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Looking to form model railway club in the greater Athlone area (Midlands/West)

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Garfield
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No photo description available.

Now that the photo has your attention I'm going to throw this out there to see if there's any interest:

I'm now based near Moate in Co. Westmeath and I'm curious to see if there are other modellers in the wider Athlone area who might be interested in getting together to form a model railway club in the region?

It might also be of interest to anyone located in north Offaly, Longford, east Roscommon or east Galway as these areas are all within 30-45 minutes of Athlone.

If you think it's something you might want to get involved in, leave a comment below or drop me a PM and if there's enough interest we can move on to arrange a meeting to explore further possibilities.

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12 hours ago, WRENNEIRE said:

Or you could just join the MRSI, askin for a friend!

That would be great, Dave, but a three-hour round trip to attend club nights isn't feasible, I'm afraid.

Happy to report there has been interest already, especially from the Westmeath, Offaly and Galway areas.

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Be great if it happened, there was an attempt made a few years ago around the Laois area which didn't work out sadly. With the right determined people anything is possible. A lot more to a club than playing with toy trains. At least now with the sheer amount of RTR available there has never been a better time to get involved.

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On 3/11/2021 at 11:24 AM, skinner75 said:

I'm in Athlone too, but currently have no layout. Also, I've no car, so no way to transport anything either.

@eeiknh - you don't happen to work in Ericsson do you? Your userid looks like an Ericsson userid to me!

Yeah.....I'm in Ericsson alright!! Well spotted

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23 minutes ago, connollystn said:

Is Ericsson still in Athlone? Thought that place closed down years ago. Can't imagine a model railway club being successful in the midlands. How can you get new people interested in the hobby when there are practically no models [Irish prototypes] available to buy on the open market.

A model railway club does not have to be run exclusively on Irish stock similar to Wexford model club. Besides there is more Irish stuff available now then there ever was!

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36 minutes ago, connollystn said:

Is Ericsson still in Athlone? Thought that place closed down years ago. Can't imagine a model railway club being successful in the midlands. How can you get new people interested in the hobby when there are practically no models [Irish prototypes] available to buy on the open market.

err... www.irishrailwaymodels.com 

Most clubs also run models and layouts covering diverse interests. MRSI for instance as O gauge, American HO, British OO and Continental HO and N as far as I know.

 

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Guys! You're missing my point. If someone wants to get into the hobby and purchase RTR models of Irish prototypes there is effectively little available to buy off-the-shelf. While production of RTR models of Irish railway prototypes started back in the early 2000s it has been protracted and, to all intense and purposes, have been sold out within a relatively short time after their' releases. I'd hate to join a club where there'd be a lot of models displayed which are no longer available to buy on the open market. I understand that people who join a model railway club will have diverse interest but the majority will be interested in their home railways.*

*Correct me if I am mistaken

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27 minutes ago, connollystn said:

Guys! You're missing my point. If someone wants to get into the hobby and purchase RTR models of Irish prototypes there is effectively little available to buy off-the-shelf. While production of RTR models of Irish railway prototypes started back in the early 2000s it has been protracted and, to all intense and purposes, have been sold out within a relatively short time after their' releases. I'd hate to join a club where there'd be a lot of models displayed which are no longer available to buy on the open market.

*Correct me if I am mistaken

I see going down to a model club as the chance to see model one can’t obtain/afford ect. Sure sharing is caring and at least being able to see a desirable model running is enough to gawd at. Also a chance for Like lads who have a basic oval (me at the monent) gaining knowledge and skill 1:1 from those with huge interesting layouts or even working on a big “club layout” like who wouldn’t want to see Tara junction in the flesh working away! It also means if you want to start out, you can see the models in person. Dealers such as Dave bracken and Chris dier can hopefully help those in need of a certain model or even searching adverts or eBay for an affordable loco.

 

there might be a stage very soon where 121s, A class and 201 class locomotives will all be in stock for sale on IRM/Marks models website so still big enough variety. Also a chance to see all the other models of the world run and get used to em. 

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One of the boons of being in a club is that it affords members access to models and layouts that they do not own themselves, they may not have space at home for a layout, or have the capability for building one, or do not have the budget to buy all the models they desire- clubs can fill the gap....

In my view, here in IRL, Irish locos & stock are not in the majority- British, American, and Continental are the majority in that order. I base this off what I see in the clubs and what the majority of my clients and acquaintances run.

Irish locos & stock are gaining appeal here with the new stuff available. One cannot use the IRM forum to gauge the interest, in my experience. I have mentioned this in another thread- about 10% of my clients use social media and that figure is about the same for people I know that run model trains.

 

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4 hours ago, connollystn said:

Is Ericsson still in Athlone? Thought that place closed down years ago. Can't imagine a model railway club being successful in the midlands. How can you get new people interested in the hobby when there are practically no models [Irish prototypes] available to buy on the open market.

If it was all Irish it would be Dull as heck. Look at the continental stuff out there and the UK 009 stuff now coming out!! Some great mods.

If you are part of a club that has Locos you can't get any more isn't it a bonus to get to play with them surely! 

 

Edited by Georgeconna
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13 hours ago, Georgeconna said:

If it was all Irish it would be Dull as heck. Look at the continental stuff out there and the UK 009 stuff now coming out!! Some great mods.

If you are part of a club that has Locos you can't get any more isn't it a bonus to get to play with them surely! 

 

I have plenty of Irish stock anyway......in various states of running order...... But I was too slow off the mark to order the A class liveries I wanted.

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On 10/11/2021 at 6:32 PM, murrayec said:

One of the boons of being in a club is that it affords members access to models and layouts that they do not own themselves, they may not have space at home for a layout, or have the capability for building one, or do not have the budget to buy all the models they desire- clubs can fill the gap....

In my view, here in IRL, Irish locos & stock are not in the majority- British, American, and Continental are the majority in that order. I base this off what I see in the clubs and what the majority of my clients and acquaintances run.

Irish locos & stock are gaining appeal here with the new stuff available. One cannot use the IRM forum to gauge the interest, in my experience. I have mentioned this in another thread- about 10% of my clients use social media and that figure is about the same for people I know that run model trains.

 

As well as that, a modeller here who has, for the sake of argument, long ago settled on N gauge Union Pacific or an 00 gauge Welsh branchline, is much less likely to be on IRM, or even know of it.

I knew a guy in Dublin who had a great big LMS layout, no interest at all in Irish stuff. He’s gone to his reward a few years ago, but he isn’t the only one.

Edited by jhb171achill
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2 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

As well as that, a modeller here who has, for the sake of argument, long ago settled on N gauge Union Pacific or an 00 gauge Welsh branchline, is much less likely to be on IRM, or even know of it.

I knew a guy in Dublin who had a great big LMS layout, no interest at all in Irish stuff. He’s gone to his reward a few years ago, but he isn’t the only one.

There was a king of inferiority complex about Irish railways and particularly CIE when I first joined a club in the early 70s, the majority of members modelled British, Continental or American outline, Irish railways particularly the GNR tended to be modelled by craftsmen for the challenge of modelling something different and novices like myself who could only afford second hand Tri-ang.

People who wanted quality models and reliable running tended to buy and collect Marklin, Fleischmann, Trix and Rivarossi Continental while a smaller number collected Wrenn and Hornby Dublo, a few collected Athearn, Walthers and Atlas but the running quality and detail of American stock was not great until Walthers and Atlas commissioned Roco in Austria and later Kato in Japan to produce locos during the 1980s.

Irish outline became more main stream with the introduction of kits and later rtr models from the mid 1980s, but I suspect like NZR modelling in New Zealand remains a minority interest compared to modelling and collecting British, Continental and American models.

Curiously despite New Zealand modelling having a high profile with a national guild similar to the NMRA that published a quarterly magazine available in book and magazine stores nationally and the availability of a comprehensive range of kits produced by several manufacturers in three scales , its still pretty much a minority interest and no manufacturer has commissioned high quality models of New Zealand locos and stock.

British, Continental and American modellers have all established national groups, the New Zealand Model Railway Guild, AMRA (American Modellers) and Garden Railway Associations host bi-annual national conferences with regional annual conferences. Because of its craft base the standard of NZR modelling tends to be higher and more realistic than mainstream British, American and Continental modelling, with realistic scenery and structure modelling including accurately modelled native trees, vegetation and land form (either flats or mountain), birds, animals human figures,  buildings and structures.

Clubs are not all in major cities some are small remote centers, Athlone is a large town by any standards

Edited by Mayner
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22 minutes ago, Mayner said:

There was a king of inferiority complex about Irish railways and particularly CIE when I first joined a club in the early 70s, the majority of members modelled British, Continental or American outline, Irish railways particularly the GNR tended to be modelled by craftsmen for the challenge of modelling something different and novices like myself who could only afford second hand Tri-ang.

People who wanted quality models and reliable running tended to buy and collect Marklin, Fleischmann, Trix and Rivarossi Continental while a smaller number collected Wrenn and Hornby Dublo, a few collected Athearn, Walthers and Atlas but the running quality and detail of American stock was not great until Walthers and Atlas commissioned Roco in Austria and later Kato in Japan to produce locos during the 1980s.

Irish outline became more main stream with the introduction of kits and later rtr models from the mid 1980s, but I suspect like NZR modelling in New Zealand remains a minority interest compared to modelling and collecting British, Continental and American models.

Curiously despite New Zealand modelling having a high profile with a national guild similar to the NMRA that published a quarterly magazine available in book and magazine stores nationally and the availability of a comprehensive range of kits produced by several manufacturers in three scales , its still pretty much a minority interest and no manufacturer has commissioned high quality models of New Zealand locos and stock.

British, Continental and American modellers have all established national groups, the New Zealand Model Railway Guild, AMRA (American Modellers) and Garden Railway Associations host bi-annual national conferences with regional annual conferences. Because of its craft base the standard of NZR modelling tends to be higher and more realistic than mainstream British, American and Continental modelling, with realistic scenery and structure modelling including accurately modelled native trees, vegetation and land form (either flats or mountain), birds, animals human figures,  buildings and structures.

Clubs are not all in major cities some are small remote centers, Athlone is a large town by any standards

True indeed; I have a big interest in Indonesian, Brazilian and Indian railways myself and yet In those countries it's all Bachmann LNER, Athearn USA stuff, DRGW or Hornby GWR....because it's available.

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Hi @Garfieldid be very interested to join im only a stones trow away in Ballymore, how experienced do you need to be as i am a complete novice. I have been contemplating for a few months about getting into the hobby, and the other half surprised me with an A class for Christmas, so i think i have been given permission to get my own layout going ''i think i get in the way to much''. it would be great to get some advice on where to start.

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22 hours ago, johnny said:

Hi @Garfieldid be very interested to join im only a stones trow away in Ballymore, how experienced do you need to be as i am a complete novice. I have been contemplating for a few months about getting into the hobby, and the other half surprised me with an A class for Christmas, so i think i have been given permission to get my own layout going ''i think i get in the way to much''. it would be great to get some advice on where to start.

Hi Johnny,

Thanks for your interest! I'll drop you a PM.

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