The ESNG PlayDay went off very well. With more time than usual to run trains, we put together a larger circuit than usual, 3 x 2 modules plus corners. Derek brought along his ‘Eightfoot Station’ board. This was originally going to be two 48″ x 6″ boards, but it occurred to Derek that he might as well save work and build it as one 8′ module. Dave brought along his own eight foot station – a much wider station, incomplete, but with some very attractive buildings already in place. And Allan brought along Miles, who had a great afternoon running trains.
Sean brought along Leonards for a running session. It’s always good to see this little layout, although some running repairs were needed at one point.
The usual variety of trains were to be seen. Derek’s 10-BEL in blue and grey looked most impressive gliding through Dave’s station.
I brought along my Penn Central rake. It didn’t like some of the rail joints and kept derailing at a number of locations. The culprit seemed to be the Rapido coach, that has body mounted couplings and semi-scale wheels. A little fettling may be needed here, and once this coach was removed, the rest of the rake ran very well. I may also trim off the MicroTrains coupler tails, as these can catch points on our slightly dubious track, and I will only run this train as a rake.
Paul had, of course, a new Japanese high-speed train on show. As usual a lovely model but the two Derek’s didn’t look too impressed.
My other train that came along was a Deltic and eight coaches. These Farish models ran perfectly and looked good as well. The Stanier brake coaches at either end of the rake are probably not at all realistic, but they give some variety, and Farish Mk1 brakes weren’t available when I put this together.
I haven’t got many shots of Allan’s Swiss trains, and Pauls ICE in action. Derek Apps ran an interesting train of tankers, with both milk and oil in the train. It looked excellent behind an 8F 2-8-0, but you shouldn’t look too closely at the names on the tanks. Derek also tested some old Farish 4-4-0’s. Two worked on the stop-go principle, with 0-100mph in 1 second. The third gave the quote of the afternoon, “It’s not working. Perhaps this is the one without a motor.” Dave produced a selection of USA doodlebugs and this lovely ‘Galloping Goose’. It’s a wonder those little wheels didn’t fall down the gaps in the track joints.
Paul, as ever, went for the long train award, and got a 102 wagon train on the move (about 400 axles). This needed a little balancing of weight to stop the train taking a short cut across the corners, but it extended around 75% of the circuit. It needed regular attention to rerail wagons, but did manage one or two complete circuits without derailing.
And of course there was always time to do the email and check Facebook…..
The overall reaction from the nine punters who enjoyed the afternoon was that it should be repeated. A Sunday afternoon is a good time to meet, and the five hours we had gives time enough to build a bigger running circuit, but also gives a more relaxed feel to the meeting.
And of course the PlayDay was followed by the inevitiable curry. Eight of us from the afternoon were joined by the Hon. Auditor and two wives (not his two wives I hasten to add). So we finished a very pleasant afternoon with a very good meal.