Model Railway Features

ViTrains Class 47 overhaul Feature Premium

ViTrains Class 47

Looking back at photographs from the early 2000s, MIKE WILD was inspired to find and revive a ViTrains Freightliner triple grey Class 47 to provide an alternative container train locomotive.

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MAKING A SCENE: How to model a scrap yard

Every town once had a scrap yard full of hidden treasures. DAN EVASON recreates a typical 1970s scheme in 4mm:1ft scale.

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Reality Check: The Gresley 'A3' class 'Pacifics'

One of the most famous locomotive designs ever produced was the LNER’s ‘A1’ (later ‘A3’) ‘Pacific’. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks back at the story of these iconic 4-6-2s which changed the face of rail travel on the East Coast Main Line.

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The Collett GWR '1366' 0-6-0PTs

The Great Western looked far back to its past in 1934 when it needed new lightweight shunting engines, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES discovers.

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The Mk 5 carriage story

Although locomotive-hauled coaches are largely a thing of the past, there has been one fleet of new-builds in recent years - the Mk 5s operated by Caledonian Sleeper and TransPennine Express. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks into the background of these interesting vehicles.

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The Beeching Report - 60 years on

Many people speak as if Dr Beeching was the man who single-handedly destroyed our railway system. In reality, he was merely the culmination of a process that had been under way for more than half a century. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES delves into the background of route closures.

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LNWR Webb ‘Coal Tanks’

One of the longest-lived products from Crewe works was the remarkable ‘Coal Tank’ of the London & North Western Railway. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the history of these Victorian locomotives, which could be handled everything from heavy coal trains to lightweight push-pull passenger services in their long careers.

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How to build a return loop storage yard

A storage yard isn’t always just a place to store trains off scene, and no more so than on Hornby Magazine’s latest ‘OO’ layout Grosvenor Square. Mike Wild explains how the off-scene area for this large terminus layout went from a cassette yard to something more adventurous for the benefit of its operation.

Flying Scotsman sound installation guide and demonstration Feature Premium

Locoman’s ‘Scotsman’ sound

Using the latest Hornby model of the Gresley ‘A3’ and a Locoman Sounds profile loaded onto an ESU LokSound chip, MIKE WILD explains how sound can be added to a ‘OO’ gauge model.

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Flying Scotsman at 100

Billed as the world’s most famous steam locomotive, how has Flying Scotsman captured the public’s imagination in a way nothing else has? Author ANDREW RODEN explains why it is so important.

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The heavy freight Class 60

One of the most recognisable locomotives on the modern railway is the Brush Class 60, a design that brought to an end to almost 200 years of freight locomotive construction in the UK, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES describes.

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Reality Check: The Peckett 'W4' 0-4-0STs

In the days when almost every factory had its own railway system there was a massive demand for shunting engines, with one of the most prolific suppliers being Peckett & Sons of Bristol. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at one of their popular products, the ‘W4’.

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Reality Check: Peppercorn’s ‘K1’ 2-6-0

The period immediately before and just after nationalisation produced a great number of competent but short lived locomotives. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the Peppercorn ‘K1’, which despite being very successful in main line service lasted less than 20 years.

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Installing Servo point motors on a model railway

The small size and controllability of servos makes them an attractive option for turnout control. NIGEL BURKIN experiments with a Heathcote Electronics dual servo motor board, turnouts and a hand full of servos.

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EQUIPMENT GUIDE: Air compressors

Compressors are a must for successful airbrushing, but what should you be looking for? TIM SHACKLETON road-tests a selection of competing designs at prices ranging from under £60 to close on £500.

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Don’t forget Fastline

It’s more than 10 years since Fastline Freight pulled out of intermodal operations, quickly followed by the loss of its coal business and other rail-led interests. But this short-lived company can still offer some exciting modelling possibilities, as TIM SHACKLETON discovers in his 10-point survey.

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Workstained Class 70

The General Electric Powerhaul Class 70 is the most powerful diesel locomotive on the modern railway, and it makes for an interesting weathering project. MIKE WILD explains how he brought his Bachmann ‘OO’ gauge model to life with a realistic finish.

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Metropolitan Vickers Type 2 Co-Bo

In the rush to modernise the railways in the 1950s many diesel designs were ordered straight off the drawing board. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES looks at the chequered history of one of the least successful, the Metropolitan Vickers Co-Bo.

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RAILWAY REALISM: Winter on the Line

​Winter brings special challenges for the railway, with snow, ice and fog making operation particularly difficult. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES examines how the system coped in the past and today, highlighting some of the special equipment used.

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Hornby Magazine’s 24hr Challenge:

Every project layout we build is defined by a timescale, not least because they are built to meet our publication dates for the magazine. The 24hr challenges give us a closer limit to work with which, hopefully, controls some of ideas and allows us to create layouts that anyone could build at home.

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The Beattie '0298' 2-4-0 Well Tanks

Many steam locomotives were given second lives in industrial and heritage railway service but seldom did this happen on the main line network. EVAN GREEN-HUGHES takes a look at the Beattie well tanks, which first escaped the scrapman 116 years ago!

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Modelling ploughed fields

A ploughing scene makes an ideal corner filler for a model railway. DAN EVASON explains how he built this diorama which could be added to any steam era layout.

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STAFF PROJECTS: New Junctions for New Junction II

As New Junction II begins to take shape, sleeper spacing, a lack of track pins and a new track formation have added to the workload, as RICHARD WATSON outlines.

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Reality Check: The North British D600 ‘Warships’

Although much is known about the Western Region’s famous ‘Warship’ diesel-hydraulics, British Railways owned another set of locomotives with the same description and mechanical layout - but these were rather unreliable and made an early exit, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.

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WORKBENCH: Class 20 weathering – Part 2

With Class 20s aplenty on his workbench, TIM SHACKLETON continues in his quest to confer a series of subtle makeovers to his fleet of ‘OO’ English Electric Type 1s.

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Superdetailing Snowploughs in 'OO' gauge

Network Rail has a fleet of snowploughs on standby for the winter. ANDY WILLSHER shows how to super detail Flangeway’s excellent ZZA model in ’OO’ gauge.

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Class 59 heavy-freight diesel history

More than three decades ago a small fleet of Class 59 diesel locomotives arrived in this country, and immediately proved themselves far superior to anything that we already had on our railways, starting a revolution that would, in time, see hundreds of similar locomotives brought to our shores, as EVAN GREEN-HUGHES explains.

Pete Waterman's Making Tracks 3 Feature Freemium

Making Tracks 3 - January Update

Making Tracks 3 is the most ambitious layout Pete Waterman and the Railnuts group have built yet and there are just six months to go until its debut in Chester Cathedral. CHRIS CLENTON brings the story up to date with a new update from the Making Tracks 3 workshop.

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Weathering and detailing a Hornby LNER 'Q6' in 'OO' gauge

Operating your layout with only a limited selection of classes is entirely prototypical – but how do you make near-identical engines look different? TIM SHACKLETON shows how you can do it through weathering effects alone.

Dapol GWR Manor sound installation guide Feature Premium

Wheeltapper sound for the Dapol ‘Manor’

The Dapol GWR ‘Manor’ 4-6-0 is designed with sound installation in mind. MIKE WILD explores its simplicity with a new sound profile from the Wheeltapper collection on an ESU V5 chip. Read the full guide and watch our demonstration video here.