And a very good time was had by all. All went very smoothly despite the recent horrors in Paris, man-hunts in Belgium, and threats in Brussels. If anything, Gatwick seemed quiet for a Friday afternoon, even in November, so perhaps some people are postponing travel. Son Michael and I visited for the Saturday and Sunday, but all in all 13 ESNG members and wives visited Stuttgart over the 4 days of the show. It was a lot colder than last year and I awoke on Sunday morning to see snow falling and settling outside the hotel. Fortunately, it soon stopped and had melted out after a few hours of sunshine.
After last years mega 8 posts on the show, I’m going to limit myself to just the 3 this year, but to see more of the Messe and all the exhibitions on (it seems to be the same most years), follow the link to see what happened in 2014. But in summary, we have a large exhibition hall. One quarter is full of lovely N-gauge, mostly one large modular layout, with a few stand-alone and Nm layouts mixed in.
One quarter is other HO and larger layouts (not many this year) and lots of trade. Mr Kato was here again for the show – and by all accounts is a very friendly and approachable character.
The other half is full of cars, boats and planes (and numerous stalls selling drones.) things that caught my eye were this model engineering folly, the radio controlled earth-moving plant, and a gorgeous Morgan 3-wheeler sports car.
And above out heads, the inflatable planes made the occasional foray over N-gauge air space (hitting the suspended signs on one occasion.)
Now back to the heart of the matter, the N-gauge show. This was the 10th I-N-G-A-Net / N-Club International convention in Stuttgart, so we all got free T-shirts, in a fetching shade of yellow. Here we see two familiar characters doing canary imitations in unfamiliar shirts.
Our layout this year was an end-to-end set up, with a loop on the end to reverse trains, unlike our usual continuous circuit. Both have their pros and cons. The continuous run has more running for the public. The end-to-end is more like the rest of the N-Club layout, and has no duck-under for the elderly to crawl under, or our heavyweight gate to lug across Europe. There was still plenty for the operators to do, and Michael put in a good couple of day’s work controlling operations.
Eric had a fine display of Class 73 Electro-diesels. This is probably most of the Dapol models produced over the years.
One benefit of the way the layout was set up was being able to exhibit Martin M’s excellent Attlesford N-club modules.
The speedometer board looked as bucolic as always.
We had the usual selection of visiting trains. A long goods train passed the junction board, headed by a Taurus locomotive.
The junction was not our connection to the outside world this year, but we hooked onto the left hand leg of the triangle below. We also included Duncan’s wind turbines in the set-up.
Elsewhere, the Union Street market is oblivious to the trains rumbling overhead.
Whilst Thomas and James take a hardly well-earned rest.
American superpower on a Pacific Fruit Express passes Eric.
And finally, two videos of American trains on our metals.
Next time, we’ll have a look at the rest of the modular layouts.