Or ExpoNG as it should be called, blame Charlie Insley for the abbreviated version…
A great exhibition this year with some cracking layouts. I’ve looked forward to seeing several of them for some time now so to get to see them all in one place was superb.
Particular ones of note for me were Narrow Gauge Sand & Gravel which was originally built by Roy C. Link and is now owned and shown by Dave Janes of KB Scale. A relatively small O14 layout built to a really high standard and a very good example of realistic colouring.
It was nice to finally see Colin Lea’s Rhyd Ddu having read about it’s construction on his blog for some time now. I understand that Colin had problems getting the layout to run satisfactorily until the last minute, but the first train made a circuit of the layout 3 minutes before opening time. It’s a really nice layout and scenically certainly captures the prototype very well. I look forward to seeing it again some time.
I doubt anyone would be surprised if I said I was looking forward to seeing Rae Bridge, despite having seen the layout only a few months ago. It was hidden behind a wall of admirers for most of the day, but it was nice to be able to meet up with Ted again for a chat. He even allowed me to send the HLR full brake off on a few laps of Rae Bridge, it seemed to fit in rather nicely, albeit at a slightly lower loading gauge than those on the CDR.
Another layout I’ve read about for some time now but not actually seen is the Helford Valley Railway which has been built by members of Falmouth MRC. They’ve also developed by far the most extensive fictitious history to accompany a layout I’ve ever seen, a very interesting read. It’s nice to see something different, and very well modelled.
I think the highlight of the show was to see Henk Wust’s Punta Marina. I’ve long admired Henk’s layouts as they convey such atmosphere in a very individual style. His scenic work is superb and the layouts often turn out more like 3D art than model railway. I was also very pleased when Henk was announced as the winner for this year’s Reinier Hendriksen trophy.
I also came home with a little less money than I arrived with. I picked up a copy of Volume 2 of The Iron Sherpa which is a fantastic book crammed with drawings, details and photos of all the stock of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway; A Roxey Troodos tender loco kit which will eventually be mounted on a MicroAce 2-8-0 chassis; a part completed Trian TT jintybash; a Merit Models Maudsley bus which will form the basis of a Sentinel railcar and some points to help plan the layout full scale. This has now been done and all the track fits as planned which means I’m very close to starting the baseboards now once I’ve determined my favoured way of building the curved sections.