Chiltern Model Railway Exhibition 2020 #1

I couldn’t work out whether to go to an exhibition on Saturday. Mr Atfield was going to Bognor (quite right too, I hear you say), I’d posted flyers for NGSE to the Pratts Bottom show (the names get worse and worse), and that left the Chiltern MRA show in Stevenage.  And I’d given Neil some flyers for that one, too, and it’s a nightmare to park there.

However, a look at the train timetable showed that despite Thameslink engineering work, I could travel direct from Earlswood to Stevenage in 1 hour 20 minutes, for just over £10 on my OAP travelcard.  As the show is 5 minutes from the station, this was a no brainer.  The train times were a bit different from usual, but the 8:26 train (running late) got me into Stevenage at 9:55 (10 minutes late) just before the show opened. I had time to grab a coffee and bun at Costas on the station before strolling over the bridge to the halls. The queue had gone down a bit by then, and it only took 5 minutes to get in. Mind you, the Chiltern show has more security than Heathrow on a bad day….

The show was well up to standard. With a few notable exceptions (because I like them), I’ve only taken photos of layouts that are new to me…..

First layout I saw was ‘Feldspar’ (N), Ray Taylor and Anna Bass’ coffee table layout – all they have room for at home.  They seemed to have brought half their lounge along with them to give the right idea.  Still, I like the idea of taking my layout to a show and doing nothing but sit and drink coffee all day (with periodic excursions, I guess.)

‘Nonsuch’ is in the grand tradition of fantasy layouts.  Not my scene, but very nice buildings and scenery, and hey, it’s your railway!

Middleton (OO) is based on the LNER branch line from Darlington in the 1930’s.

Little Salkeld (N) was a standout layout for me.  Based on a Settle and Carlisle station, it’s difficult to identify the gauge in the photos below.  Perhaps this is due to the code 40 rail trackwork and small details such as the point levers.  The layout was also a good advert for well applied sound – the loco was standing ticking over in the lay-by siding and sounded just right.

St Frazal d’Ardeche (Nm) was rather impressive – lots of tiny trains and very high scenery.

The big hook waiting for a disaster on Gosberton (OO).

Another favourite, Heybridge Wharf (3mm scale, 14.2mm gauge.)  Somewhere in Suffolk with Wisbech and Upwell influences.  I like the wherry and the swans.

Diesels shunting on ‘Docklands’ (O).

More precipitous scenery on Soller (Z)…..

Two micro layouts….

The fine Slindon Vale (O-16.5) layout was being exhibited with this loco works module attached to one end.

Part 2 will follow, perhaps after the ESNG PlayDay report.

About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
This entry was posted in Exhibitions, Inspiration, Out and about and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Chiltern Model Railway Exhibition 2020 #1

  1. Neil says:

    I went yesterday (11/01/2020) and I have to be honest I was a little disappointed. Only two modern image layouts. The rest were mostly Steam, while I do like looking at them it did seem to be mostly small or micro layouts.

    The secondhand stall was very poor to be honest and after a look once we never bothered looking again.

    Depending on the line u I may give next years one a miss.

    Onwards to DEMU


    • I guess the balance between ancient and modern, large and small, varies year by year. I would go back (especially as a train visit is so much easier than road) simply for the quality of the modelling on display.


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