India 2018 Day 20, 24th December

Today Ravi's friend and co-worker, Yogesh Dandekar drove me to the new site for the latest model railway layout. I had not appreciated that this site is some 80 km from Pune at Wai.

Ravi was looking for help to build the layout and Yogesh was looking to take a break from his normal work so it fell very happily to team up to design the new layout. Highly larger than at Kothud they are also wanting to move away from the German made buildings to something that more reflects modern Indian architecture. Currently the buildings remind me of my mother's home town of Celle with the brick and wood faced buildings that Celle renovated in the 50s and 60s. Iconic German style.

The layout has sensors so that it is centrally and automatically controlled with audio running to tell visitors what is going on.

It is housed in a dual shipping container structure. The shops, restaurants and facilities outside are also housed in these converted steel boxes. Although not yet open or completed they did allow some school children in and ran the show. This is when it comes alive. Few children anywhere could have the space for such a layout and here with the local factory making jams open up to visitors and enable small businesses to set up along side. The foot fall is therefore greater and particularly for children this is a magically place to visit.

I wish I could easily and cheaply bring my 1959-65 train layout here. The 15kg, the fragile nature of such old plastic and the potential for high import costs on a set that has relatively no value in the UK make the gesture non-viable. It is posted on the BBC's The History of the World in 100 Objects . Mine is HO-OO Hornby and Ravi's is using the German Piko for trains and Preiser for figures and buildings. 

 Last updated 26th December 2018