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Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:18 am
by TrainsOnArran
I’ve been wanting to join the Gnatterbox for a few months and now I’m here.

My interest in Gn15 was inspired by the article on Longstone in Railway Modeller, August 2018.

Like many modellers, my first train set was bought for me by my father and grandfather when I was three. It was a Trix Twin Railway - the old three rail track system - with a tank engine and several wagons. I strongly suspect I was the excuse for Dad being able to build a railway of his own. Then when I was 13, my parents bought the three children a Triang (Hornby?) Freightliner set, with a blue Hymec diesel and two container wagons. This time I was inspired to take over the old three rail baseboard and build my own railway.

A few years later, part of the cellar was lined with plasterboard and the railway moved from bedoom to cellar. 00 gauge continued there for several years, but was eventually replaced by some Lima N gauge stuff.

Once I started working in IT in the late 70’s, the Grafar N gauge equipment became more affordable and I had a small baseboard in the first marital home. Neither home nor marriage nor railway lasted very long. Coincidence?

Second time around, my first daughter got a Playmobil train set for her first Christmas, at just 27 days old. Best to start them early. Much later, having moved the family to the Isle of Arran, the stored N gauge stuff was brought out to build a railway (for me) in my son’s bedroom.

More serious modelling started in the early 2000’s following a Railway Modeller article on Welsh narrow gauge quarry railways. I started in 7mm NG with the Peco quarry Hunslet, plus Peco coaches and wagons. This was my first venture into DCC. I build several Smallbrook Studio kits, and the railway was housed in a wooden shed in the garden. Next up was a move to On30, the American narrow gauge system from Bachmann. I was captivated by the Shay and Climax locos, the first sound equipped engines I owned.

Butterfly-like, I then flitted back to 00 and had a fiddle yard to station layout in the shed. Dampness in the shed coincided with the last of the children starting university and the railway moved into the house, this time as a roundy-roundy. While it was able to be dismantled, it took so long to take apart and then rebuild that it was not really a practical solution. Once all the children were independently housed, the railway moved into the small bedroom as a permanent set-up, where two separate levels (one for steam, one for diesel electric) still reside.

The advent of affordable RTR 0 Gauge from Dapol brought about an excursion into the ‘senior gauge’ with a semi-portable Inglenook shunting layout. This was about the closest I have come to building and completing a fully scenic model. It may actually get there one day.

The Longstone article contained a pointer to the Gnatterbox. In a very short time, I was hooked. I definitely felt that I could build a layout large enough to be interesting but small enough to be completed. Having retired from work the previous year, I needed something to keep me occupied.

And why ‘TrainsOnArran’? Well model railways on the Isle of Arran is the obvious part of it. At the time I began using the name on RM Web, I was coaching junior distance runners on the island and doing many miles of running training on my own as well.

Paul Emsley (I don’t feel I should hide permanently behind a username!)

Re: TrainsOnArran

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:31 am
by chris stockdale
Hi Paul,

Welcome! Alas, with the loss of kit producer Steve Bennett for personal reasons and others RIP or off trying yet more scale/gauge combos we are not as busy in here as back in the heady days around 2005 or so. Indeed, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that there is a Facebook group that sees more activity; you can find it here

Still, as you've seen, there is a wealth of information in here. Enjoy!


Re: TrainsOnArran

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:51 pm
by TrainsOnArran
Thanks Chris. I am already a member of the Facebook group, but Facebook is no substitute for a forum when it comes to following a story about a particular topic.

The information so freely given in posts on this forum has been invaluable to me as a newcomer to Gn15. Some of this has come from the early days of the forum, some from quite recently.

You explained on Facebook why the ‘new user request’ has been removed from this forum, and I understand why it was necessary. But it has been quite a frustrating experience finding out what was needed to be admitted. I imagine any other newcomers inspired by the Railway Modeller article may have had similar difficulties. Perhaps a new thread is needed to explain how to be admitted to this forum so that newcomers can not only read existing threads but can ask questions and make contributions of their own.

Re: TrainsOnArran

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:36 pm
by chris stockdale

Re ‘new user’ I’ll have a ponder. As you probably know Tom, aka Tebee, as the guy running the dirty oily bits, he is the only chap who can let people in as the beastly spammers are hitched to the standard way in.

Clearly we need to make it easier...


Re: TrainsOnArran

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:55 pm
by tebee
Yes, sorry I was a bit slow - as I was telling Paul, I've had a series of minor accidents over the last few months, nothing serious, but enough to put me behind with other jobs, which has meant in turn the forum has got rather neglected.

I need to bring the forum software up to date, hopefully that will help with our spamer problem, but I've run into problems applying the updates and not had time to workout ways round them.

I've also decided I'm going to build myself a layout - sadly not Gn15 - I need to find some time to get on with this too.