Late March and it’s time for a visit to Alexandra Palace, and the London Festival of Railway Modelling. Once again I visited with my old work colleagues, Peter and Malcolm (otherwise known as the Old G*ts Day Out). We all seem to be getting older, and we put Peter on the bus up from Alexandra Palace station to save his legs.
My overall impression of the show (probably incorrect) that there were less layouts and more trade and open spaces. But it was still an excellent day out, and I think that the quality of the layouts was better than some recent years. This is, of course, a purely subjective view coloured by my own interests and what I had for last nights supper (Chinese takeaway) and today’s breakfast (MacDonald’s in Redhill).
So the next three posts will be a selection of my favourite layouts. As ever, apologies for those I missed, but I snapped those that took my eye.
I have to start with this little HO Pacific Electric layout. Simple track plan, and just a procession of PE and SP trains, but it caught the character of the region very well.
Probably my favourite layout was Hebble Vale Goods. A small shunting layout, set in Yorkshire with blue diesels. Large mill buildings, some massive coal drops, and an interesting three level presentation. Perhaps there is some inspiration here for a future London urban layout?
For my generation (and the one before), the late Peter Denny’s ‘Buckingham’ remains an inspiration. Leighton Buzzard (Linslade) was the final part of this Great Central EM masterclass, and it was good to see it exhibited again. My only concern was that I remember the Railway Modeller articles describing it being built! Linslade has some complex, and hand-made, pointwork, too complex for a branch line terminal, but all flowing naturally and not looking out of place.
The gasworks is very compressed, but again convincing. This was another Railway Modeller article, I recall.
Plenty of traffic on the roads, even in the early years of the 20th century!
I’ve described Kensington Addison Road in detail before, but more detail had been added to this large, and impressive, ‘O’ gauge layout. The LBSCR built some beautiful large tank engines….
I mentioned Abbey Street a few posts back, it was good to see it in the flesh, and this was another favourite. A layout that shouted ‘East Anglia’ even before you spotted the Buckjumper tank shunting the yard. Seeing the layout I could appreciate how Jas Millham has modelled the basement stores under the station.
Lastly for today, Koln Westnahnhof in ‘N’. A very simple layout, transposing one of Ian Futer’s classic designs to German. In one sense nothing special, but I thought it a very satisfying little layout.
And here’s the N Gauge Forum photo from the Saturday (hijacked from NGF). Your author is fifth from left – and also fifth from right. I can assure you that no cameras were harmed in taking this photograph…..