Frequently Asked Questions

1).      When do the different groups meet?


The ARA meets every Friday night around 19:00pm to around 22:00pm.  Members often meet on other days / nights, for example, some Members who are either retired or shift workers often attend on Monday around 09:00am to 16:00pm.  The 0 Gauge Group usually meet on Thursday nights around 20:00pm. The ARA tries to be flexible and so the exact times of opening are left to the Members themselves and the key holders of course, who are usually the ARA Committee Members.
(Refer to the About Us page).


2).      What costs are involved for Membership?


In addition to the Annual Membership subscription, Members currently pay a fee of £1 per Member per visit. Members feel that this is a fair way of raising funds for the ARA.  If you can't visit very often, then you don't pay as much as a Member who is able to visit twice a week.

(Refer to the Join Us page).


3).      What layout gauges does the Association currently cater for?


The Association currently has one Z Gauge layout, two N gauge layouts, one 00 Gauge layout plus a 00 Beginners' Group layout and two 0 Gauge layouts.
(Refer to the Association Layouts page).


4).      Who decides on what happens with the Association layouts?


The different layout groups decide on who, in their group is to be the layout manager.  The layout manager is usually on the ARA Committee, but does not have to be, if someone else on the ARA Committee can represent the layout group and report back to the ARA Committee. The group members decide what happens with their layout(s) via a democratic vote if necessary.


 5).      Can we run our own stock on the Association layouts?


The layouts are primarily used to run Members stock etc.  Members are responsible for insuring their own stock. In bygone days, it used to be Association policy that Association groups / layouts would not own any 'stock'.  However, in recent times Members have donated stock to the groups / layouts which are now owned by the group / layout / Association. It is still Association policy that groups should not use their layout budget to purchase any stock items.

6).      What does the Association expect of the Members?


If you join us and you are able to, then 'join in'.  We expect you to get involved to a level that you wish to. The ARA has a Safeguarding Children & Young Persons policy / document(s). All Members expect courtesy from other Members. The ARA Constitution document and the ARA Committee set the standards and rules that we should all adhere to. If there are any issues with your expectations or you have concerns etc, then contact an ARA Committee Member.


7).      Are the Associations layouts analogue (DC) or DCC controlled?


The Association layouts are primarily analogue (DC) - But... Some of the layouts can be / are dual purpose and so can be 'converted' to run DCC if that is what the group members wish. There are many members who run DCC at home and are advocates of DCC.

8).      Does the Association organise any Exhibitions?


Thanks to the dedicated work of the ARA Exhibition Manager(s) and the ARA Exhibition Team plus all the ARA Members and non ARA Members volunteers (Families / friends etc.) the Association can organise a popular Model Railway Exhibition each year, which is usually held in very late October / early November.
(Refer to the ARA Exhibition page).


9).      How is the Association run and administered?


The Alsager Railway Association is run by the ARA Committee. The ARA Committee currently consists of four Officer positions: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and the Secretary. These four Officer positions are elected each year at the ARA Annual General Meeting (AGM).  Any Member who wishes to serve on the ARA Committee can do so and are elected again at the AGM.  ALL the existing ARA Committee Officers and Committee Members resign at the AGM and must be re-elected if they wish to continue to serve on the ARA Committee. The ARA Constitution document is the ARA's rule book.  This document can only be amended at the AGM