ESNG meeting – 15 January 2020

Following Sunday’s enthusiasm, just the 7 members turned up on Wednesday.  We made some more progress on the fiddleyard.  Danger, man at work!!

We added all the brass screws that will have the track soldered to it at the board joints.

Elsewhere, Paul and Neil ensured that a selection of trains were running….

And Simon and Graham provided a little American contribution.  Interestingly, there was no UK stock on display at all.

And now for something completely different….  A 2′ 6″ x 2′ Australian themed micro-layout that appeared on Facebook.  Very good modelling.

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ESNG PlayDay – 12 November 2019

Sunday’s PlayDay also included an element of building.  After a healthy (??) curry, 12 members gathered to run trains.  TrackShack had delivered almost everything we needed for the fiddleyard (point motors still to be ordered.)  Their service is as good as anyone in the UK.  There was a nationwide fishplate shortage – these came from Kernow in the end.

Checking that the full size plot of the trackwork fits on the board.

And the other end added to the main board.

Elsewhere, Simon was overloading his little switcher….

Dave had a new, large, module on show…

And trains were being run…

And of course, Brian has circulated one of his excellent videos, showing the club in action, warts, flashing lights and all….

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Chiltern Model Railway Exhibition 2020 #2

The rest of the layouts at Stevenage follow.  As I said last time, there were a few I didn’t bother to photograph, as I’d seen them before.  These included the massive Burntisland, and the delightful Johnstown Road.

But a second ‘main line’ N gauge layout on display was Brinklow.  16′ of length allows a real feel of trains in the landscape.

Dublingham (OO) is one of those layouts that restores ones faith in model railways.  Built for the RMweb ‘cameo’ layout competition, it is unashamedly retro, with 3-rail track and Hornby-Dublo wagons and diesel shunter.  But it looks and works like a real railway (more than many on display), so Rule 1 – hey, it’s my railway!

An interesting load on Teesside Steel (O).

Little Colne (OO) is set in Essex, a pleasant change from the GWR BLT….

Eight Dollar Canyon (HO) is a circular (well octagonal, strictly) American based layout.  Really just a chance to run long trains, and the multiple tracks reminded me of ESNG N-mod.  The fiddleyard is enclosed within the visible outer circuit.

I had, of course, seen Freshwater (2mm finescale) before, but it’s always worth a look and a photograph, especially as more details appears on every viewing.

The opposite extreme in size – Orange River and Portland Railroad (Fn3).  Unlike many models in this (and similar) large scales, the layout has avoided looking ‘toylike’.

I saw Aerodrome Park (OO) at the Uckfield show, but as it was for sale (I resisted the temptation to ask ‘how much’) I took a couple more shots of this neat little layout.  The third picture is of the fiddle yard.  I like the ‘kickback’ design, using the space within the curve.  This might have potential for small layouts with short trains.  Fortunately, I didn’t record the operators comments about the 3-link couplings….

Trainspotting on Hatch End (N).  Simple, but very satisfying!

I’ve seen a lot of Harlyn Pier (O), but there are always some very attractive locomotives and rolling stock on display.

Unusually (for the UK, anyway), Bastogne Rue de Clervaux (HO) is a Belgian layout.  Nice modelling as well as an award for the longest layout name….

And finally, Ryders Green Wharf (OO9).  Well modelled narrow gauge.

I realise that I missed a number of other layouts, that didn’t catch the eye, but these two posts give a good idea of the quality of layouts on show.  I think I shall be back next year, especially having discovered how easy the travel is by train from Earlswood.

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Chiltern Model Railway Exhibition 2020 #1

I couldn’t work out whether to go to an exhibition on Saturday. Mr Atfield was going to Bognor (quite right too, I hear you say), I’d posted flyers for NGSE to the Pratts Bottom show (the names get worse and worse), and that left the Chiltern MRA show in Stevenage.  And I’d given Neil some flyers for that one, too, and it’s a nightmare to park there.

However, a look at the train timetable showed that despite Thameslink engineering work, I could travel direct from Earlswood to Stevenage in 1 hour 20 minutes, for just over £10 on my OAP travelcard.  As the show is 5 minutes from the station, this was a no brainer.  The train times were a bit different from usual, but the 8:26 train (running late) got me into Stevenage at 9:55 (10 minutes late) just before the show opened. I had time to grab a coffee and bun at Costas on the station before strolling over the bridge to the halls. The queue had gone down a bit by then, and it only took 5 minutes to get in. Mind you, the Chiltern show has more security than Heathrow on a bad day….

The show was well up to standard. With a few notable exceptions (because I like them), I’ve only taken photos of layouts that are new to me…..

First layout I saw was ‘Feldspar’ (N), Ray Taylor and Anna Bass’ coffee table layout – all they have room for at home.  They seemed to have brought half their lounge along with them to give the right idea.  Still, I like the idea of taking my layout to a show and doing nothing but sit and drink coffee all day (with periodic excursions, I guess.)

‘Nonsuch’ is in the grand tradition of fantasy layouts.  Not my scene, but very nice buildings and scenery, and hey, it’s your railway!

Middleton (OO) is based on the LNER branch line from Darlington in the 1930’s.

Little Salkeld (N) was a standout layout for me.  Based on a Settle and Carlisle station, it’s difficult to identify the gauge in the photos below.  Perhaps this is due to the code 40 rail trackwork and small details such as the point levers.  The layout was also a good advert for well applied sound – the loco was standing ticking over in the lay-by siding and sounded just right.

St Frazal d’Ardeche (Nm) was rather impressive – lots of tiny trains and very high scenery.

The big hook waiting for a disaster on Gosberton (OO).

Another favourite, Heybridge Wharf (3mm scale, 14.2mm gauge.)  Somewhere in Suffolk with Wisbech and Upwell influences.  I like the wherry and the swans.

Diesels shunting on ‘Docklands’ (O).

More precipitous scenery on Soller (Z)…..

Two micro layouts….

The fine Slindon Vale (O-16.5) layout was being exhibited with this loco works module attached to one end.

Part 2 will follow, perhaps after the ESNG PlayDay report.

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Odd modelling idea #1874

This picture, hijacked from Facebok’s traction modelling page just begs to be modelled.  Not just the old trolley used as an office, but look at the state of the buildings and all the debris on the ground.  Even the house in the far background has an interesting layout of windows on the elevation that is in view.

Lots of modelling challenges here!

And the track for the new ESNG fiddleyard has arrived!  Working party on Sunday….

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Bredgar & Wormshill Light Railway 2020

A recommended day out if you live in the southeast of England.  The first Sunday in May is the first operating day of the year for the Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway.  It will also be their model railway themed day.

ESNG are exhibiting, but the real star is the 2′ gauge railway.  Put it in your diary, and come and support Invicta, who are organising the exhibition.


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Today’s links

Something for everyone today.

So you think that the London Underground is dirty and noisy?  Try the New York Subway!

Goodbye to the Isle of Wight ex-London Underground trains.  A bumpy ride bur great fun.

Tram bowling – yes, tram bowling – it’s commoner than you think.  Now, that would be a modelling challenge….




And back to Germany….

And Brussels again.  They seem to be getting quite excited by it all?

Hope they don’t try it in Croydon!

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