Having given a dishonourable mention to the ESNG representation, I’d better make a mention of the other layouts. The show guide gave a list 0f 29 layouts. When in the hall it maybe seemed like less, but (apart from the N-club) N gauge layouts being generally smaller, perhaps things just felt more compact.
I’ve selected just a few layouts here. The modelling overall was excellent, but the layouts that caught my eye were the ones that were a little different. We start with Lowbeck Hall East, a minimum size layout of a small MPD set in Yorkshire in BR diesel days. I liked the interesting track layout, and the neat rows of terraced houses in the background.
I really liked Haworth Sidings, a stretch of modern image main line with a set of industry sidings. A large layout and a chance to watch the trains make their way through the scenery. I liked the simple design, the non-linear baseboards, and the general lack of clutter.
Japanese layouts were well represented. Kanjiyama (not illustrated) was at our ESNG show a couple of years ago. Okurimono (below) was a two level line, with lots of interesting details in the scenery that made one forget the rather precipitous slopes! Hironocho (bottom) modelled a terminus of a Japanese light railway using EMUs and interurbans. A small, compact, layout, that gave me a few ideas for my future tram layout.
Finally, Cucknoe, representing a typical cross country branch line in 1960. Again a small layout with a very simple track layout (both points are shown below). But it gets the atmosphere exactly right, and there are lots of interesting scenic details to find without the layout becoming too cluttered and intense. There’s plenty to look at, even though the trains are very short and not very frequent.
I could, of course mentioned a number of other layouts. But these were the ones I really liked. We left the show at 14:30 and had a smooth journey home. We stopped to eat on the way home, and in the best ESNG tradition, I found the Cherwell services had an Indian restaurant that provided an excellent plate of curry…..
And here’s a comprehensive video of the event posted on YouTube – better than my ramblings!