November 2018 Open Day

Exhibition Report

The NFMRS annual open day was held on 25 November 2018 at Brockenhurst Village Hall. Amongst the NFMRS layouts there were also layouts kindly presented from other model railway clubs- 14 layouts in total. There were also several trade stands. We had nearly 450 visitors on the day which made the village hall very busy.

If you came to our open day, we hope you enjoyed your visit and will come to our exhibition in May 2019. Watch out for details on our website.

So, here is a brief description of the layouts on display in 'no particular order'. If you have any questions or require further details on any aspect of the open day, please contact our website and we will be pleased to answer your query.

In the main hall our large club layout 'Knightwood Canalside MPD' once again attracted much attention. The layout is some years old now and requires lots of TLC, but it's all worth it when there is so much to see.

The complexity of this layout is extraordinary with so many sidings and turnouts. The level of detail is also very high with many points of interest.

The size of Knightwood can be appreciated here.

Also in the main hall was club layout Mossbank, alongside Knightwood. You may have seen this large layout at an earlier open day and still provides lots of interest.

The layout depicts the late 1990s and is nearly all freight based rolling stock.

The layout has recently been extended from an end to end layout with the addition of a large fiddle yard at the rear, with all the additional boards at the ends the scenic work is still in progress.

You can see more photos and read more information for Mossbank and Knightwood on the layouts page of our website.

We had two layouts on the stage: the club's N gauge layout Brockhampton and Stephen's Lane Stabling Point, an O gauge layout presented by South Coast MRC.

Brockhampton has been developed considerably during the past year with scenery added to most of its six boards.

One of the new features on Brockhampton is the new cloud at the end of the layout. Not only a cloud but it had thunder and lightning! This very unusual feature was enjoyed by many visitors and caused much amusement. The photo also shows how much development has taken place during the past 12 months....

....with a viaduct and canal added at the other end of the layout with a new tunnel over the return track curves.

Stephen's Lane Stabling Point is an end to end modern image shunting layout which can accommodate up to 12 locos. At our open day there also some impressive steam locos. All is DCC operated with many locos having sound.

We have shown this long layout in two photos. This layout can be incorporated into a much larger layout back at SCMRC's home in New Milton.

View into maintenance shed....

....and the opposite end towards the bridge.

And there are some very pleasing details...

It was back to N gauge with a club member's layout Weston Road. This layout has two separate continuous tracks on two levels so there is nearly always a train passing.

One very attractive feature of Weston Road is that all the tracks are on a curve. This of course helps to form the continuous loops but also is a good representation of the real thing.

The twin tracks are clearly visible here as a train emerges from the tunnel that provides the scenic break to the fiddle yard behind.

And Weston Road is very green!

And now for something completely different: Shorwell.

This OO layout only measures 6' x 1' and is mounted on two boards which means easy packing and fitting into a car. The layout is a country station with a small diary for goods traffic.

Although only a small layout there are some lovely details. It just goes to show that a small model railway can be interesting and rewarding to make.

Another unusual layout was Blackgang. This OO layout is set on a board 58" x 40" divided by a back scene from a corner to the opposite side.

The layout is an imagined scene on the isle of Wight and the operator has endeavoured to show how a simple continuous loop can be presented as an interesting model railway.

The station and surrounding areas have many details that show our hobby at its best.

It's always interesting to see a 'work in progress'. This prompts discussions on techniques being used and also helps those new to the hobby to see how railway layouts are constructed.

Falkirk Road loco holding sidings is a OO layout at its very, very early stages of construction.

The layout is simplicity itself with only two points, but the operator has plans for the scenery and an operating regime. We very much hope he returns to our open day to show us the finished layout.

Many young children have a fascination for trains with the Thomas and friends models being ever popular. So how good is it that a decent sized OO layout built specifically for those young aspiring modellers should be exhibited at our open day?

Children's corner from the Fareham and District Model Railway Club fits that requirement perfectly.

The layout is 6'6" x 4' on a single board. Note the simple controllers at the front of the layout for children to operate and really have a go at controlling the trains. Rolling Stock by Hornby.

There is too much going on here to pick out any highlights on the layout!

Thomas and James are waiting at the station...

...and even Harold the helicopter gets a bit part.


The South Western MRC brought along Cobham Heath to the open day. This fictitious OO layout is set in the 1980s in Dorset. The layout is focused on a busy station with a separate preservation line.

The layout has an automatic circuit that allows alternate trains to run into one of the platforms. New electronic components are now allowing some auto operations and shuttle trains to work in predetermined sequences which allows operators to concentrate on other activities.

Embankments provide some raised areas that can be used for interesting scenes.

And thankfully you don't see a burnt out diesel loco very often!

Keyhaven is a layout you may have seen before and has history. It was donated to the NFMRS in 2006 by Group Captain Keith Batt and was originally conceived in 1962 in Australia. After travelling around the world it now rests in Brockenhurst.

Purchased by a club member after Open Day 2017, the layout has been adapted to run on DCC using locos which are themselves over 40 years old. Converted Wrenn, Hornby Dublo and Triang locos can be seen on the layout alongside much younger Hornby DCC models. The loading of the ferry has been improved by providing automatic uncoupling. Although much of the trackwork has been adjusted to allow these older models to run reliably, more improvements are planned including some changes to the fiddle yard.

What makes this layout so distinctive is the train loading onto the ship...

...and the long arched wall.

Note the detail on the crane.

We had one 009 scale layout exhibited by an NFMRS club member: Quarry Gardens. This is a fictitious layout based in an old quarry owned by a garden producer. Hence the greenhouses and other assorted scenes.

This gauge is a great compromise for getting a lot of track into a small area, but still at 00 gauge rolling stock and scenery.

Another club member's layout on display was Hellingly. This 00 layout is based on the Hellingly Hospital Railway near Hailsham. The layout was purchased by our club member who has added some scenic details.

An interesting and unusual feature of the layout is that the points are operated by rods from the front of the layout. So no complicated control panel here.

And finally you don't have to have a model railway to do railway modelling. Confused? Then have a look at Metcalfe High Street. This model of a busy street is made up of N gauge Metcalfe card kits which are so popular on our layouts.

There is wide selection of kits together with working street lights, people and vehicles.

Metcalfe High Street makes a pleasing display whether or not you are a keen railway modeller.

So once again we hope that if you visited our open day you had an enjoyable time and the NFMRS hope to see again at our exhibition on 25th and 26th May 2019. If you have not yet visited us, then come along in May and we can promise you an interesting day out.