West Sussex N Gauge MRC exhibition: 4-5 November 2017

Friday afternoon, Allan, Derek and I loaded up Allan’s truck, and headed for the West Sussex show.  We put together a joint N-club modular circuit with the West Sussex boys.  The actual layout went together very well on the Friday evening, but we had to drop two modules as the room was slightly smaller than expected.  A certain amount of fiddling was needed with the wiring, as the WSNG use a different connection arrangement from us at ESNG.  Still, by the time the show opened at 10am on Saturday, all was working reasonably well, and continued to do so for the two days.  On the Saturday morning, we even had time for a full English breakfast before the show.

On display was ERIC, having a Southern Region theme, courtesy of Derek.  We’ll use the same locomotives for Stuttgart, to save Derek putting them all away.

Martin Micklewright’s Lowater Basin got favourable comments, with its detail and working lighting.  Here we see Thomas passing on the main line….

The new West Sussex fiddleyard is an impressive beast, offering 11 tracks feeding up to five tracks in or out.

The WSNG modules on show gave additional ideas as to what can be built in a small space.  The second one illustrated was running on DCC, and on the Sunday we were serenaded by a brand new Farish Class 40 with full sound on board.  More impressive was the inertia built into the locomotive, that took over a circuit of the layout to come to a halt when the power was cut – and could be heard running down the gears.

Elsewhere ESNG members were well represented by Sean’s Forrestone (look out for this little layout in Model Rail in the coming months)…..

And by Martin’s St Elizabeth Street (aided and abetted by Neil)….

Pick of the other ‘N’ gauge layouts was probably Kayreuth, set somewhere in Germany, on the Ruhr.  Lots of interesting detail, and there’s always a train moving in a cityscape.

Posted in ESNG, Exhbitions, Inspiration, Layout design, Out and about | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ESNG meeting – 2 November 2017

It turned out to be a busy night, with 13 members turning up through the evening.  We weren’t expecting Paul and Honest John, who were off to Eurospoor the following morning, but both were there for much of the evening.

The usual variety of trains were running, but no photos, I’m afraid.  The Cha(I)rman and Secretary and Mr Atfield dozed in the comfy chairs (yes we have a few of those) and planned the assault on the West Sussex show on Friday.  Our excuses were varied.  Allan was working to much, Derek had jet-lag from the clocks going back and had got up (very) early.  I’d just had a busy day – new smart meters fitted at home, washing machine delivered and installed by me at home, visits by a plumber to home and church to quote for some well needed work.  All a bit much…..

But here are a couple of links in compensation for the pictures….

Train liveries are well documented, but railway buildings are sometimes more difficult to pin down.  For example, what was GWR light stone and dark stone.  This site, “Station Colours”, does what it says on the can and looks very useful.

And less usefully, the best alternative London Underground maps.

And remember we’re exhibiting at the West Sussex show this weekend (The Angmering School, Greenwood Drive, Station Road, Angmering, West Sussex BN16 4HH.)  It looks a good, large show, with exhibits in all gauges and trade support.  Do come along!

Posted in ESNG, ESNG meetings, Out and about | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

ESNG on the road

Three final shots from the Croydon show, that Paul took of his Kato Racetrack.  It took some time to set up, as they couldn’t find the tables, but the end result was, once again, an eye-catching display.

And Stuttgart is less than a month away.  NBahn Magazin is showing the gigantic N gauge model of the old Stuttgart station on its cover….

Instructions are out for the Stuttgart N-club meet….

And here we see the Cha(I)rman in his natural habitat.  Five minutes of fame in NBahn Magazin.  ERIC is a favourite of theirs.  So spot, “der britischen modellbahner.”  I think that means, “the one who makes the tea.”

And we’re exhibiting at the West Sussex show this weekend (The Angmering School, Greenwood Drive, Station Road, Angmering, West Sussex BN16 4HH.)

Posted in Exhibitions, Inspiration, Layout design, N Club International, Out and about | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Not quite a Minories

Last layout to describe from the Uckfield show is ‘Surrey Arms’ in EM.  I found this an interesting design concept, a sort of mini-Minories.  Here’s the description from the show guide:

And here are some photographs of the layout.

The inspiration from this model came from:

  • The design – it’s a sort of Minories without the station throat pointwork.  Although the complex yet simple entrance to the station is the hallmark of a Minories, and a feature of the design, this little layout showed what could be done in even less space.
  • The backscene – I love the idea of modelling just the suburban platforms and having the main train shed as a background to the layout.  And the building is very well done, reminding one of Cannon Street with the towers on the station corners.
  • The goods service – cross London goods are perhaps a little unlikely at this location, but they increase the interest of operation and viewing.
  • And the scratch built SECR locomotives were a bonus!

Overall, an interesting little layout that might provide ideas for future designs.

Posted in Exhbitions, Inspiration, Layout design, Out and about | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Uckfield MRC show 2017

On to my third model railway exhibition in three weeks.  Uckfield was another excellent show.  It was a contrast to Farnham.  Farnham was larger with more larger layouts.  Uckfield seemed to have more small layouts.  There were a few old favourites, but some layouts that I hadn’t seen before.  I haven’t taken pictures of all the layouts on show, but just those that impressed.

Arun Quay is Gordon & Maggie Gravett’s latest masterpiece in ‘O’.  It’s small enough to travel by car, and when I was there featured a ‘Terrier’ shuffling a few wagons around.  But the Gravett’s forte is the scenery, and this model captured the River Arun and the Sussex coast perfectly.  The buildings are small, but all scratch built and the whole scene conjures up a bleak day on the Sussex Coast.

I’d read Olly Turner’s blog so it was good to see ‘Six Quarters’ (not to be confused with Fork Handles) in the flesh, or rather grot and grime.  Another simple layout, in ‘OO’, based in the 1970’s when the National Coal Board were still running steam locos.  Once again, the locos pushed around a few wagons, in this case rusty opens full of coal.

I had seen Trevor Nunn’s ‘Trowland’ before, but it was well worth another look.  It’s in ‘S’ and based on the old M&GN railway and its predecessor – a rare prototype to see modelled.  Another small layout, this has, I think, replaced Trevor’s wonderful (and much larger) model of the GER in King’s Lynn.  However, there’s no doubt that Trowland is a lot easier to transport and set up.  It does seem to bear some resemblance to Iain Rice’s seminal ‘Butley Mills’….

Tom Everitt’s ‘Ropley’ is a model of a small part of the Mid-Hants Railway, in preservation days.  It shows what can be done in ‘N’ gauge, making the permanent way look far more realistic by using hand built points and code 40 rail.

I really liked Tarring Neville, in ‘OO’.  Again set in Sussex, this industrial railway is interesting in that it can be viewed from three sides, and each view gives some new perspective on the scene.  The buildings are used as effective view-blocks between these scenes.

Now for some old favourites.  Wiley City, in ‘HO’ is Andy Gautrey’s minimum space but fascinating model of the Yakima Valley interurban line, in Washington State, USA.  The overhead works, and power is through the trolley poles.  When I was there, they were attempting some ‘pole shunting’ – pushing a boxcar on the parallel track using a baulk of timber.  And it worked…..

Sidmouth in P4 is another fine layout, a large model of a small LSWR branchline terminus.  I was able to get this shot of the houses on Station Road – the station is on the right, that capture these large residential houses to perfection.

Moving on from Farnham was ‘Denton Brook’ in ‘O’, but I couldn’t resist a photo of this 0-4-0 0-4-0 industrial garratt, and the working radio controlled crane in the background.

And finally, a different perspective on ‘Lightermans Yard’ (2mm FS).

I’ve one more layout to describe, but this will be in the next post.

Posted in Exhibitions, Inspiration, Layout design, Out and about | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Jon’s modules – Now “On my workbench” #1

With retirement slowly but surely happening, I’m finding time for a little more railway modelling.  It’s surprising what one can achieve with, say, an average of an hour a day spent with one’s hobby.  I’m starting (or trying to finish) a number of projects, this thread will become the classic “On my workbench.” series.

You have no doubt forgotten about my changes to my American N-club modules, cutting the layout size, and simplifying it into a switching layout as below.

Well, having got the boards set up and stripped the track off the large board, the design was further modified.  The first, small board, has just a headshunt added.  This will be easy to wire, too, as the new headshunt point will be a crossover with the main line.  The headshunt will be electrically a separate section to allow a local switching locomotive to be held whilst wagons are exchanged with the main line.

The layout still has four sidings, but they are all on the large board as below.  The design ‘felt’ more ‘right’ than the original plan.  It will also be easier to wire up – just the two wires and the electrofrog wiring on the Peco points.

The track is all down, and I need to now get underneath for a little wiring, and to refit four point motors.

But before I can do that, we have to finish off the Stuttgart layout.  Allan, Derek and I set up our Stuttgart N-club branch on Sunday, and got a train running around.  However, it did derail from time to time, and there were a few electrical issues!  So I have some more fettling to do.  Addersford needs a new piece of rail slipped in to get rid of a large gap in the track joints, and also 5mm or so sawn off all the legs.  I had though they were too high when we last exhibited the modules, and a little careful measurement showed this to be the case.

My two modules need a check on the track spacing at the baseboard ends, or perhaps just a little careful filing to give a smooth transition between boards.  And lastly, I need to make up some wiring loops to get us between boards.  We think that Martin, Derek and I have all used different conventions for the wiring – none of which are the same as the N-club recommended standard.  Typical men – should have read the manual…..

I have a number of other interesting ideas and projects ‘bubbling under’, but these will be for another time.  Next post had better be some pictures from the Uckfield show….

Posted in Jon's layout ramblings, Layout design, N Club International, On my workbench | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Farnham & District MRC exhibition – 14 October 2017 #3

We start our final day at Farnham with the magnificent Addison Road, in ‘O’.  Modelling to a high degree of accuracy what is now Kensington Olympia station, it’s set in the mid-1920’s so you can see LNWR, GWR and LBSCR trains, plus almost anything from the Big Four railway companies running down the West London line.  It’s also big – 50′ by 5′.  Notable is the LNWR Oerlikon EMU, that operated for many years on the line.

Hospital Gates, in ‘O’ is a light railway built to serve a hospital – in this case the “Whittingfield Hospital Railway” in Lancashire, that lasted till 1957.  The model is set in 1944-5.  Such railways to remote hospitals and asylums were not unusual – the LSWR even carried trains for the London Necropolis Railway, from Waterloo to Brookwood Cemetery.  I’ve yet to see a model of this…..

Ynysybwl, in EM, is a small continuous run model that is a faithful replica of the station and it’s surrounding area, on the Taff Vale Railway in 1922.  As one might expect from a railway in the Welsh Valleys, trains usually consist of solidly built tank engines and many mineral wagons.

Frecclesham, in ‘O’ is one of those railways that was (the prototype that is) built more from optimism than sound economics, and struggles on as a remote branch line….

A train arrives in Arigna town (7mm, Irish 5′ 3″ gauge), watched by potential passengers and livestock, whilst work continues in the local garage.  These were the days when you fixed cars with a hammer rather than a computer….

And finally, a quiet moment on Weyden Road (‘O’)….

And so to Uckfield.  There are too many good shows to visit at the moment!

Posted in Exhbitions, Inspiration, Layout design, Out and about | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments