This model railway group began late in 1990 at a meeting of Waitakere N-Track Group, Western Districts Model Railway Club (WDMRC) members and a few others who had N gauge scale, model railway interests. At the time, N gauge was riding an insurgent wave in model railway circles, and manufacturers were rising to the market activity the world over. Exciting new models and standards were appearing every month.

Members met in their homes and prepared their plans for a modular, exhibition layout that would meet the new standards and display the “new” N gauge models that were available. The enthusiasm was like a child’s when encountering a new toy.

The N Track Group’s plans were expanded and developed into a modular layout that incorporated members’ individual modules. Their modular system was based on a world-wide standard that enabled anyone’s module to be connected to other modules the world over.

In early 1993 the N-Trak group decided to amalgamate with the newly formed HO/OO Modular Group to form the Waitakere Modular Railway Group. Since then the group has become an affiliated arm of the WDMRC, looking after their exhibition activities.  An HO/OO gauge layout was consequently added to the collection which widened the groups’ interests and exhibition activities.

Purpose

The WMRG provides activities for those interested in designing, building and operating model railway layouts for public display. The activities publicize the hobby, but in particular the WDMRC by supporting the many community exhibitions, fetes, and fairs and being available to schools and youth groups for classroom projects.
The group is often host to other NZ, like-minded enthusiasts and has in return supported them in their town or city.

Activities

The original N gauge modules were built according to the globally accepted, N-Trak manual specifications with three main tracks. The straight modules were built and owned by individual group members with the scenery their own personal choice. The four corners were built by and available from the Western Districts Model Railway Club..

Control of the main tracks is by hand held controllers on flexible leads. Power is distributed through the modules by four pairs of cables with interlocked plugs at the end of each module. Three cables provide the variable 12 volt track supplies, while the fourth cable provides a fixed 24 volt supply for point control and/or local yard controllers. This facility permits shunting operations independent of the main tracks.

The WMRG has available for exhibition, two modular layouts, employing either:-

–    4 foot long, 3 track, N gauge modules
–    6 foot long, 2 track, HO/OO gauge modules.

The selection and size of these modules gives the group greater flexibility at exhibitions where space is variable and more often than not at a premium. The modules may include a Main Yard from which the trains are despatched. These have been modified and rebuilt over the years. The new, lightweight, HO/OO yard provides 10 tracks to store the selection of rolling stock for the layout. A current project will provide a new set of HO/OO, lightweight modules to complement the new yard.

The group promotes, shares and enjoys the model railway hobby. They attend many of the model and hobby exhibitions including the annual Model X Extravaganza (run by the WDMRC over Queen’s Birthday weekend in Henderson), and the annual shows in Rotorua and Taupo. The group also visits schools and kindergartens with a children’s layout, originally built in 1999 but replaced in 2005 by a fold-up display. Scenery is refreshed each year.

A more recent development has been the group’s Playin’ Trains weekend at Waitakere College each Labour Weekend in West Auckland. Model railway club members and individuals get a chance to work on layouts and run trains. An open day is held on the Sunday for the public.

The group meets monthly on an informal basis at the homes of members.

Contact Details

Colin Davies
c/- Western District Model Railway Club
PO Box 45033
Te Atatu Peninsula

or through this web site