I’ve not been to the International N Gauge Show as yet – the past two years I’ve been working in Turkey, and before that I had other diversions. But this year I had a free Saturday, and Neil had a space in his car (the back being occupied with Derek with the beard and glasses and Derek with the beard and glasses.) So off to Leamington we went.
Although Leamington seems a long way off, it is an easy 100 miles providing the motorways behave. As it was, we had an easy run up, with time to stop for a full English breakfast (Mr Apps ate a very large helping.) We were there, queueing, 15 minutes before the show started. Fortunately the rain had stopped by then, as the ‘exhibition centre’ seemed to be a converted cow shed.
This year’s show was graced by a strong ESNG presence. Well, not sure graced is quite the right word as Sean was exhibiting Leonard, helped by Allan…..
Leonard is a very tidy piece of work and, as always, stands up well against the surrounding layouts. Sean has collected or converted an interesting collection of EMUs and diesels. I really liked his new O3 0-6-0 shunter in Network Southeast ‘toothpaste’ livery.
Next stop was NScaleCH, where John and Paul were trying to relieve the punters of money for rare Swiss models. Derek Atfield doesn’t look impressed. John was also helping set up Alpenbahn with Duncan, and I understand that it went together very well this time around, with no major technical problems, or picturesque language.
Duncan is inspecting his Alpenbahn empire here, but later in the day was seen to have returned to soldering up pine trees for his Nm layout. It must have been going well….
Alpenbahn was connected to a relatively small N-club set up, with groups from just Germany and Austria. Just a little taster of Stuttgart to come in November, but the layout had all the usual characteristics – faster trains catching up with slower ones, lost coaches and trains and a certain amount of détente between the nations. It was good to see a few friends from Stuttgart operating the layout….
There was, of course, plenty of trade on display. I managed to spend too much money on some things I had gone to the show for, and a number that I hadn’t. Perhaps most interesting was the ‘Nelevation’ vertical fiddle yard on display. A commercial product to hold 20 fairly long N gauge trains, and all the gubbins to move it accurately up and down. It’s not available yet, but the price is likely to be around £600 for a kit, more if ready built. Not cheap, but if you add up all the points and motors needed for an equivalent set up, this probably adds up to most of that cost. (In case you wondered, I didn’t order one.)
Next time I’ll describe a few of the non-ESNG layouts on display…..