issued by the County Gate Research Institute 23/06/07 (no.1234)

All railway modellers are urged to carefully examine all components of their model railway for any signs of infestation by Vermis modellonix L.. For many years it has been suggested that such organisms existed in all parts of model railways and have been, in passing, referred to as 'Gremlins' or 'Bugs'. Only now, after years of painstaking research by County Gate scientists has this organism finally been isolated and studied in detail.

After DNA testing, it is now thought that these organisms evolved as a result of chance matings between Horby 3 rail tinplate and early Rovex plastic. Further mutations have since been identified, some of which appear to contain the 'train spotting gene' (Annals of Boffins 2001). The latter can easily be identified as they will continue to live with their mothers even into late adulthood.
Research suggests that
Vermis modellonix L. is only able to communicate using ‘Ones’ and ‘Zeros’ resulting in cognitive dysfunction in the recognition of any other digits’. Animal psychologists have hypothesized that this primitive thought process termed ‘Binary Dysphasia’ may be the result of incompatible bonding between Hornby and Triang molecular structures resulting in degenerated neuro-receptors causing cerebral stupidity and attenuated forward projection (Modem and Hack 1998) when exposed to any vibration, change in temperature and/or humidity or preparation for exhibitions. Their binary communication has grave repercussions to those converting to digital control.


Vermis modellonix is a small segmented nematode with a large mouth and simple alimentary canal able to digest Peco Point latching springs, microswitches, Backwoods chassis and other parts of model railways with absolute ease. It excretes a dark grey sticky substance found in many inaccessible corners of a model railway and is similar to that found on keypads of afflicted computers. After a long dormancy, they approach completion of their life-cycle just prior to exhibiting of the model railway . There is a rapid metamorphosis from the early larval form, “BYTE”,

removed from Peco point latching spring


through an intermediate phase, “MEGABYTE”

removed from the signal interlocking and track indicators at County Gate


 to the fully formed imago, “GIGABYTE”.

from the Backwoods chassis of 'Lew' during its rebuild

When first isolated, these organisms appear to be slow moving and non-aggressive. It has subsequently been discovered that they will begin a period of frenetic activity (BYTE FRENZY) as the model railway is prepared for exhibition. They will then desperately attack numerous components of the model in order to complete their reproductive cycle.

The life cycle of this organism explains why previously completely reliable models are unable to operate for the next exhibition without first undergoing very difficult and lengthy maintenance. Even transformers can be invaded by these creatures, which are virtually impossible to exterminate due to their Hornby/Triang molecular structure. There is strong evidence that the existence of Vermis modellonix has been known to a few model railway owners for some time. There are reports coming in, as yet unsubstantiated, that some exhibitors have been breeding and disseminating this organism to rivals for many years.

Continued research is being conducted by County Gate research workers to find methods of eradicating this pest. Until then, all Vermis modellonix found in model railways must be taken home and contained to prevent further spread of this global problem. We suggest releasing them into pizza layouts, where the damage is therefore inconsequential. Alternatively, they can be sent to the  USA,  (C.O. NORAD, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs, Colo.) where they might sufficiently damage US weapons control systems that they bomb themselves.

To ensure that your railway will operate correctly during exhibitions, (or when someone from Railway Modeller comes to see it), we MUST keep all captured Bytes away from model railways but within the curtilage of our homes. To prevent any possible escape,  we must keep them very contented. Remember, a Byte is not just for Christmas. Your Byte can be kept stimulated by placing it near a source of electro-magnetic radiation, such as your TV, microwave, pacemaker or computer. Show you love your Byte by letting it watch TV on your lap, or let it sit on your CD while you sing along to your favourite tune. Bytes hate being lonely, so if you have to go out without them, let them play with your other pets, but ABSOLUTELY keep them away from goldfish. (Our animal behaviourist is still too upset to say exactly what happened). Bytes love to travel particularly if you visit nuclear weapons systems, early warning radars, intensive care units, or air-traffic control centres.

1.     Do not place Bytes near fax machines or they will send themselves and escape.

    2.    Do not place Bytes near photocopiers or they will reproduce themselves.

    3.    Cover all computer and modem ports with duct tape as otherwise they will escape into cyberspace.

    4.    At all costs keep away from goldfish.

We have managed to decipher some Byte language which may help you to control and love your Byte.

"Play dead"..............................110011101011101011
"Pizza layout dinner"...................................1011011011010110100011111
"leave the Goldfish alone!"..................101001011101000111101110101001000111101111011110110

Note: The County Gate research director is
unable to take e-mails on correct pronunciation at present. We are working with Berlitz to produce a set of tapes as soon as possible.

issued by the Advanced Research Centre at County Gate from a secret location somewhere near Lynton, Devon.