• Haywards - Gavin Sowry

    Haywards - Gavin Sowry

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  • Da duo

    Da duo

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THE JOURNAL - Now available at www.thejournal.nz

    www.thejournal.nz is our new website. Your password could not be migrated across from the old website however, you will need to create a new password for the new website.
    Sign-ins on the new website (thejournal.nz) are using your email address, not your membership number or previous login. The email address is the last one you used on the old website - if you're not sure, feel free to email (details below). We will keep the old website running for the coming year.
    We are working on importing the memberships that were not transferred across when the site went live. We are adding memberships as members contact us.
    If you are still struggling to access the new website, please email Lewis at lewis@lewisholden.co.nz or guildsec@nzmrg.org.nz

Where to for the hobby?

First Hattons, then Warley, and then there was a controversial UK newspaper article (The Telegraph 12 Jan 2024) ... it's been a rough time for the hobby – 

Dawn Quest, Journalist and TV producer … and loves everything and anything to do with building model railways, thinks that the world is not coming to an end. 

It was Mark Twain who said (after his obituary was mistakenly published in New York), “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”. 

This is the underlying theme of a recent YouTube video posted by Dawn. Dawn says “we could all use a little positivity, couldn't we? Here's what I think the model railway hobby needs right now... let me know what you think in the comments.” See Dawn's YouTube HERE: 

The Journal has been around for 75 years. Throughout that time there have been numerous mentions of the need to ensure we engage youth, or we run the risk of the hobby declining. As Dawn said in her video “the model railway hobby is not dying, it is changing.”

And it certainly has changed – see our article “How did we get here from there”. As we are seeing in other hobbies, the formal club or society has overheads requiring time and effort that people don’t want to do any longer. And they don’t need to as we have so many opportunities to be in touch with others and what they are doing – despite being in distributed parts of the country, and even the world.

Developments that used to take ages to get to NZ are now here overnight – or we are exporting our own developments to the rest of the world.

I rather love this rebuttal in The Critic – see HERE 

It starts “The last model train has departed, and in the attics and spare bedrooms of Britain, closure notices the size of thumbnails are being glued to cardboard stations. OO gauge track is being torn up; weeds made from lichen and flock shoot up where once there were busy miniature main lines. It’s Beeching all over again, just tiny. And in a desolate parade, once-cherished model locos trundle off to 4mm scale scrapyards, to stand lifeless and forgotten until, like their real-life forebears, they are broken up to be recycled as…oh, I don’t know. iPhones. Xboxes. Something modern, anyway. Something cool.” 

It was clear from our visit to the Tauranga show in January that the interest is undiminished, it’s the realisation of the hobby that is changing.


Follow Dawn Quest on her website, her YouTube videos and on Instagram.

www.modelrailwayquest Instagram: @modelrailwayquest


The Journal is online - click here


The NZ Model Railway Journal has been digitally archived from its beginnings as a Supplement to the NZ Railway Observer in 1946 to the latest issue - available on your desktp, tablet or smart phone.

The Journal archive is a digital copy of every magazine which enables you to access over 75 years' worth of extraordinary content focussed on New Zealand railways and New Zealand railway modelling. The archive is accessible by members of the Guild, those with a current paid subscription. 

You are able to flick through every edition, you can expand any page  for closer reading and examination of photographs, and you are able to download individual pages for your own modelling purposes.

We are delighted to bring this exciting service to our members.

Your Guild Executive

Our Facebook link: NZ Model Railway Guild 



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