A strange situation….

What a different world we live in all of a sudden.  I spent Sunday evening and Monday talking to people and closing down (1) The NGSE show, (2) East Surrey N Gauge Club, and (3) Our church.  My phone was red hot with texts, emails and WhatsApp messages.  With respect to the show, I was pleasantly surprised by the string of good wishes and even offers of cash that appeared from exhibitors and potential punters.

It’s difficult to see where this is all going.  Certainly, a string of model railway exhibitions -have cancelled – though that is trivial compared with the potential loss of life – possibly of friends and family.  Businesses will suffer, so I warmed to the idea of ordering on-line the ‘essentials’ you were going to buy at NGSE (or any other show), and help the retailers.  I have done just that.

We will all miss club nights.  I must confess that most ESNG meetings are special because of meeting good friends – the trains have become an added bonus.  And what will happen to the ESNG Curry Club?  Will Miles survive a lock-in without curry????

But silver linings, I am finding time for a little railway modelling.  Hopefully, reports will follow in future posts.  And the timing of a purchase of an Amazon Firestick was perfect.  Originally bought because of terrible 4G interference – even with a filter – on the TV, it now means Mrs Bartlett, if locked-in, can watch all 397 episodes of ‘Death in Paradise.’  Whilst I bemoan the lack of rugby….

And I have found the appropriate album to listen to in the present crisis (haven’t heard this since my university days!)

It also occurs to me that COVID-19 is a bit like the children getting nits at school – you immediately start itching whether you get them or not!  Every cough, headache or any temperature immediately starts you thinking!!

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NGSE 2020 – cancelled

Very sad, but with the deteriorating Corvid-19 situation, we have no choice but to cancel – even if it’s before the government decides to shut down any large gatherings.

Hopefully, we’ll have another try next year….


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From Facebook, a mega-roundhouse in Altona, Hamburg.  This would make quite some model – even the coaling facilities are on the grand scale….

But did you spot the best bit – the overlapping turntable.  I’d never seen one of these before, prototype or model.  It would be a feature of any layout!

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ESNG PlayDay – 8 March 2020

Sunday’s PlayDay was well attended, with 10 members there, plus Sean’s Lucas.  Derek brought round the new club corners, to wire up some leads….

And also one of his new ‘super dashboards’.  This one will link up with Peter’s station….

And elsewhere, trains we run.  We had a fair size circuit set up, as Paul and Dave brought along some new boards….

Sean’s engineer’s train, nicely weathered.

And Network SouthEast passenger.  Made more realistic by the blue-gray coach amongst the toothpaste liveried ones.

I had spent a few hours adding a little weight to my Conflats and gluing the containers in place.  A train of 25 wagons behind a Hymek made an attractive train.

And Paul had his usual selection of bullet trains, including one repaired by Kato in Tokyo.

And Brian filmed it all….

And on Monday, more progress on the fiddle yard – we’re getting there!

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Down by the seaside

We’ll start the post on the beach at Lancing.  A grey day, but bracing rather than unpleasant.  But why was I there – and what’s this doing in a railway blog?

Well, the beach car park was recommended for the Wealden Railway Group exhibition.  A pleasant little show, concentrating on their tag line – “Railways you can live with” – small and micro layouts to the fore.  Here are just a few of the exhibits that caught my eye….

Greenford Broadway modelled the London Underground in 3′, with a fiddle yard at either end.  I liked the authentic 4-rail track, the LUT steam locos, and at the extreme right is a neat model of an old wooden escalator.

This little ‘O’ gauge switching layout is almost pointless – just the one point and a sector plate to reach the other tracks.  Another neat design, allowing a large scale in a small space.

This was a trader’s stand, but I liked the scenic work….

And there was lots of narrow gauge.  Three layouts are shown below.  Can you spot the coffin wagon in the third photo?

In case you missed it!

I then drove a mile up the road from Lancing to Sompting, to drop in on the West Sussex N Gauge group open day.  Lots of modular layouts and lots of old friends to talk to – and a very respectable sausage bap, rivalling the Wealden bacon roll….

This looks like an interesting layout in the making….

And plenty of completed layouts on show….

Overall, a pleasant morning!

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ESNG meeting – 5 March 2020

Again, starting Monday’s fiddle yard session.  All track down, and all point motors fitted.  And we’ve learnt to fit point motors with just 2 ESNG members!  Next stop – wiring!

And at Wednesday’s meeting, 8 hardy members braved the rain and Coronavirus – including Paul with a selection of new, and repaired, Japanese stock to run.  I think at least 3 of us just came to socialise, but the others successfully filled the tracks….

Look familiar?


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Down memory lane

Ten years of so ago we were on holiday in Queensland, Australia.  I came across these two delightful videos of sugar cane railways.  The first is special, as we were held up at the level crossing in the first scene of the video whilst a little train crossed the road.

And we spent a fun hour or two around Tully, admiring their smart little locomotives.

What a great prototype for an unusual model?

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