We spent a very pleasant weekend at the end of June exhibiting at the Bluebell Railway Model Railway show. Two days playing trains, with the real thing just outside the “exhibition hall”.
The models at the Bluebell show are scattered between Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park stations, in the works buildings and on the platforms. We ended up in the locomotive works, that was certainly different, and a good place to be. On our right was a locomotive wheel lathe, and through the open door at the end, full sized engines were being steamed up for the day’s work. In fact, it got a bit smoky in the works, what with the smell of coal from the large locos, and the smell of methylated spirits from the Gauge 1 live steam next to us. The only complaint was the slightly grimy and oily surroundings – a number of module boxes came home with finger-prints on.
There was another interesting bit of kit next to the fiddle yard, and the workbench behind contained all sorts of bits of steel, tools and junk – much as my railway room at home, but on a slightly larger scale.
And as for these spanners – you could fix anything (large) with this lot. But why is the bucket numbered “65”? Could this be a new hobby – bucket numbers?
We set up an end to end circuit, having modified the design slightly to fit the available space. One advantage of modular layouts – you can change them on the fly. It was an early start on Saturday morning to get up and running, but everything was complete and running well by opening time at 10. ERIC reappeared as an international tramway museum, partly because all my trams were still sitting in a box in the loft, as I hadn’t got around to putting them away after the ESNG show in April. The combination of ERIC and trams got a lot of favourable comments.
We ran the usual selection of member’s trains, and we actually had trains from all continents (not including Antarctica), as Peter brought along an Australian diesel to run.
On Sunday, Simon ran some impressive Santa Fe trains. Firstly a 14-coach passenger service – also seen below passing a Deltic with a Pullman express in tow.
Sunday afternoon is definitely time to run some very long and very short trains. Here, Simon has a Santa Fe oil tanker train with 45 tankers and a caboose behind an A-B-B-A diesel consist. The train stayed together pretty well, and it’s also interesting that the 4 Kato locomotives didn’t overload our controllers, drawing so little power.
And finally, a shot not for the weak-hearted or vegetarian. The Cha(I)rman’s breakfast. The restaurant on the platform at Sheffield Park did a magnificent full English breakfast – the large one having two of everything. (I only managed the small version!) As my grandfather once said, “What you eat would kill a weak man!”
Next post, I’ll report on the real trains….