MB Wooden Railways
A different approach to wooden railways

Welcome to MB Wooden Railways, which is part of a larger site concerned with Miniature Buildings .  It discusses aspects of Brio (and compatible) railways and my own, not entirely usual, approach to them.  For my other articles on the subject please go to Railways Articles

Oirschot station

Oirschot, an attractive small town in the North Brabant province of the Netherlands, does not actually have a railway station.  I don't believe it ever did.  It is the central town in the district, 'gemeente', where I now live.  Oirschot station is simply a toy created by me for the grandchildren.

I am simultaneously pleased and embarrased by this miniature building.  Pleased that I made it and that I actually finished it, which is not something that can be said for many of my modelling attempts.  Pleased with the overall appearance which I think captures the spirit of a generation of NS stations.  Pleased that the children seem to like it.  Embarrassed that it is a fairly crude representation, even though it is meant as a toy not a competition piece.  Embarrassed that it is not to scale, which is something I generally consider important.

I have written more elsewhere, in an article titled 'Scale or effect' about the importance or not of modelling to scale.  However in this context there is some justification.  It is designed to sit at the edge of a layout I'm building (for what seems like forever) for what are usually referred to as 'Brio' or 'wooden' toy trains.

There is more about this project in my 'train table' article.  Since the trains and track are not to a particular scale it is not actually possible to make buildings true to scale.

The gauge of Brio, and other compatible, trains is about 21mm which is wider than OO/HO track at 16.5mm and is therefore around 1/68 scale.   Wooden track is fundamentally different from real track or 'proper' models.  The toy trains run outside the 'track' rather than on top of it.  The height of the available toy trains is on a similar scale, somewhere between 1/65 and 1/80 scale.  But the locomotive and carriage lengths are way shorter than they would be at this scale.  They are somewhere between 1/150 and 1/200.  Not that this seems to matter greatly when looking at a toy train set.  We seem to accept without thinking this shortening of the rolling stock.  Actually, when I look at true scale HO or 4mm models the carriages always seem unnaturaly long though I cannot imagine that the serious rail enthusiast accepts anything other than true scale length.  I go down this particular rabbit hole simply as a way of explaining why I made my fictitious station to a nominal 1/100 scale.

The engines are repaints by me of lurid pink engines sold by Tesco under the Carousel brand with a scratch built tender on a Brio chassis.

Paradoxically the station looks too tall to me.  Yet if I matched the scale height of the trains it would be even taller.  At some point I am going to make another one, if only because we have an English grandson as well as Dutch grandchildren so I need to create an English station too.  Next time I will probably make the station shorter, maybe using 1/120. Roughly TT landscaping with OO locos!

To keep things simple and robust I used a fairly solid core for the building of 9mm MDF and a wooden framed roof.

It was then clad with home-generated (with Photoshop Elements) brick and window paper and roofed with slate paper adapted from a texture I found online.  Since it was a toy I accepted the unrealistic option of not cutting out and rebating windows and doors and of not overlapping the strips of roofing.  Something I wouldn't normally approve of but getting it finished and ready to play with seemed more important.

The detailing such as the station name boards, clock, platform number, timetable and ticket machine all came from a variety of online sources, including one site that lets you generate the staion name of your choice in the correct, NS specific, font.  (NS is Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the Dutch national rail company) https://www.spoorwegbord.nl/p/8619/spoorweg-bebording/perron-en-stationsborden


As always, please e-mail Miniature Buildings if you have something to add. Comments, criticisms, extra thoughts, pictures, or even complete articles for inclusion in the Miniature Buildings site are all welcome. Or if you would like to be added to my mailing list to hear when a new article is published.

David, October 2022