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  1. What road/era are you interested in modelling? The layout could pass as quite a few areas through a number of timescales.
  2. There is an excellent write up on another forum as to why new trains are sat idle whilst there's a driver shortage. Basically the drivers conversion course takes 7 days, and they are only allowed to work 12 out of 14 which would include rest days anyway. So courses are getting cancelled to solve the short term need to avoid trains being cancelled, but that obviously doesn't solve the long term fix. Now you could cite "poor management" as an excuse but if I were to work overtime on a Sunday 12hr Nightshift before a bank holiday or a Wednesday day for 12 hours I get paid the same. So I'd respectfully acknowledge that anyone on better terms wouldn't really want to give up their terms and conditions to have to put up with more generalised terms in order to get the job done, because I wouldn't.
  3. This is hardly a retrograde step (and it's not like you could blame Hitachi as they merely designed to project specifications), apart from shock wagons in the UK and cushion coupler pockets in the US the reliance for slow speed impact damage has been with buffers on stock, and that can only really survive slow speed contact with limited energy such as at a hump marshalling yard. Anti climbers and crumple zones are only really for higher speed collisions, and although you could build trains with big rubber bumpers that could survive slow speed impacts, it would be better to stop them occuring in the first place.
  4. The airflow around and the dynamics of the pan on a Pendo dictate that it's better to run with the rear pan up. Plus with overhead electrics if the front pan gets damaged and falls backwards then you've lost both means of pickup, and chances are the front one will be past any damage should something catastrophic happen so it could still be used. Network rail had issues a few years ago with ice on the wires damaging the carbon strips so there were pendolinos running with the front pan up, which caused further dewirements.
  5. And restringing thousands of route miles to remove the droop on the catenary support wire...
  6. Yes, approaching Wheelwright lane. Although it's more of the Colliery that can be seen.
  7. Don't forget there are other ways to promote a layout- I think eLayouts on UK modelshops is still an excellent point of reference, and there is a Facebook group where layouts are plugged and exhibition managers ask for exhibits, but being old school means I've always found that someone's willingness to invite themselves to a show is inversely proportional to how good their layout is. One problem might be that the world has changed since I used to help exhibit a large Beijiao sized layout and there are less of the traditional large club shows where recripocal "We'll invite yours if you invite ours" trades could be effected, yes there are more shows than ever but they're mostly one day/smaller manageable layouts who'se managers probably assume they couldn't afford your layout or don't have the time at either end of the day for a large layout to be built/packed away even before asking.
  8. The way that some layouts carry as many badges as a well travelled walking stick must demonstrate that they aren't shy of picking up invites or the will to see them through. I vaguely remember a GWR 7mm scale layout at Manchester celebrating its 100th show and since then a twee looking 009 layout way into triple figures, both probably at opposite ends on so many levels but obviously both capable of still recieving invites. But I doubt the Lime St team would even want to attend every single show that asks.
  9. I have a Swiss layout.... Well, that's what someone told me "Because Americans don't have electric trains..." I'm still surprised that the "Exhibition of the year" doesn't have a better point of reference for invited layouts, even small shows have more than just the layout name, owner and gauge. What's the buisness case for doing this apart from an attempt to sell guides in advance or the assumption that enough people are going to turn up anyway as the organisers believe there is something for everyone? Repeated advice on here is to find out which exhibits interest you and plan a route between, but then you risk not seeing the working Dutch bicycle or perspective showstopper layouts. And when I've found a layout on YouTube then it can feel like I've now seen it and like the comment above then wonder why I even need to go to shows at all...
  10. You think that's bad, what about Lima putting oversized couplings on their OO gauge models to advertise the forthcoming N gauge J50 and King...? Later howlers would include hastily prepared samples in adverts at the back of Rail Enthusiast, it was always fun to see if the loco was derailed or with the body not fitting properly as often happened.
  11. Invites are probably worthy of a new thread, but in the meantime considering you've done or are booked to do Stevenage, Warley and Ally Pally within 15 months (not sure of others off the top of my head) must mean that you've certainly been noticed... Large roundy roundy (non-tailchasing) layouts have an obvious place on the circuit, if every show only had what one person could reasonably manage without resorting to having to use van hire and a large operating team then we'd all be poorer for it. It's certainly got me thinking what I ought to be designing as the next layout as there is a vast difference between what would work at home as a useable layout Vs what only what is needed to entertain the public, bit also draw them in in the first place. As Paul (TeamYakima) knows I'm aware of his previous layouts and think it's a bold but understandable move to go from exhibiting his previous Canyon layout to building Beijiao, but both have qualities that are needed to entertain exhibition viewers.
  12. Each to their own, I quite like the Albinolino livery...
  13. It isn't a complaint as not up to me what other people build, but the number of layouts I've seen that accurately represent one of the many depots that I've visited on organised trips is still somewhere in the single figures. Think of a stereotypical depot and it'll be a tiny shed off some kind of switchback from the fuelling point, usually looking like it's hosting some kind of celebrity open day. Which is fine, but what about these modellers pooling resources and building a large one...!
  14. I tend to avoid friends layouts (no offence!) at first because I know i'll end up chatting / operating. Otherwise I'll generally look round for layouts I've gone to see. Apologies for mentioning it again but when I've got the 10 and 6yr old MiniMe's in tow they want to look at the layouts in order. At a recent show there was a children's competition to look for a small animal placed on each layout, fill in all of them on your sheet with the layout's name enters you into a prize draw, and it was a great way to have to look at all of the layouts as otherwise I wouldn't have given some more than a quick glance.
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