Sunday, 24 March 2019

Alexandra Palace

Yesterday I was at Alexandra Palace for the British Railway Modelling exhibition, where the Sussex Downs Group were manning the 009 society stand. There was quite a bit of interest, in the scale generally and in the models on display, and we even did some demonstrating.

It's an interesting show, a large and impressive venue (if a right pain to get to if you don't live in London!). There's lots of trade support including the big names (Hornby, Bachmann, Dapol, Hattons, etc...), but more interesting to me were some of the smaller suppliers who would otherwise only be accessible by mail order. There were layouts too, and some of them were very impressive, but they did feel thinly spread around the hall. I didn't have a lot of time for looking at layouts, and didn't get a program, but I did notice narrow gauge layouts were somewhat limited. Our little demo layout on the society stand was the only 009 layout - which may explain the interest, and seemed a little odd now 009 is increasingly supported by ready-to-run. The closest was Arigna in OOn3 (Irish 3' gauge).

There were a couple of American narrow gauge layouts in 7mm scale. I particularly liked this one (Clearwater Harbor I think), the tipping wagons and the harbour was a nice feature. There was a 7mm scale Cambrian Railways layout with a narrow gauge feeder too that I rather liked.

Not narrow gauge but Rolvenden was a lovely model of the well-known Kent & East Sussex light railway.

Some of the layouts were obviously there to draw the crowds, though I know I may be unusual as I don't get that excited by large tail-chaser layouts. However I did like Ealing Road, one of two layouts from the Great Model Railway Challenge. Yes, it's that layout with the pre-built scenery, although the urban setting did look good now it was finished.

Lightermans Yard also had an urban setting with a lot of detail, yet this is 2mm scale. Superb modelling.

It was nice to see Lymebrook Yard, an N-gauge layout I'd admired in Railway Modeller. The scenery is nicely done, and captures an era well, but it also shows how an excellent layout can be built in a small space.

That's all I've space for and I didn't get photos of that many layouts, but it does show there were good layouts spread through the halls. While it would be nice to see more NG, I expect there was something for everyone.

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