Another prospective club member?

He’s obviously been playing trains with the ESNG members……

Indian minister posts speeded-up footage of new fast train

Video of Vande Bharat Express posted by Piyush Goyal was doctored to twice real speed.

India’s railways minister has been mocked for sharing a video of the country’s first locally built fast train – using footage that had been sped up to twice its normal speed.  Piyush Goyal posted the video of the Vande Bharat Express on his official Twitter and Facebook accounts on Sunday.

View the evidence here.  Judging by the accident record of the Indian railways, I’m not sure I’d want to be on this train at real speed, let alone Minister Speed.  Anyway, how do you hang on the outside when it’s going this fast?

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Bournemouth exhibition 2019 #1

The Cha(I)rman spent the weekend in Bournemouth helping Richard ‘Ollie’ Oliver with his Bournemouth Corporation bus display.  Allan writes:

Just got back from a weekend at the Bournemouth Model Railway Exhibition. I was there helping (or I think I was) Richard with his display of Bournemouth Corporation Transport. As its 50 years since there last trolleybuses ran.

Weather was not kind on the way down on Friday lunchtime. Heavy rain and a lot of spray on the motorways. The New Forest was showering water everywhere. The weekend away from work past too quickly. The event was held at the Hanworth Club in Magna Road. BH21 3AL. Near Bear Cross. The club has a large bar area and a frantic kitchen that provides great food and a Carvery on a Sunday. Which is well supported by members on a Sunday. The exhibition takes place in a hall, a large and a small room and the two badminton courts. We were in one of them.

This show is a very enjoyable show with some different layouts and traders from the more local ones we normally see in the South East. Please note the dates of the next show which is 8th & 9th of February 2020. Well worth a visit if you can make it.

And here are a selection of his photos, starting with Ollie’s buses.


And some of the layouts.  Firstly ‘Platform 7’.  Is DRS the new GWR?  Everyone seems to be modelling it!

See also Greasy End Depot….

West to Cornwall for China Clay at Melan Goose….

And Bodmin….


Southern Railway at Exton Quay….

A Gallic contribution from the snappily named Villefranche-la-Chapelle.  Don’t mention the rugby….

Gottingen Sud (don’t mention B**x**).


Folly Lane, one of a couple of ‘OO’ tail chasers….

I liked Alan’s Way (no relation).  Not only is it showing how model railways can be wheelchair accessible, but I like the concept of the layout split in the middle -British Rail and a preserved line (or a similar combination), I assume.


And finally, model trains as they used to be – Templeford, the rather excellent vintage ‘O’ gauge display.


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Just what you need for your layout

From a forum a long, long, way away…..

Might slow down those who don’t understand ‘fingerpoken’ or ‘12,000,000 microvolts’?

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ESNG meeting – 7 February 2019

A massive 13 members turned out yesterday evening, even without the Cha(I)rman, who had gone missing.  As the treasurer commented, ‘I didn’t know we had that many members!’

As for the trains, it was ‘Hallo Kitty’ time, as Paul’s latest bullet train had arrived.  Lovely model, but not convinced about the colour?


Business as usual with this full length bullet….

Phil’s Pannier on mail train duty….

Modern image from Neil, Martin and Paul…..


Martin’s box of tricks for tuning up (literally, as it has sound fitted) Neil’s Castle….

But there’s always time for a chat!

Peter’s fine WD 2-8-0, unusually pulling a train of Pullman cars!

And I just sat and watched the trains go by….

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Down memory lane

Recently I came across the site for Blacksmith Books, who publish a lot of Hong Kong and SE Asian books.  I couldn’t resist this one:

And the ‘blurb’:

For more than a century, trams have plied their trade along the northern coast of Hong Kong Island. During that time, they have witnessed the transformation of the local economy from a colonial backwater to the massive financial centre that is the modern city. The post-war years, from the 1960s onward, have seen the radical redevelopment of much of the area along streets such as Hennessy Road and Des Voeux Road, while the reclamation of land along the seafront has seen the tramway, which once skirted the shore, pushed further and further inland.

Today, Hong Kong trams still provide a vital public service, carrying vast numbers of passengers daily to and from their work or shops, and Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world where it is still possible to ride on the top deck of a double-deck tram. This album explores the history of the tramways of Hong Kong Island through the 20th century. Drawing upon a fascinating selection of photographs, most of which have never been published before, it traces the evolution of the streetscape over that period – giving readers a vivid reminder of a city that has been radically altered over the past half-century.

Thumbing through the book, I was delighted to see that a significant number of photographs dated from October 1981, when I was visiting HK for work for the first time – and Maxine was about to join me for a holiday.  This really brought back memories – most of them good ones!

Here’s a typical page from the book:

And these photographs, from elsewhere on the internet, were also taken in autumn 1981.


The other book I bought was the “Confessions of a Hong Kong Naturalist”.  (Note: naturalist not naturist.)  This brings back memories of the HK countryside and flora and fauna….

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Model this…… if you dare!

Spotted on NGF this week, as the Polar Vortex hits the USA (the other great headline was ‘Alligators freeze in lake’).

Polar vortex: Fire used to melt ice on Chicago train tracks

Flames from gas-fed heaters are melting away snow and ice at railway intersections in Chicago. It helps to keep the trains running with fewer delays. The US deadly cold snap has caused temperatures in the Illinois city to drop as low as -30C (-22F).

Comments on NGF included:

Nothing new. I can recall wandering round the West Coast Main Line with a hired garden weedkilling flame thrower, melting the ice and snow out of points. When we needed to re-grease them, point the flame at the can of grease to thaw it out, then we could grease the slide chairs. Gave the local Signal And Telegraph people palpitations we were going to burn through their cables! (We never did!)

Pretty standard stuff here, (well not on Vancouver Island.. we don’t get much snow). When I lived in Nova Scotia, the local yard in Dartmouth used a mobile jet engine to melt the ice

They tried the jet engine on UK track and on UK runways…  It stripped the tarmac of the runways.  It fired ballast at high speed an anything in the vicinity.

Still, if we can model sparking pantographs, surely we can model glowing points?

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Another Minories

Last layout from the Southampton show – Spanker Lane, a Minories layout under construction in ‘N’.  The show guide states that:

Spanker Lane is found in the north of England, where green DMU’s are the order of the day, although loco hauled trains can occasionally be seen. After passing alongside the canal exchange sidings and small goods yard trains arrive at Spanker Lane station.

The layout is a work in progress based upon ‘Minories’ by C. Freezer.  However, the goods yard was never on the original plan.  The layout is DCC controlled.

The layout is built on four 2′ long boards (platforms, pointwork, the added goods yard, and traverser.  This is definitely an economy sized layout, with no more than a four coach train.  It would be ideal for CJF’s original concept of small tank engines and short coaches.  The station throat is classis Minories, with a pair of hinged boards, and scenic boards added to the front.

The short platforms….

And the traverser, operated by No. 1 calibrated eyeball (and lots of tea by the looks of it.)  I liked the point on the traverser, increasing storage for a couple of short trains, whilst limiting the distance the traverser has to move.

A very satisfying little layout, and I hope to see the scenic version in due course.

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