Another road trip for ESNG last weekend, as we visited The International N Gauge Show (generally known as TINGS.) A fair number of ESNG members visited on the Saturday – some arriving at 10am sharp to join the battle for bargains (with varying degrees of success, I understand.) Allan, Derek, Derek and I made a more leisurely trip on the Sunday. Less bargains, but less people and a chance to see things better.
After an easy drive up to the Leamington Spa area, including a stop for breakfast, we arrived at the show before 10am, and when we wandered down to the doors at 5 to 10 or so, we found that the show had already opened, a little early. Not a bad idea this – if you have people queueing to get in, let them in, providing they understand that not every exhibit will be up and running till the opening time.
As the photo below shows, there’s plenty of space in the exhibition hall, all filled with N gauge layouts and traders, including some specialist N gauge ones.
Today I’ll describe three layouts that caught my eye. First off, is Edison Court, a close representation of a real station on the North Shore interurban railway, at Waukegan, 40 miles north of Chicago.
It’s rare to see interurban or traction layouts at UK shows, and N gauge ones are as rare as hens’ teeth, even in the USA. All the interurban cars and box cab locomotives have been made from 3D printed models to accurately model these rarely modelled prototypes.
And best of all, there’s a lovely ‘Electroliner’, surely the most amazing interurban to run under the wires. The articulated 4-car set could weave its way through the streets of urban Chicago, then hit 80-90 mph out in the countryside. All with trolley poles!
Perhaps the character of Edison Court is that it models an unusual USA prototype using UK modelling techniques. The result is delightful. When is someone going to make some Pacific Electric stock?
The second layout is Embankment Road, a diesel depot reminiscent of Plymouth Laira. A small, shunting plank, layout and fiddle yard, it’s well detailed and gives an opportunity for a procession of DMU’s and HST’s coming in for maintenance and locos refuelling. It’s interesting that the First Great Western purple and pink livery looks so good on a model, whilst looking pretty disgusting on the real thing.
Third layout today is South Walton, based on a station in New South Wales. It’s unusual to see an Australian prototype modelled here in the UK. The show guide tells me that all the stock and buildings were imported from Australia. Australian trains seem to be an interesting mixture of UK and USA practice.
Although action was a little slow at times, there was a steady flow of trains – certainly far more than on the prototype. However, there was plenty to look at in the scenery, and to compare the details with UK countryside.
I’m afraid I missed the two kangaroos that are lurking on the layout!
More layouts next post.