So Andy, when did your interest in model railways start?
It was my grandad that started it all off when I was a young lad. I must have been about 6 or 7 and my first train set was the Flying Scotsman set back in the early 70s. It was just the basic set and I got it for Christmas.
Did you and your grandad spend much ‘railway’ time together?
Well, for the next 6 years we built a model railway in a spare bedroom they had. I was nicknamed ‘the bad penny’ as I was there most evenings after school and virtually every weekend. I became his shadow.
Where did it all go from there?
The years passed on as they do, marriage, kids, work, all the usual stuff life throws at us. Then 6 years ago, for some reason the interest in model railways reignited itself. Financially I found myself in a better position (no kids!), so I started building what was to become Hoggies No.1.
So where did you build it?
Well my wife Karen wasn’t too happy as I took over our lounge and started building the baseboards. 5 years on Hoggie is in a 4m by 3m log cabin at the bottom of our garden and it is still an on-going project.
What type of layout is Hoggies No.1?
It started out as a model railway based on the Harry Potter films and has now grown into a Harry Potter theme park.
Tell me about your new venture, Hoggies Model Railways. Firstly, why now?
I have been thinking about this for about the last 18 months. At the age of 53 and having been in the motor trade for 35 years I decided to set up Hoggies to run alongside my main business Autodocs. Also, the timing seems right as there seems to be more interest in our hobby due to the TV show Great Railway Challenge.
So what can Hoggies Model Railways provide?
My aim is to design, build and supply complete digital (DCC) set ups and offer them as a complete package. Board sizes will vary, the smallest one possible for 00 gauge is 6ft by 4ft.
The boards will be based on a 4ft modular interlocking system. This means that the length and width of any layout can be as big as space is available.
Do you offer any other services, apart from basic track layouts?
Yes, for instance, for a reasonable additional cost I can fit point motors and digital point controllers and program them. If you have any other requirements, just ask.
In time I hope to go down the path of supplying track accessories and scenic packages.
What if I have my own track layout in mind. Can you help with that?
I will be offering various layouts with things like crossings and turntables if requested and of course, if you have your own design, I am sure it can be worked out and built.
Any final thoughts?
Only that I am really excited that Hoggies is finally a reality and I look forward to meeting fellow enthusiasts and to building many new railway layouts. Please come along and say hello.