Paul in Japan #3

First, back in soggy Earlswood, more progress on the new fiddle yard…

And meanwhile, in Japan….

Off to Nagano on one of these, the beautiful E7 Shinkansen.

So my birthday has arrived – 9 hours earlier than usual! I’m off to Tokyo…

Outside the Kato model railway shop in Tokyo this morning. I am returning here next Friday to pick up a few items and spare parts.

A few????

The new Shibuya terminus of the Ginza subway line.

Looks like a whale interior?

E7 at Nagano last night

Today, I visited a model railway museum in Yokohama, an astonishing collection brought together by one man. After lunch, a visit to Kamakura and the giant Buddha.

Reminds me of a couple of ESNG members (hat, coat, quick exit….)

The Enoden Railway at Hase

N700A Shinkansen passing Odawara in pouring rain. This is why I enjoyed the bad weather!

Beautiful day here in Tokyo, so I am going to Sendai later on. Snow and gales at the moment up north.

This is where it all began. The first railway line in Japan was constructed by British engineers between Shibuya and Yokohama. It opened in 1871. The first locomotive was built by Kitson from Leeds.

A huge shopping mall which I explored this evening. I was going to go to Shin-Shirakawa to watch the Bullet trains speeding through, but it was too cold, so I did this instead. I found a model shop right at the end!

Paul has a nose for model shops – almost as keen as the Cha(I)rman’s nose for cafes serving a full English breakfast…

More next time as Paul heads for the frozen north!




Posted in Inspiration, Japan, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow #3

Last set of photos from Ron – then it’s back to Japan for a day or three!

Another cold and overcast day but with low cloud. Went down to Interlaken to take direct train to Zweisimmen changing there for the MOB to Montreux, where it was still cold but sunny, After a quick walk down to Lake Geneva took train to Lausanne changing there for Berne. On return walked through Interlaken again to do some shopping before returning to Lauterbrunnen.


Lauterbrunnen – what a good model in the making, with the cliffs close behind the station as a backscene?



MOB Depot Chernec


A cold day with clear skies. Took a trip round the Jura, Lauterbrunnen – interken – Bern – Biel – Delemont – Gloveler – La Chaux de Fonds – Bern and back. Long journey home tomorrow by train. I tend leaving earlier than necessary to try and get a meal in Strasbourg and a snack in Paris. DUE BACK IN London around 9.15pm.



La Chaux de Fonds

Posted in ESNG, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow #2

More from Ron.  Look like he’s found his snow!

A cold and overcast start to the day. Went down to Interlaken for train to Spiez. Here I took train to Visp through Lotschberg base tunnel and when the train left the tunnel it was snowing. I then did a round trip to Zermat it continued snowing until I was almost back in Visp. Stayed on the train where it was sunny. Returned by old Lotschber route. When train emerged at Kandersteg  it was snowing again. but the snow turned to rain as we came down the valley. When I got back to Lauterbrunnen the rain was turning to sleet.


Lauterbrunnen. Blue train is going to Oak Hall?



Woke up to another cold and overcast day. It snowed overnight as the hillsides had a coating of snow. Went down to Interlaken to take train over the Brunig to Lucerne. When I arrived there there were a lot of people in various fancy dress. Went over to the quays and had a round trip to Vitznau. On my return I made my way into town and found jt was Fastnacht and all the shops were shut. Returned to the sttation and toook train through the Emmenthal to Bern for trains home via Interlaken.


Interlaken Ost


Posted in ESNG, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Paul in Japan #2

Some more of Paul’s Japan pictures…..

My plans have changed for the next two days because the weather has turned rather cold and the forecast is not great for where I was intending to go. The new plan is …. insane….

Day trip to Wuhan?

Instead of visiting a Shinto shrine up on the north coast tomorrow, I am doing a circuit on the trains to take in a scenic route I have never done and on relatively new train which was still on test when I was here in 2017. The route is Kyoto – Nagoya – Matsumoto – Tokyo – Kyoto. It will take about 11 hours.

A few trains from today, mostly at Nagoya.

Back on the trains again. Weather has improved significantly, still cold, but dry at the moment.

Already done Kyoto to Nagoya on the Shinkansen and then on to Matsumoto on Shinano Limited Express. Beautiful route, sat up behind the driver’s cab most of the way. Now on my way to Tokyo on the Chuo Main Line on an E353.

I am on a rarity here. On board a Japanese train that is late!

Mount Fuji, taken this afternoon from the Tokaido Shinkansen travelling at 175mph with a Canon EOS 750D camera and a 300mm telephoto lens.

The Shinano Limited Express between Nagoya and Matsumoto

The JR East E353 at Shinjuku, my train from Matsumoto.

And finally, a word from our sponsors.  Till next time!!

Posted in Out and about, Inspiration, Prototype, Japan | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow #1

Whilst Paul is dodging snow in Japan, Ron is off to Switzerland hunting for the stuff.  It looks as if everyone is heading abroad before travel is curtailed by Brexit or the flu!  Just a selection of Ron’s photos this time around….

A long day today. Got 5am train from home to catch 7am Eurostar to Paris Gare de Nord which was due to arrive at 10.25 giving me time to get the 1055 from Gare de l’Est. Unfortunately the Eurostar got held up at Ashford and did not reach Paris until 11am. Luckily I got my ticket stamped for acceptance on next train. However next train to Strasbourg was not until 1255. Therefore by the time I got to Lautetbrunnen having changed also at Basle, Spiez and Interlaken it was 7pm, 2 hours later than I had hoped for. Weather here at the moment is heavy rain. Hope to go snow hunting tomorrow.

Paris Gare de l’Est

A clear but cold day. After the long journey yesterday I have taken it easy today. Took train up to Keine Scheidegg via Wengen but did not go up to Jungfraujoch as even with a half price discount I was quoted CHF64 (£50+). I continued down to Grindlewald and back to Interlaken from where I took a quick trip to Bern before coming back to Lauterbrunnen. There appears to be a shortage of snow this Year. No heavy snow laying until above Wengen and it died out within 20 minutes of leaving Kleine Scheidegg.

Bern trams


Lauterunnen station

Train in Wengen station

Kleine Scheidegg


And is Ron singing this little ditty as he hunts the nasty white stuff?

Posted in ESNG, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ESNG meeting – 19 February 2020

Starting today with Monday’s fiddle yard session.  And this week’s competition.  How many ESNG members does it take to fit a SEEP point motor?  Actually, 3 is pretty realistic.  One to hold the board vertical, one to make sure the jig stays on the point to keep the blades central, and one underneath to drill the holes….

But we’re getting there.  All the track is down on the end boards, so next week we can lay some more on the 4′ central sections.

And by the end of the afternoon we had 4 out of the 12 point motors in place.

And the it will be time to fit microswitches to the points, and wire things up.

And of course, Brian was there with his camera….

Wednesday’s club night was a little subdued, with just the 7 members.  The outer tracks looked very empty without Paul’s Japanese trains (though no doubt they will soon be full of his latest holiday purchases.)  And Mr Apps was on family duty, and Mr Dawes had an early milk round (again.)  But there were plenty of trains to run.

Mr Atfield was testing a series of coffee grinders Lima pannier tanks. Who needs a sound chip?

And Chris had this lovely little Canadian goods train to run.

And meanwhile, at home, Brian was running a Pullman rake…

Posted in ESNG, ESNG meetings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“A desire of tramcars”

With apologies to the lovely book of the same name (published 1969…)

Paul send me these rather fine Japanese tramcar shots….

Out on the Nagasaki trams this afternoon. Interesting mixture. It took me about 2 hours to cover the whole network, but with the weather being cold and wet, it was an ideal way to keep reasonably warm and dry.

And when I ‘liked’ these, he sent me some more, culled from Facebook I think….

Must get that Japanese tram layout under way….

Posted in Inspiration, Japan, Out and about, Prototype | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment