lighting System
Adding light to your model railroad adds a new dimension to the operating experience and the fun of watching trains run, but how easy is it? John Shepherd finds out that it can actually be quite simple (ish) as he gets to grips with Woodland Scenics Just Plug® Lighting System.
I’d wanted to add lights to my nineteen-fifties Southern Pacific Western Division-based model railroad but had thought it far too complicated for a relative beginner to the hobby. All that wiring, switches, LEDs, and just how do you fit lights to poles and inside building? After much scratching of head and Youtube watching I came across Woodland Scenics Just Plug Lighting System.
You may recall that I wrote an article previously on why I ventured into modelling American railroads in a past edition and that my efforts were far from permanent. At the time they actually took up a space on the floor! Didn’t really want to try to add lights to that set-up... In hindsight the pike’s residence was a little paradoxical as in the loft was my late Uncle’s OO layout. Now this was nearly finished and ran around the perimeter of the large space (the property being a bungalow). However, it hadn’t run for nearly a decade, although I did manage to get a line working to remember him by… Just before Christmas I decided that as a train lover and fellow modeller Uncle wouldn’t (probably) mind a little Americanisation of his creation… And so I began gradually removing what had been built and then converting the train tables so that they could stage the SP.
I used foam insulating boards and cut them to fit on top of the tables and this made adding the lights a lot easier (the joins in the boards could be conduits and could be scene-icked over, for example). A trip to Sheffield N England saw me pop into Rails (a famous store) and I purchased a kind of get-illumination-starter-kit – this included a Woodland Scenics’ Power plug (this can power up to 50 lights), Lights & Hub Set (this has four light ports and comes with two warm LED stick on lights. You can purchase additional Hubs as separate items, for reasons that will be explained); Auxiliary Switch to switch the lights on and off (which you don’t actually need initially as I found out with just the one hub – this plugs into the control port on the Hub); and a pack of Wooden Pole Street Lamps (3-pack), which seemed to look like they would work as yard lights. It is actually relatively easy to set the lights up. Using just one port on the hub – of which there are four - you can connect three streetlights, for example. Each light comes with red and black wires (positive and negative,) and you simply wrap the respective colours together at their ends - - to form one chord (one black, one red) for the three lights that you plug into the supplied Linker Plug and then into one of the Hub’s individual port’s push-fit sockets. You can control the brightness of the lights by turning a small dial next to each port – the dimmer switch. (Do this before burying the Hub under your boards er… someone learnt the hard way). The stick on lights are even simpler in that you attach the attached linker-socket straight into another free port on the Hub and you’re ready to go – well, that’s after you’ve run the cables to where you want them on your layout. I decided on one in the roundhouse (a Banta Modelworks laserkit of the Port Costa prototype and the other in a Walthers sandhouse, which I was using as an outbuilding in the yard (being a novice I didn’t realise that the light could bleed through small gaps, but mote disconcertingly filter through the plastic shell of the building – I now, know a bit about what to do to stop this happening). What was not so easy for me was the ability – should you wish – to extend the height of the street lamp poles. This, I guess, is something that you would do if you wanted to model a street with taller builders which would require taller lights or a bigger yard. You are supposed to be able to thread the wires from the main lamp (with bulb) thought the extension pole. This I could not manage. Now there must be a way to do this, but I just kept catching the wires inside the poles, so that they would not peep out the end. In hindsight this did not matter (really) as the lower level poles seem to look okay on the layout. (Although I had examined pictures of SP yards from John Signor books and they did look taller in reality). Note the length of cable is, for example, two feet for the warm LEDs, so you can reach quite a way into your layout. (Again I’d suggest that someone who knew what they were doing could easily splice additional cable onto this if required – it’s 30AWG Gauge wire ).
The Switch operates on a rocker basis and enables you to switch on the lights independently to the power supply. This fits into a specific port which requires you to remove a plug to make the port live. With one Hub, you can get a way with using the main’s plug to control your lighting – as I noted previously for a small scale lighting set-up you don’t necessarily need it. However, the Just Plug system enables multiple Hubs to be joined together by use of an Extension Hub. This can connect up to four Hubs, thus offering 16 possible lighting options (and apparently maxes out, again as mentioned, at a possible 50 lights potential from the one electrical supply). The Switch/Switches (of up to three more) can then control zones or even individual building’s lighting, for each Hub, should you desire.
Well after a little frustration…
When I switched on the lights I got a great sense of “well, that looks quite good” and I must get some more of the wooden light poles. (Okay, I’ll be honest I did break one trying to thread those darn wires through. I must have caught the LED – they are therefore delicate.)
As you can see from the shots the lights do add that other dimension and add a little railroad magic. I hope that my novice-status commentary on the Just Plug Lighting System will help others in a similar position answer the Let there be light conundrum, and may show more experienced modellers that there is a kit-based way to add illumination to your models. Woodland Scenics also offers vehicles that can be connected to the system – so working head and tail lamps I believe, and that sounds like something fun to add…
Note: these are my experiences of using the Just Plug Lighting System, I hope I have explained it well enough, but there are numerous detailed videos available (as there are additional related products)
"let there be light"
Words & Pictures John Shepherd
Plugged it in & Played with it!
As you can see from the shots the lights do add that other dimension and add a little railroad magic
Pic: Mike Armstrong
tsgmultimedia's John Abatecola and Dan Cortopassi talk trains and much more and why there may be more goofing around!
Where did the idea for tsgmultimedia come from and can you tell us what your channel is all about? (Comments by John unless indicated.)
tsgmltimedia’s train-related channel is “about trains, model trains, and making videos about trains". What most people do not know is that tsgmultimedia has been providing professional production for local companies and individuals in Silicon Valley since 1998. It wasn’t until 2005 that we started to release train and railroad-related content. We started out with commercial releases on DVD and VHS. In 2007 we started the YouTube channel as a vehicle to publicise the commercial releases. At some point within the next five years we realised that YouTube could be its own platform for railroad/train content, so we started to publish exclusive content to YouTube. YouTube now accounts for at least half of our efforts when it comes to train-related content we release.
When did you produce your first video and what was it on?
Caltrain 2005 was our first railroad-related release. It’s about Caltrain, which is our local commute service, and its rail connections in 2005.
What have been your most successful video productions and have any surprised you in terms of their success? You probably have topics that you know are going to be more successful than others…
Our modeling “how-to” videos are the most popular commercial releases. On YouTube, our most popular releases currently are Model Railroading 101 and our Layout Tours series. One somewhat surprisingly successful series has been Chasing Trains! because it was created almost by pure accident when John just started rolling the camera on a road trip. Once he started filming what we were doing, he knew he had to edit the clips all together because some of it was too funny not to share with our audience. What was surprising about it is that we usually like to plan our programmes a bit more carefully than that, so to have something that was really off the cuff like that get a lot of views is pretty cool.
Could you tell us a little a bit about your backgrounds? How did you guys meet?
We are both musicians. Dan’s ex knew the singer from John's band and we met at a party in 1989. You may not realise it, but 99 percent of the music that plays in our programs was written by Dan. He released a CD with 12 songs on it in 2014 that we both played on. The songs with only guitar are usually older recordings Dan already had that fit well in the videos when they were edited.
For those who don’t know what are your specific roles in tsgmultimedia?
Dan is the train guy. John is the video guy. Dan’s creative input and expertise in modeling makes him the expert on all things trains. Dan also creates most of the additional graphic content in our commercial releases as well as the thumbnails for our YouTube videos. John handles all the technical phases and facets of production. Everything from arranging dates and times to cover events or layouts, to lighting, to audio production, editing, encoding, uploading, managing the YouTube channel, and a lot more.
Could you share some milestones in TSG’s history? We note you’ve just got 10,000 subs.
The release of our first commercial programme was a very early major milestone. In addition to that, having our programs aired on RFD-TV, migrating to HD, having our content added to www.trainmasters.tv and reaching 10K subscribers on YouTube are the biggest milestones up to this point.
Do you exclusively make your living from train related video production or do you do other jobs?
Dan does art and John does video production for hire, like weddings and other events.
Did you start off thinking that tsgmultimedia would be as successful as it is?
That depends on how you define success. We’re only starting to see some of the things we want to accomplish. Getting to 10,000 subscribers on YouTube was pretty cool, but this question would be better for when we eclipse 100,000 subscribers. It will take some time, but we will get there.
What are your plans for the future?
We would love to see our channel become the premier place for viewers to get model railroading information on YouTube, for one. There are a lot of great modellers out there who do good work, but not everyone has the means or know-how to produce videos in which the viewer can see and hear everything clearly.
Have you been to other countries to experience railways; any plans to do so, or indeed would you like to? Indeed are there any railways or locos, outside of the States that you’d like to shoot?
John: I was in Italy in 2011 and not only got to rail-fan there for a day, but also got a cab ride between Rome and Naples on a commute train. There’s a four part series called Italian Cab Ride on the YouTube Channel that features the footage I took. It’s not to the same quality standard that our current productions are, but it was a great experience and makes for an unusual bit of content for the channel. I don’t know about Dan, but I would love to go to the UK, other parts of Europe, and even “down under” to document the trains in those places.
Dan: I have not done any rail photography outside the US as yet. I would love to have the opportunity to do so in the future. All of it would be new to me, so I would enjoy any type of train. It would be fun to see a Garratt, though.
Do you see more younger people coming into the hobby in the US or is the train fan running on borrowed time? We started Off the Tracks to try to engage with traditional fans but also to try to attract some younger ones as well by using social media…
YES, absolutely, there are a lot of younger people finding railroad-related hobbies, whether it be prototype rail fanning or modelling. John wrote a short blurb about this for our Facebook page within the past couple of years. The way they do it is evolving, but there is definitely interest. The biggest challenge facing preservation organisations and hobby product providers is that they need to figure out how to reach the “new blood” in the hobby. It seems like young people find it awkward to meet in person once a month in a dusty room to watch a slide show like the traditionalists do. The younger people have to be found on social media. We are aware of many young modellers that are in their teens or twenties, and many of them are doing incredible work. Younger people have different ways of finding each other and interacting, much of it on-line.
Could you give an overview of the model railroad set-up in the US. To us it seems that there are clubs everywhere… as indeed there are in the UK, for example?
It varies quite a bit. In our area, there are several preservation groups that acquired historic buildings. Many of those buildings then became homes to model layouts. There are also some very well-done private layouts. Layouts vary tremendously. Some clubs have large layouts that are more for display, maybe only loosely following a prototype if at all. Other clubs try to reproduce a particular railroad line. Personal layouts vary from the very small, maybe a module or two, to very large. We recently shot a layout tour on a home layout with four decks! Some people follow a prototype and some do not. It is a personal choice influenced by a person’s interests and goals. Some people like to build and rarely even run trains, others focus on operation, and some do everything.
Are train fans too serious? We noted the comments on your BNSF steam specials on you April podcast, for example?
A lot of people take themselves way too seriously, but that is not exclusive to train fans. We are always wary of “experts” who think they know more than they actually do and like to nitpick other people. On the other hand, many people in the hobby have become very educated on particular railroads that interest them. There is room for everyone. At the end of the day, though, it is important to remember that this is a hobby. It is supposed to be fun.
We like you guys (!) as you inject fun into the hobby and show the social side too which can be lost through counting rivets or discussing CVs (!) do you think people want more of that content?
People seem to like the content we have been providing. We are just being ourselves and trying to have fun creating content that looks and sounds good enough to share. We compliment each other and help keep our content from becoming boring.
What’s a typical day for you guys… are you working on videos and travelling around 24/7?
A typical production day depends entirely on what programme or programmes we need to work on. We generally do a full eight-hour production session (as in filming all the clips we need) one day which is followed by another full day of editing and creating the additional graphic content needed to publish the content. If we are on a road trip or producing a layout tour, it varies quite a bit. The one thing that stays the same, though, is that there is a LOT of additional work that takes place after we are done filming on any given day. Nothing ever comes out polished without actually doing the work. John has talked about this a lot over the years on our podcast, emphasising that recording is actually a very small part of what has to take place in order to create the kind of quality content we can be proud of.
What should we be looking out for over the forthcoming months?
One really exciting upcoming release will be about a very well-known HO Scale layout that was built by renowned historian and author Jack Burgess. He has an amazing museum quality private layout of the Yosemite Valley that is not only specific to a year but down to the month. He models the Yosemite Valley in August of 1939. This layout has been the subject of many articles in print media and there is also some video content on it floating around out there as well. We hope our layout tour will be the ultimate documentation of this amazing work of history and art that everyone will want to see. We are also nearing completion on a series about N scale DCC installs in steam locomotives that will be released commercially sometime in the Summer or Fall of 2017.
Chasing Trains seems to be a topic of debate re content re style – “travelogue vs goofing around”… is goofing around the winner from now on?! Is a new goofing off series in the offing?
The goofing around episodes of Chasing Trains! seem to be more popular, but what people need to understand is that we cannot go on road trips 12 months out of the year. The “travelogue” format of some of the more recent episodes was done this way because Dan was able to record some really great footage in places we do not usually go to. Because John was not able to go on that trip, and because most of the footage for Chasing Trains! is usually recorded by him, we had to come up with an alternative way to share it. Dan was still chasing trains, but no one was there to stick the camera in his face to get the very unscripted kind of “character study” clips John seems to have a way of getting. The goofing around episodes will always be produced after we go on road trips together. We recently made a trip to Tehachapi to gather content we need for an upcoming commercial release about the Union Pacific Mojave Subdivision that runs from Bakersfield, California to Mojave, California. While we were out and about, John was busy doing his thing. A “goofing around” Chasing Trains! episode that was filmed on that trip will be released this summer... and is about an hour long!
Do you both have model railroads at home?
John: Not anything of note. I have a couple of complete train sets (one HO and one N Scale). I also have a box that contains some of the pieces from an old Tyco train set, and a small collection of HO Scale trains from Italy from the 1970s.
Dan: At the moment I’m living in a small place so I only have a small HO modular layout. It works but it’s really too small to be useful for anything besides photography. I am planning to build something larger, and I am hoping to move into a larger place soon, so we’ll see. I have more model trains than I can count. I’m not sure I really want to know how much is there. I think I’d scare myself.
Do you have any tips for filming your model railroad at home?
John: Use a tripod or some other camera-stabilising device, light the area of interest well with uniform lighting, and use manual controls for your camera.
Dan: A tripod and lighting are essential. For stills, I use the smallest aperture I can and set my camera for a long timed exposure. Using the camera’s timer or some kind of remote release is very important so that there is no camera shake. The small aperture gives the best depth of field. This only works for things that aren’t moving, however.
Anything else you would like to add?
We would love for your readers to check out our website, view our content on www.trainmasters.tv and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
"A typical production day depends entirely on what programme we need to work on..."
TRAINS & MORE
Off the Tracks catches up with the guys behind one of the most widely watched YouTube train channel's tsgmultimedia
Dan & John
Southern Pacific GP35R in HO
Pic Dan Cortopassi
SOO Line 2-8-0, Wisconsin
Pic: Dan Cortopassi
"Once he started filming what we were doing, he knew he had to edit the clips all together because some of it was too funny not to share with our audience..."
"We would love to see our channel become the premier place for viewers to get model railroading information on YouTube..."
Union Pacific C45AC. Oregon
Pic Dan Cortopassi
WSMR 2-8-0 ,No 734, Frostburg, Maryland
Pic Dan Cortopassi
Soviet Steam Scene
Steam preservation is alive and kicking worldwide, but how many know that the scrapping of steam locomotives is now banned in the Ukraine? Indeed for many of us, Soviet-era steam is a little known topic. Alex Sarcev aka Asartsev enlightens and provides some history...
If you asked the question: what was the most numerous locomotive in world history? What would you say? The answer may surprise it's the Soviet cargo locomotive of the "Э" series. Nearly 11,000 of these steam engines were produced (10,853 to be precise) between 1912 and 1957.
The "Э" steamers were of relatively simple constructively, but powerful and speedy, and were capable of running on a worn rails. The profligate "Э" class were involved in all the USSR’s military victories and defeats, including the Civil war, WWI and WWII and the Finnish War.
The "Э" locomotives were produced by both the USSR and numerous foreign plants: in 1920 700 units were ordered from German plants (AEG, Hanomag, MGK, Krupp and others) whilst 500 units were produced in Sweden care of NOHAB. A batch were also produced in Poland between 1946-1957 (Tsegelski); from the Czech Republic (CKD and Skoda); and also on account of reparations after WWII by former allies of Nazi Germany - Romania (Resitsa, Malax) and Hungary (MAVAG).
The "Э" class were 0-10-0s (0-5-0 in Russian wheel’s formula) and were constantly improved upon. They were USSR’s main workhorse for freight traffic. Different modifications of the locomotives meant varied capacity from 920hp to 1,300hp and maximum speeds ranging from 55kph to 65kph. The locomotives also worked on Russia's two main gauges - standard 1524mm and narrow 1435mm.
Steaming into the 21st century
Coming up to date it's not possible to be entirely sure how many of the "Э" locomotives (and others) still survive in former Soviet territories - the now independent countries such as Belarus, Russia and Ukraine - but many do. For example, in Ukraine it was due to forethought, a poor economy, and the threat of large scale military conflict that contributed to the preservation of the "Э" engines. Why military considerations? It was assumed that a war would result in the destruction of electrified railways and problems with the supply of diesel fuel for diesel locomotives so steam locomotives were seen as the least vulnerable. They were therefore stored to preserve the potential functionality of the railway system. Another factor that contributed to the maintenance of steam engines was their use for the steam heating of railway buildings, such as depots, and warehouses. So as of May 2017, it is known that at least five locomotives of the "Э" series are still being used as boilers on the Odessa railway (a branch of the Ukrzaliznitsya, Ukrainian state railway company).
In the last decade, the historical and tourist value of steam locomotives has also been recognised in Ukraine. Consequentially a search was made for steam traction of all types, regardless of technical condition. Subsequently steam engines have, as in many countries around the world, become important reminders of the past as they are brought back to operational condition. Locomotives came from the State railway company, local authorities, and privately owned sources, even those which were "ownerless". Many have been restored since 2016 by the heritage division of Ukrzaliznitsya and since 2008 by the public association the "Ukrainian Railway Heritage Association", and like many places around the world by enthusiasts.
Such has been the interest in preserving steam, due to their tourist potential, as memorials to a past technological age, and as way to enhance the prestige of the railroad that in 2016 a moratorium was passed on the further scrapping of steam. locomotives in the Ukraine.
Words Alex Sarcev aka @asartsev
Pictures Alex Sarcev
Er-797-68, built by Hungarian factory MAVAG in 1953. Stock base Tsvetkovo (Cherkassy region, Ukraine), May 2017
The "Э" class were 0-10-0s
(0-5-0 in Russian wheel’s formula)
and were constantly improved
upon. They were the USSR’s main workhorse for freight traffic
E-787-46 after arriving at Kyiv-pas Station with excursion "St Nicolas' train" #897 from the station Darnytsa, January 2017. Being in preservation this locomotive is used for sightseeing trains during New Year, Christmas and other holidays
NUREMBERG TOY FAIR
Words Francesco Bochicchio aka @francesco_bochicchio & Andrea Sosio aka andrea.sosio
NURNBERG TOY FAIR REPORT
February 1 to 6 saw the long running Nurnberg Toy Fair in full swing. With 12 product sectors on offer Off the Tracks went to report on the best one (no emails please!) – the trains. We highlight what we liked and saw.
Words Andrea Sosio aka @andrea.sosio & Francesco Bochicchio aka @ francesco_bochicchio
There were no completely new-tooled models this year from Liliput, so it was left to revisions to existing models to draw attention.
Our highlights included the DB Br.218 diesel hydraulic and a complete diesel DB train Br.614.914, as would have operated in the fifth and sixth historical eras. We also liked the vintage locomotive DRG 701.408, and a new edition of the Br.52 2-10-0 “Kreigslok”, which was available in six versions for various markets, for example, Germany and Austria. These engines have an illuminated firebox, working headlights and a 21-pole NEM 660 decoder socket.
OO GB In terms of motive power we saw and liked the new class 57/3, which will be available in weathered DRS livery; the class 47/0 which will be delivered in West Coast livery; the class 450, 3-car DMU in South West Trains livery; and passenger car MKI TSO in Regional Railways livery. For G scale US outline we saw the “old-timer” 2-6-0 steam engine with the road name "Eureka & Palisade". A highlight of these models were the two optical sensors, one in each cylinder, that allow you to adjust the timing and count of steam chuffs.
Jägerndorfer Collection jagerndorfer.at
The fayre’s revelation for us. This company remains among the most important for the Austrian market. Siemens Taurus locomotives, reproduced in various advertising liveries caught our eye, and we liked the complete sets for CityShuttle and CityJet. OFB and ČD Railjet versions were also proposed. In N scale we liked the ÖBB Rh.1014 electric loco in Rail Cargo Austria livery. There was an interesting full configuration CAT train proposed.
The famous firm is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Trans Europe Express (TEE) with a limited production of the VTO85 four-car diesel set, for example. This will specifically be the TEE 185 Paris Rhur operation. It will be fitted with the mf+ decoder. Catching our eye also was a new version of the DB V.100 diesel locomotive in crimson red (era 111 – circa 1965). In terms of rolling stock the autotransortwagon-set “Goggo” der DB was impressive with its 30 vehicles. For German steam lovers the DB Br.42 might well end up on your layout - the superb model is rendered as it would look in 1950.
Products from Trix reflect those from Marklin - with the former producing two-rail versions of the majority of the latter’s 3-rail products.
Lux Modellbau, lux-modellbau.de
This Danish company displayed some new track cleaning wagons both in HO and N. If our Danish is correct (!) there are versions of these wagons for Marklin and Trix systems – (e.g. for HO part nos. 8830/8831). Also of note were some engines we believe
designed for slow switching.
Faller showcased many innovations and new kits/buildings for miniature landscapes. These included the Landwasser Viaduct (available summer ’17) and the north-south portals of the Simplon tunnel. The former is impressive being a replica of the 163-metre long, 65-metre-high real thing in the Swiss canton of Grisons. There were more developments in their Faller car system – new products are utilising new digital tech with their 3.0 series vehicles (if any readers have got this system and want to do a review?? Email us).
A few complete trains are available, for example, the Saratov Express; and the EuroCity 88 Bologna-München HBF in HO scale; and Thello Milan-Marseille in N scale. There was also a pre-production sample the of Frecciarossa 1000 – the Trenitalia high speed set that has been running on the prototype since 2010. (Our editor John, is a track and field coach and he spotted one of the 1000’s is named after former world 200m record holder Pietro Menea!). This is limited to 250 pieces and is an eight-car set.
There were some very beautiful and well-built models on display from Kato, such as The SNCF TGV 10-car Duplex Carmillon; the TGV Lyria; the Eurostar in the newer blue livery; and the stunning DB ICE4.
LS Models lsmodels.com
HO Highlights from this Belgian company included DB, CNL and ZSSK sleeping-cars (also reproduced in N scale), FS and SNCB Eurofima-cars; the Electric SNCF CC.40101; and the Electric locomotive SBB Bm.4/4.
These models’ interiors (where appropriate) are outstanding.
This Italian firm displayed some Italian Gran-Confort cars in numerous liveries and configurations. Also Siemens RZD carriages and RhB Allegra are offered.
Heljan displayed numerous DSB trains at Nurnberg. There were various DSB carriages and diesel locomotives of Mx/My type, representing the third and fourth eras.
Hobby Train (by Lemke) lemkecollection.de
For the N scaler - the firm was offering a complete version of ČD and ÖBB Railjet trains. And much to our HO delight CIWL’s train “Wien-Cannes Express”, in 1920’s configuration, with teak cars.
We were rather happy when we saw the company’s Luxor sleeping-cars of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express with pure gold decoration. Also noteworthy was the steam engine DRG Br.61.002.
We spotted Italian Gran-Confort cars in a new XMPR livery and FrecciaBianca configuration.
Rising star of Italian market, LEVEL showcased the first Italian Electric engine – the E.626 class in two different units, 089 and 075. Also present was the Italian E.646/E.645 class, the steam engine Gr.851, and the Electric train “Polifemo” or ETR.220
Piko’s announced a new RegioJet, PKP Cargo and MRCE Vectron and the German Br.03.2 Pacific in HO scale. Many of the new “Expert” range locos have sound with up to 28 functions.
For large scale fans LGB did not disappoint with the RhB G scale steam engine “Rhaethia”; the EMU “Allegra”; and salon-car AS1161. For US fans: the DRG&W was represented with the EMD F7A.
Faller's north-south Portals of the Simplon Tunnel
Lilliput's Br.52, 2-10-0 “Kreigslok”
Take a look at the Show & Faller credit Renynaulds.com
Peterborough South is a fictitious mainline station with large influences from the East Coast Mainline station Peterborough in the UK. Young UK rail fan Ben Naylor, who has near 3,000 instagram followers - tells us how it all started and where’s it’s heading.
Words Ben Naylor aka @modelrailway00)
Pictures Ben Naylor
From the age of five I was hooked on trains, my grandparents always used to take me by train from my hometown Stamford to Peterborough where we would spend the day watching the passing mainline stock and a variety of freight actions through the station. My layout has been heavily shaped upon these past memories. I acquired my first model train set at the age of 12, a brand new Hornby Flying Scotsman set, with a simple loop track and controller. Since then over the past 11 years the layout and stock has grown becoming what it is today.
Peterborough South began construction in November 2015 after my old childhood layout was taken up from the garage after more space in the loft became available (who’d not take up the chance of more space for a layout?). The layout itself is 10 feet by 10-feet and there’s space in the middle for me to operate. It has four main sections; Peterborough South Station on one side, with the adjacent section being a countryside scene with a small branchline section of the Birmingham line in the foreground. The sides of the layout are the main focal points for trains entering and exiting the station and changing to their appropriate routes. The layout’s core is a four track mainline around the perimeter, representing the main track style of the East Coast Mainline in an around Peterborough. There’s an up and down fast line in the middle with the two outer lines being an up and down slow for commuter trains and freight. Peterborough South is the main focus of my layout, specifically this is a nine-foot long five platform station which can hold a High Speed Train (HST) set with four coaches. This decision was mostly down to the fact that I wanted the station to be as long as possible thus allowing for me to run longer trains and make the layout feel larger.
As well as the main loop, there is also a small two track branchline off from the mainline which enters a small station that represents my hometown Stamford. I felt that I wanted to incorporate my memories into this layout – it’s on that very station where it all began. I never wanted the layout to be an exact copy of these areas as I wanted to include my own style and techniques to these sections. So between the branchline station and the mainline at the back is a simple two track goods loop to allow for small shunting procedures and freight trains to pause awaiting clearance into Peterborough South.
I originally wanted to model the mainline stock during the period when Great North Eastern Railway (GNER) operated the East Coast Mainline with services to and from London Kings Cross. But after some consideration I decided to push the barrier further beyond the end of GNER's tenure allowing me to basically run any modern image locomotive I choose. The primary consists are two pairs of Hornby HST and 225 sets, one of each in both GNER and East Coast liveries, allowing me to easily switch between multiple periods on the mainline before the current livery of Virgin Trains East Coast. I also have a Hornby Grand Central HST that has been decalled to its current orange stripe livery. These services mostly operate up and down the core of the layout with the occasional diversions when the mainline is closed for maintenance.
The DMU fleet is currently small, with a single 153 in East Midlands Livery and a Class 170 in Cross Country filling the rota. The 153 is used for the local service between Lincoln and Peterborough, terminating at the small bay platform on the west side of the station. The 170's main function is the common hourly service on the Birmingham line that stops through Stamford. In the future I would like to complete the main DMU fleet by acquiring Bachmann's Class 158 in East Midlands livery once it is released, adding to the depiction of the usual traction that passes through Peterborough on a daily basis.
As for freight locomotives, the East Coast Mainline hosts a wide variety of different services driven by a mixture of loco classes and liveries. With Peterborough being a major interchange from mainline to branchline a large assortment of trains can be seen. I currently own five class 66 locomotives, each in a different livery – English Welsh Scottish (EWS), Great Britain Ralfreight (GBRF), Db Schenker, Freightliner and Colas Rail. This allows for a variety of the core traction to be seen on the layout at any one time. The range of diesel locomotives extends with a pair of Class 92's (Db and Railfreight); a Class 67 (EWS) for thunderbird (rescue to our non-UK readers) duties; two 37's (DRS & EWS), with the main function of thauling he network rail rake; a class 60 in Railfreight Distribution; and a Class 70 in Freightliner livery that completes the roster. For shunting duties, a single 08 in EWS takes the reigns controlling all major movement around the layout.
No layout would be complete without a steam locomotive and Peterborough South is host to several. Being an ECML based layout, The Flying Scotsman and Mallard were first choices on the list. I currently own two Flying Scotsman's, one in London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) green and the other in British Rail green. The layout is also home to 60163 Tornado, 6233 Duchess of Sutherland and 61662 Manchester United. Their main duties are railtours consisting of a wide variety of coaches from BR Blue to Gresley teaks. But from time to time the layout takes a flash back and sees all of them running different services varying from freight to passenger. This layout and the rolling stock I have has given my a wide range of activities and fun, there is always something going on the layout at any one time.
I’m currently working on adding an extension at the back of the layout to form a long fiddle yard that is capable of storing all my trains that are not running on the layout. But rather than your typical fiddle yard with many lanes and no scenery, I felt it would be better to give it the feeling it’s more part of the layout. So I have set the plan out that it will function more like multiple depots than a normal fiddle yard in style. There will be lanes for the HST's and 225 sets as well as a small diesel depot area in the middle with the most near yard formation built for the steam locomotives and heritage railway traction. The fiddle yard itself will be bustling with scenery and features to make it feel attached to the layout rather than a plain board of wood with track sat on top.
The layout has also just started to be featured on YouTube with its own channel (Peterborough South). With a collective batch of followers from Instagram recommending myself to start a channel, I felt the time was right to give it a go and it has taken off really well with good feedback. I hope to do many more videos and have the satisfaction of people enjoying my content over the internet and media. Instagram is where it all began, I had seen many other layouts on there and decided to give it a try and since then the support has been amazing. I do see myself as an amateur modeller but with the help of the on-line community and people who have guided me, I feel I am learning more each day.
"No layout would be complete without a steam locomotive and Peterborough South is host to several"
ON THE NOSE - DOES THE US GG1 WIN THE BATTLE OF EARLY ELECTRIC TRACTION?
US Steam engines in Russia after WW2...
Get more Off the Tracks
Arado AR234 B Blitz
Words & Pics Cap't P Diddy aka Peter Nagy
Not as famous as the ME262 but the Arado AR234 B Blitz ("Lightning") was the world's first operational jet bomber and reconnaissance aircraft.
With a maximum speed of 735 kilometres (459 miles) an hour it easily eluded Allied piston-engine fighters. This AR234 B-2 served with bomber unit KG76 from December 1944 until May 1945 when British forces captured it in Norway. Turned over to the United States, it was brought to Wright Field, Ohio, in 1946 for flight testing. In 1949 it was transferred to the Smithsonian , which restored it in 1984-89. This Arado is the sole survivor of its type. It is on static display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (https://airandspace.si.edu).
Under the wings next to the jet engine you can see those interesting looking pods. These are Walter HWK 109-500 liquid-propellant rocket pods. RATO units - rocket assisted take-off. It was able to produce 500 kilogrammes of thrust for thirty seconds. After the fuel was used up, the pod was jettisoned and it returned to earth by parachute.
The jet was the last to German war plane to fly over Britain at the end of WW2.
We had to take a look, then another and then another, just to see how much we might need to pay to get our Merc repaired!
Go follow diorama_art
PACIFIC NORTH WESTERN
MAKE DRY WATER
CAN YOUTUBE SAVE
It's all about trains both on & off tracks...
ISSUE 1 JAN 2017 FREE
A stunning 493K
Preserved class 640
FOR THE WORLDWIDE RAIL FAN - MODELLERS, SPOTTERS & TRAIN GEEKS
04 Italian Stallion Class 640
06 French Fancy - Mallet
34 Museo Pietrasa - Italy's Train Museum
08 Southern Pacific Port Costa in HO
30 How to make dry water
16 Northwestern Pacific Ghosts
20 Gare de Lyon-Paracche
22 Italian legend's last run
24 Norway High 493km by train
08 The youtube phenomenon
OFF THE TRACKS
ON THE COVER
picture Doug Wallace
It sounded like a good idea at the time. How many of us have thought that only to perhaps ponder their self-spoken words of wisdom later. I had this idea of producing a digital, free magazine, from the inspiring and fascinating train and railroad content that instagram manifests.
Wouldn't it be great to see more and perhaps study it a little bit more leisurely? Scrolling means that many great images and superb model railway creations only get a few seconds of attention. And if you're following a few hundred other "traingramers' well, it's probably only a few nanoseconds of attention.
Me, I've been wowed by the rail-oriented content on instagram and intrigued. Now I'm a magazine editor (sports & fitness) in the real world - the light bulb came on and I thought "magazine". How hard can it ? I started to contact some of the people I followed and made the suggestion of perhaps sharing through a magazine project. It was great that virtually everyone responded positively. Obtaining content, by arm-twisting made me a feel a little like a school teacher asking for their pupil's homework. Hopefully, I' didn't chase too heavily!
Off the Tracks is very much a work in progress and a sampler of what it could be. I'm hoping that you guys will like what it's all about: the world of railroads (okay railways for us Brits), both on and off the tracks in prototype and model form.
Many thanks to all our contributors and many thanks to you for taking the time to have a look. Please copy the link left to distribute.
If you would like to supply material (words and pictures) on anything relevant to Off the Tracks then do let me know (I may go through this labour of love again!) and do make any comments.
John Shepherd aka modelrailroaderUK
Class 640 Steamer
Words Francesco Bochicchio
The 640 is a development of the 600 class of steam engine of the Italian Adriatic Company
In 1905 with the dawn of Italian State Railways, a need became apparent for new motive power and an express passenger locomotive. Before the 640 class came the 630's with their saturated steam and simple expansion system - the 600 class providing the foundations. In 1907 the 640's were developed and they manifested a major departure from the 600 and 630 classes in that they adopted the Schmidt super-heated system. The Italians were in fact swayed by the German manufacturer Schwartzkopff Berlin to do this. As well as super-heating the loco had two cylinders, simple exapnsion and reduced boiler pressure, which enhanced economy.
By 1911 the 640 class amounted to 169 units. They were well received by the state railway and their crews. And the design was very much a sea-change in Italian steam locomotive design, marking the way for simple expansion, superheated steam systems to become something of the norm.
Image (C) Francesco Bochiccio
Ooh-la-la!La Petite Mallet
This 0-6-6-0 Mallet has been toughing it out in the gorges and climbs of L'Ardeche, France since 1903. With 14 Bar boiler pressure and four double acting pistons the boiler operates at 200 degrees C and contains 4,000 litres of water. Listed as a historical monument - the locomotive was restored in 2013.
More info trainardeche.fr
RAIL MODELLING PHENOMENON
You take a look, like what you see (or not) and then make a decision whether to follow that channel or not, or just pop back from time to time to see what's been uploaded. If you follow a channel then you’ll get a notification of new programmes and uploads.
So who do you follow and who do you like when it comes to model railroads (and railways) on YouTube? Here are some that have entertained and inspired Off the Tracks
Subs 63,024 Views 4,066,504
Luke is perhaps the go-to "scenery guy". His videos are of top quality in terms of editing, delivery and pace. He must be good if 21,000 people watched a hedge making video in just two months - and there was not even a Big Boy in the background.
EricsTrains aka Eric Seagal
Subs 23,406 View 12,590,730
Great O gauge presentation with slick production. Uses tech to its fullest - has begun broadcasting live and has webcam access to his modelling days. Another younger face embracing and attempting to spread the word. Occasionally takes his show on the road - we are looking forward to his planned Lionel visit.
Info correct as at time of writing
Monster Railroad aka Al Mayo
Subs 15,000 Views 3,599,398
Breathes life into a hobby that can come over as stale. Music needs to be turned down sometimes - we guess, if you’re not an R’n’B guy, you may disconcerted! The world of railroads is however made up of many types and the soundscape beyond that of our decoders and our hobby should reflect that.
From Eric’s Trains to Monster Railroad, who’s getting your likes?
Today anyone wanting to find out about model railroading is blessed with a plethora of sources - one of which is of course instagram, the inspiration for Off the Tracks. The digital revolution has opened up a world that those a generation ago would have thought impossible and within the realms of Sc-Fi. YouTube is of course the main on-line repository of the meaningful, mindless, mad, manic and magnificent. As model railroaders YouTube can be a great source of inspiration, creativity, product knowledge and source of past and present railroad modelling information (not to mention a few million minutes of cats jumping up and down!).
32,458 Views 6,477,977
Perhaps the best "how to" man on the web. Richard Warren has been featured in the UK model railway press as the “Internet sensation”. Just a read through of his followers' comments will show you how much love there is for his OO Everard Junction and his channel. Richard is one of the youngest, “big” model railroad/railway YouTubers out there
SP IN THE UK
Well, my fascination with trains began when an uncle presented me with an old Triang set of odds and ends over 40 years ago. I can still recall setting up the gray plastic track on the backroom floor as my parents and brother looked on. Of the four of us it was me that got hooked. Like many boys growing up in the seventies I ended up with a substantial Triang/Hornby collection. Decades passed and I decided to get back into the hobby that had been such fun. I'd started going to heritage railways at home and abroad and that's what partly got me re-inspired, plus an uncle, who'd come into my life when I was an adult, who had a loft layout. So why American when it could have been British?
Well, when I was a boy, I recall going to the local sweet shop and seeing a model railway magazine. Together with my haul of sweets I grabbed the magazine and ran home. It was only when home that I realised I'd picked up a copy of Continental Modeller! What? And what was I looking at? To this day, despite I'm sure some great European content, I can only recall the Denver Rio Grande & Western layout depicted in glorious black & white - or perhaps that's my memory. There were huge locomotives - which at the time made no sense to me. How can they by 2-6-6-4, or whatever? I was even going to write to the editor. However, the impression had been seared into my memory and, so it was decades later that the idea of creating my own U.S. outline layout was born.
So it's the Southern Pacific then (of which more later) and specifically the transition era and elements of the Western/Coast divisions. It's amazing what you can learn when you have a bit of a passion and the internet and books. Ask me where Port Costa was a few years back and I'd have had no clue, now I even know about its importance at the time to the SP and have built a model of its now long gone roundhouse.
Words & pictures John Shepherd
port costa 1955
Port Costa is in Contra Costa County, California. The town's up and down existence was based very much around the railroad - first the Central Pacific and then then the S.P. The town was founded in 1879 as a ferry terminal to ferry trains and traffic across the Carquinez Strait. The first ferry the Solano was later joined by the Contra Costa. Trains ran via Port Costa from Benicia to Oakland Pier.
I was intrigued by this small facility, sandwiched between land and the Carquinez Straight with its numerous engines being serviced when I first came across it in pictures. This enthusiasm was further piqued by John Signor's excellent book SP's Western Division and by the fact that Banta Model Works also makes a laser kit of the roundhouse.
The Port Costa engine terminal was also of the right size that with some astute modellers' eye pruning might just be able to fit into what space I had available. In various pictures I'd seen cabforwards and MT4s, and various second generation diesels running by in the era I wanted to focus on - the transition one (mid fifties). I'm building my engine roster and am trying to stay reasonably true to the period I'm focusing on.
Broadway limited SD9 and AC4 an Athearn Genesis MT4 and Atlas SD11.
I have a P10 Pacific on order in Daylight colours (which when it takes up pride and place on the layout will be slightly out of era - the "baby Daylight" (often called as such when compared to the much larger 4-8-4 GS class) will sport Southern Pacific Lines on its tender and not the later years Southern Pacific. It'll run in its oh. so Californian sun - red and orange colours (something else that got me excited about the SP).
There is something appealing about the "color" of the SP (and I'd guess other U.S railroads) to a British modeller.
As I indicated previously I'm very much learning as I go along and am just ready to start to build the layout in part of my loft (the pic on the right is from there). I'm lucky that much bench work exists as my uncle had a OO gauge layout in the same loft in the property I've inherited.
Modelling the S.P and U.S outline has began to fulfill that enthusiasm I had when as a boy I picked up that Continental Modeller in error. Hopefully, I'll build something that does that enthusiasm proud, and my uncle should he be watching down - although what he'd make of a cabforward compared to his beloved British 0-6-0 Great Western Railway pannier tanks, I'm really not sure!
This strategic importance meant that Port Costa was on the main route of the transcontinental railroad. Up until 1930 traffic surged - bolstered also by the fact that the surrounding region was a major wheat producer. It was in this year that the S.P built the Martinez railroad bridge across the Carquinez Straight - reducing the strategic importance of both the town and the railroad facility and significantly speeding up traffic.
The original pre-bridge facilities included significant facilities for running passenger trains onto the ferries. Other infrastructure included a hotel and merchant shops and docks for the ferries. After 1930 these were either removed or fell into disrepair. Parts of the old passenger building were moved to add a freight building to an adjacent spur. The engine terminal remained with its 90-foot turntable and small two stall roundhouse and serviced engines for the rest if it's history. It became part of the SP's Western Division. Today nothing remains of this once vital facility.
WALKING THE LINE
At one time considered to be the most expensive to operate in the world, the Northwestern Pacific Railroad traversed the seismically active unstable slopes of the wild and scenic Eel River on its route paralleling the San Andreas fault to the heart of redwood country in far northwestern California.
The NWP opened in 1914 when the Southern Pacific Railroad and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway combined 42 railroads upon realising there would be only one route through the Eel River canyon. S.P took full ownership in 1929 and moved freight and passengers along the 271-mile line. But steep slopes constantly eroded trackbase and slid debris onto the tracks. Maintenance and operating costs skyrocketed. At times men would have to walk the track in front of the locomotives to ensure it was safe to pass.
By 1969 passenger service ended. Before the end of the century nature prevailed and landslides doomed the friable northern 200 miles of the line, leaving abandoned equipment and failing infrastructure, some 20 years after its demise. Today these aging relics are trapped, unwanted, and succumbing to the elements, yet exuding character as they mark the passage of time.
Words & pictures Doug Wallace aka La_Vida_Rhombi)
Gare de Lyon-Parrache
A visit to Lyon two years ago allowed for quite some train watching and some surprise discoveries. Who'd have known that tucked away in a corner of Gare de Lyon-Parrache they'd still be this old loco terminal and roundhouse.
You can take a TGV to Paris and Marseilles, for example, from Lyon-Parrache and the station is the end of the LGV Sud-Est line.
The station was build in 1855, and despite its grandiose appearance (it was built in the classical style), is no longer Lyon's number one station - that's now Gare de Lyon-Part-Dieu, where we took a direct Eurostar to London Waterloo.
Words Francesco Bochiccio Image (C) Francesco Bochiccio
The "Ponente Riviera" is an Italian territory between Genoa and the French Cote d'Azur and it's part of the Liguria region. On 1st November 2016 a historic train ran to commemorate the closure of the line between San Lorenzo al Mare and Andora by the coast after 144 years...
The idea to run a vintage train came from a collaboration between the Italian Foundation - the Italian institution that deals with preserving historical trains - and the Liguria Region, A new line almost all underground, begun operating this December.
The old coast line was completed in 1872. Steam powered traffic until May 1931 when it saw three-phase electric locomotives run until October of 1967. Up to closure the line saw the fastest electric locomotives - the E.444 class, jokingly called “Turtles”, and E.656's, called "Caymans".
The historic train was puled by E.264 locomotive no. 294 and E.428 class no. 202 with carriages "Corbellini" and "Centoporte" in original colours called "Castano-Isabella" - two different browns.
The Ligurian Coast, with its charming architecture and mystery has for years been a magnet for both rail fans and curious observers.
Unfortunately for us train fans the historical railway by the coast will remain an indelible memory.
The construction of the line was a monumental achievement by the navvies and engineers. There are more than 20 kilometres of tunnels, often hewn through solid gneiss and in very remote locations. The line is also so steep in places that the trains are fitted with multiple braking systems. In 1908, the first train completed the journey from Oslo to Bergen.
The whole route takes about seven hours, and for at least one of those you’re above the tree line and well away from any sign of civilisation. During the winter months the train is often packed with skiers, but even in summer it can be full. The summer is the ideal time to travel on it to reach hiking trails that have no other means of access – you’re likely to see substantial snow at the higher altitudes. When constructing the railway, the navvies carved an access road into the mountains for transporting materials, which is now known as the Rallarvegen (the Navvy Road). Cycling along it from Haugastøl all the way down to Voss is great fun, especially if you choose the downhill route when very little pedaling is required. You can hire bikes at the start of the Rallarvegen and also at Finse station.
At Myrdal there’s a junction with the Flåmsbanen branch line – one of the steepest railways in the world with eight stops for just 20 kilometres of line. The descent to Flåm station on the edge of the fjord below is so unhurried that the train even stops for passengers to look at a waterfall!
Whether you stay on the train and just admire the breathtaking views or alight at all of the mountain stops and explore, this is not only a voyage you’ll never forget but also one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world. We take a look at some of the stop en-route.
Once a farming community, Lysaker is now a residential area and part of Stor Oslo
Words Ben Love
This train journey will give you a great natural and real high! Starting from either Oslo or Bergen, the 4,893-kilometre line works its way up mountain valleys and over Europe's largest mountain plateau, the Hardangervidda
Finse... during the Second World War the Norwegian resistance sabotaged trains at this station on numerous occasions
(Greater Oslo). Just a short walk from the station, you’ll see several beautiful waterfalls on the Lysakerelven and indeed Oslo is one of the few places in the world where white-water kayakers can run significant urban rapids. During the Second World War the Norwegian resistance sabotaged trains at this station on numerous occasions. You can find out more about this in the Resistance Museum at the Akershus Fortress. The train now leaves Oslo’s city limits.
The town grew up by the river of the same name (Drammenselva), where it widens to become the Drammenfjord. The river was once used for logging, and timber, paper and cellulose production were all important industries in the area. Nowadays you mainly see small boats and canoes on its waters. Since 2011, the city (Norway’s eight-largest) has been heated by a water-source heat pump that draws water from the Drammenfjord.
The section of line between here and Drammen is known as the Randsfjordbanen, (Randsfjord was the town’s old name). Historically, the main industry was paper and pulp, but the area is now better known as a centre for ski-jumping. Although the line doesn’t start to climb yet, the scenery becomes progressively more rugged and mountainous. During the summer a steam railway operates on a branch line from here.
The train is now travelling through the Hallingdal Valley, which features large areas of mountain wilderness and numerous hiking trails. The Hallingdal museum is one of the oldest in Norway and has a fascinating collection of buildings and artefacts. During the last week of August a ladies’ market is held in the Kjerringtorge – all the stallholders are women and everything on sale is produced by local women. Although chilly in the winter, the town holds the record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Norway - 35.6 degrees C in June 1975.
Norway’s first ski resort, this mountain town is still one of the country’s largest and during summer the many activities on offer include rafting and canyoning. From here, you can follow numerous marked trails of varying lengths and explore the vast wilderness of Hardangervidda National Park. During one of the most daring raids of the Second World War, Norwegian SOE agents parachuted on to the high plateau. After spending a winter in hiding, they successfully destroyed the Vemork heavy water plant near Rjukan. After Geilo the train finally leaves the Hallingdal Valley.
High mountain ski resort and the finishing point of the Skarverennet cross-country skiing race. For summer visitors, there are several marked hiking trails as well as great opportunities for canoeing on the Ustevatnet lake. The area features around 800 old mountain huts and strict Norwegian planning regulations make it almost impossible for new ones to be built. As the train leaves the station it follows the shore of first Ustevatnet and then Sløddf until the next stop.
Finse is a mountain village on the shore of lake Finsevatnet that is just on the edge of the Hardangervidda. At 1,222m above sea level it is the highest railway station in Norway and the line is the only means of access as there is no road. On the opposite side to the station building you’ll see a museum about the construction of the railway line and two old snow-clearing engines. The members of Captain Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole trained here and there’s a monument outside the hotel. About 5km from the station you'll be amazed by the beautiful blue ice of the Hardangerjøkulen glacier, but don’t venture onto it without a local guide. Based in the village, an alpine research centre run by the universities of Oslo and Bergen carries out valuable research into the ecology of high mountain areas.
Located on a mountain pass between two tunnels, Myrdal station is the junction for the spectacular Flåmsbana (Flåm Line), often described as one of the world’s most spectacular train journeys. This branch line descends 861.6m over 20.2km and takes you through some of Norway's most dramatic
scenery to Flåm Station on the Aurlandsfjord. The line has eight stops, 20 tunnels and one bridge. Its maximum gradient is 5.5 percent and at least 16 kilometres of the line has a 2.8 percent gradient, which makes it one of the steepest railway lines in the world. The train is not permitted to go faster than 30 kilometres per hour downhill and 40 kilometres when climbing back up.
The first town station you arrive at as you descend from the mountains. Voss, a centre for adventure sports, holds the Ekstremsportveko (Extreme Sports Week or "Veko" as the locals call it), every year at the end of July and people come here from all over the world. The town has numerous cafés and bars and is a great place to relax after spending time in the mountains. The Rallarvegen, which started in Finse, finishes here (unless of course you’re doing it the hard way round). From Voss the line runs alongside Vossevangen lake and then follows the Vosso river as it flows through two lakes before heading south to Dale.
The terminus of the Bergensbanen is Bergen stasjon, the main railway station in Bergen on the east side of the city centre. The station building, by the architect Jens Kielland, is listed and considered one of the best examples of the Norwegian national romantic style popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Bergen is also referred to as the gateway to fjord Norway .
With many thanks to Wild Things Publishing for use of the above extract. Wild Guide to Scandinavia £16.99, wildthingspublishing.com
Water surfaces have typically been either made using acrylic paint on a flat board with a cover of multiple layers of high gloss varnish. This method is great for ponds, or similar small still water filled areas. More advanced modellers have then added waves using artistic gels in combination with acrylic colors. The result can be amazing with the right skills... but for many others they don't make a splash!
In the later years a number of "water making" products have been launched into the modellers' market by manufacturers such as as Woodland Scenic and Noch. They are in general based on one or two component transparent plastic, which can be poured into the water area, or applied using a brush. Waves can be created by blowing air through a straw once the plastic starts to set but the result really is not that convincing.
Then I discovered a method where waves can be created in the bottom layer using toilet paper soaked in a mix of water and glue. The advantage with this method is that the material is of course really cheap (if you are not happy with the result, you can simply rip it off and try again); the curing time is very long (a lot of time for trial and error); and since the waves are created in the bottom layer, the shape and look is very easy to get realistic.
The surface is then painted using acrylic colors - green, black, white and burnt umber. This can done as soon as the waves in the surface created from toilet paper have dried. Shallow water is painted in a white/brown colour blend, while deeper water gets more of a green and green/black colour mix. The deepest water is painted almost entirely in black. The color shifting between the more shallow and the deeper
How to make great looking water features
Words & pictures Martin Tarnroth aka Marklin_of_Sweden
areas are blurred using a clean soft brush and clean water. This is made by moving from lighter coloured areas to darker areas.
The paint is left to dry and then covered by a layer of high gloss varnish. Once the varnish is dry a layer of water-based wood glue is applied to smooth the surface and to add more of depth to the water effect. Then once that is completely dry, it´s time to finish the creation with four to five coats of more high gloss varnish.
Watch the video (right) to see how it's done
And for more tutorials & great modelling,
The Italian Pietrarsa railway museum is located on the eastern outskirts of Naples, in the San Giovanni neighborhood, bordering the towns of Portici and San Giorgio a Cremano. It is located adjacent to the Pietrarsa train station. Francesco Bochicchio has a look around
Words & pictures Francesco Bochicchio
PIETRARSA RAILWAY MUSEUM
Use was made of the old sheds. The inauguration took place on October 7 1989
The railway museum was built on the site of the Royal Bourbon factory Pietrarsa. It was designed by Ferdinand II of Bourbon in 1840 for the steel industry. In 1845 it was converted to a steam locomotive factory. Building began with the on-site assembly of seven locomotives, using components built in England.
In 1853 Pietrarsa increased production with 700 workers and for this reason the "Opificio" became the first and most important Italian industrial area. This was more than half a century before the birth of Fiat and 44 years before the Breda.
The building had a big influence world-wide. For example, Czar of Russia, Nicholas I, used Pietrarsa as a model for the railway complex of Kronstadt.
With the unification of Italy in 1861 Pietrarsa entered a difficult phase. Grandis - an engineer's report - commissioned by the Piedmontese government negatively portrayed the activity and profitability of Opificio and even recommended its sale or demolition.
However, despite the partial decommissioning of plant in the next decade more than 150 locomotives were still produced. In 1905, following the nationalisation of the Italian railways, the building became part of the basic infrastructure of the new Italian State Railways (FS). It became a top facility in particular for the overhaul of steam locomotives. With the advent of the new electric drive systems and then diesel, it began a slow but inexorable decline, which culminated 15 November 1975 with the closing decree. But railways would not desert the facility because the Pietrarsa
became Italy's National Railway Museum in effect. Use was made of the old sheds. The inauguration took place on October 7, 1989 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Italian railways.
The museum has seven halls covering a total area of about 36,000 square metres and houses steam, diesel and various electric locomotives (three-phase, direct current) as well as, trucks, passenger coaches and railcars.
The first pavilion is dedicated to the preservation of assets of the "past" including the historical reconstruction of the first Naples-Portici train which ran on the first railway built in Italy in 1839. Other steam locomotives and three-phase electric locomotives are waiting their turn for restoration.
The second pavilion brings together a broad representation of carriages and wagons and items commonly used on railways.
The third pavilion is home to the old machinery of the former workshop, as well as locomotives representing the "recent past", namely diesel and electric railcars, carriages and electric locomotives.
Of particular note is the Royal Train that is made up of of eleven coaches and was built in 1929 for the wedding of Umberto II of Savoy and Maria José of Belgium. There's also the recently acquired presidential car donated in 1989 by Francesco Cossiga - Italy's eighth president and 42nd prime minister.
Locomotives of note
Steam - Class 290, Class 835, Class 480
Electrical - direct current Class E.326, Class E.626, as well as three-phase electric locomotives, the jewels in the crown Italian railway history.
Address: Traversa Pietrarsa, 80146 Napoli, Italy,
FOR THE WORLDWIDE RAIL FAN - MODELLERS & SPOTTERS
AS AN ART FORM
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THE ORIENT EXPRESS