FAQ
 
1). Which nights do the different groups meet?
The main Association night is every Friday night from 7:15 pm, but members can come any other night as long as there are at least two members at all times for safety reasons. (Refer to the HOME page).
 
2). How much does it cost in real terms?
In addition to the annual membership subscription, members also pay a fee of £1 per person per visit.
 
3). What does the Association own and pay for?
The money that is collected from the annual subscriptions and from the visit fees, goes towards the purchase of the materials, equipment, track, points etc. for the Association layouts, (excluding running stock), also towards the upkeep of the Association premises,  including hut maintenance, the land lease, electric, water, heating, rates etc.
 
4). What is the mix of members between the gauge groups?
There are currently around 70 members, and these break down in percentage terms to the following, N gauge = 35%, 0 gauge = 20%, 00 gauge = 35% and Junior (00 gauge) = 10%. However there are several members who model in more than one gauge, so these figures should only be seen as a rough guide.
 
5). Are there any age or other restrictions for junior members?
All junior members (under the age of 16) must be accompanied by their parent, carer or their designated ARA adult member. (Please Note:- Junior members are NOT allowed to attend on their own).
 
6). Who decides on what happens with each group's layout?
Each layout has a nominated 'Layout Manager' who is really only a 'voice' of the group members at the Associations Committee Meetings, and to 'chair' any discussions within their group, but ALL decisions about their layout are discussed and agreed by the group as a whole. The Layout Manager is also responsible for their group's financial budget.
 
7).

What's the 'tea duty' all about?
The Association has a small kitchen area where members can sit and talk and purchase cups of tea, coffee or soft drinks, and a small selection of confectionary including biscuits, crisps, chocolate bars etc.

This area is now 'staffed' on a rotational basis by each group on a weekly basis, hence the duty group is then responsible for fulfilling the 'tea duty', washing up and clearing away the rubbish etc.
 

8). Does the Association organise any social events?
The Association does organise a few social events, the main one being our Annual Model Railway Exhibition dinner, with our spouses and partners.  We also invite the exhibitors and traders.  The committee occasionally organises visits to other venues, including:- 'Pendon Museum' and Didcott Railway Centre, Oxfordshitre.
York Railway Museum.
MOSI (Museum Of Science and Industry),  Manchester.
Midland Railex Model Railway Exhibition, Butterly, Derbyshire etc.
 
9). Is there a limit to the number of members?
There is not a specific limit to the number of members, as the Association is effectively broken down into several groups or gauges, with each group having several members that come and go at various times etc. so based on the fact that not all members come at the same time, the Association premises are never 'full'.
However, new memberships can be suspended by the Association Committee at their discretion .
 
10). Can we run our own stock on the layouts?
The Association only owns the layouts themselves and does not own any locos, engines or rolling stock, other than some items that have been donated by the public or Association members.  It is dependent upon the members using their own engines and rolling stock to 'bring the layouts to life' which gives far more variety and interest for other members and visitors, this then generates various conversational points.
 
11). What does the Association expect of the members?
Nothing more than to join a long standing, enthusiastic and lively group of like minded people, to exchange ideas and views and to get 'involved' to a level that they wish to. Many members do not have layouts of their own and so use the Association's layouts, there is always a good mix of experience, knowledge, information, and plenty of advice, but the main outstanding objective is enjoyment.
 
12). What can the members put on their web pages?
Every member can have a website area that is by default (but is not limited to) 10 photographs with associated text area's, which can contain anything you wish, as long as it is related to railway modelling in general. Remember, this area is for the Association, by the Association, so its content makes the Association's website more interesting to other members and website visitors alike.
 
13). Are the Associations layouts Analogue (DC) or DCC controlled?
Up until recently no layouts have had DCC loco control capability, however in addition to their standard analogue control,  the '0' and '00' gauge layout groups are in the process of modifying their layouts to be partially or fully DCC loco controlled.  Those members that own DCC locos will then be able to have running sessions. The control for some of the layouts are traditionally operated by switches or probes etc. The '00' gauge uses the Association's own digital electronics for the control of points, signals, sections etc. These are under constant development and are part of the fun element for those interested in electronics and Model Railway Control etc.
 
14). Do the Association groups model their layouts in any specific era?
All the layouts tend to model in a target era, but this is mainly for when their layout is going to an exhibition, there is no restriction on what era loco's and rolling stock is used at the Association's premises or on any open day's.
 
15). Does the Association organise any demonstrations or talks?
From time to time, one of our members (or a guest) who may be particularly proficient in some aspect of the hobby will give a demonstration or 'talk' on their subject, this is generally because there are a number of members that would find the subject particularly interesting. There is always 'advice' being given on various subjects on a one to one basis.
 
 
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