Friday, November 27, 2015

Saturday 28 November - Birmingham Model Railway Show and Steam on the Main Line

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
Great Western
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

Bkrmingham Model Railway Show
Bkrmingham Model Railway Show
Click here to see all pictures taken at the Birmingham Model Railway Show

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 asked "How's the coal"
"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.


  1. Hello Colin, While we will miss you at OVAR this week, it is good to see you out and about on the road, or should I say, "in the air" again! I have always been impressed with the superb quality of modelling in the UK and your images from the show in Birmingham help to deepen this impression. The modelled scenes you managed to snag, whether they be of the bucolic countryside or of the busy urban lifestyle quite simply are stunning. I do know that most modellers in the UK have a much smaller amount of modelling "real estate" to work with, so the age old adage of "quality over quantity" certainly does come into play! Love those night shots of the 45407 as well. Must've been a thrill for you to relive those memories standing so near to this beauty! Now, I must go back and check out your earlier posts!

  2. Colin, As always it's great to read about your adventures and the commentary. Keep up the good work!