Weekend Reading: Modelling Branchlines by David Wright

Branchlines_WrightOne of the things I like to do when I am traveling (and when I am not 🙂 ) is visit public libraries. It gives a glimpse into local literary tastes and sometimes interesting public architecture. The Halifax Central Library is definitely worth the visit. The building is almost new and impressively not just a big glass box. I also enjoyed the book return conveyor/elevator/sorting system which is purposely visible at points.

One of the book sections I am sure to go through is, of course, the model railroading and railroad history. In this case, I discovered a copy of Modelling Branchlines: A Guide for Railway Modellers by David Wright. My host agreed to sign it out for me and I read through it over a couple of days.

My initial impression was that this book was a bit of an odd duck by North American publishing standards. Rather than addressing a specific area of modelling technique, it covers a “vertical” segment of the hobby, the UK branchline. It includes a general history of branchlines in the UK, a basic overview of general layout construction methods, layout plans based on specific prototypes, some freelanced plans, some specific detailing and  modelling projects and some advice on colouring with prototype reference photos.

This unexpected approach is, once one gets used to it, an interesting read. The general technique sections provided some useful ideas that I want to try. I consider the real meat of the book to be the prototype line information and associated layout plans. The section describing the construction of a stone station building from card and modelling clay covers an approach I have not seen described in detail and that I definitely want to try.

Modelling Branchlines is in print and available from the usual online behemoth. If you are interested in the prototype subject matter and some excellent trackplan treatments thereof, this book might be worth picking up.

3 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Modelling Branchlines by David Wright”

  1. I remember when I moved to Halifax last year, I spent more than a couple of evenings with one of the Library’s wonderful coffees in hand and browsing through that same section of their collection. I believe I’ve probably read this same book and that it was one of a series from the same publisher (e.g. I remember one on small space modelling and another on urban layouts) they had.

    It’s interesting to consider a book that takes such a complete view of the subject from the modeller’s perspective as a guide. I wonder if something similar could be composed for the American modeller?


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could definitely have spent more time. There was tantalizing local industrial history, too. Library visit was time limited because our teens had never had a donair and we needed to fix that.


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