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MERG Three Counties Area Group

Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

About the Three Counties Area Group

Group members are drawn from the three home counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Most members belong to other model railway clubs in this area, but we share a common interest in the use of technology to enhance model railway layouts.
We meet on a regular basis to exchange ideas and expertise.

How do you meet?

We meet monthly over Zoom or in person at the Hemel Hempstead Model Railway Society clubhouse:

Nash Mills Recreation Centre, Off Red Lion Lane, Hemel Hempstead HP3 9TE

Meetings usually include some or all of the following:

  • A presentation
  • A session on a group project
  • A practical workshop
  • Requests for help

Details of upcoming meetings

19:30 07-Aug3 Counties AG get to getherFace to face club nightHemel MRS Lings Langley

We welcome new members.

How do I contact the Area Group?

Please indicate Three Counties Area Group in your message Contact MERG

Who is the leader of the group?

Area Group Leader: Christopher Langdon
Assistant Area Group Leader: Robert Thomas

Are you thinking of joining us?

if you are not already a MERG a member then

If you are already a member then you can sign up here:

Select Three Counties Area Group from the drop down list in Other Area Groups and press the Subscribe to Area Group button.

How do you meet?

Whilst restrictions are in place, we are using Zoom video calls.

Previously we met at three different locations: -

Eaton Bray Village Hall
Church Lane, Eaton Bray, Dunstable, LU6 2DJ
Guide in map

Risborough & District Model Railway Club
Meetings held at Risborough Community Centre HP27 9AX
Club website

Hemel Hempstead Model Railway Club
Meetings at the Club, Off Red Lion Road, Hemel Hempstead HP3 9TE

Meetings include some or all of the following:

  • A presentation
  • A session on a group project
  • A practical workshop.

And the Next Meeting?

To join our Zoom Meeting, logon to the MERG website and go to the Start Page

From there, look at My Upcoming Events and providing that you are a member of 3 Counties , you will see the link for the meeting.

19:30 07-Aug3 Counties AG get to getherFace to face club nightHemel MRS Lings Langley

Some Examples of our Projects

(Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture)

Arc Welding Effect

This was produced by one of our members. Here's his description:

“The welder is based on the circuit in MERG Pocket Money Projects Kit No 8 (PMP 8 - 'Multi-purpose flasher') using the first option to simulate a welding machine. Instead of using stripboard and a DIL plugin PIC 12F675 processor, I used an SMD PIC with all components soldered onto a tiny conversion board and covered in heat-shrink tubing giving a compact unit about 15 x 10 x 5 mm which was easily hidden within the garage. The two LEDs (bright white and red) are SMD 1208 LEDs glued back-to-back, attached to long thin wires and fitted to a model of a 1:76 welder figure from Shedring Hobbies”

Van Rides Demonstration N Gauge Layout

This compact demonstration layout is another of our members personal projects. It was inspired by the operation of the Severn Valley Railway at Highley Station during the 2018 Spring Gala.

The operation is fully automatic and is controlled by a variety of kits from the MERG Pocket Money Project range.

The layout was originally built in response to the 2mm Fine Scale Association's Diamond Jubilee Challenge: to build a working layout with at least one turnout to the Association’s fine scale track and wheel standards within a scenic area 60cm long by 9.42 inches wide – a combination of standards to justify 60 for the number of years of existence and 9.42, for the number of mm of the standard track gauge.

The Great Model Railway Challenge TV Series

The group supplied expertise and manpower to mount an entry to the 'Great Model Railway Challenge' TV series under the identity of The Missenden Modellers.

Their 'Ealing Road' layout featured MERG components and has subsequently been exhibited on a number of occasions and featured in the Model Railway press (an edition of British Railway Modeller). A description of this (and other MERG related entries to the challenge) appeared in the MERG journal Vol 52 December 2018.

MERG Kit Demonstrator Layout for Exhibitions

Last year, a local model railway club asked us to provide a MERG presence at their annual exhibition. It wasn’t a great success as we did not have much to show. After that we decided to make simple demonstration layout to showcase MERG kits. We all contributed time and equipment, and put together a double decker layout with all the electronics mounted on top of the baseboards.

The upper track is made from code 75 rail and is fully ballasted. It operates as an automatic shuttle.

The lower track is made from Peco Setrack, code 100 mounted directly onto a cork underlay. There are two handset controllers, colour light signals, and motorised points. This is connected to a PC that is running the JMRI layout control program. JMRI provides a mimic display, control of the points, and the logic for the signals. We encourage visitors to get “hands on” with the equipment!

We also have kits to show, leaflets and copies of the MERG journal to show visitors. The whole display is 2.4 m long. If you are an exhibition organiser and you would like it at your next show, please get in touch.

Download the electronics block diagram here: ]3cag-demolayoutblkdiag.pdf

public/3counties.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/11 10:42 by jim_douglas

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