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The place to voice your opin­ion on po­ten­tial new mod­els.

2018 has been a year of un­par­al­leled model rail­way-re­lated con­tent on tele­vi­sion. We kicked off with Chan­nel 4’s Big­gest Lit­tle Rail­way and, most re­cently, there’s been The Great Model Rail­way Chal­lenge on Chan­nel 5. Keep your eyes peeled for a new three-part doc­u­men­tary about Hornby, com­ing soon to the BBC. So, here’s a ques­tion: what’s your favourite model rail­way TV mo­ment? I loved Bob Symes’ Model World as a child, but my favourite mo­ment has to be the scene in the penul­ti­mate episode of The So­pra­nos, when model rail­road-lov­ing mob­ster Bobby Bac­calieri gets clipped in a model shop, just as he’s about to buy a Lionel ‘Blue Comet’. An ‘O’ gauge lay­out was built es­pe­cially for the scene, with cam­eras mounted on the trains. The ten­sion mounts, with Bobby un­aware of his fate, as he chats to the shop­keeper about the Cen­tral Rail­road of New Jer­sey’s New York-at­lantic City ‘Blue Comet’ ser­vice. Gun­shots come out of nowhere, and each one is met with the cam­era cut­ting to a miniature fig­ure with a shocked ex­pres­sion on its face. It’s a bril­liantly con­ceived piece of TV, typ­i­cal of the qual­ity of writ­ing on The So­pra­nos. The se­quence reaches its cli­max with Bobby’s bulky fig­ure (ac­tor Steven Schirripa wore a ‘fat suit’) crash­ing on to the lay­out and de­stroy­ing a bridge. The scene closes with a model train drop­ping through the chasm. Has a model rail­way ever played such a prom­i­nent role in a TV show? I’m strug­gling to think of any­thing like this…


The model rail­road cre­ated for The So­pra­nos episode ‘The Blue Comet’ is now on dis­play at TMB Model Train Club’s head­quar­ters at Farm­ing­dale, New York (www.tmb­mod­el­train­


Wiseguy and model rail­road fan Bobby Bac­calieri (Steven Schirripa).

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