(Almost a) Minories of my own – 17

The problem with leaving a layout for a period of time is what accumulates on it whilst you are away. My baseboard looked like this!

It seemed to have accumulated some stray American stock, several Terriers, a Japanese brake van, a second hand Farish Jubilee, and eight suburban coaches (I think that I borrowed their blue box to get some other stock to our show.) However, all these now have new and slightly better homes, and not on top of my next project.

The loft room also looks a lot tidier, having had a good turn out, moved all the family suitcases to the back loft, and invested in a number of Really Useful Boxes to store things (hoping that I can find them again!)

I have stripped the old track off the baseboard, and this little package arrived on Wednesday…..

I’ve read the instructions, and agree that these look FAR easier to build than the first generation of points, excellent as they were. I will get one going soon.

Another parcel arrived today, from TMC with a number of half-price items. A pair of Farish Pullmans from a trainset have different names from the four that I have had for years, so will extend the rake a little. And these low relief buildings may well find a home on the layout (especially the public conveniences!)

And finally, we have the down-under HST….

And for bus enthusiasts, this is a good watch…..

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Blast from the past….

I’ve spent a few happy hours sorting out the ESNG archives – and throwing out a lot of paper whilst hopefully holding onto the key documents.  If nothing else, the AGM and the exhibition details need to be kept for posterity.

I did find some DVDs of four of our shows.  Not the greatest quality, but I’ve put them on YouTube for the record.  So lets go back to 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009….  I’ve had to mute the sound in places, as YouTube claimed that I was infringing copyright, so if it all goes quiet, you know what’s wrong.

Happy days!

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A Minories of my own – 16 – back to work

When I last wrote about Minories, it was late 2021. Since then, building (successfully) a pair of modules for the N-mod and sorting out the ESNG exhibition has rather taken up my time. The modules need a little more scenery, but that can wait, and I decided to return to my Minories.

This was the original plan that I was working to.

As I began to lay the pointwork, a number of challenges came to light. I had laid all the track bases in place, and (1) one was a little out of alignment. Not enough to prevent smooth running, but I wasn’t happy with it, Then (2) it was very difficult to fit point motors (Cobalt, as I have a good number in stock) with so many closely linked points and under the raised arches.

And, of course, as I mentioned in December, Finetrax have greatly improved their Code 40 point kits, with track bases with the rail chairs included, rail-built frogs and pre-formed point blades. As I mulled over the design, typically I decided that I really didn’t like it that much. Especially, although the terminus throat pointwork is the most interesting part of things, I’d made the platforms too short. I also didn’t really like the ‘hidden’ platform ends on a short added board, yet I didn’t want to extend the board size over 4′ long.

So I looked at the design again, and the shape of boards that I had already constructed. I also returned to the rather simpler Ian Futers ‘Victoria Park’ design. And this is what I’ve come up with. As you can see, the scenic sections and boards have remained the same – I’ve always been very happy with them. The two sidings at the top can be used for a short EMU, parcels, and the odd loco.

I have two possible options for the fiddle yard. With a double track entry to the station, both tracks will seem bi-directional, with another crossover offstage. So sidings on both tracks in the fiddleyard could hold six trains. Alternatively, if the lower main line is shortened to become a loco siding, the fiddleyard could become a sector plate.

I guess that this is a much simpler design, shorter, with less points, but keeping some of the character of the original. Overall, I’m a lot happier with it. I’ll think a little more about this, but am confident enough to have ordered the new point kits today.

Of course, if I make these changes, it won’t really be a Minories….. but never mind.

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Our next exhibition….

Should be fun!  2ft narrow gauge AND a model railway show!  And a big whoops – dates were wrong on the flyer…….

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Potpourri #1050

I’m almost able to start some modelling again.  The loft is well tidied and rearranged, helped by investment in some more Really Useful Boxes.  And here are a few pictures to stir the modelling juices.

Starting with an interesting one.  Bournemouth, just before electrification, with a Class 73 electro-diesel paired with a driving trailer from 6PAN unit 3027.  The early Maunsell EMUs were beautiful coaches.  I was most disappointed to find that unit length, window details, and just about everything else was different from the Dapol Maunsell coaches.  I had hoped to be able to do a simple cut-and-shut on them.


Some Southern Railway elegance at Salisbury….


  Pre-grouping LSWR at Botley (1905) and Bournemouth….

More LSWR; Swaythling and Stockbridge (with an interesting MSWJR 4-4-4T hauling the train.)

And Grately.  A T9 in its original form before superheating and the smokebox being extended, getting rid of the lovely shape of the smokebox door.


Finally, all this style contrasts with the concrete blockhouse of West Sutton in British Railway days!  Nice Vauxhall Cresta, though, and it’s interesting to note how long into BR days the ‘Southern Railway’ name remained on the station.  I’m sure that one can model the period 1930 to 1960 with little change to the railway infrastructure – most of the changes were to the world outside – the road vehicles and the fashions.


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More odds and ends

Progress continued with the new ESNG fiddle yard this afternoon.  We’ve probably got the section switches sorted out, and Derek found some excellent toggle switches of indeterminate vintage (cost 6/- or so.)  A pleasant afternoon, and we’d have got more done if we hadn’t talked so much….

The Swiss Railway Society AGM was at the Crewe Heritage Centre, and Ron sent me these photos.

And Waterloo in 1911.   The old link to the SECR and London Bridge is on the left.  You could, at least till recently, see the position of the other end of the link at Waterloo South Eastern. Waterloo1911

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ESNG meeting – 24 April 2022

We didn’t get to run trains today, but had a thoroughly useful afternoon.  Just the four members turned up initially, and seemed content to take a comfy chair and chat.  Allan was hoping to make a few repairs to ERIC (the roundhouse).  Then the first surprise of the afternoon when Phil turned up – first time we’d seen him since the pandemic started.  Lovely to see him, though conversation was limited as he had lost his ear trumpet.

We then started thinking how to fit the new fiddle yard into the storage cupboard, and had a profitable rearrangement of things, and threw a few bits out.  Derek has been able to get rid of the two new club corners from his lounge, and we will be able to use them on club nights.  We still have to make a few changes to the shelving in the cupboard, but that will be for another day.

And the afternoon finished with the usual curry.

Elsewhere, Alpenbahn didn’t get to the ESNG show, but did get to the Swiss Railway Society AGM.  Paul took these pictures, and says that it all ran reasonably well, with the odd gremlin!

Martin’s Dav-Tree did get to the show, in pristine plywood.  Martin has since started to block in the scenery, though there’s a long way to go still.


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What next?

With the exhibition over life is beginning to return to normal. It has taken 2 weeks for the layouts in the lounge to return to the loft. I’d made such a mess moving them out, that a little reordering was needed. So a lot of modelling time has been spent tidying things up – and it’s looking a little better, especially after buying some more Really Useful Boxes to stack things in.

Plus I’ve got out into the garden to face the usual battle against weeds and grass in the wrong place. And discovered a number of new muscles in the process…..

But two questions now remain. Firstly, what do ESNG do for a show next year. Do we aim for something bigger, with its inherent risk, or play safe with another small show like 2022? I know that some members would prefer one, others the other. We shall see, but whatever we decide, we need to get going soon if we are aiming for a bigger show.

The second is to choose another project (or three) to work on. I really ought to finish some of the things that I have started. Layout wise, I need to finish my N-mod modules, and I have a couple of N-club boards that could be finished. I also need to return to my Minories. Model wise, I have too many kits in boxes needing attention. I really just need to get on with something!

Tomorrow, it’s back to an ESNG Sunday meeting. Looking forward to it!

Let’s close with two pictures of Southern passenger trains at the same location near Chiselhurst.

And a fine picture of Winchfield station on the LSWR.

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ESNG meeting – 20 April 2022

It seems a long time since we had a normal club meeting – if any of our meetings can be considered to be normal.  We had a good turnout of seven members, and it was good to see the treasurer back after a bout of covid.

It was North America night to start with.  I’d brought along the trains that I’d taken to the exhibition, including the stock from my micro layouts.  So I started with a short Lehigh Valley goods train.


Chris ran a rather longer Canadian Pacific goods.


Martin had a number of modern trains to run.

Sean and Lucas had this interestingly liveried Class 66 running…


And I gave my Japanese trams a run out, too.

And we’re back on Sunday for another running afternoon.

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Just the one picture today – it’s enough of a modelling challenge for anyone.

Parking in New York in the 1920’s.  What a great model this would make!!!!


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