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Need assistance with understanding model railways?

Hornby's new 'Step-By-Step Guide to Railway Modelling' CD-Rom is the perfect resource to establish, evolve and complement your hobby skills - whether you are starting out, an enthusiast or an experienced modeller. The CD-Rom includes chapters on 'Where Do I Start', 'Baseboards and Track', 'Buildings and Scenics', 'Wiring the Layout' and 'Taking Stock'. This innovative CD-Rom, produced by modelling experts, adopts a simple step-by-step approach, providing advice, explaining methods and demonstrating techniques by walking you logically through key tasks and activities.

PC Specification Minimum Pentium 2 600MHz, 64Mb RAM (128Mb with Windows XP) 20Mb disk space, 16Mb graphics card, SoundBlaster 128 compatible sound card, 16x CD-Rom drive, Windows 98 or later.
MAC specification Minimum G3 700MHz, 128Mb RAM, 20Mb disk space, 16Mb graphics card, 16x CD-Rom drive, OS 9 or OS X.

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What's this about scales and gauges?

The design of a model train is constrained by the need for it to run on readily available tracks, so model trains are usually described using name given to the Track Gauge that the model is designed to run on. The gauge defines the distance between the rails of the track and ensures that models of the same gauge will operate on the same track irrespective of design or manufacturer.

The scale is the ratio to which the model has been made as a fraction of the size of the real train. This can be thought of as, for example in OO, scaled at 1/76, 1 foot of model represents 76 feet of real train, or the length of a modern railway passenger coach. As non-railway models such as cars and buses don't run on the tracks manufacturers use the scale ratio for these models, so it is a useful number to remember when shopping for models to use alongside your trains.
British OO gauge models are made to 1/76 scale, that is length of the model is 1/76th of the length of the real train.
British N gauge models are made 1/148 scale.

We try to use the gauge names for trains and railway accessories in Anticsonline as this is the easiest method to identify which are the correct models for your tracks.

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Era Definition
1 1804 - 1875 Pioneering
2 1875 - 1922 Pre-Grouping
3 1923 - 1947 The Big four - LMS, GWR, LNER and SR
4 1948 - 1956 British Railways Early Emblem
5 1957 - 1966 British Railways Late Crest
6 1967 - 1971 British Railways Blue Pre Tops
7 1971 - 1982 British Railways Blue Tops era
8 1982 - 1994 British Railways Sectorisation
9

1995 onwards - Post Privatisation

Preservation
Railway preservation and heritage railways started in 1951 at Towyn, moving up to the first standard gauge heritage railway, the Bluebell line, opening to the public in 1960. Many historic railway vehicles from the past are painted in the liveries of their original owners, with steam locomotives and equipment operating alongside 'modern' diesel power.
Since privatisation several older liveries have been revived for charter trains. Yet another reason why something out of period might be seen on the 'modern' railway.

Era information is provided as a guide to the time period when a model or livery would have ben seen. Normally the era starts as the date of a significant livery change, however it is impossible to set an era for every livery change. In most cases a search on the web will quickly find the dates applicable for specific changes if you need more accurate information.

It takes many years to complete a change of livery and many items of rolling stock remained painted in the liveries from the preceeding Era during the early part of the following Era. Typically locomotives and passenger coaches would normally have received a repaint within 5 years, but goods and shunting engines often went much longer between full repaints, having existing paintwork 'touched up' at much lower costs. Railway company owned wagons were painted much less frequently, possibly only when major repairs were required and paint applied up to 20 years previously might be found. Surprisingly steam-era private owner wagons were often fully repainted every 3 years under maintenenace contracts to keep the livery clean, fresh and legible.

Please rememeber the Era is merely a guide for those who wish to purchase models from a similar period in time and in livereies which would have been seen together. Do not let the Era dissuade you from purchasing and enjoying an item because you find it attractive or interesting.

It's your railway, run it your way!
That's what we've been doing for years!

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Have a question? Contact us

We know that getting started in model railways can be confusing, with so many options available and many unfamiliar terms being used. It can sometimes seem daunting to find which path is the best for you.

At Anticsonline help is only a phone call away. Our staff will do their best to explain those unfamiliar terms and assist you to make the right choices for your first model railway layout.

Hornby and Peco Setrack systems are near-identical, using the same standard track lengths and curve radii. Most sections are directly interchangeable. Hornby and Peco track geometry reference diagrams can be found here