Sunday, 6 December 2009


So, what's Onnybrook Junction?

It's a fictional junction roughly where Craven Arms is in real life, on the LMS/GWR joint line between Shrewsbury and Hereford.

I've been a fan of railway modelling for ages, but never really sat down to do anything serious about it. My dad built a 14'x9' 'roundy roundy' in our sun lounge for me when I was in my early teens, which never got beyond white painted baseboards (I believe Mum insisted on that!) and cardboard platforms, on a mix of Peco Streamline and Triang Super 4 (some of the former may well get reused!). Since then, I've not really had the time or space to do more than cast covetous glances at odd copies of Railway Modeller on the train. Well, that and pick up a Hornby 2721 class pannier which has been sitting in my desk drawer un-run for 7 years.

This year, however, my son (who's coming on 10) wants a train set for Christmas. The wife paid a visit to Trains4U here in Peterborough and came back with loads of information which, bless her, she assumed I didn't know and proceeded to explain to me in great detail for 20 mins. In which, of course, I wasn't allowed to get a word in edgeways! Having (tactfully) explained that yes, I knew most of that (in fact, had forgotten more of it than she knew), it was decided (I was told, in other words) that James was getting a decent DCC train set. It also turned out that Anne's idea of 'decent' was surprisingly, not 'something laid on the carpet for the cats to play with'.

So. Much discussion later, it was agreed that we'd get him one of the Hornby sets and a temporary 6'x4' baseboard for the TrakMat that would sit on the seldom-used dining room table. and IF he showed an interest (pause for behind-the-hand paternal laughter here!) we'd look at something a little more substantial and permanent.

Result, I'd say. Our house is a late-1800s place with an outbuilding, and at least two useable 12'x12' rooms in the main house. There's nowhere really practical for a continuous loop, but I don't see that as a problem. For a while, I toyed with 2 x 6'x2' and 2 x 6'x1' round the walls of one of the 12' square rooms in a U: eventually, though, I think I've settled on the music room. The music room is about 12'x'35' in one of the outbuildings, but about 2' of the width is taken up with amps and speaker cabinets, so I have an eye on a 2' or 2'6" wide run down one long wall and round a corner. Some building work may be necessary first, since one wall is somewhat damp due to a slightly leaky roof.

But that's later. For now... off to Trains4U.

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