Saturday was the local NMRA group’s annual meet at the Charis Centre in Crawley. Although I am modelling less American railroads than in the past, it’s a local show and well worth a visit. Even better, Simon picked me up so I didn’t have to drive down there.
We spent a pleasant couple of hours at this friendly little show, and watch Simon spend his money. I had the usual long chat with Jon the Blue Plastic Box Man – and had to apologize as I didn’t buy any, as Allan had bought my needs up at TINGS last weekend. We also ran into Allan, Sean and Lucas (even more a local show for Sean) and enjoyed a quality cup of coffee and bacon bap.
There were four very good layouts in the main hall, all HO and switching pikes.
First off was the wonderful Central Alonzo Mill. Sugar cane railroading in Cuba under hand-built catenary – what is there not to like! Interesting to know that Hershey ran trains as well as made chocolate bars. This is such an inspiring little layout, as it is just very different.
Next up, and continuing the tropical, vegetarian, theme, was the interestingly named Plant City. Switching in Florida, very much by the Lance Mindheim book. A largish line with realistically spaced out sidings, and lots of little cameo scenes – including the compulsory alligator in the creek.
Roundhouse is a long-standing regular on the exhibition circuit, and always has some fine American motive power in view – and a little switching to keep things moving.
And finally (of the layouts I took photos of) Underpass. The smallest layout of the four, but an interesting concept, modelling a little section of the Santa Fe yards that lies under a highway underpass – hence the name.
And I really will post Allan’s TINGS photos – after the next two ESNG meetings.