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Barry O

Warley National Model Railway Exhibition 2015

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Warley always drives a mix of opinions, me included, the venue has pros and cons, the lighting in Hall 5 in particular is awful, the "new" halls are much better in that respect, but its undoubtedly great value for money. Where else can you see so much in one place for little more than a tenner?

 

I've been very selective in the shows I've gone to over the past couple of years, instead of 20 - 25 a year I used to manage, I've restricted it to about half that and I can't say I've missed much. I do take more notice of the costs and if it doesn't look to be good value, I don't bother.

 

Warley this year was one of the best in recent memory, inevitably every layout isn't going to be Pendon standard, there simply aren't enough of those to fill the NEC year after year, but those on show this year all had something to say and the bigger aisles etc (or was it less people?) made for a more relaxed day. Spent more than I'd planned (Kernow weathered Western, promised long ago and too much to resist with the show offer) and had a great day so thanks and congratulations to everyone involved for their efforts in making it possible.

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Perhaps next year's centrepiece can be Pendon, if Kanye can be brought to Glastonbury then the people that manage Pendon can bring it to Warley.

 

Heck, some say Coachmann has accepted an invitation to bring his shed next year.

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I noticed that a fair few layouts using LED lighting looked incredibly blue under the hall lights. 

 

Andi

 

I have to agree. One of the things I was looking at was the various different lighting systems as our club wants to use led lighting on the next layout. By 4 o'clock this afternoon some of the layouts were in darkness and those with strange colour lighting were really standing out. A couple of the layouts were very pinkyish blue, almost purple. It can be done as one of the O gauge layouts had what I thought was pretty good white led light on it - I think it might have been Stanfording.

 

I had a good day buying a lot of bits and pieces - plasticard, brass tube, paint, N people, ballast - all the stuff I could get elsewhere but could get in one place without multiple postage. No rolling stock this time but I've already got my orders in for Revolution's tankers and Pendolino which are looking very good!

 

In my opinion there were some very nice layouts at the show but nothing truly jaw dropping. It didnt feel as good as some recent years. It might have been the lack of decent hall lighting in combination with the weather today casting a bit of a gloom over the show. :(

 

Like some others above I paid £6 for parking at Birmingham International station car park. However when I drove up to the gate to leave the car park the gate opened without me putting the ticket in! It couldnt have known I had paid for my ticket so the gate must have been opening for everyone. Virgin trains were badly screwed up today so maybe they had gone to free parking.

 

Dave

Edited by davepallant

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I noticed that a fair few layouts using LED lighting looked incredibly blue under the hall lights. 

Andi

Yep Warm white is much better than white but even then some suppliers idea of warm white is still pretty blue! Under the NEC lights you probably need a mix of both or a top cover to cut out the yellow sodium lighting.

 

I really enjoyed the show both as an exhibitor again and what was there. I left the crowded ones to the end of the day, Worlds End was stunning and had a nice quick chat with Pete Goss. I was surprised to hear Rowlands Castle hasn't been snapped up for AIMREC but is for sale for anyone with cash burning a hole, (I didn't dare ask how much ;) )

Edited by PaulRhB
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I couldn't get to warley, so I'd like to thank all those who've uploaded pictures for us all to see.

 

Some interesting reading on this thread, and several comments echo a few thoughts I've had over the years at events.

 

Three things annoy me when I'm watching a layout at a model railway exhibition.

First of all, complete lack of movement. YES, the real railway sometimes has bouts of 40 minutes or so where nothing happens, but how many of us actually enjoy those moments when we're out and about?

Secondly, I'm always confused by basic but glaringly obvious things which have been overlooked. For example, some layouts have incredible scenery and attention to detail, yet figures on platforms and street scenes are stood on massive square plastic bases. Surely if you've gone to the trouble of handpainting every brick and roof tile individually and even weathered the road surfaces, then why not cut the awful bases off and stick the people's feet down properly?

The third thing that gets me, is the physical operation of some layouts. I've seen so many fantastic looking layouts with nicely detailed and weathered stock, which then goes from a standing start to 80mph almost instantly! Or pulls into a station at a scale speed of 50mph and stops dead.

I don't want to offend any operators or anything, and YES my own layout is crap by comparison so I don't need any 'make a better layout yourself then...!' type comments.

 

 

...just saying.

Edited by johny retro
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Like some others above I paid £6 for parking at Birmingham International station car park. However when I drove up to the gate to leave the car park the gate opened without me putting the ticket in! It couldnt have known I had paid for my ticket so the gate must have been opening for everyone. Virgin trains were badly screwed up today so maybe they had gone to free parking.

 

Dave

 

Maybe you're right but quite a lot of carparks work like that now:  certainly at Heathrow T5 and in Reading.  They use number plate recognition cameras at entrance and exit and do not require drivers to input their car registration number.  Big brother is definitely watching you....! Is your reg. no. on the ticket?

Edited by Froxfield2012

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We can all find things to criticise on other folks' railways, whatever the state of our own. I felt very sorry for the Burntisland operators trying to cope with what appeared to be multiple and long-lasting faults that caused a virtual standstill for long periods on Sunday. Such fine machinery has a tough time being transported long distances and then subjected to the rigours of an exhibition. Full marks to the exhibitors that kept up some movement on a continuous basis. That's what interests the majority, especially the young people who will carry our hobby forward.

 

Thank you Warley MRC for providing periscopes and hopups once again and to all the kind people who allowed those of us in wheelchairs, scooters, etc. the space to see the action. Another wonderful exhibition.

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I was also unable to visit Warley this year (living in Scotland and working 12 hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday kind of scuppered that !) but I fully intend to go next year.

 

Thanks again to all those who have taken the time to post their impressions and photos here.

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We had  a stationary decoder failed after 6 years of use on two layouts, taking out the turnouts at one end of the fiddleyard for a while. Luckily, being off scene we could change these by hand till I obtained a replacement decoder, programmed and wired it up.

 

These things happen and we just have to do the best we can in such situations.

 

Thoroughly enjoyed the show. A fairly swift get way last night and more than happy to attend with another layout some time in the future.

 

My wallet might not want to though!

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I was on the Wild Swan stand both days, and have been at Warley show for quite a few years now, The NEC itself is the most soulless place I have visited not helped by the November date when it is dark and gloomy. Recovering  today I feel the life has been sucked out of me.

 

As for the show itself it is always a mixture of excellent and poor, but I guess it has to not only fill the space but has to appeal to all.

 

I managed to pick up a GWR 64XX off the Bachmann stand for £40 which I thought was quite a bargain. 

 

I agree with others some layouts the lighting was very strange.

 

David

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We might all knock the lighting, the soulless nature of the location, the scrum to the Bachmann stand, the crush on the trains, the parking and the food for it's prices.

 

But every year, we get excited, we turn up and we marvel at the trains.

 

They must be doing an awful lot right.

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We might all knock the lighting, the soulless nature of the location, the scrum to the Bachmann stand, the crush on the trains, the parking and the food for it's prices.

 

But every year, we get excited, we turn up and we marvel at the trains.

 

They must be doing an awful lot right.

Perhaps there is some irony in that, where there are other shows that avoid these issues. Of course, they aren't so big, well publicised, so heavily promoted in the mainstream magazines or have the kudos of being the "National" model railway show.

 

I gave up going years ago, finding the venue, lighting and crowded aisles not conducive to a good day out. Add to that many stands that held no interest for me plus the indifferent modelling and presentation of some layouts, made it poor value compared to some other shows I attended (and still do).

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That would explain this exchange then.....

 

Me (shaven headed, wearing black leather jacket, and t-shirt for obscure Norwegian black metal band): One please

 

Man in kiosk: This is for the model railway show.

 

Me: I know. 

 

That's happened to me before. I think it's the black leather jacket factor - they can't compute it.

 

I wonder if there are elderly blokes in tweed jackets with elbow patches being told they should be in the model railway queue?

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The thing that I always remember is that Warley is a mutual show organised by a local club and any surplus is ploughed back into the hobby.  It is not a 'commercial' show and this reflects great credit on the team that organise it.  I helped to take two of our club layouts down this year and most of the teams were first timers at Warley though all have been used to helping at our own show and know how much organisation goes into that.  They were all 'fair gobsmacked' as we say when we drove into the hall on the Friday morning.  The sheer scale of the show amazed them.  

 

On a personal basis it usually coincides with Motorcycle live which my eldest son always attends.  It was great for me to be able to pop out and have a good chat with him yesterday as he lives some way away and we don't get to see him that often.

 

However the less mention made of the Oakwood Press bookstall and their special offers the better as SWMBO may get to hear.  Richard (Happy Hippo) has  a lot to answer for but I will enjoy reading them over the coming weeks.

 

Jamie

Edited by jamie92208
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One thing which pleasantly surprised me (and has been remarked on some way back in the thread) was the 'in hall' catering from what appear to be mobile units.  The one I bought a hot dog from was clean, run by friendly people and offered what struck me in 2015 terms as reasonable prices and pretty good quality for pret a manger exhibition catering - definitely something in favour of the show.

 

I didn't bother much with layouts but having seen Horfield in the past I think it's great - a cavalcade of trains through recent (to me) times at sensible intervals more akin to a railway than a model railway, JLTRT train spotting!  the one where I did spend quite a lot of time was O'Connell Street - brilliant.

 

And overall well it was the Warley show - a mixture, as ever, of loving it and hating it but all things considered extremely good value for money.

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A day there does rather take it out of me but although the lighting is garbage and the catering not much better there is lots to see and do - a bit too much for old gits like me, if I'm honest.   I completed my shopping list, met some of the people I had hoped to meet and picked some layouts to view.  The latter must mean that I have missed something worth viewing but it can't be helped.

 

I see that Horfield has come in for some stick.  As I see it the builders have produced a good layout which has the potential to be excellent.  Some homework has been done since I last saw it, resulting in the prototypical appearance of a pair of GW railcars.  However, the sight of what was clearly a Class 116 dmu - again prototypical for the period said to be portrayed - was marred by its trailer, which belongs to a 117 or 118 and should not have been in light green livery.  The aberration of two brake composites van to van has still not been cured and should be, PDQ.

 

As for meeting and greeting, reading the thread before posting this revealed that several RMwebbers that I know and some that I don't were there, suitably camouflaged.  Four of us took advantage of the 1 pm meet in 'Spoons, which to be honest is three more than I expected.  Yes, I know that many were on exhibition duty but it is a pity that we are losing the knack or perhaps the will to make ourselves known to one another.

 

Finally, it was good to see Derek and Matt Russan of Eileen's back on duty in better health.

 

Chris

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I exhibited my DCC wireless (Gaugemaster) layout at the NEC last year and had some technical gremlins which were quite intermittent. This year I visited the show and saw another layout using the same control equipment so I enquired if everything was OK or had they encountered any issues. They confirmed that they also had been having some issues! Does anyone have any ideas as to what affects wireless operation at the NEC. My DCC equipment has performed faultlessly at all shows since last years NEC.

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i know one layout near us couldn't maintain a wifi signal to their own router. I have had this problem in the past when there has been a lot of wifi networks although ours worked fine over the weekend when we used it whihc wasnt very often.

 

I changed my wifi from auto channel to a selected channel and so had our fellow exhibitor but his selected channel must have been very crowded.

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Well, I went yesterday (Sunday) and overall, quite enjoyed it, better than previous visits.

We had a carfull and split the costs but the "day out" cost £30 each - adequate. Not too expensive, not cheap. Arrived good and early to make use of the advance tickets.

Didn't find the lighting too bad really for general viewing but felt for anyone doing any 'detail' work, that would have been bad.

Managed to avoid/resist most of the trade stands, spent a fiver total!!!

Layouts - good, bad & ugly (depending on your personal taste!). I can't see the point of displaying a huge collection of HD but then, it's not my thing at all. I did think the 'kiddies' section a good idea, well done for that.

"Worlds End", "Burntisland" and the Scale 7 shunter were brilliant to see.

My favourite section was the Continental and American corner, I loved the ficticious Scandinavian island layout and the Irish broad gauge layouts. I'm sure I overheard someone complain there was too much Continental and should have been more 00 - for shame.

The crowds seemed conspicuously down on previous visits, bad weather?

Catering, self sufficient except for a hot cuppa.

Well done Warley but my friends and I won't be going again, why?

The scrum when leaving at 4PM on the local roads was truly awful, so much bad, discourteous & impatient driving - it was just terrible.

Would have taken the train (obviously) but our costs would have been in the order of ten times as much, trying to book a month in advance. If that's not early enough, well we couldn't be sure of making the trip any earlier so car it was.

John E.

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Hi All,

Glad that folk got out of the show what they wanted.. I will bring up the lighting with the venue manager next week when there is a round up meeting, I would expect to hear that relamping with LED fittings is on the cards - purely from energy point point of view and as fittings get cheaper it will be viable to change the several hundred fittings in the roof - access will be fun of course.

 

I was involved in build up of grand designs in hall 5 this year and as it is almost all stands with own lighting to a high level the sodium glow is not obvious - stands had a cloth "ceiling" to defuse and long with lighting of all sorts - function to mood I can see NEC which has us for two days will not have much enthusiasm for change. One stand I was involved in with venue contractor was a 4m X3m stand only unit - Grand design space charge £5K....eye watering really.

 

The engine was out of hall at 21.30 and the last of chairs (1200) and tables (660)gone by 2200, the normal sea of rubbish and cardboard to clear up and as I type the next user has been in hall from 08.00... As a helper you never  everything or know all that happens in the background but I think the club does a good effort at showcasing hobby - we got on Telegraph on  line Saturday and Radio 2 on Friday. Twitter busy as well, not bad for 23rd at NEC and 48th for an all volunteer club and its friends in the hobby.

 

So thanks for visiting this year - you were among around 16000 who did the same.  I think loco booked already as are layouts and hotel pre-bookings reserved for 2016 - see then if not before ! Ffr/ WHR  asked about bringing NG16 on Sunday

Robert                

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We might all knock the lighting, the soulless nature of the location, the scrum to the Bachmann stand, the crush on the trains, the parking and the food for it's prices.

 

But every year, we get excited, we turn up and we marvel at the trains.

 

They must be doing an awful lot right.

Seems like a fairly captive market though. Doesn't matter how many things could be better, most people will still pay to go. Edited by johny retro

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Sounds like WiFi melt down to me just like the motorway network

 

The free NEC wifi worked really well - much better than last year. I used it to update the roster files between the laptop on the test track and one of the PC's running the layout.

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The free NEC wifi worked really well - much better than last year. I used it to update the roster files between the laptop on the test track and one of the PC's running the layout.

My colleagues phone detected 133 networks in the hall on Sunday afternoon so I'm not surprised there were some problems.

 

Jamie

 

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