Thamesiders Model Railroad Group

The Thamesiders Model Railroad Group is a National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) British Region group.

We are a small group of model railroaders, primarily from Essex, who met through the NMRA and formed a local group to further our knowledge and enjoyment of North American railroads. Most members are from Essex but members come from across the county border in Suffolk, Kent, Hertfordshire and East London. The group meets once a month, usually at a site in Frating, north of Colchester.

Group activities focus on our modular HO layout, Essex Belt Lines, and N scale modules. Members have their own interests including O scale standard gauge and HOn3 and On30 narrow gauge.

Thamesiders are at the forefront of model railroad technology having implemented a comprehensive Computerised Traffic Control (CTC) system using Signalist turnout and signal decoders and JMRI software. Please see our signalling page for full details.

Essex Ethanol module

Essex Ethanol module

We welcome new members – membership of the NMRA is not essential but is positively encouraged. Our goal is to spread the word of US outline railroading to the East Anglia area. The group has a bi-monthly newsletter, “The Ditchlight”, distributed to all members every two months with details and maps for upcoming meets, up to date model railroad news and modeling articles. The group has wide ranging interests, from the smallest of narrow gauge lines to the large class 1 railroads of today. The main periods modeled are the 1950s steam/diesel transition era and modern mega railroads and shortlines.

The group have been invited to exhibit the Essex Belt Lines at both major national exhibitions, including the Warley Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC in 2010 and the Festival of Model Railways at Alexandra Palace in 2012 and 2017, along with local club exhibitions.

The group would be delighted to represent US outline model railroading at local model railway exhibitions. The selection of modules available allows us to offer anything from a simple switching puzzle to a large circular layout with branchlines.

We can be contacted using our contact us page on this site or via the webmaster at webmaster@thamesidersmrg.org.uk