Open Day November 2019

Report on the NFMRS Open Day Exhibition held on 24 November 2019.


At the end of November the NFMRS held its annual open day at Brockenhurst. Layouts on display included the club's layouts, some members' layouts and also some visiting layouts. This year there were a total of 15 working layouts which filled all of the rooms at the Brockenhurst Village Hall. There were nearly 500 visitors on the day and if you were one of them we very much hope you had an enjoyable time.

So, what layouts were there? The following is a brief description of the layouts. We hope that it provides an interesting record and that we have included all the topics of interest.

Let's start with Knightwood Junction. Once again this club layout dominated the main hall and is full of interesting features. Even if you have seen it before, the layout still provides lots of interest and a variety of running trains. The layout is based on the South Midlands area in the 50s and 60s.


Although this layout has been around for some time, it is still undergoing improvements on the wiring and scenery. More photos in the 'layout' page of this website.

Alongside Knightwood Junction in the main hall was Mossbank Yard. This is also a layout that has been displayed at previous open days, but has undergone some major alterations. It was once an end to end layout, but is now continuous with a fiddle yard at the rear. This enables more interesting train combinations to be used and more movements. Scenic work is still in progress on the new end boards.

Mossbank represents the a spur from the WCML during the late 90s.

The new operating area and fiddle yard can be just seen on the top right hand corner. New scenery is under construction.

Mossbank Yard appears on the 'layout' page of this website and will have to be updated soon.

Also in the main hall was another club layout Helstowe. This is an end to end layout and does not represent any particular region or era to enable any of the club members' stock to operate. This is still a work in progress with more scenic details to be added.


Helstowe is a long layout and will have many interesting features when finished.

All the layouts above are OO gauge. A visiting N gauge layout named Ins and Outs was also in the main hall. This intriguing layout comprises two separate loops interwoven into a sort of extended figure of eight. Each loop has a station. Trains were running continuously.

There's loads of details on this layout and quite a few jokes which are always welcome. For instance is it normal for a submarine to be in a pond?...

... there's a barn on fire...

.. and the operator invites you to find:

...one of the station with passing loop:


Staying on the N gauge theme, the stage of the village hall stage had six N layouts, ranging from large to micro.

We'll start with Albany. This layout is broadly based on Arley station on the Severn Valley Railway. But some license has been used because the layout has two continuous loops with a fiddle yard at the rear which has been modelled as another station to make the most of all the trackwork.

Booking Hall and Station Master's house are modelled on Arley station.

Plan view of Albany shows the fiddle yard come station at the bottom with the control panel mounted on the layout to eliminate connecting leads and plugs.

Elmbridge MPD was contrasted with the other N layouts by being a busy two level layout which included a station and MPD area. The baseboard is only 53" x 18" but two sets of track on two different levels snake their way through busy scenery.

The upper level incorporates a station and shuttle train whilst the lower level depicts a busy MPD. There was much to see on Elbridge MPD.

N gauge is very suited to micro layouts and Matchams Yard is a good example. This is a work in progress with scenery yet to be completed. The baseboard is only 23" wide by 34" long but the end to end layout still has eight points.

With a station and industrial area there are many operating possibilities. No doubt we will see more of this layout in the future.

Another work in progress was Market Place. This N gauge project has two shuttle trains and a tram, all centred within a town. The tram fiddle yard can be seen on the right hand side of the photo.

Both the trams and trains run continuously in an automatic mode without the need for a manual controller since there are many electronic gizmos operating.

A train emerges from one of the tunnels. The scenery is to be completed in the near future.

St Julians is yet another example of how compact an N gauge layout can be.

There are two loops with numerous sidings including two stations, a goods yard and much more. The layout is DCC controlled.

These streets are made to look larger with the clever use of mirrors. Can you spot them?

The centre of the layout is put to good use with this goods yard.

Those who have visited our open day in the past may recall seeing the club N gauge layout Brockhampton grow in size with regard to the scenery. Each of the six boards is now complete and there are plans to extend the layout further. If we exhibit this layout next year there may well be some more big changes to see.

The 24' long layout appears on the layouts page of this website.

The viaduct is of special interest to provide depth to the scenery.

There was also a taste of nostalgia with the Hornby-Dublo Three Rail layout exhibited by Wessex HRCA group.

There were many locos, carriages and wagons to run on this twin loop layout. The buildings are also authentic Hornby. A great collection from yesteryear.

And alongside Hornby-Dublo layout was Hornby O. As the title implies this layout is O gauge, and has several very old locos with rolling stock. All the locos are clockwork and when running went round the loop at an alarming speed.

Not only rolling stock, but original tin buildings and trackside items:

A selection of rolling stock:

These trains look very simplistic now, but in their time they gave great pleasure to the children that played with them

Micro layouts were not only the preserve of N Gauge. Falkirk Road loco holding sidings was a visiting 00 layout with only three sidings and a fiddle yard.

This layout is all about fine detailing and manoeuvring locos. Note the tartan screen -a very nice touch.

Detailing includes yard lights and half relief buildings.

Another 'end of the line' layout was the Romsey MRS Dhoby Ghaut. This OO layout depicted the closing of a Southern line and the resulting slow decay.

The scenic section is only 40" long but still includes lots of details. The scenery is made up of up recycled materials none costing more than £1. It proves that interesting layouts can be produced on a small budget.

For a small layout, it seems very spacious...

...with many nice details.

Holmswood was a visiting OO layout; this time a Southern Region terminus.

Note the three rail detailing on this simple yet authentic layout.

The terminus has a pleasing back scene of terraced houses.

Several sidings provide many operating opportunities.

And now to another visiting continuous layout. Holbury Junction, aka Mike's Railway, is an ambitious and interesting layout. The layout is designed to run up to five trains on a single track through a convoluted track formation. A train may take four or five minutes to fully complete one circuit.

The layout operates on two levels which provides attention-grabbing scenery with tunnels and inclines extending around the track length.

For the next layout we have two for the price of one, so to speak. Any City is a layout divided in two by a high scenic break.

On one side there is a locomotive service area including turntable...

...and on the other an industrial scene on two levels.

All of this is mounted on a 4' x 3' wide base. The constructors have deliberately kept this simple using card building kits, Peco setrack and is based on a Peco layout.

The layout is mounted on unusually tall legs which provided a much better viewing position approaching eye level.

Metcalfe High Street is a model of a busy street and made up of N gauge Metcalfe card kits which are so popular on our layouts. There's no train, but illustrates how a scenic backdrop can be built for a model railway.

There is wide selection of buildings together with working street lights, people and vehicles.


Metcalfe High Street makes a pleasing display whether or not you are a keen railway modeller.

So once again we hope that if you visited our open day you had an enjoyable time and the NFMRS hope to see again at our forthcoming exhibition in May 2020 - watch the 'diary' page of this website for more details in 2020. If you have not yet visited us, then come along in May and we can promise you an interesting day out.