|Building of the day - from St. Alkmund's churchyard. This building has half a lower floor perched above Fish Street
I took a train today to Birmingham International to visit the Birmingham Model Railway Show (Warley Model Railway Club). In both directions the trains had a lot of standing passengers from /to Wolverhampton. This is a serious malaise on the UK railways where every train needs at least one extra car to accommodate the numbers travelling - and they are forecasting a 20% increase by 2020.
The show was as good as I had expected. It is enormous and it took me three hours just to walk around and try to see all the exhibits. With the exception of a few of the larger ones the layouts were all different from those I saw here two years ago, Most of the layouts are very small but with exquisite detail. Many were one man operations and several were cooperations from a small number of friends. All the scales were represented and there were scenes from many different areas outside the UK - Ireland, USA, France, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria.
|This is the extent of the layout.
|Another small layout with just five switches and a fiddle yard
|A two level turntable following a Belgian industrial prototype
|The layout doesn't have to be filled with trackwork to provide lots of interest
|A lime works
|Welsh Narrow Gauge
|Llantwy had a lot of great details
|Llantwy - The local pub at a time when kids were not allowed in the bar.
|Llantwy - one of the two operators showed me locomotives he had made from cardboard and his junk box.
|Herding sheep on Llantwy
|Welsh slate railway
On arrival back at Shrewsbury a large crowd was waiting to board a steam special from Bristol via Gloucester and Chepstow.hauled by Stanier Black Five 45407. The train was a long one and appeared full, It was dark and raining. Steam locomotives obviously have a very strong attraction.
|As it pulled out 45407 sounded square. It brought back powerful memories.
|The fireman told me the normal way to fire these was down the sides with a little at the back - just like the 2-6-4 tanks I fired.
"I've just got on, I don't know yet'"
The engine left with a big train (maybe 10 coaches) and hauling an idling diesel.
|This is a screenshot from Railway Herald of 2 December which shows 45407 on its way to Shrewsbury earlier on Saturday.