Sunday, 18 November 2007

GWR, LMS, LNWR, it was all there.

After an hours walk I arrived at the Watford model railway clubs exhibition in Aldenham road. The doors had barely been open an hour but the place was shoulder to shoulder with fellow modellers. Taking video and still shot pictures my camera soon ran out of memory but I got the best of what was on offer.


There was only one very good 'N' gauge layout which caught and held my attention for a while. Another 'OO' layout that was attracting a lot of attention was unusual in that it was of an engine shed and engine storage sidings. No rolling stock, station buildings or passengers, just a dirty smoke covered engine shed with coaling facilities and various other loco servicing activities being carried out. The real clever part of it all was that there was smoke and steam billowing about every time a loco was moved. Apparently this was being achieved by a smoke making unit under the layout which pumped the smoke to various places around the layout where ever a loco was stopped in predetermined places. It is probably the most realistic layout I have ever seen.

The next best layout was nothing special as far as what the public saw out the front but what was around the back in the fiddle yards. There were 24 holding tracks with full size trains made up of 10 and 12 carriage sets and goods trains with 30 or 40 wagons. The layout was purpose built as an exhibition layout with non stop trains to keep the punters glued to the floor awaiting the next train to see what surprises would emerge from the tunnel portals.


It was amazing to see that 'O' gauge is really making a come back after being spurned for years in favour of the smaller gauges. The best layout in this gauge was a scene depicting a railway/canal/warehouse interchange with 2 very accurate barges in the canal basin. The only problem with 'O' gauge of course is the cost with loco's costing £300 and upwards. On one trade stand was a 2 car Southern electric unit selling at a mere £1279.00, yes, that is not a typing error.

Another model that I could have been tempted with was a 'OO' reproduction of a 4 car London Transport underground set at just over £120. It's good to see that the underground is finally being modelled seriously as it is a big part of the railway scene and has been totally neglected in the past.

No comments: