ESNG meeting – 15 January 2023

First Sunday meeting of the year, and a whole 12 members turned up.  And a warm welcome to Richard, an old friend, but he’s decided to actually join ESNG.  Good to have you aboard, sir!

We risked life and limb and tried the full 12 foot fiddle yard.  And it almost worked!  There are a couple of tracks that shorted out, again probably with errors in pin placing in the plugs.  Still, a qualified success, and it will soon be in regular use on club nights.

Dave had a large number of Baldwin Sharknoses on show.

Lucas ran a variety of trains.


As did Richard (membership has its privileges.)


Thomas escaped captivity!


And as usual, the initial enthusiasm for running trains ended up with enthusiasm for a good chat!


Followed, of course, by a good curry.

Martin did bring this slightly-larger-than-N-gauge truck along. RC rather than DCC.


And Brian added the usual interesting video (as well as making the teas.)

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Potpourri #1062

Today’s mix is a potpourri of Southern Railway locomotives.  Photos are credited where I know the source.  As ever, apologies if I have missed the appropriate credits.

A perennial question.  Why has no one released an N gauge King Arthur.  Was there a more attractive example of a 4-6-0 express engine?  Beats all those GWR things hands down. (Last photo by Trever Owen).

There might be some votes for a Lord Nelson class, but great as they are, that maximum size boiler seems to mess up the lines of the loco a bit.  Rather like comparing GWR Castles and Kings, perhaps.  This photo is interesting as it has a 6-wheel tender rather than the 8-wheel water carts, that gave the locos a more balanced look, as in the second photo.



From an earlier age, the LSWR outside cylindered 4-4-0’s were the most elegant machines.  Here we have a T3 and an X6 class.


The smaller Southern 4-6-0’s also were fine machines that could be substituted for an ‘Arthur’ on occasion.  Here we have a couple of S15’s.  Note the differences between batches.  Added smoke deflectors, a straight footplate, and a Schools class tender on the later locomotive. 


That classic LSWR tank engine, the M7, at Bournemouth, Lymington, Midhurst and Nine Elms.  These locos looked antiquated, but were powerful enough to be used on empty stock services into Waterloo. 

An ugly ducking of a USA tank in departmental service at Southampton Docks.


Finally, a different kind of period piece.  Electrification 1922 style – the Euston to Watford line.  No track laying or ballast tamping machines to be seen here!


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A sort of Minories of my own – 21

After Christmas, I got back to work on the layout.  The short extension to the baseboard is complete (but needs another coat of paint.)  I’m hoping that this area will also store all the transformers and electronics needed for operation.


And a big thank you to Wayne Kinney. I messed up (read destroyed) the bases for the first Finetrax crossover that I tried to build.  So I contacted Wayne to ask whether I could buy replacements, without the rail, as that was all intact.  They dropped through the letterbox today, and no charge!  That’s customer service for you!!!


The second attempt at a crossover went far better, as shown below.


There were a number of ‘tweaks’ that I adopted to change the published instructions, and I think that these help construction considerable.  Not least, a dab of solder at the frog and joining the frog knuckle and wing rails strengthens the point and required less droppers for electrical feeds.

Before I start laying track, I checked the track plan and the locations of point motors with the Finetrax templates and my trusty railway curves.  I will, I think, add an extra loco/parcels road – two short sidings might be more interesting than a single long one?

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A passing oddity

Brian tipped me off that there was a engineers train passing through Redhill on Monday, so I paid a quick visit (having checked that it was actually on the move) to my favourite bridge to watch.  Waiting, i noticed that spring has arrived early in Redhill, as the catkins were already out.


Just a few minutes wait, then I could see approaching headlights from the Godstone direction, and this oddity passed.

Brian caught the wee beastie at Godstone, and gave some interesting prototypical details on YouTube.  It would make an interesting model – just the right length for the average layout.

I wasn’t sure what the Civil Engineering Train would be between Paddock Wood sidings in Kent and Woking. Turns out it was a Network Rail Harso RGH20C (DR79264), captured briefly here as it glided through Godstone station. Built by Harsco in the USA, they were introduced in the early 2000’s and worked successfully reprofiling rails initially on preserved railway lines, before being let loose on the mainlines. There were at least 5 of these machines introduced to Britain at the time.

Not sure there’s much reprofiling to do with all the trains that have been running recently.  But I did like this topical post from some corner of the interweb….

1 - thyme2

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Potpourri #1061

A bit of a Jago Hazzard special today.  I always enjoy his videos, and these are a few that caught my attention in recent weeks.

Potential modelling ideas, perhaps, with some shared London Underground tracks.

And where the Underground logo came from….

Above ground, I always look out for the remains of this connection leaving Waterloo East…

Spitalfields is a fascinating area, but far too big to model….

My local station when we lived in London (though it was usually easier to get a bus to Victoria.)

And lastly, a trip to the seaside…. and beyond.


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New Years Resolutions?

This gallery contains 2 photos.

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ESNG meeting – 4 January 2023

Back for the new year, and a very respectable nine members turned up to run trains.

The afternoon was again spent working on the new fiddle yard, doing some final wiring and then rewiring when things didn’t quite work.


There was a slight diversion when Allan taught Mr Apps how to send an email…..


We paused for a fish and chips dinner, and thought that we wouldn’t be able to get the yard running.  But a moment of inspiration, some pins in the plugs swapped over, and it all worked.  A lot of track cleaning (there was three years patina on the rails, let alone all the glue and general gunge) and the first trains ran through the yard.

We’ll test it for a couple more meetings (letting the members loose on it is a form of testing to destruction), before we ballast the track.  Very satisfying – a job complete!

On the tracks, I ran in my ochre brown Class 31.  Lovely model!

Simon and Neil were running long trains.

Trains were run…..  tea was drunk….   world was put to rights….


And finally, Sean’s interesting PW train.


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Local pictures #2

And we’ll start 2023 with some more local pictures.  This time even closed to home.  I’ve attributed photos when I know the photographer – apologies when I’ve missed the credit.

We’ll start in Earlswood, just round the corner from home.  St John’s Road in 1905.  The horse and cart are crossing the Brighton line railway bridge.


Of course, there was once a Terrier called Earlswood that worked at Earlswood….

Whilst elegant expresses passed on the main line heading for Brighton….

Down the road in Redhill, the scale of change can be illustrated by this montage of the chapel in Station Road.  Once


A different view of Station Road (note the railway bridge at Redhill station in the background – one thing that hasn’t changed), and the cattle market (ex-car park, now building site) in 1904…

Redhill in 1949 and 1950….

And in the 1970’s….

And so to Redhill station.  In British Railways days, Redhill saw locomotives from all of the ‘Big Four’.  Here is an LMS Fairburn tank, borrowed till the BR standard 2-6-4T’s were available, and a GWR mogul from a Reading train (photo Ben Brooksbank.)


I wish that I had been old enough to have visited Redhill shed.  Though maybe not – I’m quite old enough these days.)  There always seemed to be something of interest on shed.  Here’s an ex-SR U class 2-6-0, again regulars on the Reading trains, and also across to Tonbridge.


And Ian Kruase has caught both the shed, and views of the town beyond.

Finally, from the air today, with the latest Thameslink stock leaving the station, probably for Bedford.  Redhill comes in for a lot of criticism, but it’s been a good home for us (down here in deepest Earlswood) for the past 36 years.


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A sort of Minories of my own – 20 –

As David Bowie would memorably say.  I’ve returned to my little Minories.  I had come to a stop, as I realised that the design still didn’t feel right.  So it was time to wait till some inspiration happened.  It eventually did, and work restarted.

Meanwhile, I took a Christmas break from thinking, and built that 1/35 Tamiya Citroen Traction.  Here’s the end result.  The photos are actually quite kind, as I messed up the glazing when painting the frame without a mask, and the gloss black hasn’t come out too well.  Still, I thoroughly enjoyed making the model, and it’s good to have a change of modelling focus.  I also discovered how good Tamiya Extra Thin cement is – like Mek-Pak, it capillaries into joins without leaving marks on the surface.

In fact I enjoyed this build so much that I started another kit – a WWII German armoured car.  This one comes from ICM, a Ukrainian company, who love using 10 parts when 2 might do.  Here’s the nearly complete chassis (about 40 parts) and the engine 10 so far.  But great fun!


Meanwhile, I decided that whilst I did want a real double track entry to the station, I didn’t like the ‘off-stage’ platform ends.  So the idea came to extend the baseboard on the entry end.  A 150mm (probably 200mm now) extension to the board allows a second crossover to be half on scene, but the resulting board is still light and fits in my car.  The design will also accept 5 (long) or 6 (short) coach trains.  Otherwise it still looks a bit like the original design, and all the work on the bridges completed can stay as they are.


Moving the points meant that I had to move some of the raised baseboard supports.  I also cut a new piece of plywood for part of the baseboard top.  All now fitted and waiting for some track.

I’ve now put the plastic tank to one side and will get on and build the little extension to the layout.  Then the Finetrax points need to be built.  Here’s the first one.  I’ve seen someone claim to build one in 30 minutes.  I guess this took about 90.  I did tweak the construction slightly.  I moved the insulation gaps a few sleepers towards the toe, so that the knuckle rail was supported by more chairs.  I also put a touch of solder on the frog V and the join between knuckle and frog wing rail.  This both strengthens these delicate bits of rail and gives electrical continuity.  Finally, I used odd ends of rail to bond rails together where needed.  Easier to use than wire, and very inconspicuous.

I now have to try and make a crossover…..

And there was another Christmas present to myself.  Couldn’t resist this one, and look forward to testing it at the next ESNG meeting.


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Happy New Year!

I hope that you all get some modelling done in 2023, and actually complete some projects!

But here are three modelling challenges to get you going…..

A bullet train?

Screenshot 2022-12-13 111611

A working escalator.  Moving treads are easy (!?!)  Your challenge is to get the people on and off.

A Patagonian layout – with wind sounds.  Actually it looks a fantastic prototype with some amazing scenery to model.

Automatic gauge changing on the layout – the Swiss do it better than the Spanish did!

And for German speakers (thank you Allan.)

Happy New Year and good modelling for 2023.

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