ESNG meeting – 17 April 2019

Maybe due to enthusiasm following the NGSE show, or perhaps the spring-like weather, about 14 turned up for Wednesday’s meeting.  Plenty of people and plenty of trains….


It was ‘Birdcage’ night, as both Neil and I tested our new purchases…


Expensive, but wonderful models!  Elsewhere, we had (amongst others) expresses old and new….

A little Network SouthEast shunting…..

And a modern goods train…

A fun evening, with a lot of running and a lot of talking…..

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An interesting publication on goods sheds and warehouses…..

Why not to graffiti Japanese trains…

And they’re here – expensive but wonderful!!!

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London Transport Museum Store, Acton – 2

Not sure what John was getting excited about here!  Behind are a Feltham tram and the standard London trolleybus design.

The prototype trolleybus, No. 1.

Feltham tram

And the standard LCC design.

On to the tube, with a borrowed Waterloo and City line tube to the left, and early tube stock to the right.

A battery locomotive for maintenance work.

The sleet locomotive again.

An 1890 Metropolitan Railway ballast wagon – that was in service for a long time.

ESL 107

Early tube stock under renovation.  We got a look inside of these, and the renewal is comprehensive – first rewiring, then bodywork then paint.

In the middle of this, and RF getting its final touches.

An early Metropolitan Railway milk van.  There was a steady service from Aylesbury down to the city.

A view across the depot.

Upstairs, there are thousands of signs.  Early health and safety?

Bill Stickers is innocent?

For the desperate.  I’m told the more feathers on the arrow, the earlier the sign (it’s not the number of cubicles.)

Signs old (I love these old roundels).

And new….

In the afternoon we had the second part of the tour to the poster and painting store.  LT used to commission well known artists to paint for posters.  In the store there are the original posters AND the original artwork.  Plus many more paintings commissioned but never used for posters.  I’ve no photos of these, as they are in environmentally and light controlled rooms.

All in all, a fascinating day.  As the museum is ‘live’ and exhibits go out to displays, one could go round again and see some different items – and spend time on the things you missed.  Strongly recommended.

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London Transport Museum Store, Acton – 1

After a couple of days recovering from NGSE, Tuesday morning it was off to London.  I had been invited to join a private tour of the London Transport Museum Depot.  Situated in an old underground maintenance depot out at Acton, this holds all the items – thousands of them varying in size from ticket to tube train – that are not being displayed in the main, but smaller, Covent Garden museum.

The private, guided, tours run on Tuesdays, for a group of up to ten persons.  There were nine of us, and it worked out at a very reasonable £18 each – far less than a peak hour travelcard needed to get there.

The entrance to the museum is not exactly understated.

Todays blog will have the buses, and next time the trams and trains.  The first thing you see is a circa-WW1 ‘pirate’ bus that competed with the London General red buses.

John, our morning guide, was infinitely knowledgeable (I only managed to out-nerd him on one detail – District Line through trains to Southend) and happily talked for most of the morning.  In the background is a tube line ‘sleet’ locomotive, that put antifreeze down on the 3rd and 4th rails on the overground bits of the underground.

Some early buses, included the classic design in the foreground, many of which went out to carry troops in France in WW1.  What is noticeable is how many of the bus routes on these old buses are the same today, though often shorter, or split, in length.

The bus on the left is one of the first in a long line of designs culminating in the Routemaster – a closed half cab and pneumatic tired were a great advance.

Early ST and T country buses – double and single deckers of the same design.

And a Leyland Cub bus, used for early one-man-operated minor routes.

The museum has a number of No. 1’s.  Here we see DMS1 and RM1, together with the classic (even more so than the RM, really) RT design painted for the queen’s golden jubilee.

And a bus converted to a breakdown tender…

I can remember introduction of these Red Arrows, linking the London main-line stations.

And my favourite, the GS.  Again for minor country routes, I used to see these on two or three little circular routes out of Orpington Station.

The Q was a radical 1935 AEC design with a transverse engine.  It looks very modern for its day.

And a TF coach – back to the half-cab design.

A six-wheeled ‘scooter’.  When I travelled to school, the 227 route was populated by RF’s.  On the right is an ancient tractor, fitted with a buffer to push trams around the depot where there were no overhead wires.

And the first green Routemaster.

Last for today, a overhead wire maintenance vehicle, that leads us nicely into the trolleybuses and trams.

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NGSE – 2

Feedback from the show has been very positive.  Our aim was to keep the friendly atmosphere of the usual ESNG show, and that is a feature (most of the time) of N Gauge Forum.  We achieved that, aided by our cheery catering team for teas and coffees, and the school caters for the cheap bacon rolls (confession – I ate three through the day!)  Back to the layouts…..

Konigshafen – Nick had a boring day.  It’s his fault though – that’s what happens when you build a fully automatic layout.

Tenac – immediately recognisable as deepest France.  Good job Brexit was delayed, or we wouldn’t have let them in….

Leigh St George

Sutton St Annes

Southwark Bridge.  Another favourite layout.  Almost a Minories, and a south London terminus on brick arches – what isn’t there to like?


Rectory Grove – London trams in a realistic setting

Forrestone – more modern south London.  And did you spot Mr Bean on the bridge.  (It also occurs to me that the cliché ‘bus on a bridge’ as a scene block has been replaced by ‘Eddie Stobart on a bridge.’


Wenlock – a GWR BLT at its best.  Wenlock is a lovely little model that beats my prejudices against this prototype!

Apa – or what to do with an IKEA storage box

Dawes Lane

West Sussex N-mod.  (They do run trains as well as talk!)

Millfield Yard

Alpenbahn – John Brightwell has not only changed to DCC, but has turned this modular system into a continuous run, making it easier to exhibit.

A Taste of Japan.  Naked Kato seems to entertain even the purist, judging by the number of show invites that Paul gets.

And last but not least, Little Oak Common.

The show was followed by the traditional curry in Redhill, and I got home at 9pm.  It’s taken a couple of days to recover, but it’s all worth while when one gives a lot of people a lot of entertainment!

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NGSE – 1

The show has been and gone, and I’ll admit to being very relieved.  And also delighted that it has been a great success.  The only problem with that is, everyone is already asking about 2020 – it’s too early to think about such things!

We arrived at the school 6pm Friday evening, expecting a big panic getting things arranged, but as it was the start of the Easter holidays, all the children had gone home early, and Chris had managed to clear the halls and start arranging things.  There were also plenty of ESNG members arriving to help put tables and chairs out where needed.  At 7pm the first early exhibitors arrived to set up.  And to my relief, the rooms were of the same size as when I measured them….

So to Saturday.  Up at 6am to be at the school by 7am or so, welcomed by this excellent banner.  Then three busy hours shepherding the rest of the traders and exhibitors into place.  And there were no no-shows, which is always good news!

By 9:45am, the cars were filling the car park, and the first minibus trip had dropped some additional punters.  At that point, I relaxed – it was going to be all right!

I did a quick run round the layouts, for a few photos for the record.  There are a few without trains, as I caught them before the show opened.

Sturminster Halt

Sutton Park

St Elizabeth Street

Bob and Ray of BH Enterprises.  They claimed that the radiator was too hot.  I think that they just weren’t talking….

Banbury.  Immediately recognisable if you’ve been there….


Little Ashton

Depot de Camion

Lightermans Yard.  An absolute favourite of mine, and the 2mm FS representative at the N gauge show.  I’ve always loved this Iain Rice track plan.  They were sensible enough to build it.


East Surrey N Gauge N-mod. Usual last minute panic to make things work!


And my Terrier collection returns.  It was still in the blue boxes, not being unpacked after Stuttgart in November, so it was easy to set up the display again!

Hedges Hill Cutting.  Another favourite – South London immediately recognised!


Ambleton Vale – no trains in these shots, but they are hardly necessary with all that lovely scenic work to look at.

Endale South – not as many Terriers as me, mate!

Rest next post.

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The day after the day before….

Well, we’ve survived.  The NGSE show went off very well, with no great crises.  If the worst that happens is that the school cash machine runs out of readies, and that the tea urn takes for ever to warm up, it must have been a good day.

I’ll blog some more in the week, but here’s Brian’s video of the day.

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