Model Railway Electronics for All Gauges and Modellers at All Stages
The leading International Forum for all Railway Modellers interested in the application of Electronics to the Hobby.
MERG (Model Electronic Railway Group) - an international group, based in the UK, which was set up to promote interest in the use of electronics and computers to all aspects of railway modelling.
MERG members are model railway enthusiasts who are interested in applying electronics to the operation of their model railways. The Group enables members to exchange ideas and information, and provides kits covering a number of interests including DC operations, DCC, Radio Frequency Identification, computer control and CBUS (layout control bus). Members have a wide range of knowledge and capability, and include beginners and those who work in the electronics and railway industries.
We are always pleased to welcome new members - you can find out more about us on this page and other areas of this website. Or click here to apply for membership.
MERG started in the UK in 1967, so next year will see us celebrate our 50th Anniversary!. In the early days just two or three simple MERG kits were made available. The advent of the Internet enabled the Group to expand rapidly and geographically and today we have more than 2,000 members across all continents. All gauges, from 'T' to at least 7¼" (passenger-carrying) have made use of our expertise and kits.
MERG is managed by a Committee with members who are elected each year at the AGM. The Committee divides the work up into functional areas and each area is the responsibility of an individual committee member.
MERG is a friendly and informal 'first names' group and new members are encouraged to present their ideas, as well as share those already available via the Technical Bulletins. We try to cater for all-comers - beginners (which is where we all started from!), semi-experienced, and professionals.
- Website - The website is split into two parts - the public area and the “members only” area. The public area provides access to a large range of resources, including beginners' tutorials, and projects - detailed technical information will be found on the resources pages and the 'links' page will take you to many other related sites. The members area provides access to our forum, membership details, our online shop with information on available kits, Journal, Wiki and technical bulletins. Use the links in the menu on the left to navigate the site.
- Technical Bulletins - These are formal records of information relating to MERG designs, solutions, the theory behind the kits and educational subjects. There are over 250 available on a wide selection of topics - click here for a sample Technical Bulletin or here for a list of Technical Bulletins.
- Kits - MERG Kits cover a wide range of functions. They usually come as complete packages with the circuit board and all the components needed to build a fully working module, along with comprehensive instructions. The increasing range of low cost, self assembly kits is available to members via our online shop.
- Assistance - Through meetings, the Forum, email groups, courses & training days, & Local Area Groups, as well as informal one-to-one contact with experienced members.
- Regular Journal - The Journal contains short technical articles, news and information and is distributed at four times a year to all members. It also contains new ideas & developments, along with notification of the latest Technical Bulletins - click here for a sample Journal. Members can access the full back catalogue of Journals via our website.
- Meeting other members: Meetings are held in Central London at least four times a year, open to anyone. Copies of the presentations are normally posted here on the website. We encourage members to get together locally and at present, there are currently over 20 established Local Area Groups.
- Local Area Groups - Located around the world, an have an increasing number of regional groups for members.
- Training - We have lots of information available on our website for beginners. Local Area Groups often run courses on relevant matters. MERG also provides tutors for courses run at Missenden Abbey, Buckinghamshire, including an "Electronics for Railway Modellers" weekend.
- Discounts - Available to members on selected commercial products - click here for the current list.
- Exhibitions - MERG appears at several major shows each year, as well as a number of smaller ones, usually attended by the Local Area Groups.
For further information on joining the group please see the membership page.
Can I help?
MERG is entirely run by volunteers and no member of the group receives any financial remuneration for the time and expertise that they contribute to our activities. This applies to those who provide the administrative support, to those who design the kits and to those who write Technical Bulletins and provide advice on the Forum.
MERG can only function if we have volunteers to help with the work. Most jobs do not require you to be an electronics expert (generally their time is better used designing new things for us) and you do not have to be in the Southeast of the UK.
MERG attends national and local exhibitions and we are always seeking help to man the stand for a few hours - it is a good way to meet other members and some of the Committee. Members can also buy kits at the major exhibitions and discuss any matters relating to them with knowledgeable people.
When and how do I pay my subscription?
The annual subscription covers the direct costs involved in the running of the Group (e.g. printing, postage and out of pocket expenses) and to provide some finance for funding new kits. Members who buy the kits cover the costs involved in sourcing the kits and making the circuit boards, plus a small mark-up that also provides some funding for new kits. All subscriptions are due on the anniversary of joining and can be paid by Paypal, credit card, cheque or cash.