June? June!? JUNE!?? Wow, it’s been a while since I added a blog post… Then again, not much has happened over the summer, as I’ve mentioned here before, railway modelling is more of a winter hobby for me so not much happens during summer.
Having said that, I have added another loco to the fleet, a Five79 (ex Chivers Finelines) Tralee & Dingle Hunslet 2-6-0T. The body is a whitemetal kit and is designed for either the Graham Farish Black 5 or 4MT (I think) chassis, but I put mine on the GWR large prairie as I had one waiting for a use.
Another thing that’s happened since the last blog post is that we had a holiday to Sri Lanka. We didn’t get to see much narrow gauge, but there were traces, and we passed through places where both the Kelani Valley Railway and the Uda Pusselawa Railway operated. The broad gauge line from Colombo to Badulla has quite a narrow gauge feel to it, it’s slow and winds its way through the hills as it climbs into tea country.
At one hotel we stayed at, the Heritance Tea Factory, they have an old 2’6″ gauge carriage from the Kelani Valley Railway which is now a restaurant where up to around 16 people can have a 7 course meal. I booked this for my wife and I and we had a very enjoyable evening there.
I’ll add a YouTube video of the broad gauge hill trains to this post in due course – if you’re interested check back in a few days.
A thoroughly enjoyable trip, we hope to return in a few years when they have a new much improved national railway museum which will showcase some of the narrow gauge stock that still exists.
So that almost brings us up to date, I say almost as today was ExpoNG at Swanley.
A great show, as always, and some lovely layouts on display. I was particularly pleased as two of my favourites won the main awards.
Castle Wharf Kendal (009) – Reinier Hendriksen Trophy
The End of The Line (o14/7mm standard gauge) – David Lloyd Trophy
It was also really nice to see some of P.D. Hancock’s Craig and Mertonford Railway stock in the 009 Society Showcase.
Having met Dick Van Beek and seen some of his stock during my trip to Valkenburg in 2010 it was great to see Dick’s layout Vroonen in the flesh, a really nice Dutch town scene.
I came away from ExpoNG a little poorer and with a few more modelling projects to work on which will, of course, feature on here in due course – including one that ties back into the Sri Lanka trip, more on that at the relevant time.