Open­ing the box

Model Rail (UK) - - Contents - Richard Fos­ter

Welcome to the first is­sue of 2017, a year that holds spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for Model Rail as we turn 20. Yes, you read that right: Model Rail, as a mag­a­zine rather than just a sup­ple­ment in RAIL, has been around for 20 years. It doesn’t seem that long ago, does it? Oa­sis’ Be Here Now be­came the UK’S fastest-sell­ing al­bum to date, boxer Mike Tyson bit Evan­der Holy­field’s ear, Tony Blair be­came Prime Min­is­ter, and the world mourned the death of both Princess Diana and Mother Theresa. A lot has changed since then, and so has the world of model rail­ways. But our ethos has re­mained the same. To quote Chris Leigh’s open­ing com­ment from is­sue No. 1: “Model Rail is unashamedl­y an ‘ac­tive mag­a­zine’, packed with ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion to help you DO your mod­el­ling. How­ever, in pro­vid­ing such com­pre­hen­sive help it also gives the ‘arm­chair’ mod­ellers lots to read, study and en­joy.” Twenty years on, we’re still fol­low­ing that phi­los­o­phy. We’re still bring­ing you top qual­ity lay­outs (ones that ‘never leave home’ wher­ever pos­si­ble) plus in­spi­ra­tion from the real world and its rail­ways, and all com­ple­mented with the best pho­tog­ra­phy avail­able. Only the in­creas­ing com­plex­ity of new mod­els means that it’s not al­ways pos­si­ble to take a model apart, but if we re­view a kit, we do ac­tu­ally build it. Some things have changed: the team is big­ger, for one thing, and a new gen­er­a­tion of mod­el­ling he­roes - Ge­orge Dent and Chris Nevard, to name but two - have emerged. And we’ve gone from or­der­ing 500 Class 90s from Hornby to hav­ing our own mod­els de­signed and man­u­fac­tured. But Model Rail’s core val­ues re­main the same, and we’re able to do this be­cause, after all this time, Chris Leigh and Dave Low­ery (above) are still key mem­bers of the team. The drive, en­thu­si­asm and pas­sion of the mag­a­zine’s founders hasn’t waned, and they keep the rest of us on the straight and nar­row. Be­ing in Chris and Dave’s com­pany is a real plea­sure. The good-na­tured jibes and leg pulling mask a gen­uine friend­ship - the type of bond that peo­ple can only make when they’ve worked to­gether for so long. As a rel­a­tive new­comer, it’s a lit­tle awe-in­spir­ing too, as they’re two of the hobby’s ‘greats’. But then, I’m sure that Chris and Dave would have prob­a­bly felt the same way about be­ing in the com­pany of their own mod­el­ling he­roes. Let’s hope that the model rail­way world will be as strong and vi­brant in 2037 as it is to­day. And there’s no rea­son why Model Rail won’t be there with ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion to help you do your hobby!

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