The Iconic Designs of Sir Nigel Gresley

Combining stylish and modern designs with an innovative approach to engineering, Sir Nigel Gresley produced some of the most iconic locomotives and coaches of the ‘glory days’ of steam. In this post, we look into the life and work of Sir Gresley.

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Model Railways and Autism

If you are reading this, chances are you have at least a passing interest in model railways and trains. Not all of you will identify as ‘enthusiasts’, let alone ‘trainspotters’, but you still share a common interest with millions of others around the world. There are many hundreds of reasons and motivations for an interest in railways. Though some have a general interest in all things, others focus exclusively on one particular aspect.  For people living with autism, an interest in railways and trains can be especially important. Trains can provide a source of reassurance and a means through which to develop key skills in communication and interaction. This article presents just some of the reasons why so many autistic people take an interest in model railways and trains, gleaned from various articles on the web. What is Autism? At times the world can seem a bewildering mess of hypocrisy and paradox. On a daily basis, we process thousands of gestures, social cues, and expressions, many of which are subtle and even contradictory. For those who live with Autism Spectrum Disorder, navigating this labyrinth of subtext can prove a challenging or impossible task. Therefore, people with autism often struggle with […]

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Rocket Men: The Rainhill Trials of 1829

In the 1820s, steam locomotives were still in their infancy. Many thought they were inefficient and unreliable. The Rainhill Trials of 1829 was a decisive event in promoting an improved design of locomotives.

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Why the nation loves Model Railways

It is said that ‘it takes all sorts to make a world’. Just as our society is enriched by diversity, we also celebrate our common interests. For more than a century, model railways have delighted adults and children alike. They appeal not only to an interest in trains, but also to a desire to construct miniature worlds over which the modeller is in control. These working models bring joy to many – all sorts in fact! Model railways give us a sense of travel without the need to leave our own homes. They are unique among modelling. Unlike model boats or aircraft, a model train needs its own railway network in which to operate – the modeller has complete control over its journey. In 1924, leading model railway firm Bassett-Lowke wrote: ‘Herein lies the peculiar attraction of model railways, as compared with every other form of the modelling art. All the wide variety of railway operation may be worked out on a small scale’. There is so much more to model railways than just trains and track. A brief history of railway models Model making is an activity with ancient origins. Archaeologists have discovered clay models of houses and temples […]

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How to Get Started with Model Railways

Many families are finding themselves with more time together at home as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic. Keeping both children and adults entertained day-in-day-out can be challenging. Model railways are a great hobby for every member of the family, young and old. They provide a safe and fun way for children to “make new worlds, narratives and stories” and can give older people a sense of community and purpose. Celebrity fans of modelling include Rod Stweart, Walt Disney and Frank Sinatra. Stewart has such passion for the pastime that he recently donated £10,000 to the Market Deeping Modern Railway Club when it lost years of work due to vandalism. But how do you get started building your first model railway? In this beginner’s guide, the Rocket Railways team will give you all the information you need to start creating a model railway layout the whole family can enjoy. Understanding Model Railway Terms At first glance, the world of model trains can be a little overwhelming and confusing. What does “gauge” mean and what exactly is a “Z scale”? We’ve put together a brief glossary of key terms for beginner modellers. You’ll be surprised how quickly you and your […]

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