ESNG meeting – 19th December 2018

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,      Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”

But nine ESNG members made it to club night, less than a week before Christmas.  Neil and John were testing some new to them models….


Paul’s Christmas train made it’s usual annual appearance, with a load of chocolate brussel sprouts, Santa’s and gold currency…..


There were plenty of trains moving all evening, but few from the UK till late on, when Derek and Derek got a little track time….


In case you missed it in the Railway Modeller, add Jools Holland to the railway superstars.  A bit of a ‘Rule 1’ layout, but some very good and realistic modelling.

And today’s modelling challenge…..

Shrewsbury crash leaves car vertical in tree

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Lehigh Valley coaches

A few weeks ago, Simon emailed me….

Did you see that they now have Lehigh Valley?


I hadn’t seen this, but quickly rectified the situation and ordered one of each number.  I hadn’t really intended to buy more American stock, but these coaches are one of my favourites.  This week, a small package arrived at the doorstep, containing….

Absolutely delightful, and a starter for the Lehigh Valley passenger train that is on my job list (and has been for years.)  Strictly, the roof profile should be straight, without the domed ends, but if you balance this incorrect detail against the quality of the model, it’s a no brainer!  It probably also ‘fixes’ the shade of Lehigh Valley Cornell Red to use across other models.

It does mean that I have three undecorated versions of these carriages, that I had intended to repaint.  And Rapido unpainted is closer to a kit – all the parts come separately to allow you to paint them before completing the model.

Anyone want a cheap bargain?? (Ed – already snapped up!)


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In defence of the roundy-roundy #2

It was before Stuttgart that I posted some thoughts on ’roundy-roundy’ layouts.  In the past month I have been looking at my modelling direction yet again.  I’ll explore my thoughts a little more over the next few posts – and hopfully also show that I am doing a little modelling.

To start off with, I’ve been looking at the Wisbech and Upwell tramway for ideas for a small UK shunting plank.  I blogged this bucolic backwater in a post a while back.  I modified a Model Rail design to get this plan….

Outwell village looked like this in GE/LNER days.

Playing with this plan gave me this 3′ x 1′ design.  It could have a fiddle yard at either end, but one on the right side only would allow a simple shunting plank to be developed.

This captures most of the features of Outwell in a small space.  The only change needed might be to model the rail bridge at a slightly flatter angle, to allow the line back to Wisbech to pass through the end of the board.

I have got really enthused about this, so I have ordered one of these….

I recognise that building baseboards is not my strong point, so I’ve settled for this easy option.  I could order an end board like the above for the fiddle yard, but I will bodge that from the bits of timber in the loft.

I had hoped to also include a picture of an ‘N’ gauge version of one of these:

I’ve had a lot of fun modifying a Graham Farish O4 shunter to one with the smaller cab windows and fitting some Etched Pixels tramway skirts.  This is really just a matter of taking the plunge and modifying a beautiful and expensive (even if I got it cheap) model.  Realistically, you are then paying for the fun of making something different, rather than for the original model.  Seems a fair deal to me.

It all seemed to be coming together very well, but having mated body back to chassis and taken it down to a club night for a test run, there seems to be a dead short and it wasn’t moving.  Strange, as the chassis was running fine before.  I’ll return to this over Christmas to hunt for further inspiration!

And what about the modules I was building, and indeed the roundy-roundy?  As I said, I’ll talk a little more about these over the next few posts.

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Festival of Railway Modelling, Peterborough

Simon kindly sent me these pictures of the Peterborough version of the National Festival of Railway Modelling.  I thought of going, but inertia caught up with me!

A few pics of Peterborough and a snatched shot of Black Five 44871 at Kings X!

Bridge of Remagen and the narrow gauge World War I narrow gauge were the highlights. The desert scene was Iraq in World War II and a brilliant example of forced perspective – impossible to capture with an iPhone. It did have running trains.


And Wales’ quietest station is now thriving!  It would make a very simple model.  Read all about it here….

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Ron shops for England – 2

Some more touristy shots from Ron…

Cologne Cathedral and its Xmas market.


Bonn Xmas market.


Selfie? (Cologne Hafen xmas market).

Chocolate museum Cologne.

Hafen Xmas market taken from Chocolate museum steps.

Rudolphplatz Xmas market.


Neumarkt Xmas market.

Cologne Dom Xmas market .


Altmarkt Xmas market.


Tree trunk carvings in the street linking the 2 parts of Altmarkt Xmas market.

If all goes well planning to spend around 1 and a 1/2 on and around Koln hbf before starting journey home. Check emails tomorrow to see if have sent any pictures from there and also from Brussels.

Hope you have enjoyed my photos. It is now time to sort my holdall out to see if I can fit in everything I have got!

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Ron shops for England – 1

Ron is on his travels again, off to the German Christmas markets, and to do a lot of shopping – it’s a bit early to stock up for Brexit, Ron!  As usual, he’s sent back a record of his trip.  So today it’s some railway pictures; next post will be pure tourism!

Good journey out. Train journey from Purley to Cologne took 6hr 15min allowing for time differential. Hung around station for a bit and got a 48 hour travelcard and arrived at hotel around 1.15 but could not check in until after 3. Therefore left my bag there and came back to Neumarkt Xmas market where I had to have a crepe and a gluhwein. Then walked back through shopping area to Hauptbahnhof for tram out to hotel. Sorting my bag out in room before going back into town for trip to Bonn Xmas market so look out for late emails tonight.

Cologne hbf


Tram at stop a minute away from the hotel.

Christmas decorations inside Cologne Hbf

As earlier advised I went to Bonn and on my return took a walk through 2 of the biggest Xmas markets in Cologne.  Unfortunately for some of you the majority of the pictures are non transport related.

I’ll post those next time!  Outside the hotel the tram tunnel under Cologne.

Koln hbf

A pay to use model railway at Koln Hbf.  (Don’t let Mr Apps see this – he might have ideas for club running nights….)

Cologne trams at Neumarkt

A cold but dry start to the day so did a round trip to Dusseldorf but couldn’t find any large Xmas markets. Found stalls selling gluhwein by an ice rink but their prices were €1 dearer than the Cologne prices. However found a gluhwein stall outside Hbf and had my first one of the day at €1 cheaper than in Cologne. Walked into station to find Cologne Hbf train was running 30 late but my luck was in as I managed to catch a 15 late to Cologne Meße/Deutz where I literally fell into a train over the Hollenzollenbrucke to the Hbf. Whilst there I took the opportunity to reserve a seat on 1145 ICE tomorrow to Brussels which will give me almost 3 hours so will be revisiting there. If I Can get wifi connection at station or on train you should receive photos from there. Then went to Hafen Xmas market but it was a lot down and made my way back to hotel. Currently fly texting in my room before going out to do 3 more Cologne markets and revisit the one I had a quick I look round yesterday so keep an eye on your in boxes.

Graffitied train at Cologne.

Local transport in Dusseldorf.


Dusseldorf hbf

Advertising Cologne tram at Heumarkt [Note the grass centred track – good prototype?]

Rudolphplatz tram stop. Xmas market is behind the buildings to the left.

A very wet morning in Cologne. Spending a couple of hours gricing on Koln Hbf before returning to hotel to pick up my holdall before catching my trains to Brussels. It looks like DB are having major computer problems with the ICE3s as most of them are advised as reservations are not showing. Will have to be back here in plenty of time for my train to claim my reserved seat.

If I had sat any further up platform would be very wet as rain is blowing in from across the Rhine.

More shots from Koln hbf. It is now very cold sitting on platform so off to get a hot drink to warm myself up.


And finally….

Sorry no pictures from Brussels as my tablet on which I take pictures was pickpocketed whilst getting off train in Brussels. I am ok and have a police report to enable me to claim on my travel insurance. Ron

Market and tourism photographs next time!

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ESNG meeting – 6 December 2018

Only a couple of pictures tonight, as I spent too much of the evening talking.  16 persons present and it was good to welcome visitors Steve, Ken and Martin.  Plenty of trains were on the move…..


So, a couple of links to make up for the lack of ESNG pictures (probably a whole lot more interesting, anyway.)

First, a video (in German) about the large model of Stuttgart station, and how it was moved after the owner’s death.  I liked the shots of them carrying bits of the layout out of its home in the depths of an S-Bahn station.  Parts of the layout have been shown as static exhibits in recent years at the Stuttgart show.  It will soon be a historic record, as the station is being replaced by an underground through station set at 90 degrees to this one. Some of the extensive yard have already been redeveloped.

Secondly a link to a site on Middle-Eastern railways.  Not an area we hear much about – at least about its trains – and a lot of magazine to read.

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