A little more humour, as the month draws to a close….

If David Attenborough took up train spotting….

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Real life imitates fiction (and my tracklaying) once again….

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It could also have been Thailand, Bangladesh or Vietnam….

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A few words of wisdom….

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A little cameo for your parking lot….

Put this on your shop and amaze all the punters.  (BTW, my daughter said she knew what this means, but I forgot – some very specialised equipment, I think.)

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From N Gauge Forum….

Wife: why have you got the sieve in the garden???
Me: I’m grading this gravel to get the right sized gravel for ballast.
Wife: but why are you using the sieve???
Me: well the colander’s holes are too big.
Wife: HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT????
Me: cos I’ve already put the gravel through the colander and separated out the big stones. It’s a 3 stage process. The big stones are WAY to big, the ones that goes through the sieve are ideal for ballasting and the stuff that’s left over I can use to fill wagons with. I’m saving money. A bag of ballast is about £6 and I think I would need 2, and this gravel was free from site.

Shes now gone off in a huff.

We’ll try and improve the quality next time out….

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My current project…

I am really finding my motivation for model railways rather low at the moment.  This picture, from RMweb I think, sums it all up rather well….

“All the model railway layouts we never got round to building”, an exhibition at a major London gallery.”

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Or it could be a picture of all my current projects…..


Interesting loads department.  A propeller for the Mauritania in transit in 1926.

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LBSCR J Class 4-6-2T

A selection of photos of the Brighton 4-6-2 tanks.  There were just the two of them, one with Stephenson’s valve gear and one with Walschaerts. 

Not quite as elegant as the slightly larger L class Baltic 4-6-4 tanks – the L class had a certain symmetry due to the wheel arrangement.   But they didn’t have the stability problems of the Baltics, that were rebuilt into 4-6-0 tender locomotives, and hence were longer lasting.  One survived just long enough to receive ‘British Railways’ on the tank side and the number 32325 – both on the bunker sides and back, but all in Bulleid malachite green and ‘sunshine’ lettering.  The loco ended its days on the Oxted line before withdrawal in 1951.

Yet another locomotive that I’d love to have a model of….  (Unsure of photo sources.)

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ESNG meeting – 22 August 2021 #2

And Brian’s video of the afternoon….

ESNG Running Day – 22nd August 2021. Another opportunity to film some N gauge train action. Any era, any train – an interesting collection of small but perfectly formed models. Enjoy the film


And modelling challenge of the day – this one would be a bit tricky, I think.  I remember a photo of this incident in the first railway photo album that I bought – Ian Allan’s Southern Album.  I still have the book 55 years later…. 

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ESNG meeting – 22 August 2021

Sunday afternoon, and a very pleasant time playing trains.  Seven members in attendance, including Allan, despite having to be up and about again for night shift tonight.  Paul’s usual summary is about right!

Another ESNG meeting, a selection of trains put a few more thousand millimetres on the clock. A basic circuit, with all bar one track in operation. Stock from the UK, Europe, the USA and Japan made an appearance. My trains ran smoothly apart from the 800 Series Shinkansen which needs a good clean. Watch this space for news of new stock being ordered shortly.

Paul certainly ran a good number of Shinkansen!

Allan had been spending his pocket money, and was testing this delightful SBB set.  As you can see, the two sides are decorated differently – which is correct for the prototype…..

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Dutch goods from Brian….

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And UK goods from Chris and Jon….


And a couple of YouTube videos of interest.  Dangerous goods, but some interesting freight train shots….

A prototype for your Minories?

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ESNG meeting – 18 August 2021

There must be something about Wednesday’s!  Rule of 6 yesterday, with the usual suspects in attendance…..

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The Treasurer is trying to extract Graham’s pocket money!

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We didn’t run that many trains, really.  We miss Paul filling the circuit up with Japanese stock.  Or maybe it was more that we settled down for a good chat!!!!


Well, it looks like some exhibitions are getting going again.  I understand that Tinkers Park was pretty covid-safe, as there was a gale force wind blowing through the exhibition sheds, the rain was of Biblical proportions, and mud was a bigger hazard than viruses – cars were being towed into and out of the car park.

Warley is cancelled – understandable for a massive show in a very expensive hall.  Any change in freedoms or attendance could be a financial disaster.  However, The International N Gauge Show (TINGS) is going ahead.  I think that I’ll give it a miss this year.  The organisers say that they will, “Practise social distancing: visitors are encouraged to keep a safe and comfortable distance apart – our gangways have been widened to permit this.”  I’m afraid that I think this official request to practice social distancing is slightly naive.  How do you socially distance in front of a small N gauge layout, let alone certain trade stands famous for the bargain hunting scrum?  Wider access and corridors don’t help much when looking, good as they are for moving around.  I hope that they have improved the toilets – these were very small and cramped for the size of event even before covid.  I suppose, though, that a certain distancing will be achieved between Everest-ready rucksacks and lockdown swollen bellies…. 

And Stuttgart is also going ahead, but at the moment with masks and social distancing.  As this is very much a social occasion, it might take a lot of fun out of the whole event.  I’ll see how this one develops!  


A nice little about Callington station.  An interesting prototype….

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Potpourri #1033

Today’s modelling challenge (from Didcot Railway Centre on Facebook.)

On 14 August 1925, a photograph was taken of the last shunting horse employed at Paddington station, in the goods depot. On the left are the old goods depot buildings, which were being rebuilt at the time. Note the wagon turntables in this area of the yard. There appears to be debris, including an old van body on its side, behind wagon No 86459 being shunted by the horse. Maybe the site was being cleared as part of the rebuilding. On the right is the Grand Union Canal, with people fishing from the towpath.

Shunting horses were used for another 40 years on Britain’s railways – the last one was kept at Newmarket where it was used to shunt thoroughbreds in their horseboxes until it was retired in 1965.

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Feeling rich, and with a large room to spare?  The classic O gauge circle, “Runswick Bay” is up for sale.  Fortunately, I don’t want a 15′ diameter O gauge layout, but they included a track plan, that is interesting as it shows what could be done in a 4′ 6″ circle in N gauge.

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Here’s one shot of the station (photo, RMweb).  A great feature was the deep valley and viaduct seen in the background.

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And two lovely Jago Hazzard videos.  You could almost build this line to exact scale length….

I remember this happening in my teens.  Especially the cloud of coal dust when the Harrier took off from the coal yard.  The plane taking off would make a good model, but I’m less sure about the coal dust….

Just spotted this on YouTube, so I’ll add it…..

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Another project under way?

No. 1 (and only) son Michael dropped in on Thursday to do a little track planning.  He’s got a couple of Peco Settrack boxes to run his trains on at home, and has now relieved Derek of one of his spare 4′ x 2′ modules.  So what could we do to use up the sectional track and have an interesting layout?

Having pushed things around a spare sheet of plywood, one idea was this.

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It’s a bit American in design, with the loop at one end of the board.  But it does give somewhere to use up the 1st radius curves.  These won’t be a problem as Michael has mainly small locomotives.  The sidings at the top will mainly be for locomotives, and those below for trains.  There’s enough room for a little scenery, if so desired, and gives somewhere to test run some trains.

We’ll think about the design, but I might have to do a little tracklaying.  Fortunately, I think that I have enough Peco points and track in stock to fill in the gaps between Michael’s track items.  I’m sure that it won’t end up like this, but we’ve made a start.


And here’s something similar, USA style.  9′ x 4′ so a little larger in HO.  But it shows how good the USA is at building good looking small layouts.

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Potpourri #1032

Another trawl through the internet, to cover up my lack of modelling…..

A cab ride on the IOW line….

The history of Clapham Junction…

I visited Ambarawa (Java) twice in the late 80’s.  All the old locos were standing in the open air, with no shelter, museum, or working trains.  I must try and find my photos taken then and put them online.  I wish that I could go back!

Not trains, but some great modelling…..

A mass of pictures of that most wonderful locomotive, the LBSCR Baltic tank….

And another one!

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Mind you, this has appeared in the house, so there may be some modelling happening soon!

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ESNG meeting – 8 August 2021

Sunday, and back to the hall for another running session.  The Rule of 6 seems to have returned.  Just the six members turned out, but we had a very pleasant afternoon running trains.  We were missing a few regulars, especially the Cha(i)rman, who still seems to be working antisocial hours.

Paul, as ever, summed it all up better than I could:

A pleasant and enjoyable afternoon at the East Surrey N Gauge Group meeting. A modest attendance did not diminish the enthusiasm and a small circuit was soon in place. Some of the track joints caused some issues which lead to a discussion about how we could make them less troublesome. I took a variety of stock, 2 x E233 in different liveries, a 285 double deck sleeper set, an M250 cargo set, 2 x Nankai Electric Railway 5000 series in blue and ‘Peach’ liveries, the 500-7000 Series EVA and the 500-7000 Hello Kitty. All worked well, but the M250 set needs a serious wheel cleaning session.

Paul was right about the track.  Why is it that trains run well, and as soon as one turns away, your train derails?  It probably is the track, but I blame gremlins!

We seemed to have trains from all over today.  Paul – Japan.

Chris – America, with an ancient Bachmann Electroliner – no sound-chip needed here!!

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Brian – Europe (Germany to be exact.)

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And last but certainly not least – Derek, Derek and Jon – the UK.

Brian produced his usual video record of the afternoon…..

Another satisfying ESNG Running Session on the 8th August 2021. East Surrey N Gauge members met up again indoors, with the windows and doors wide open, and it was another opportunity to film some N gauge train action. Many eras, and several countries, had trains represented on the tracks. Again, an interesting collection of small but perfectly formed models. Enjoy the film!

And to close, I love this model shop sign from Chester.  I think I visited this shop many, many, moons ago….

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