The 2015 NMRA (BR) Convention Part 1

This weekend I was at the National Model Railroad Association’s (British Region) annual convention.  And over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you some of the fantastic layouts that were on display.  However this first post will be short as I only arrived home late last night and need a bit of time to work through all the images and videos.

This year’s event was hosted by the Black Diamonds model railway group and they did a fantastic job of organizing this great convention.

What I can share with you this week is a little bit of history about the venue.  The convention was held at the Derby Convention Centre which used to be the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) training school.  Built in 1938 and designed by the LMS’s principal architect, William H. Hamlyn, it was the first of its kind in the UK.  The facility could house 50 trainees plus staff who taught the complicated practice of railway signalling.  The building has now been converted into a conference center but the layout and general feel of the building has not changed.

Derby Convention Centre As well as all the classrooms and facilities around the building there is a large hall at the center with a sunken floor as pictured below.

Derby Convention Centre Mainroom

This room had a very special function in that it housed a large model railway which was used by the LMS to teach the complicated process of signalling. Below is an image of the layout running along the sides of the sunken lounge.

Derby Convention Centre Mainroom - Old

The layout was removed in the 1960s and is now part of the national railway collection housed at York.  This room was used as the central point for the convention and as you can see below the sunken lounge was again full of railways, or in this case, railroads.  And the big layout in the middle is my group’s layout, ‘Solent Summit’.

Derby Convention Centre Mainroom With Layouts

One other thing I want to share with you this week is a small purchase I made at the show.

HO C-628

It’s an Alco C-628 in HO made by Bowser.  No this doesn’t mean I am switching from N Scale to HO, but a few of you may be interested to know that this will be the new chassis for my HO Scale Baldwin DT6-6-2000 and RT-624 locomotives!

In next week’s post I will be sharing with you some of the layouts from the show.