ESNG meeting – 7 October 2020

Back on Zoom tonight for yet another club meeting.  Good to see everyone again.  No Peter tonight, as he was down at the caravan….

Down in West Sussex at the moment, oh, a Class 700 followed by a track cleaning train have just whizzed past. The GWR daily driver knowledge train to Brighton is also due, it doesn’t seem to appear on the timetable.

I gather the third GWR service between Reading and Gatwick has been approved by NR, weekdays only at first.

Incidentally, went into a local antiques shop on Saturday, and purchased a Trix German 2-10-0 for £10. It works, just, after a bit of TLC but there seems to be a problem with one of the wheel sets. Do you or any of the club members know of anyone who could have a look at it. I guess being an older locomotive, spares may be a problem.

Unfortunately, will not be able to join you for the ‘meeting’ this evening as we have an appointment. Enjoy and will hopefully ‘meet’ up next time.

We were also missing a visit from Maxine, as ESNG clashed with the WI (digitally that is – I wouldn’t risk a disagreement with that lot!)

However, it was great to see Paul with both sound and vision, and see some of his new purchases.  Graham appeared clearer than before, but still no sound.  And these meetings seem to have driven Brian to drink – or maybe it was his experiences with Gorilla Glue.

It continues to be a treat to be able to meet up with good friends, albeit on-line.  I really must start modelling again and have something to show-and-tell, before Paul completely fills his lounge with bullet trains….

Thinking of that Gorilla Glue…..

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Another year of blogging

Amazingly, WordPress has just told me that I have been blogging for seven years.  The statistics for this time are:

  • 1,261 posts

Haven’t you lot got anything better to do?

Interestingly, the list of most popular posts has remained pretty constant for the past few years.  Here are the top 12 posts:

Minories #1 – the original design More stats 7,363
Off my trolley – streetcars and trolley layouts More stats 5,238
A small shunting layout More stats 3,129
Minories #2 – Out in the suburbs More stats 3,034
Folding baseboards from down-under More stats 1,901
ESNG EXHIBITIONS More stats 1,839
Shelf layout design More stats 1,617
Minories #3 – alternative Minories….. More stats 1,576
Off my trolley – interurban branchlines – 1 More stats 1,553
An N-gauge micro-layout More stats 1,508
Wisbech & Upwell doodles More stats 1,471
Not quite a Minories More stats 1,386

I remain surprised how my ‘Minories’ posts remain the most read over the four years since they were written.  And there is a continuing interest in traction layouts and shelf, small and micro-layouts.

I’d confess that I get a bit stressed with Google these days.  If you Google ‘Minories’ or some of these other topics, and look at the images, you are referred to esngblog.  I suppose that’s a sort of fame, but it’s very frustrating when I am the one looking for new ideas!

Perhaps I should build that Minories layout I keep talking about……

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Scaleforum 2020 – online

I am a firm believer in looking at other scales other than ‘N’.  And I can’t cope with criticisms of exhibitions that moan about, “Not much ‘N’ there.”  Surely, one can take inspiration from any scale or gauge, and they are all trains, aren’t they?

So I was delighted to see that the P4 specialist Scalefour Society were holding an online exhibition.  It was well worth a visit, and most of the exhibits are being held online, with YouTube videos, for anyone who wants to catch up with them.

The site itself is here.

I have selected a few layout videos that I especially enjoyed.

Vincent de Bode’s De Graafstroom is nothing short of brilliant!  I have seen it in the flesh a couple of times, and would happily travel to a show to see it again.  This layout portrays a fictitious narrow gauge (Cape gauge?) tramline which follows the small Dutch river “de Alblas”, modelled in  1947.  Note the moving scenic items, such as the flying stork, the swan, and especially the lovely Dutch sailing barge.  The other videos on the site are also worth a look, including one of how the layout breaks down to travel on a car roof.

Keeping the European theme, Geraint Hughes’ Obbekaer is set on a Danish branchline.  His video is all the more impressive for having been recorded in the lounge on his phone!  I have seen this layout, too, and it’s simple, but interesting, and a welcome break from the traditional GWR branchline.

They say that Hull is virtually Europe, and does have some very Dutch architecture in places.  Mike Knowles ‘Boston Frodsham’ shows modern(ish) image shunting somewhere around the Hull docks.  It is set in 1975-1985 (ish) and is part based on the swing bridge at the entrance to Boston Docks and also the wharf at Frodsham in Cheshire.  Another simple but very attractive layout.

Finally, a large London terminus in the glory days of the LSWR, Southwark Bridge.  There’s about an hour of video available on line, with all the details of designing, building and operating the layout.  I’ve linked to the video on rolling stock, as this includes some beautiful locomotives in full LSWR livery.  Pity I can’t do this in ‘N’….

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ESNG meeting – 30 September 2020

Because it has been one of those funny five week months, I made the executive decision to meet on the 30th, as well as next Wednesday.  The usual suspects were in attendance, and Good to see Paul managing to log in – but silently, as his sound didn’t seem to be working.

Phil was showing off his Night Mail set, and Brian what he claimed was a glass of water.  Maxine joined the meeting for a while, and Paul showed us some trains in action on his living room layout.  As usual, there was 90 minutes of sparking conversation – little of which mentioned railways.

Allan managed to follow Ron’s instructions but made a sudden exit near the end of the meeting.  I thought it might be something I said, but…

Battery died.  Should have had it plugged it in the mains and not run it off the battery.

We didn’t see Graham on-line, but all was revealed in his email later….

Hi Jon

Now I have a new Hub I was going to join the meeting, but the email for the zoom invite had disappeared, and also the app.

I tried to reconnect, by the time I had connected I think the meeting had finished .

Carry on Zooming, Graham

He’ll get there eventually!  We’ll see who logs in next week.

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(Almost) Wordless Wednesday.

No bright ideas today.  Just a few gleanings from the web (hopefully not messing with anyone’s copyright.  Still my favourite electric locomotives…..

An unusual visitor at Dorchester South station.

Meeting up with a primary school friend on Saturday, I was reminded that we, plus my mother in tow, had taken a Green Rover bus ticket from Orpington to Redhill (and back I assume.)   I have no memory of this!  I’m not sure what the attraction of this was, probably the RLH buses on the 410 route.  To think that I now live here.  But I obviously wasn’t keen enough on trains to visit Redhill station or shed.  Shame, as it must have been an interesting place to visit.

Finally, a mini-Minories.  Designed for 2 or 3 car DMU’s.  This is ‘4mm scale, so minimum length trains all round!  But some fun operation is possible.

See you next month.

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Ron escapes from the frozen north

And to quote the late, great, Jimi Hendrix – “Still raining, still dreaming!”

Another cold rainy day. Here are photos of Blackpool North one of which was taken from Sainsburys Cafe opposite station.

Yes, it’s a real British seaside holiday….

The escape from the north was on – and the sun had come out by Preston….

Well, Ron, you could have left the weather in Blackpool.  It’s too cold here.

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Ron and the typical British seaside holiday

Yes, it’s been raining!

Went down to breakfast this morning and sat in a sea front window to watch the rain coming down. Weather improved during the day but I went down to town for an early evening meal and upon leaving found it was raining heavily. Currently back in hotel room and will be going out around 7.30 to photograph the northern promenade illuminations so another email to follow.

Welcome to Blackpool!!!!!!!

Me and my gull (immature Herring Gulls, I believe.)

More trams…..

And those illuminations….

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Ron does like to be beside the seaside…..

Searching for the only place in the country that Boris allows us to travel to, Ron decided on a quick trip to Blackpool.  I can’t resist quoting Jethro Tull from 1971 (I was still at school – just – and bought this on a single.)

I’m going up the ‘Pool
From down the smoke below
To taste me mum’s jam sarnies
And see our Aunty Flo.
The candy floss salesman
Watches ladies in the sand
Down for a freaky weekend in the hope
That they’ll be meeting Mr. Universe.
The iron tower smiles down upon the silver sea
And along the Golden Mile
They’ll be swigging mugs of tea.
The politicians there,
Who’ve come to take the air,
While posing for the daily press
Will look around and blame
The mess on Edward Bear.
There’ll be buckets, spades and bingo,
Cockles, mussels, rainy days,
Seaweed and sand castles, icy waves,
Deck chairs, rubber dinghies,
Old vests, braces dangling down,
A suntanned stranded starfish in a daze.
Oh, Blackpool,
Oh, Blackpool.

I doubt whether it’s changed much.  Back to Ron…..

Instead of a week in Switzerland I am spending 2 nights in Blackpool.  Left home in sunshine but arrived to find it cloudy and windy and raining this evening.

Yes, this is the classic British seaside holiday…

However, it all looks better at night, when the illuminations come on.  (Not sure whether Ron looks better at night, though.)  Not to be confused, of course, with the Illuminati, who have far too much sense to be involved with Blackpool.

But of course, the real reason to go to Blackpool is to see the trams.  Just the one classic double-decker out and about….

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Real trains and little trains

Sorry, guys, no Beyonce today!  Just another video from Brian.

Here’s some more live steam action from yesterday at the Sittingbourne and Kemsley light railway, to share next time. A buffer beam view of the route, (you can hear snippets of conversation between Alan – the driver, and Brian – the fireman) with some other views, and a brief glimpse inside their workshop at Kemsley Down.

The outside motion isn’t as good as Beyonce’s, but some good action anyway!

Paul posted a picture of his living room on Facebook.  Looks fun…..

Ray Anderson (ex-ESNG Secretary) also contacted me….

New loco in my fleet. Not quite finished yet, needs copper dome on fire box but paint not in stock. It’s “Titfield Thunderbolt” aka “Lion”. Just a little lockdown exercise.

Should look good when it’s finished.

And perhaps when winter arrives (Wednesday) I might get some modelling done.  I think I need to visit Dorking to buy in some plywood before the next lockdown…..


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Real trains, plus….

Some real trains today. Chris got to the Isle of Wight.

Hi Jon, a couple of photos from the IOW steam railway last weekend. The Ivatt tank has a cut down roof, which was the plan in the 60, s for O2 replacements. Best wishes, Chris

To my disgust, I missed the news that Braunton would be passing under my local railway bridge in Redhill, heading the Southern Belle.  Naturally, Brian got to Godstone for this excellent video of the train at speed.

Braunton 34046 at Godstone Station – a steam loco travelling at about 60mph powering through, with D1935 (Roger Hoskin MA) for support during the coastal manoeuvres between Hastings and Eastbourne. This was organised by Saphos Trains. Great to see steam back on the mainline in the south of England! The location is a popular viewpoint for photographers and film makers.

And Brian also sent this video of Cologne Eifeltor Intermodal Yard, taken in April 2018.

Here’s a challenge for anyone to model – the Eiffeltor intermodal interchange in Cologne – just mind boggling.

And Peter noted that:

Locomotive Services have acquired an HST which they plan replicated the Midland Blue Pullman. I wonder if it comes off, it will eventually appear in N Gauge.  The article is in September’s Railway Magazine.

Actually looks OK, and it would make a very nice repaint in the meantime….

And now for something completely different.  Is this heresy?  I must admit I rather like it!

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