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  • Location
    Holland
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    Steam railways, mainly LNER

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  1. .....And this weekend we were indeed in Utrecht at the huge Collectors Fair (5 halls) at the Jaarbeurs, the Dutch version of NEC and the same venue as Eurospoor. It is a completely different experience from model railway shows like Eurospoor or Ontraxs, where you only find model railways and model railways enthusiasts. Here there's a much different audience and to us it is actually quite a special experience. We were surrounded by hobbyists, by trucks, boats and planes and were the only model railway layout in sight. OK, a bit further on there was an N-gauge layout. Next to us a model airplane club was busy with a kind of flight ballet with all kinds of planes big and small, dancing in the air, sometimes even to music! A bit further on there were stalls of antiques and collectors items and there was also a complete hall with CD's and vinyl records. As BMB we can once again look back on a successful event in a good atmosphere. This time it wasn't technically the most perfect layout we ever had, but with 4 untested new modules this is almost unavoidable. Yesterday we calculated how long our layout actually was and that turned out to be about 47.50 meters (157 ft) , unfortunately just under 50 meters, which I had hoped for. But with 95 meters (315 ft) of track on the mainline, it was enough for us to have a good time and to have fun which is what we had. This also was the first time we could present our 4-track mainline of almost 9 meters (29 ft) length. Our layout: The fiddle yard: The 4-track mainline: The Dukedog on Bacon Hill: St John's Grove: Wateringbury: Views from the track. St, John's Grove Ollerbrook Booth: With Thomas: Radipole Halt: Backwater Goods Yard: Our neighbours: Leen.
  2. Sorry to read this, but it's probably the best decision. Leen.
  3. Are you sure the room is only 10 ft wide? Looking at the double doors I'd say it looks more like 13 or 14 ft. Leen.
  4. On Saturday 23rd March the BMB participated in the exhibition "Carmeliet op Stoom" in Schoonhoven, near Gouda. This show has been organized for the 11th time by true hobbyists in the field of steam, who also participate themselves. Three of our members have been living in or near Schoonhoven for years. Although this modelmakers show is not as well-known a model railway event as Eurospoor in Utrecht, we were offered the generous space of a theatre stage on which we were able to allocate a layout that was almost as large as the one at Eurospoor 2017. From the beginning, we have taken into account how we could do justice to the layout from the perspective of the public, the exhibition hall and ourselves. This is the layout plan with our “BMB-square” and our 25 m (83 ft) long layout: On Friday afternoon we started work at around 2.00 P.M.. First all fourteen modules and the reverse loops were set up and then they were connected one by one. Werner had the bright idea to hang our large BMB shield on the front of our fiddle yard from where it would clearly be visible to the entire exhibition. Around 6.00 the track was technically ready and it was possible to run trains. A few things still needed to be decorated, but we left that for the next morning. On Saturday morning we were present around 7.30 to finish the decoration. There were two Union Jacks, that came from the organization, and primarily served to cover the (ugly) rear sides of the modules visible to the public. But because we only had one module there, we hung the other one at the entrance of our “BMB-square”, next to Thijs' module: This way it would be clear to the public where the British Modular Layout was to be found, not entirely unimportant. It looks quite patriotic with the Union Jacks, but in terms of railways, this is what we are. Once the show started, almost everything went well. For us BMB members, an exhibition is just another running meet and this was a very nice and special one. Since everything worked well, it was a relaxing day for us. Some of our participants even went to assist other exhibitors for a good part of the day, simply because it was possible and because there was also something to experience there. Quite a lot of people came to see us on the stage, including people we know, which is pretty special. Sometimes it was really crowded and then you know you don't do it for nothing. These are the photos I made. Saturday morning before the show: The large BMB-shield: Cees' module: Our layout seen from the public: Bacon Hill, Henks new module: The public: They served nice orange juice at the show: Our view from the stage: Our next show will be in Utrecht on 13th and 14th April. Leen.
  5. Saturday 23rd March the BMB participated in the exhibition "Carmeliet op Stoom" in Schoonhoven, near Gouda. This show has been organized for the 11th time by true hobbyists in the field of steam, who also participate themselves. Three of our members have been living in or near Schoonhoven for years. Although this modelmakers show is not as well-known a model railway event as Eurospoor in Utrecht, we were offered the generous space of a theatre stage on which we were able to allocate a layout that was almost as large as the one at Eurospoor 2017. From the beginning, we have taken into account how we could do justice to the layout from the perspective of the public, the exhibition hall and ourselves. This is the layout plan with our “BMB-square” and our 25 m (83 ft) long layout: On Friday afternoon we started work at around 2.00 P.M.. First all fourteen modules and the reverse loops were set up and then they were connected one by one. Werner had the bright idea to hang our large BMB emblem on the front of our fiddle yard from where it would clearly be visible to the entire exhibition. Around 6.00 the track was technically ready and it was possible to run trains. A few things still needed to be decorated, but we left that for the next morning. On Saturday morning we were present around 7.30 to finish the decoration. There were two Union Jacks, that came from the organization, and primarily served to cover the (ugly) rear sides of the modules visible to the public. But because we only had one module there, we hung the other one at the entrance of our “BMB-square”, next to Thijs' module: This way it would be clear to the public where the British Modular Layout was to be found, not entirely unimportant. (y) It looks quite patriotic with the Union Jacks, but in terms of railways, this is what we are. Once the show started, almost everything went well. For us BMB-ers, an exhibition is just another running meet and this was a very nice and special one. Since everything worked well, it was a relaxing day for us. Some of our participants even went to assist other exhibitors for a good part of the day, simply because it was possible and because there was also something to experience there. (y) Quite a lot of people came to see us on the stage, including people we know, which is pretty special. Sometimes it was really crowded and then you know you don't do it for nothing. These are the photos I made. Saturday morning before the show:
  6. Thanks for your warning. Organising modular events is not always plain sailing. Now that it looks like Brexit will not be effective on 19th May, we may still be able to bring our modules without bureaucracy involved. OK, we have a different problem now, but I can now at least reveal our progress. This winter I made 6 curved 25 cm (10 in) wide modules of 30 degrees each with double track and a radius of just over a meter (40 in +). The outside diameter of the modules in a 180 degrees curve is approx. 2m 30 (7ft 7in). In the curve the centres of the tracks are 58mm apart, but at the ends of the curve we can make them fit to the 50 mm required. These are made easily transportable. Here you see five of them: We can also bring our 4 single track modules of 75 x 45 cm (approx. 30 x 18 in) without scenery that represent a branchline end (which can easily be extended) with passing loop. Here are three of them: And this is the 4th single track module: Henk has a 6-track fiddle yard that we could bring if required. Its dimensions are 2m70 ((approx. 9 ft) x 0m45 (1ft 6 in): We use different plugs (ST16) on our modules but we will fit banana plug adapter cables for this event. We will also have to adapt some of our legs to the 45 in height, but we don't see that as a problem. There are enough clamps to fit our modules to the other ones. Once you'll get the necessary information about the space, we would like you to let us know which modules you would want us to bring to the meet. This coming week I intend to book accommodation that can be cancelled in case the meet will have to be postponed. Leen.
  7. Thanks for your advice, it may be helpful. Mostly we leave the UK with more instead of less. But what about the French customs? Leen.
  8. We have made some progress but are awaiting the Brexit decisions of next week which will decide if we can bring our modules free of customs interference or not. Leen.
  9. After October the BMB didn't cease to exist, no, there were even two more running meets to report. Firstly we were invited to Dordrecht on the occasion of the Open Day of the local Model Railway Club on Saturday 17th November. This time it was no sports hall but we had to fit our layout in the available space. We chose to use only 4 of our scenic modules plus the fiddle yard instead of 6 modules. Friday we were able to install most of our layout and Saturday we were running our trains all day long. Next time we will visually hide the backs of our modules with a windscreen or similar: Our hosts showed great hospitality and hopefully they will invite us again. This time we won't show you in which restaurant we completed our day. In the meantime there has been progress to make our more or less problematic large curves more transportabe. They have been divided in two, so now we have both large and medium curves: These are now our large curved modules (approx. 1m 30 - 4 ft 3 in radius) in a different setting than curves, which I intend to develop: And this is now our new medium curve (approx. 1.05 m - 3ft 6 in radius) , which we will probably mostly use as corner modules: This is how we transport the curves. Left you see the six medium curved modules with two straight modules on top, and on the right the big pile of six large curved ones. I found a way to slide two modules one into each other, so now two modules only need half the space. And this is how we make a Christmas tree with them: Last week, on 2nd February, we had our twentieth running meet in Rijen, near Breda. The location was an archers club with a large club room. This was thanks to Michel, one of our new members, and his dad. This is my car on the Saturday morning before I left. It was completely packed with curves, reverse loops, fiddle yard modules, my own module and lots more: We spent the morning building up our large undecorated layout of 37 m (123 ft), using the new medium curves: Of course we spent the afternoon playing our trains: The new medium curves: This one used to be a Dutch module themed of where the owner, Gerard, lives: One of our modules (under construction) has a Flemish owner and an Irish subject: And yes, when finished we went to a restaurant again.... The next time running will be on 23rd March when we will be at a small exhibition in my home town. In the mean time work progresses..... Leen.
  10. We are still on schedule to join the party on May 19th. The coming months we will be working on our two single track modules. One is 1m20 long (+/- 4 ft) and the other 90 cm (+/- 3 ft) We could also bring two 90 degrees double track curves with a radius of just over 3 ft if desired. Leen.
  11. Message from Locomotion received just now. Now there's light at the end of the tunnel. Leen.
  12. I agree wholeheartedly that personal contact seems the best way to resolve things, but how??? Leen.
  13. The "fulfilment" of my order is a long story, that still goes on. But.... It wasn't the "Fulfilment Company" that lost my balance payment. It isn't the "Fulfilment Company" that doesn't respond to my emails. It isn't the "Fulfilment Company" that doesn't answer the phone. I sincerely hope that next year Locomotion will win the "Best Fulfilment" Award, but now I am still waiting. BTW My order is from 10th April 2015. Leen.
  14. As the previous post shows, the BMB held another running meet this weekend, in fact this one was the fifth one of 2018 and the 18th altogether. This time it lasted for a whole weekend instead of just one day. Because the location in Vredepeel was pretty much out of the way for the majority of our members, we wanted to enjoy more running time than the 3 or 4 hours we had there in 2016. Fortunately it could all be arranged. The location is a sports hall in Vredepeel, situated on an army airforce base. Due to health problems and a defective car, "only" 13 BMB participants and 8 modules left their homes early on the Saturday morning. Four of our participants unfortunately could only be present on the Saturday. We arrived at around 9.30 A.M. and around 10.00 we could start setting up the layout. Running could begin at 1.00 P.M. The mainline consisted of 18 meters (60 ft) of menbers modules, 12 meters (40 ft) of reversing loops, 6m30 (21 ft) of fiddle yard, and 4 (13 ft) meters of bridge, branchline junction and a curve, altogether some 40 meters of board. The branchline was 5m50 (18 (ft 4 in) long. The total track length was therefore about 80 meters (265 ft) . The utilitarian modules like those for the reversing loops, fiddle yard etc. all have to be transported by our members cars. This is always a puzzle, since there is usually not too much room left in the various cars alongside our own modules. Besides we live scattered over a large part of the country and the modules are at two or three locations. This is also the reason that on running days like this we leave at home as much as we can, e.g. all the attributes to beautify our presentation like at the Ontraxs exhibition in post #1. That's why the presentation on the photos is not at the same level as at our exhibitions. Fortunately, this time, our members John and Servé helped to ensure that our transport problems were fairly easily resolved, for which we are grateful. When the modules were finally connected around 1.00, almost everything went right first time. With the exception of some small issues, we had no technical problems at all. As always, the trains were momentarily interrupted due to the incorrect positioning of our electrofrog points, but only very occasionally. Maybe we should try to find a solution for that. We also discovered that Werner had two locos, who did not "speak" well with one of the boosters (you can see that in our video), but after replacing the booster with another one, the problem was solved. Probably it concerns a decoder problem with the used cheap decoders, but that still needs further investigation. At the end of our Saturday running session we drove 20 km (13 miles) to Helenaveen, where we had a drink and dinner together, on the terrace outside the restaurant. At Sunday morning 10.00 A.M. we came back to run our trains again and after 3.00 P.M. disassembly of the layout was cautiously started, because at 5.00 we were supposed to have left the hall. Cautiously, because some were still running trains. After having charged our lorries, we first drove to Eindhoven, where we left some of the modules and then went to a Chinese restaurant, still with seven BMB-members. After dinner we each went our way. The atmosphere on both days was once again excellent as usual. And now my photos. Setting up the job: Members running their trains: The branchline and the token: It is not entirely without pride that we can report that for the first time we had a concept version of a branch line of approx. 5m50 (18 ft 4 in), with - thanks to participant Servé - a token. The branchline has been a desire of a few participants for some time and, as is often the case with new things, everything had to be thoroughly discussed. The intention of this concept version of our branchline is to first learn how to handle it and thereby get the right ideas to come to a nice BMB branch line. The ultimate goal is to achieve, for some, a more prototypical operation than "just" running roundies on a dog bone: Our trains are fun, but not always entirely prototypical. Here are some of them Having a cuppa: Bringing out a toast to Jan, our Ireland department, who was at the Leuven (Belgium) Exhibition: Before having dinner together after the Saturday running session: Waiting for the food to arrive: We are most grateful to Ed and his colleagues who made this weekend possible. Leen.
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