The Black Diamonds group had a large modular US layout on display. There was some criticism of this layout on N Gauge Forum, saying that the scenery was disappointing, there were too few trains that were too long, and that the trains went too slow.
The first criticism was probably fair enough, as some modules were works in progress. But the others were not fair. American goods trains are often long and often slow as well. It was refreshing to see a goods train move at scale speed. There seemed to be plenty of movement on the layout when I was watching, but they were operating under dispatcher control, so trains would be at realistic intervals, and not tail chasing.
The coal mine was impressive on size alone….
And the end loops gave some ideas for fiddle yards for ESNG in the future. I liked the second one shown, where a double track main line widens out to a six track loop, but the throat of the loop forms part of the station.
Now for the interesting scenery section….
Langston Bridge was a full length scale model of the bridge connecting Hayling Island with the mainland. The Terrier and one coach was totally prototypical.
Webber Heights featured this USAF airfield. One of my companions was severely critical of the air traffic control (or lack of it) portrayed, but I thought it an excellent chance to show off some model aircraft.
And St. Niklaus had some excellent German alpine scenery during the ski season…
For continental modellers, there were three layouts from France, including one with a working dragon in a cave half way up the helix. I failed to get a photo of this….
Best name of the day was the German layout Bad Teiming. Plenty to look at with a busy timetable (or should it be teimtable) in operation.
Arley modelled the Severn Valley Station of that name. There’s an interesting editorial in this months Model Railway Journal asking why we don’t model preserved railways. So here’s one that models a station on such a railway, but winds back the clock to the 1950’s when there was a BR service on the line.
And the last layout is Molinnis, based around operations on the Newquay branch in Cornwall after privatisation. Yes, there is an elephant in the field in the second photograph. And no, I don’t know why – they aren’t native to Cornwall.
So that’s TINGS for another year. Apologies to those layouts that I haven’t included, mainly due to the incompetence of the photographer.
The journey home was not a good one. We stopped for a late lunch on the way home, and held an ESNG committee meeting over lunch. Then the M25 decided to come to a halt, so we had to drop off it and get back to Redhill through the back streets of South London. We got home about 7pm, a bit later than expected.
To add insult to injury, the motorway fish and chips did something to my insides, and I spent a certain amount of Monday in the smallest room. Still, it was an excellent day, and I hope to return next year.