Odd modelling idea #999

How about a train with the sliding doors open?

Jubilee Line Tube train filmed with doors wide open
Footage has emerged of a London Underground train travelling between stations with some of its doors wide open.

The Jubilee Line service had passengers on board as it travelled for one stop between Finchley Road and West Hampstead on Saturday morning.

Transport for London (TfL) said the train was “immediately taken out of service at West Hampstead and a full investigation is under way”.

Safer than ‘slam-door’ stock, eh?

While some joked on social media that it was an innovative approach to introducing air-conditioning to London’s notoriously hot underground trains, other users pointed out that the incident could have been much more serious had it occurred during rush hour, when the train would have been packed. No passengers were injured or hurt during the incident.

See more here or here.

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ESNG meeting – 19 September 2018

First, a video of last Sunday’s PlayDay. Thank you, Brian!

A quieter meeting this evening, with just the eight members turning out.  But trains were running.  A rare appearance of Japanese steam from Paul….

Together with a colourful electric locomotive…..

And an interesting European railcar from Neil, that we couldn’t work out which country it came from…..

And Mr Atfield had a variety of little tank engines to test.


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Believe it or not spot….

If your drivers keep going on strike, what do you do?

“SNCF targets autonomous trains in five years”

An autonomous locomotive in northern France is controlled by a “téléconducteur” at the control centre in Lyon.  Strike-hit French Railways is rapidly developing “drone trains”, with the aim of running fully-automatic services within five years – and “semi-autonomous” trains by 2020.

According to Railway Gazette, the president of the national rail operator, SNCF, wants train drivers to become more like pilots, monitoring the journey while technology optimises performance.

Perhaps there are some ideas for the UK here (no railway companies mentioned….)

Read it here and here.


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ESNG PlayDay – 16 September 2018

A sunny September afternoon, and a good turnout of 15 for the PlayDay.  We started rather than finished with curry, as Allan was on a 2am start milk round on Monday.  Miles did appreciate the buffet and certainly got his money’s worth….

Meanwhile, Paul brought along his Kato modules, so we had a 25′ x 9′ layout to run on…


Trains running included two HST units and some German steam.


I brought along some American stock, and this express reefer train…


The diesel was then replaced by a GG1 electric….


It was one of those afternoons.  A baggage car shed a coupling and the GG1 shed a traction tyre.  But it was still a good afternoon’s running….

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Bembridge, Isle of Wight

I keep returning to Bembridge, on the Isle of Wight, as a near perfect small branch line terminus.  A scale model fits within 4′ in ‘N’ gauge.

And with the beach directly to the left, a sea backscene would be needed.

The only difficult bit is building the little end-on-line turntable.

Terrier Loco W.9 as operating in Southern railway days, being turned at Bembridge Station
Ronald Shephard Railway Collection
West Sussex Record Office Ref No: 1/25/79

What is there not to like????

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TINGS 2018 #2

Burshaw North Western is set in BR blue days, in the north west of England.  I was pleased to see this layout at last, as I had booked it for an old ESNG show, and the builder then had to cancel as he moved north for work at short notice.  The early pre-TOPS era might not have been that auspicious for the railways, but it makes for interesting modelling.


More overhead electrics on the West Coast Main Line, but this time at Hatch End, at the London end of the line.  Here we have four main line BR tracks, and two underground lines.

Langston Bridge, on the Hayling Island branch, is very long and very simple, but an ideal spot to watch a succession of Terrier tank engines amble across the bridge.

Wenlock is a small BR (WR) branch terminus in the 1950’s.  Built from readily obtainable items, it shows how a realistic layout can easily be put together.

Annston again visits northern England in BR days, but this layout is an end-to-end model.

New Dalby – Research Division was one of the ‘different’ layouts on display, modelling a modern railway technical test centre, and offering a chance to run all those luminous yellow items of rolling stock.


Whartson Hall offers three main lines and their associated infrastructure and a chance to watch the trains go by.


Wickwar, modelling the early 1950’s, offered some excellent buildings and scenic modelling.


Another of the more ‘unusual’ layouts, Ballykeale models Irish railways at the end of the last century.

And they really are coming soon!!  Farish SECR Birdcages in full colour, and now under production, plus the C Class 0-6-0 to follow.  And expensive treat, hopefully starting later this year!

As always, I missed a number of layouts in my photographs, but I hope that I picked up many of the best ones on show.  We had a pleasant day out, helped by the relatively clear roads for the journey.  I managed to do some essential shopping (well, essential in my eyes).  This included another Dapol Terrier, and also a set of American baggage cars.  I had vowed not to add to my USA stock, but these were just too nice, and reasonably priced, to ignore.  I also came away with some more blue boxes for my stock (thanks, Jon), and some bits and pieces from N Brass.

What was unusual was that I spent most of the morning talking to old friends, and rather less looking at the layouts.  What with the ESNG members exhibiting, and a surprising number encountered wandering around the show, plus our N-Club German friends, plus all sorts of other acquaintances, and traders that I know, I seemed to have talked my way through the morning.

As for the show itself, I thought that there was plenty of very good modelling to be seen, but perhaps not as much that stood out as ‘different’ or ‘ground breaking’ as in some years.  Some shows I come away inspired (not that it has much effect).  On Saturday I came away content, but not moved to build anything.

That probably says more about my taste (or lack of it) than the modelling.  Perhaps the problem was that it is ‘TINGS’.  All ‘N’ gauge might actually be a mixed blessing, as some of the best inspiration comes from layouts in other scales – whether it’s the realism and even beauty of fine scale modelling, or the wider range of prototypes modelled in other gauges.  Perhaps ‘N’ gauge layouts have tended towards large ’roundy-roundy’ layouts, often in city outskirts.  These offer good operation potential for exhibitions, and for the sort of ‘N’ gauge stock currently available, but there may be too many of them around these days.

But will I go back next year – of course I will!

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TINGS 2018 #1

Off to The International N Gauge Show on Saturday, with a car load of club members.  110 miles to get there, almost all on motorway, and the roads were delightfully trouble free – the early start was worth it.  ESNG were well represented at the show, with Sean’s Forrestone and Martin’s St Elizabeth Street placed next to each other.  Allan, Geoff and Neil were ‘helping’, though the Cha(I)rman was a bit confused operating the layout off an iPad.


It was also good to see some friends from N-Club International, with groups from Germany and Austria forming a large modular layout, including a narrow gauge N-m interchange and branch line.


Ollie was there in the setup with his modules.

And Duncan with his N-m layout.

Elsewhere in the hall, ‘Bear Creek’ is set in Western Canada….


Into the mountains with the ‘Black Diamonds’ N-track USA modular layout.  This layout was more compact (large rather than enormous) than in previous years, and they kept a regular stream of trains running through spectacular scenery.

A quiet corner of ‘Atlantic Road’.

Melton Mowbray (North) is an accurate model of this long-gone station, showing it in its former glory in the 1950’s.  This layout was certainly one of the best on display.


Finally for today, ‘Depot de Camion’, a busy little layout set in Switzerland.

More layouts next post.

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