Southhampton MRS exhibition 2019 #2

One of the highlights of the show was a chance to see Loftus Road in the flesh.  This ‘OO’ layout is based on the West London Line around Kensington from the 1990’s to today.  The West London Line carried, and carries, a wide variety of prototypes keeping the layout operation interesting, and between trains there are plenty of scenic cameos to examine.


In contrast, Garreg Wen is a small ‘oo9’ layout set somewhere in Snowdonia.  Most attractive modelling, again locating the layout in a real place and time.


Always good to see Happisburgh Goods in ‘O’, the remnant of the larger Great Eastern terminus that did the rounds in the 1990’s.  The name, in Broad Norfolk is, of course, pronounced Haysbro’.

The other layout I wanted to see at the show was St Ruth, a 2mm fine scale layout based o Penzance.  The fact that it is 2mm is not the main attraction (although the fine trackwork helps), as the railway is framed by some excellent scenic work.  Operation uses the full 24-hour timetable.  I went back for a second look, but found that there was a real crush and I couldn’t get near the layout.  It is that good!


Ian Milroy was there with San Maria Gandia…

More old friends from the ESNG show in the form of City Basin Goods and Atlantic Road.


Friday Bridge is the Wisbech and Upwell in P4…

And last (except one layout to discuss next time) is Canute Road Quay, a minimum space ‘OO’ shunting layout somewhere in Southampton Docks, and hosting some large locomotives such as the Adams B4 and USA tanks.

It says a lot for the quality of the show that there were only a couple of layouts not featured here – and one I missed out, a fascinating narrow gauge quarry line with a working grab that loaded the wagons with sand.

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Southampton MRS exhibition 2019 #1

A trip down to Eastleigh today for the excellent Southampton MRS exhibition.  There were some excellent layouts on show, and plenty of trade, though I was a good boy and bought absolutely nothing.  Derek came along with me and it was good to have some company for the 80 mile trip each way.  This is definitely at the limits of my exhibition visiting!

I’ll do the usual pictorialsurvey of the layouts, but they will be as we looked at them, rather than by scale.  We start with Stoke-by-Nayland, an attractive slice of ex-Great Eastern Railway in Suffolk, in P4.  Very recognisable as Suffolk, and some added interest in that ‘Dingham’ automatic couplers are used.  These are certainly one of the least conspicuous couplers available, a good balance between the robust and the invisible, but unfortunately they are only found in 4mm and larger scales.


Next Bradfield Gloucester Square, in fine-scale ‘OO’.  Excellent dirty and careworn scenery with a sort of ‘Minories plus’ layout and some attractive complex trackwork.


I’ve seen Addison Park, 3mm finescale (14.2mm gauge) before, but it’s always worth another look, as London Transport layouts are far from common.  And I love the trolleybuses with full overhead wires.


So to Courtmacsherry (4mm scale, 21mm gauge), a slice of southern Ireland.  The layout notice sums it up better than I can put it….

A delightful model, even without the strange light railway stock.  I understand that the model is exact scale in its length, and the path of the railway can easily be traced today.

Fawley shows the line to the refinery when it was a light railway taken over by the Southern Railway, rather than the major industrial branch line of layer days.  Shunting was being carried out by an Adams ‘Jubilee’ 0-4-2 locomotive, not as well known, but longer lived, than the LBSCR ‘Gladstone’ class of the same wheel arrangement.


Bosun’s Wharf, in OO had some excellent ship modelling, and some interesting cameos – spot the stretcher case being carried to the ambulance!

One of my favourites – Littleton in ‘O’, with Southern Region electrics to the fore.


Brixcombe, in P4, was, in one way, the classic GWR branch line.  However, this is not the typical GWR branch – maroon coaches, and open cabbed, brass domed pannier tanks.  Have to say this is more interesting than the usual stereotype….


Redbridge Wharf, in ‘OO’ is a model of the coastal industrial area of this corner of Hampshire.


More layouts to follow next time….

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Wordless Wednesday

No inspiration today – my brain resembles this incident on the Chicago elevated – or perhaps it is just an ESNG running night?

Nice bit of Health and Safety, though, especially the hard hat….

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It’s shunting, Jim, but not as we know it….

With apologies to Star Trek!

This video, hi-jacked from the 2mm Association site, is just one incredible bit of model making.  And I’m not (for once) talking about the fine scale.  Shunting using a tractor – whatever next – working horses!!!!?!!!!

Shunting Tractor at Yeovil Town.
For many years, Laurie Adams has been constructing a model of Yeovil Town. Some of the sidings are impractical and off-limits for locomotives, and shunting was undertaken by a modified tractor. So, never short of wanting a challenge, Laurie set out to make a tractor work to perform the shunting operations.
The video below is about 20 minutes long and explains the construction and shows the operation of this amazing vehicle.

It would be very easy to get depressed by this level of skill, and take up knitting (apart from the fact that I’d be no good at it).  So I’m impressed and inspired.  Hope you are too?

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ESNG meeting – 16 January 2019

Eleven members present on Wednesday, and it was good to see the Cha(I)rman, having risked the early milk round the following day, and especially Ian, having been out of circulation for a while.


Sunday was goods train evening.  Wednesday was passenger, especially multiple unit, night.  Paul had a technicolour selection of bullet trains on display.

An 8-CEP races a European ICE….

A little bit of history with a T9….

Budd railcars….

Technicolour trams….

But there was a little bit of goods stock present.  Modern coal….

And a Santa Fe works train….


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B**x** free zone!

Just to show that things could be worse, this man in Austria seems to have a steady job.  It may take some time to get the trains running, though.  Are you there, Ron?

Is this the world’s most dangerous commute – worse than Southern, even?

Manila’s ‘trolley boys’
One way to travel in the Philippine capital, Manila, is by trolley. Passengers choose this unofficial transport service because it’s quicker and cheaper than other options. For the homeless community that runs the illegal service, it puts food on the table. But it’s also incredibly dangerous.

And one of the neatest switching layouts around.


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ESNG PlayDay – 13 January 2019

Eight of us made it to Sunday’s PlayDay.  After the usual curry lunch, we resisted the temptation of an afternoon nap, and put the layout together.  It was a bit smaller than recent meetings, as Paul couldn’t bring his Kato modules along, but there was still plenty of room for trains to stretch their legs.

Simon’s Santa Fe reefer train….

Is overtaken by Brian’s Spanish PW train…..

Dave’s station model continues to impress, with the church now in place….


Japanese rolling stock waits in the fiddle yard….

Before being added to Paul’s loooong goods train.  The curry seems to have beaten Derek and Allan!

And I got around to testing my second-hand 4-CEP.  Ran like a watch!

And some video from Brian…..

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