Model Railway exhibitions have long been one of the best places to go to to get fresh ideas to help you design your own model railway layouts.
In fact for years, model railway exhibitions and clubs were the only place you could go. The Internet is trying to change all that, but it doesn’t quite cut-it for me.
The Internet might be replacing live events in so many other ways, but one thing the Internet cannot do is replace the atmosphere live model railway exhibitions can offer. You will be surrounded by other railway hobbyists, manufacturer representatives, hobby shop owners, newcomers into the hobby, long time enthusiasts, and veterans.
Not only will all of these people be there, but many of them will have brought their own layouts to display at whichever model railway expo you choose to attend, so when you visit one of the many model railway events going on you get a really close up look at what others are building.
Live Model Railway Exhibitions offer more than the Internet can!
Here is a video that will give you an idea of what Model Railway Exhibitions can be like:
Video From The Rochdale Model Railway Exhibitions
Notice: There are lots of people of all ages, all into the same hobby, all gathering to discuss and learn more about their favorite past time. They get to see other peoples layouts and designs, custom made model railway layouts – whole landscapes with pre-made and scratch-built features and terrain.
Model Railway Exhibitions aren’t just for the older generation – i got into this hobby as a child watching my uncle building his trains and he was the first person to take me to an actual model railway expo. It was daunting, but also one of the most marvelous days, there were so many trains to look at, it was like Christmas come early!
Model Railway Exhibitions are a source of Inspiration
Back to the topic we are discussing – model railway exhibitions are a great place to go and get ideas for building your own model railway layouts. In the old days we took a notebook and a pencil and made notes. More recently I take a camera with me, as well as my notebook. As you see from the video above, many also take video cameras. The more you can learn and take away from a model railway exhibition, the better!
Whatever works best for you to record your ideas and thoughts. What layout appealed to you most? What did it include? What were the main features you liked? what features would you like in your own model railway layout?
You’ll also meet people at model railway exhibitions that you might want to talk to again, or keep in touch with after the event.
Model Railway Museums
Another place i highly recommend for inspiration like you can find at model railway exhibitions is to visit a model railway museum, or permanent installation. One of my favorite layouts is the Bekonscot Model Railway in Beaconsfield, Bucks, in the U.K.
Here is a sample of the Bekonscot Model Railway:
I enjoy my trips to Beckonscot because the sheer size and scale of the entire layout is fantastic. Obviously, with a permanent set-up like this you won’t see these layouts touring the model railway exhibitions, but you will get so many great ideas for what to include in your own layouts at home.
One of the great things about this hobby is that it can be as big or small as you want or allow it to be. A table-top layout can be as intricate as anything you will see at any of the model railway exhibitions, and over time who knows what it might grow into.
If you are new to our hobby, might i recommend you read this introductory Getting Started With Model Railway Layouts post?
Have you been to any Model Railway Exhibitions? If so, please share your stories and experiences, and let us know about the model railway exhibitions you have been to in the comments below.