MRE Weekly Reading Links #2

Blog posts, webpages and articles on trains, railways and modelling I’ve read over the last 7 days. The first of these were the result of looking for inspiration for work on my layout followed by a couple of interesting discussions on model railways in general.

# Signalling

I find signalling one of the more interesting aspects of model railways. For me, it’s only when the signals are added that I start to feel a layout looks right. So, with my small N gauge railway coming together, I’m now starting to think about the signalling for it and wanted a quick recap.

It was while reading up that I realised how early on signalling appeared in the history of steam train travel – around 1834 – with the first standard coming via Liverpool & Manchester Railway. I also never realised that the Red, White and Yellow we associate with signals now was originally Red, White and Green, with Yellow turning up in 1941. The story is revealed in this history on British signalling.

Building on this guide, the excellently named has an extensive write up on the principals of railway signalling while this comprehensive article on British Signalling at goes into more detail and also covers more recent standards and operation.

With concepts nailed I can now start thinking about getting the signals. I’m thinking about Dapol N gauge signals and this article provided some useful info on them and how to wire them up, complete with a quick video of them in use. There’s also this video on the subject by one of my favourite YouTubers, Jennifer Kirk.

I can’t wait to get mine working and see them working!

# Clay Stone Work Modelling

As you might have read in a previous post, I’ve been making slow but steady progress on the Tin mine I’m building. This is being scratch built and will require the stone work and detailing to be scribed into Clay that I’m making walls from. Looking for inspiration, I found this guide in which Ian Robinson describes how he creates his simply superb looking stone work with further hints here.

Feeling energised from reading these two I’m going to embark on the clay work for my buildings this weekend – wish me luck.

# 3D Printing

With buildings getting near to completion, the signals planned I can also start to think about the people that will populate my railway and surrounding environments.  I’ve got what feels like a City worth of figures from my previous railways but my current layout is based in Cornwall in the 19th Century for which the positions and clothing of many of my figures doesn’t sit well.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about 3D printing and after a bit of searching I came across a fascinating article on Robert’s Vasona Branch Blog about 3D printing his own model railway figures. This could easily be the way forward in model railway figures!

# Why Model Railways

And to finish off, some great articles on model railways in general starting with why do men love model railways in the Telegraph and its companion for women and model railways on hubpages.

This last article by the way includes a link to railway modeller Jennifer Kirk on the subject I opened this collection of links with  – signalling – nicely bringing this collection of links back to where we started and to a natural close.

[Link Collections]

> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.

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