Over the last three weeks I have been sharing American model railroads with you from the NMRA BR Convention. So in this week’s post I will be sharing some English model railways from last Sunday, the 8th of November 2015, Poole & District Model Railway Society’s annual exhibition.
The exhibition which was held at the Poole Grammar School on Gravel Hill in Poole, Dorset, England. As the show is only a one day event the majority of the layouts are small due to the time it takes to set up larger ones. However this is no reflection on the quality and we had some great layouts this year.
To start with we have ‘Addiston South’ built by Paul Egleton. This is modeled in EM gauge and is 15ft end to end layout.
Here is Paul’s description of the layout.
‘The layout is based on the now demolished Addiscombe station in Croydon, which closed with the last train on 31st May 1997. Addiscombe was the terminus at the end of a two and a half mile branch line from Elmers End on the main line to Hayes. The only other station on the branch was Woodside, this being a junction with a line to Selsdon until 1984. The carriage sidings along side the station have been retained but the carriage shed has been replaced by the goods yard and a warehouse based on the one near East Croydon station. The passenger stock is mainly Southern Region EMUs working the half hourly shuttle from the mainline. Freights are worked by a variety of diesel locomotives. Most of the scenery is by Woodland Scenics. Buildings are constructed using Slaters or Wills products. The period of the layout is 1968 to 1974.’
On the end of the layout I loved the station entrance scene; it was beautifully modeled but it was also at a different angle to the baseboard giving a greater feeling of reality.
The next layout is ‘Hedges Hill Cutting’ which is an N Scale layout owned by The Bentley Model Railway Group and built by Grahame Hedges.
Here is BMRG’s description of the layout.
Hedges Hill Cutting is just that, a cutting located in the suburbs of south London at some time in the early 1990s.
Hedges Hills Cutting is a popular and well-known layout and so when its originator Grahame Hedges decided to sell the layout in 2008 The Bentley Model Railway Groupleapt at the opportunity to add this little gem to their collection.
The layout is extremely compact, the original narrow width of the layout was the maximum that would fit through the loft hatch where the layout was stored. Also being the first exhibition layout that Grahame built it was a test bed for his various modelling ideas and he opted to avoid the hassle of joining baseboards. Thus the whole layout was designed to fit on a single board that could be handled by one person plus had a strong chance of reaching completion before interest waned and desire to start something new took over.
All the buildings and structures on the layout, with the exception of one SR platelayers hut (in the single line refuelling yard), are scratch built from cardboard. Some commercial modelling products have been used, such as the Ratio water tank and factory chimney, Plastruct girders, PECO wagon tanks, and occasionally plastic embossed roofing sheets, but the vast majority are made from card either covered with brick paper or simply painted with acrylics.
Many of the buildings on the layout are of actual prototypes, either modified to suit the location on the layout, or built as they really stand. For such a small layout there are quite a few buildings and all of them are modelled, along with the railway, in space a maximum of 15 inches wide and less than six feet long.
There are three pubs (the Ship and Royal Standard from Croydon and the Beehive from Peckham), a wealth of shops (Halfords, British Gas showroom, Hedges Healthfoods, Ace Cabs, Newsagents, and Ladbrokes) plus one closing down and one up for let (which is typical for the era), a bank (Lloyds), a building society (Lambeth), an Indian restaurant (Natraj), over twenty domestic houses, various industrial buildings, a London Transport underground station (based on New Cross Gate station without its pitched roof), a gas holder site and a brewery (very loosely based on Robinsons Unicorn brewery in Stockport). Please note that the LT station is assumed to be the ground level entrance with the tube lines and platforms deep underground and out of sight below Hedges Hill.
The North end tunnel entrance is based on Denmark Hill tunnel (with three lines instead of four) and the middle road bridge is loosely modelled on Goat House bridge at West Norwood complete with its outside sewerage pipe.
The location was chosen as Grahame lived in various locations in South London for quite a few years and his railway experience and interest is in the electric third rail, which is not very often modelled in N gauge. Selecting the Network South East area of London meant an urban setting with buildings and industrial developments as opposed to the more usually modelled and unjustifiably popular green rural scene with fields and farms. Urban settings often offered what Grahame considered more interesting architecture and civil engineering.
I always find the fiddle yards at the back fascinating.
I think that truck must have serious engine problems as it was there all day!
Here is a short video of ‘Hedges Hill Cutting’.
As well as show layouts we also had a display from Computer Control & DCC. This team of DCC experts have a very nice display allowing visitors to try different brands of DCC systems. Below is a an example of the ESU ECoS pod.
On each pod is the DCC controller and all the associated control equipment such as point controllers and track detection equipment. Plus a section of track with a point/turnout which is connected to the system. The locomotive also has a sound decoder. This allows the team to demonstrate the features of that particular system and allow the visitor to try it out.
This pod below is the Roco Z21. This system is designed to interface with your tablet or smart phone for train control; note the WiFi unit next to the Z21.
As well as the DCC controllers the team also have a computer controlled demonstration layout that can be totally automated or operated via the computer using the Traincontroller software.
Trainconttroller is the system used on the McKinly Railway that I visited several months ago and you can read my post about that here.
Although this exhibition is in England we still had some US HO layouts and the first was ‘Hinkle Mill’ built by Neil Lancaster.
Here is what Neil has to say about the layout.
‘This layout is based on a short line railroad in the USA which served the Hinkle Milling Company, a 19th century feed mill which served Thomasville, North Carolina. The mill supplied all sorts of grain and was packaged there for various livestock and poultry feeds. Hay was sold along with fertilisers, lime and seeds.
Whilst the feed mill itself is depicted fairly accurately, some modelling licence has been taken with the location and design of the outbuildings and fertiliser plant. Yes, the hay barn really did have a walnut tree growing through the roof!
The layout is operated by a Digitrax DCC control system and some of the locomotives have sound installed. The buildings are all scratch built with some based on prototype drawings. Track is by Peco.’
I loved the tree growing through the roof of the John Deere building. Neil said he has a photograph of that so it really did happen!
As well as the model shops and traders we had some very interesting stands. Below are some photos of Greenwood MRP display. They produce quality laser cut full indexing turntable systems and other wood structures in most scales. The coach and the turntable below is O Scale.
This turntable is OO/HO.
The next layout is ‘Springfield’ which is an O Scale GWR layout built by Phil Dawling.
Here is what Phil has to say about ‘Springfield’.
‘Springfield is a market town in the Southwest of England, the branch line joins the main Yeovil to Weymouth just North of Maiden Newton.’
Built by local landowners and operated by the GWR for the local company.
The line is approximately fifteen miles in length with one or two steep Gradients, hence the trains are fairly short.’
Another trader with a display stand was Model Railway Solutions who had an impressive display of weathered locomotives. MRS offer weathering as one of their many modeling services. Here is a link to their weathering service.
The next layout is also our second US HO layout, ‘Red Hook Bay’. It was built by Mike Carter and won our ‘Barry Beacock’ award for best layout in the exhibition.
Here is what Mike says about the layout.
‘Red Hook Bay is a fictitious busy seaport on the coast of Maine, USA.
Besides the local fishing industry it has a brewery and a dairy.
Set in the late steam/early diesel era, also a local tram service can be seen running to the tram stop in front of Hokums Burlesque Theatre on Main Street.
To add to the realism the magnificent structures have been deliberately made to look a little worse for wear.
The layout is operated with a Digitrax DCC System which allows independent control of the locos, Switching (shunting) using Kadee couplers and Under track magnets.’
You can see more photos of Red Hook Bay here from my review of the NMRA Benson Winter meet in 2014.
Ray Heard Model Railways is a another of our local traders and as usual he had an impressive sales stand of models trains for sale. I was particularly impressed with this set of express locomotives in O scale representing three of the big four British railways before privatization.
The next layout is an Sm Gauge model railway called ‘THE SHK-bahn’ built by David Ward. What makes this layout particularly interesting is it’s a working rack railway (also know rack-and-pinion railway or cog railway).
Here is what David had to say about the layout.
‘The Saxeten Gemeinde Karren-bahn is set in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland around the village of Saxeten. It is a metre gauge rack railway built to a scale of 5mm to one foot – very close to S scale.
The origins of the railway lie in the end of the 1890s, when the villagers of Saxeten saw the Berner Oberland Bahn (opened 1890) bring increased prosperity to the villages of the Lütschinen valleys. Accordingly a plan was developed to link Saxeten with Grisalp and Kiental
The model uses rack assistance to negotiate the steep inclines, and the catenary is fully working.
All the stock is scratch-built, and the locomotives use Fleischmann, Hornby or hand built chasses. The track is a mixture of hand built and proprietary.’
Here is some video of the rack locomotives working up the hills.
The Slim Gauge Society from the Slim Gauge Circle also had a display stand.
The next layout is ‘Trelill’ built by Josh Voce and is an N Gauge set in the Southern region.
Here is what Josh has to say about ‘Trelill’.
‘The model is set in the “withered arm” area of British Railways between 1948-1966.
The village of Trelill never had a station even though the North Cornwall Railway ran close by.
There is a mixture of passenger and goods service that serve the station including the passing of the famous Atlantic Coast Express twice a day.’
The staging yard at the rear of the layout utilized a pair of traversers to swap out trains in each direction.
Here is a short video of two local trains passing at Trelill.
The final layout from this year’s show is a 009 Gauge layout called ‘Wickhambreux Rd’ built by David Marshall.
Here’s what David has to say about ‘Wickhambreux Rd’.
‘The layout depicts Wickhambreux Road on the Canterbury Light Railway, the line was built by the local colliery.
The colliery needed a railway to give them access to the port of Dover and also the rest of the network to distribute its high grade coal.
The CLR ran a variety of locomotives & stock but due to its very run down condition it finally it closed in 1951.’
The curved backdrop on this layout really added depth to it and having the road raised behind the railway also added to this effect.
And that was the 2015 PDMRS exhibition. Next year’s show promises to be bigger, with more layouts, but with the same quality the show has built up over the last few years. For those of you that regularly come to this show or are thinking about it for next year please note that it will be moving forward by one week and in 2016 it will be on the 6th of November.
In next week’s post I plan to get back to showing you more of my 3D printed drawing work for some of my upcoming projects.
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