After a busy week, I decided a little model railway therapy was required, so I asked Derek whether he was going to the Tonbridge show. He was, but was starting early to visit the Maidstone toy fair. So 7am on Saturday morning, I was waiting to be collected. In fact, I must have been very keen, as I misread my clock and got up at 5am by mistake. Having got downstairs, I realised my mistake, and retreated back to bed for 90 minutes!
The toy fair had some interesting stalls, but nothing I wanted to buy. Not even a second hand book or three – I was very disciplined for once! And we were soon arriving at Tonbridge some 20 minutes after the show opened. to find a long queue trying to get in. In fact, the queue seemed no shorter when we left. They were obviously getting plenty of visitors, but the queue moved very slowly. With two main halls filled with trains, it would have been sensible to have someone selling tickets on both doors, speeding up entry.
Today, I’ve got some pictures of some of the ‘N’ and other small scale trains. Next post will have the larger exhibits. We start with Rusbury Basin, layout with two double track main lines at different levels, giving the chance to run four trains through the attractive countryside. The two main lines are perhaps more interesting than our N-mod system, but a bespoke layout like this can be free of modular conventions.
Umbridge is another four track main line layout, with a fifth single line crossing the station. Another layout giving a chance to just watch the trains go by, but this time in an urban context. A very large and ‘busy’ layout, it sometimes felt that there was too much going on.
Sturminster Halt is a fairly small 8′ x 2′ layout, representing the Somerset and Dorset Railway. The sense of location is very strong, with ex-LMS 4F 0-6-0’s pulling ex-Southern Railway coaches, and a milk depot in the background.
Hinksey Yard shows 18′ of the main line just south of Oxford. It’s a DB Schenker (EWS) ‘virtual quarry’ for distributing ballast for engineering works. The main line allows a wide range of trains to pass whilst shunting continues in the background.
Llangerisech is a GWR, ex-Cambrian, terminus on the North Wales coast. All delightfully modelled in 2mm fine scale, with plenty of scratchbuilt models on show.
It’s always interesting to see a ‘TT’ layout, as it is such a minority scale. Daconby Town is set in Linconshire, an includes some well detailed washing on the balcony of the flats. Hope there are no steam trains scheduled today!
Kyle of Lochalsh was perhaps the smallest layout on show, 5′ x 6″, modelling the west coast of Scotland in 2mm fine scale. Despite its small size, it’s recognisable as Kyle, and the delicate 2mm track work and the evocative Scottish weather on the back scene stand out.
Tanner’s Hill is a small 7′ x 6′ layout, set in suburbia. For a show south of the Thames, it was strongly Network South East, but could model almost any of the outer London approaches with a change of stock.
A simple 009 layout, Wisteria Collop, stood out for its trees in springtime bloom. I didn’t spot the wisteria though….
Next post will include all the larger scales. I think some of these were even better than the small scale ones….