The new edition of Model Rail is a Scottish special to coincide with Model Rail’s sponsorship of the Model Rail Scotland exhibition at SECC Glasgow on February 24-26.

Under the title “Taming the Border Lands” Ian Pritchard has written an extensive article on the Waverley Route and examines how it can be used as a prototype to influence a number of different model railway layouts. In typical Model Rail fashion the article covers the subject in depth over 4 pages and contains some very atmospheric photos of the line and information on the services that ran over it. As if we Waverley fans need any more persuading!

As well as a Scottish bias, March Model Rail has very much an ex LNER flavour, with the West Highland Line featuring strongly: David Harrison’s excellent N gauge Loch Oran and Kev Pearson’s DCC OO Loch Dour are two of the three featured layouts; and Ardlui forms the prototype for the regular Masterplan Model Rail feature. Theres also a feature on the final fling of Gresley’s A4s on the Glasgow to Aberdeen 3 hour expresses.

Model Rail editor Ben Jones shows how easy it is to model these classic trains. Everything needed is available off the shelf in both N and OO and it shows just how far the Hobby has progressed in recent years. When I started out modelling in the 70s the only way to do that would have involved extensive kit building, something I really don’t have time for any more.

No less than 5 separate Model Rail reviews feature LNER and ex LNER models, including the newly upgraded Bachmann A4 which receives good praise on all but price; the latest Hornby B1 Sir Harold Mitchell, which highlights Hornby’s attention to detail found only on engines overhauled at Cowlairs to work in Scotland and from Carlisle Canal shed. That makes this B1 a must for Waverley modellers even if it will need to be renumbered to represent one of the Carlisle engines.Reviews also cover coaches: the Hornby Gresley buffet car now appears in BR Inter City blue & grey livery; The release of Gresley non corridor brake thirds in both maroon and teak; and the release of all the other suburban coaches in an excellent teak finish. Its just a shame they didn’t make it in time to be under the Christmas Tree.

All in all another excellent issue of what I believe to be the best model rail magazine currently on the market. Time to take advantage of some of the great subscription offers to Model Rail that are around at the moment. Follow the link to the Great Magazines website I’m looking forward to my Model Rail turning up automatically each month with the postman from now on.

My only criticism of Model Rail is the disappearance of the regular DCC articles. It was these that made me a regular reader quite a number of years ago. Fortunately the other content is always excellent and I’ve really grown to like the practical workbench section that appears in Model Rail every month.