No rest for the wicked! Another busy weekend, exhibiting at Dorking MRC’s show over in Dorking. Appropriately, it’s in the Oddfellows Hall, perfect for model railway enthusiasts. This is a small but friendly venue and show, but sufferers from being on the first floor, so there is no wheelchair access.
As I’ve reported, a lot of the ESNG members were away this weekend, so instead of a modular layout, I just took along all 4′ of Earl’s Wood, and shuffled and shunted a goods train and an RDC all day – or at least when punters were around. The layout behaved reasonably well, and the foamboard fiddle yard worked fine. However, it will need some repairs where I leant on it. Or perhaps I will finally get around to building a train turntable – I got tired of swapping locomotive and caboose in the fiddle yard. A third train would also give a little more variety. Still, it was a fun weekend, and I got plenty of complements for the layout.
Dorking MRC’s layout, Ranmore Junction, is an excellent model of BR/SR days, with mainly green, blue and blue and grey EMUs running. The layout also features realistic third rail, and this lovely Southern era signal box. I wish Hornby would shrink their 2-BIL down to N.
Our friends from the West Sussex Group were there with a room full of N-gauge, centred around their excellent model of the Lyme Regis branch. Not quite modelled realistically, as I don’t think they’d have got a West Country 4-6-2 around the tight curves the branch was famous for, let alone across Cannington Viaduct. But once again, rule 1 applies – it’s my railway and I’ll do what I want with it!
Other layouts included OO, O, and OO9. Some nice modelling on view. I was wondering whether I was more tempted by a Dapol O gauge Terrier, a Heljan O gauge 4-wheeled railcar, or an OO Metropolitan Bo-Bo electric. I bought some N American wagons instead.
Finally, the Dorking club layout took the opportunity to rival ESNG Paul’s long train award. A 59 car Southern Region EMU will take some beating. If running on our local line, it would be stopping simultaneously in Redhill and Earlswood!