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The Chiltern Model Railway Association held it's annual exhibition in St Albans Arena last weekend. I managed to pay a short but intensive visit, and report herewith on some of the layouts - basically those that particularly took my fancy!

Layouts are in alphabetical order so I don't show any favouritism!

"Borchester Market"

An 00 4mm scale 16.5mm guage layout. Built by the late Frank Dyer and now looked after by a group set up to preserve the model. Loco and Goods yards in the front - terminus for passangers right rear, with goods branch off to the left of the station. Set in a ficticious location NW of Newark.

"Cherry Orchard"

0 and 016.5 NG, 7mm scale. Based on a brickworks that used to be near Rochford in Essex. Narrow gauge railway runs from the claypit in the far distance to the works (kilns nearest the camera). Steeply-graded standard gauge line links the brickworks to a BR branch line.

"Grumstick and Dibblewick Railway"

One for the youngsters - bought in at short notice to replace another layout that couldn't come due to the flue bug. Uses 16.5mm track and scales between 7 to 10mm for buildings etc.

"Johnstown Road"
An 0 gauge (32mm) 7mm scale + NG line. Fictious location on the Welsh coast, with the narrow gauge railway running from a nearby quarry.

The quayside with dual-gauge track and the terminus for the standard gauge trains.

The line crosses an estuary - note that the model has the tide out thus avoiding all the problems of trying to model water!

The other end of the line with the through line passing off-scene behind the station.

"Littleton Parkway/Junction"
(There seemed to be slight contradiction between the layout and the guide description!)
00, 4mm scale, 16.5mm gauge. Set in late 1990s-early 2000s. A station reopened in the 1970s to form a 'Parkway' station in a fictious location between Wolverhampton and Crewe. Sidings once used for a local mine now used for ballast trains from a local stone quarry.

General view looking back towards station.


Close-up of quarry line coming in, signal relay room and road bridge.

"Nine Mills"
N, 2mm scale 9mm gauge. Fictious location in S. Midlands where both Midland and GWR had engine sheds. Set in early 1960s, so the former depot has been replaced by a new diesel depot. A main line runs behind the GWR depot. Rationalised sidings see use by engineers trains, although frieght trans are still numerous on the main line.

View from one end - passing loops in foreground, steam depot in mid-distance.

Other end of the layout showing the newer diesel depot with disused turntabler well.

"Wansbeck Road"
N, 2mm scale 9.42mm gauge (ie a 'finescale' compared to the usual 9mm). Represents a fictious County Durham colliery village 1957-1962, but a number of the buildings are taken from prototypes in County Durham. Delightful detailing which I hope is visible.


"West Tilgate"
N, 2mm scale 9mm gauge. Fictious BR Southern Region location on the former L&SWR main line in the 1950s-1960s.

General view from one end of the layout.

This 'townscape' rather caught my eye and I thought it worth recording.

"Westcliffe"
EM, 4mm scale 18.2mm gauge. A 'might have been' layout based on West Bay (Bridport harbour) in Dorset. 1920s-30s period? (Guide isn't clear on this.)

No attempt to model the sea, but there was a quiet mumur of waves lapping on the sandy beach audible to viewers!

Overall the exhibition seemed to be laid out slightly differently to last year; this did seem to give slightly more room. Again an excellent choice of layouts and traders. (And the St Albans South Signal box had 170 visitors over the two days mainly due to the organisers putting up posters for us and including a one-page article in the show guide.)

Regards,
John Webb
 

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My visit was necessarily brief also, but most enjoyable. Always a good show with a very pleasant atmosphere, (although the venue does impose serious limitation on anyone with a mobility problem) and one of these days I will get around to visiting the signal box too.
 

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Thanks for posting those John

It's always nice to see a layout you haven't seen before.

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My pleasure to put something up.

'Littleton Junction' shown above is featured in an article in the February 'Railway Modeller' out this week.

Calstock (Cotehele), being featured in a series which started in January's RM, was also at the exhibition but not being of much interest to me (I'm not a narrow gauge enthusiast) I didn't take any pictures of it. Nicely done, however.

Regards,
John
 

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Thanks for posting those photos.
Steve
 
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