Look Back at 2018

Late December is a time of reflection. Looking back I realise 2018 was a very good year.

My little 009 layout ‘First’ attended five exhibitions: Narrow Gauge South, The Beds and Bucks Open Day, Oxfordshire Narrow Gauge Modellers Day, the N&SNGM Running Day and Expo Narrow Gauge. It was a pleasure to run the layout and talk with other modellers at these exhibitions. Many thanks to all of the people who helped me and everyone who popped by for a chat. When I built ‘First’ I had no intention of exhibiting it and I find it incredible that this layout has been to so many exhibitions.

During 2018 I visited the Kirklees Light Railway twice (once on a misty day in May and again in September for their Gala), plus the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway, and the Drachenfelsbahn. I even went on a Santa Special at the Bure Valley Railway. I particularly enjoyed visiting these lines and I would like to make time to visit more ‘real’ railways in the coming year.

Modelling activities seem to have focussed mainly on baseboards, track laying and electrics. I started the year by partially building the Granta Valley Railway, then my attention got diverted by my urge to build a little industrial layout, Thomas and Sons. As the year ends both of these layouts are unfinished. Would it have been more productive to focus on one? Perhaps, but it’s a hobby and why shouldn’t we go where the urge takes us….

While building these layouts I learned a lot about DCC, including modifying points, laying power buses (it’s very simple), wiring DCC electrics and installing Cobalt point motors. As a non-electrician, I pleased I got my head around all this.

After all the woodwork and electrics, I managed to start some real modelling. I started creating buildings from LCUT laser cut components and I started refurbishing a KB Scale Ruston loco. Both of these projects remain unfinished as I write this. Hmm… there could be a theme emerging here? Perhaps next year I need to avoid getting distracted and finish off some of the things I’ve started.

In the virtual world I published my 200th post, freed this blog from annoying adverts, and wrote an April Fool Day post. I think most people realised it was a joke!

There’s one other thing I am particularly pleased with. In May my daughter and I refurbished an old writing bureau and it has made a fantastic place to do some modelling. So there’s no excuse for not finishing off those partly completed projects!

For me 2019 will be a year of visiting railways and trying to complete some of the modelling I’ve started in 2018.

Whatever you have planned, I wish you a very Happy New Year.


The image used at the beginning of this blog is of the 750mm gauge Fichtelberg Railway in Germany, photo by Awlodarski, used under Creative Commons CC0 license.


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