Saturday 8 July 2017

Exeter Exhibition Excellence (1)

Even For Non-Modellers? Read On!
A week ago, fbb was at the Exe Model Railway Society's annual exhibition at the Matford Centre. Not all of the old man's readers have any interest in these toy train shows, but fbb thinks that there are aspects of any model exhibition which can interest and intrigue.

For example. How many trains could you have running on a layout that fits on a smallish dining room table?
This is Dolfriog created by a member of the OOn9 group. That means it is a narrow gauge system to OO scale (4mm to the foot) but with 9mm track, as used for N gauge models. It is loosely (very loosely indeed) based on a Welsh mine; although it is not entirely clear what is being mined; possibly treacle!

Whoops! Just read the sign - it says "Copper Mine".

So how many separate tracks can you count.  There are two at the foot of "the mine", one along the font, one sloping up the hill. On these the trains just shuttle backwards and forwards very unrealistically but delightfully modelled.

Then there are three levels of oval track in the "mountain" plus anther oval in the open at the top.

Six trains running at once. Clever, eh?

Another narrow gauge quarry line showed us something different. Look at the green loco at the bottom of the picture.
It has left a truck over some kind of pit. The the truck is hauled (electrically) up the slope ...
... and once at the top, it is collected by the grey engine as shown below.
Wagon lifts were fairly common in busy good depots when the railways were in the business of carrying loads of wagon loads to different destinations. These are for coal loading and were at Hull Docks.
The thing like a mini good shed in this picture ...
... is a goods wagon lift at Bishopsgate depot which was situated to the east of London's Liverpool Street station.

But fbb has never seen anything like it modelled and working without any obvious human intervention; something completely different.

Staying with narrow gauge, there was a Swiss-type railway that was unusual in two respects. One train was coupled to an unusual yellow railway carriage ...
... seen here just beyond the somewhat over-scale Swiss mountain goat. fbb managed to get a closer look.
A lengthy chunter on-line revealed that the model was produced (expensively) by a company called Bemo.
But another picture from the Bemo catalogue looks like it shows the real carriage on which the model is based.
fbb has searched extensively but has been hampered by the fact that Carozza Panoramico (Panoramic Carriage) can refer to any vehicle designed for high visibility on scenic routes.
The Bernina railway is a single-track 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge railway line forming part of the Rhaetian Railway. It links the spa resort of St. Moritz, in the Canton of Graubünden, Switzerland, with the town of Tirano, in the Province of Sondrio, Italy, via the Bernina Pass.

Reaching a height of 2,253 metres (7,392 ft) above sea level, it is the highest railway crossing in Europe and the third highest railway in Switzerland. It also ranks as the highest adhesion railway of the continent, and – with inclines of up to 7% – as one of the steepest adhesion railways in the world. 

But look closely at the "real" carriage picture advertising the model at $85.79; and there are red coaches in the background. And here is another Bernina Express picture showing the nearly open toppers at the rear of the train.

And, to add to the mix, a similar model but in the very large "G" scale on a model railway auction site ...
... and what could well be a view of the carriage from "inside", photographed alongside more normal Bernina Express rolling stock..
The second "unusual respect" of the model at the Exeter show will ave to wait until tomorrow.

 Next Exeter exhibition blog : Sunday 9th July 


  1. I live in hope that, one day, we might have trains with 'big windows' for some of the scenic lines in Britain, e.g. the Settle & Carlisle.

    If only British railway managers were sufficiently bold !

  2. ... and seats that always have a window view!

  3. The Rhätische Bahn was(is?) not the only Swiss railway to offer open sightseeing cars, but they did charge a hefty premium to travel in them. Those on the Appenzeller Bahn could be used at normal fares.
    Referring to the lines on the quarry model, is "one along the font" a suggestion for a vicar's model railway?