Photo by Fredrick Onyango via Wikimedia Commons
Another of those layout ideas I’m never likely to build, a freelance layout based in a ficticious African nation.
The above picture of a Rift Valley Railways passenger train in Nairobi, Kenya with its American diesel and vaguely European looking coaching stock is the sort of scene it might try to evoke. The RVR is metre-gauge (and most other lines in sub-Saharan Africa are 3’6″ Cape Gauge), but a model like the recently introduced Arnold U25C and Brawa DR “Reko” coaches could represent something similar. Some Kato Japanese-outline freight stock would not out of place either.
As for other motive power, there was an export model of the Brush 4 that ran in Zimbabwe, and might make an interesting conversion project from a Graham Farish 47. Kitbashing anything to represent the stylish English Electric export model 1-Co-Co-1s which also run in Kenya might be more of a challenge.
When I’m not running trains in British outline mode, the layout can represent a station somewhere along the Bern Lötchberg Simplon main line. The distinctive brown Re4/4 locomotives are a signature item of motive power for the line. For many years the only available version in N gauge was the very old and long discontiued Arnold model. I managed to acquire a few of these a decade or so ago. Although acceptable in it’s time they’re crude models compared with more recent releases from Fleischmann or Minitrix, and indeed fall well below current British outline models from Farish or Dapol.
Which is why a new model of this iconic locomotive is good news. It’s from Arnold again, now part of the Hornby group, and it’s an all-new retooled version rather than a reissue of the long in the tooth original model.
Needless to say I’ve gone and ordered one.