Update on the ESNG Exhibition 2018….

Our 2018 exhibition planning is all planned, barring any late changes, and I’ll start to thing about it again after this week at Stuttgart.

Layouts on show will include:

  • ESNG N-mod/N-club modular layout
  • West Sussex group N-mod modular layout
  • Forrestone (UK modern)
  • Freshwater (2mm finescale IOW)
  • City Basin Goods (BR Western Region)
  • Maxwell (UK)
  • St Elizabeth Street (UK modern)
  • Berry Town (UK, BR era)
  • Stoughton Road (UK)
  • Fichtelbergbahn (Germany, Nm)
  • Kato racetrack (Japan)

I’m pleased to have a 2mm finescale layout on show, and Duncan’s large Nm layout is also a new venture.  Both are part of the 2mm/N family, so I think they will add interest and variety to the show,

Trade will include:

  • BH Enterprises
  • NScaleCH
  • Invicta (hopefully, if they are back on the circuit again, after a torrid year)
  • JB Modelworld
  • Ian Grace
  • Club shop

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to use St Joseph’s School in 2019.  So we are going to hold a joint show with N Gauge Forum.  We’ll combine our experience of running a series of ‘N’ gauge shows, plus Chris’ contacts on NGF for access to layouts.  Perhaps we need to say that we are not trying to rival or imitate TINGS.  There’s plenty of room for another ‘N’ gauge show, and we want to try and keep our friendly, club based, atmosphere, that is also the image (usually successful) of NGF.

Perhaps the only down side is us having to leave our ancestral home of Redhill, and move to Purley, plus access to Riddlesdown by public transport is not ideal.

But we’ve decided to give it a go.  To boldly go and all that jazz.  It even has a name and branding that reflects our location!

After Stuttgart, I’d better start thinking about 6 April 2019, as well as 2018.

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ESNG on the road – again!

As you read this, we should be preparing for the doors to open in Stuttgart, and getting ready to run trains for four days.  Or to put it another way….

European N-Scale Convention

Beim internationalen N-Spur -Treffen, gibt es riesige Schauanlagen und eine bunte Vielfalt an Zuggarnituren zu bestaunen. Zum 25.Jubiläum des N-Club-international, treffen sich 20 verschiedene Vereine aus 10 verschiedenen Länder, auf der Modell+Technik. Auf mehreren Kleinanlagen darf selbst am Regler gedreht und als Zugführer rangiert werden.

Here’s how the NCI website describes it (translation by Google!)

The European N scale Convention is an international meeting of model railway clubs, manufacturers and distributors from around the world, the is the N-scale (scale 1:160) have committed.

This is less epochen – or country-pure model Railroaders, but first and foremost to the fun of the common hobby in N-scale.
Swiss trains through North American terrain, ICEs crawl behind railway steam trains of the epoch 1 here and even French diesel locomotives in Finnish climes were spotted. The coexistence is very important and it is not surprising that emerged here many cross-border friendships, partnerships and even relationships.

The coupling of more than 300 modules (total length at the 2nd Convention 2007 more than 500 metres!) not only thousands impressed visitors, but also the “pros” of the model railway clubs.

And here are some of the NCI ’10 rules’.  All aimed at a fun event!

The ENSC is an international meeting of national INGA.NET-Clubs (member), local railway associations (fiends), loaded associations (guests) and N-scale manufacturers and traders from all over the world.

The ENSC held regularly once per year in the course of the “Model South” “Model + Technik” in Stuttgart.

Clubs from several European countries must participate in an ENSC.

The ENSC should show the possibilities of N gauge to visitors, as well as offer an Exchange forum for participating exhibitors, thus fostering the N-scale.

The participation of the ENSC and evening events may be taking place is voluntary and is made exclusively for idealistic reasons.

The Organizer organizes an international fair evening on the stand area. Bring the participating clubs/associations or manufacturers of typical food and drinks to this evening.

The Organizer organizes an INGA.NET evening. On this night, only the cost of drinks must be paid by the participants. ENSC can be organised on request also in other places.

I’ll be posting the usual report next week….



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A Modeling Hierarchy

Yet another thought provoking post by Mike Cougill on the OST blog.  Here he focusses on how to compose the scenes on our model railways, and how there might be a “hierarchy” of detail in our modelling.  He introduces the post with:

There are a lot of modeling pages and photo galleries online and while the work is often first-rate, some of it doesn’t seem right to my eyes. Modelers are drawn to extremes. The funkier, more dilapidated or derelict the surfaces and textures are the more we like them. However, when every clapboard, shingle or foundation stone is a work of art in its own right, the eye doesn’t know where to go first. Our eyes can only focus on one thing at a time and when everything has been highlighted and outlined to the extreme, our gaze bounces back and forth leaving us confused or overwhelmed. Instead of directing our eyes around the model, the maker throws the whole bucket of content at us all at once.

He works through a cameo scene step by step, looking at concepts such as sightlines, leading lines and visual paths through a scene.  This is the conclusion from the post:

A visual hierarchy is a guide for aesthetic choices that can enhance your modeling and is entirely compatible with our more familiar practices. It is another tool that helps people understand what our modeling is about. By learning some simple principles and choosing what to emphasize, we can guide a viewer without overwhelming him or her with a mass of confusing detail. However, don’t mistake these principles as an excuse for selectively eliminating details. Instead, use them to elevate your experience of modeling to a new level.

My takeaway is this, though….

Our eyes can only focus on one thing at a time and when everything has been highlighted and outlined to the extreme, our gaze bounces back and forth leaving us confused or overwhelmed.

Read the full (and much longer article) here.  It’s worth the effort!  Here’s the evidence of the quality Mike’s still to be completed work (in ‘O’ gauge)….


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ESNG meeting – 15 November 2017

A busy night with plenty of trains on the move – aided by Sean and Martin bringing a lot of stock to run.  It was UK and Europe night – even Paul was running Continental stock, and the American trains snuck on the layout late in the evening.

It was Martin’s turn for the long train award, this time with UK container flats.

Two eras of comfortable passenger travel.

Plenty of stock in the fiddleyard.

At the end of the evening, we put the few items from the hall that are going to Stuttgart into Allan’s truck.  Packing continues on Monday afternoon….

And a little contribution from Phil.  I’ve posted this before, I think, but it bears repeating!

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Signal failure!

As we get close to Stuttgart, the lounge is full of railway – I couldn’t be bothered to lug it all up to the loft just to bring it back down on Monday.  All is prepared….  we hope!  I’ve even started to look at the weather forecast for next week in Germany.  At the moment, there’s no snow in Stuttgart, so we should get there all right.

But here’s an interesting link from the BBC on signal failure.  Three minutes describes the challenges faced by Network Rail in keeping everything moving.

Matthew Broad was waiting for a train at Reading station, England, which it seemed would never arrive.
“I was miffed. But then came the familiar excuse – signal failure.”  Matthew wanted to find out more about the causes of signal failure so wrote to the BBC to ask us to find out.

Last year in the UK there were more than 19,000 delays of 100 minutes or longer caused by signal failure.  Here’s what causes it and what Network Rail are doing to alleviate the problem.

The interesting thing here is how reality reflects the imaginary.  Isn’t this just like our own model railways?  It’s very easy to run trains if you connect two wires to the track and operate the points locally (though perhaps not with a finger).  And it usually works.  But a complex control panel is far more liable to go wrong.

The benefits of centralised control are very real – but so are the problems that go with them.  And the casualty of this is not just the passenger – how about all those elegant signal boxes that have disappeared?

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ESNG meeting – PlayDay 12 November 2017

Another railway session on Sunday with our scheduled PlayDay.  We had two layouts on the go.  In the background, we have the usual circuit, largely monopolised by Simon and Graham’s American passenger trains.

In the foreground, we put together (again) most of the layout for Stuttgart.  We seem to have got the track alignments and electrics right, and we were happily running a train around without derailing.

In the picture below, the Cha(I)rman is in typical and reflective mode with tea, and Simon looks a little challenged by Mile’s cake….

Super-power passes Lowater Basin….

Allan’s cement train passes Derek’s test running B1…..

The previous day was spent in London, as my eldest was home from Berlin for a few days, and we had a rare opportunity for parents, three children and daughter-in-law to meet up for a meal.  Her dog and our budgie were not invited.  Dim sum in Chinatown, and very good it was too.  And this was the emergency choice of restaurant – our usual haunt had been shut down by the hygiene inspectors due to mice.

Below, my better half is taking on the chickens feet challenge – and enjoying them!

This was followed by a short walk to the Embankment, then a long, cold, wait to see the Lord Mayor’s firework display.  Well worth the wait!  Coming home was by an interesting route – train from Charing Cross to London Bridge, then train London Bridge to Earlswood.  I don’t think I have caught a train from Charing Cross since 1976, when I was living in Petts Wood with my parents.


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Rosamund Street (Low Level) Sidings

Came across Rosamund Street on RMWeb.  Only 5′ long in 4mm scale (plus sector plate and fiddleyard, but a very attractive design.  It also contains the classic ‘Inglenook’ shunting puzzle.  The builder describes the concept:

As a trainspotter in the late 60s and early 70s the ultimate aim was always to ‘clear B.R.’  But, sitting in a BRUTE at Cardiff General logging Westerns and Brushes would never achieve such an ambition.

“If you want to clear BR, you need to get the shunters” extolled my spotting mentor, Doug.  So, instead of undertaking lone wolf shed bashes to Birmingham (for Bescot & Saltley) or Manchester (for Longsight, Newton Heath & Reddish) I joined a local railway society that ran weekend coach trips to such out of the way places as King’s Lynn, Westhouses, Northwich and Frodingham.
A browse through my 1971 and 1972 locoshed books would show my Brushes (now Cl.47) and “H-Bombs” (now Cl.20) looking decidedly healthy ……………. but those shunters, the lack of lines under their numbers stood out like a sore thumb.
The only way to track the shunters down would be to find out where they worked, and where they stabled at weekends – all this in the days before the indispensable  “Shunter Duties” was an idea, yet a publication.
Shunters could spend weeks away from their home depot, and they could work many miles from that depot e.g. a Canton shunter would be outbased at Aberdare (only 25 miles) whereas a Landore shunter could be at Carmarthen, Whitland or worse, Fishguard Harbour !
Those shunters not under repair on shed, or working as shed, yard  or station pilots lurked in dingy urban environments, small yards or sidings hidden away amongst engineering works, factories and depressing streets where access was impossible unless you were either ‘in the know’ or had special forces training.
Such a place was Rosamund Street, actually Rosamund Street (Low Level) Sidings.

Features of the design are the brick embankments and industrial buildings surrounding the layout.  Plus some excellent inset trackwork and that fascinating large pipe running along the buildings – is it some strange manufacturing process or just the local sewer?

These two shots show the empire in its entirety.  The small dimensions of the layout are compensated for by expanding vertically.

Unfortunately, it looks as if Rosamund Street will be retired for a larger layout.  Still, the inspiration is remains!

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