Moray MRG News



Moray Model Railway Group future

There was a full club meeting on Wednesday 1st November 2017 to discuss the way forward for our Group and we have decided that:
A - We will not be continuing with our reciprocal agreements with other clubs and
B - We will not be holding our own show this coming March or any future shows.

These steps have become necessary due to the advancing (or galloping) age of our members and, unfortunately financial constraints.

These decisions have not been taken lightly, and it is sad that we cannot attend any show for the foreseeable future, as we all enjoy the camaraderie and the shows in the past.

Request to visit/exhibit a layout at other shows will be considered, but only where expenses are paid.

Minutes of Meeting held on Wednesday 1st November 2017 at the Barn Sherriffston

A meeting of the Moray Model Railway Group (MMRG) was held in the Club Room in the Barn at Sherriffston Farm on 1st November 2017, to solicit views from members about how the MMRG might continue in 2018 and beyond.

Present – Colin Anderson, Ian Buchan, Arry Dodd, Bob Duncan, Neil Ellison, Rob Halley, Will Hay, Dave Jackson, Gordon Kelman, Paul MacMillan, Dusty Millar, Davie Milne, Bill Steven.
Not Present – Gary McBride (Lives in the Borders), Ross Hendry (Junior member)

The need for a meeting was brought about by the decision to pull out of the Aberdeen Model Railway Club show in Dyce on Oct 28/29 at very short notice because we only had two members available to operate our club layout. This late withdrawal did not do the club’s reputation any good at all.

The number of MMRG club members able to attend other clubs’ shows in 2017 had decreased to three or four members per show, and there was a hard core of just five members who travelled in 2017. This number looks likley to decrease in 2018.

The correspondance on social media during the week after the Aberdeen show indicated there was a need to sit down and get as many opinions and ideas as possible as to how MMRG as a club might continue, as the increasing age of members is not going to make it any easier to keep lugging layouts around the country.

The main topics discussed and the decisions taken are set out below. (They are not in any particular order, but all of them are inter-linked, and decisions taken on one or more points of discussion inpacted on the discussions and decisions taken on other points).


MMRG will continue to be a fully paid member of the Association of Model Railway Societeies in Scotland (AMRSS). The annual subscription fee for 2018 of £32 was paid in October of this year.


MMRG will exhibit the Newtontoll layout at the Model Rail Scotland show in Glasgow on Feb 23-25, 2018. Refurbishment work on this layout will continue at Sherriffston.

MMRG ideally requires a minimum of six members to attend Model Rail 2018 to operate the layout and to partake in stewarding duties. Stewarding duties generate additional income for the club.

MMRG will plan to exhibit at the Model Rail Shows in 2019 and 2020 if there are sufficient club members available to travel to these shows to operate the club’s layouts.


MMRG will cease attending other model railway club shows in Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth in 2018 and beyond as there is no longer any reasonable guarantee that there will be sufficient members to travel to these shows to operate our own layouts. In addition, the expense of attending these shows will most likley deplete MMRG’s remaining funds within two years. Average costs to attend these three shows over the past few years were as follow; Perth £430, Dundee £400, and Aberdeen £190. MMRG will endeavour to continue to attend the shows at Elgin and Inverness and the Hopeman Gala.

However,an exception may be made if at any time there are sufficient members available to travel and if the club issuing an invitation will agree to reimburse MMRG for all reasonable expenses.

If any MMRG member has a layout of their own that they wish to exhibit on behalf of MMRG at an away show, then MMRG will wherever possible, assist said member to take their layout to the show. Payment of all expenses likely to be incurred must be guaranteed by the club holding the show prior to the show being held.

GNOS 2018

MMRG will not hold its own Great North of Scotland (GNOS) model railway show in March 2018 and that the booking that had made for the Elgin Town Hall for the show be cancelled.

There was much discussion over the pros and cons about holding a show in 2018. Several members came up with positive and constructive ideas to raise the profile of the show and thereby increse the numbers of the public likely to attend.

However, the main concern raised against holding a show is that MMRG would be liable to pay for the expenses of the other clubs exhibiting at GNOS, because the reciprocal expenses agreement that MMRG have had for many years with the other clubs would no longer be valid. (See item 3 on the previous page). This cost would probably be about £1000.

The work involved in organising and running the show has become more time consuming and stressful in the last few years for the club menbers organinsing the show. The club no longer has enough able bodied members to run a show of the size and type that MMRG has done in the past and late call-offs by members only increases the stress on the other members running the show.

The numbers of paying public attending our shows has been decreasing yearly. In 2017 we were disadvantaged by a weekend of exceptionally good weather, which kept the numbers even lower. The profit made at the GNOS 2017 show was less than £100.

A show of hands was taken for and against holding a show in 2018. The was split was roughly 50/50 (13 votes total). However, it was felt that without a firm commitment from the majority of members for a show in 2018, then there were just too many obstacles in the way to justify all the time and effort that would necessary to make a successful GNOS show with a resulting good cash return for the club.

Therefore a decision was reluctantly taken not to hold a GNOS show in 2018 and that the show in 2017 was most likley to have been our last one.


One or more layouts will be set up in the club room at Sherriffston as running layouts for members to run their own locos and stock. A decision will be made at a later date about which layouts will be set up.

Before this can be done, a major clearout and reorganisation will be needed at Sherriffston. This will be done in March and April next year after the show in Glasgow.

MMRG will terminate the rental agreement with Ed Dunbar for storage facilities at Duffus. This will save £250 per annum. The rent for this is paid up until May 31, 2018.

The layouts currently stored at Duffus will be moved to Sherriffston or broken up and parts and track reused. A member asked about the possibilty of selling some of the layouts, but the general feeling is that this will generate little cash and would not be worth the effort.

The rent for the club room at Sherriffston is paid to Nick Shaw. Nick still lives at the house on the farm. Unfortunatley Nick’s health is deteriorating. He is suffering from dementia and requires the help of a full time carer. His wife passed away suddenly last year. We will try and contact his son Fergus in the next few weeks to discuss our continuing use of the club room, at least until 2020.

There being no other business, the meeting closed at 21.30 hrs



Forres station Inv line work Forres station Inv line work, double track

The quiz photo shed

Work continues on old Grantown East station


The quiz photo shed (above) is located on the old Forres Grantown line, a couple of miles north of Dava station.

Grid ref - NJ 021413 ish

Grantwn East station now has 2 coaches CA quiz- where is this standard Cowan & Sheldon rail mounted steam crane standard gauge   CA -I was looking round the inside of Rannoch Signal Box, when round the corner came the Royal Scotsman!

For Model Rail pics see Gallery - Exhibitions & Group Layouts