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Tony Wright

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1 hour ago, Tony Wright said:

My apologies for 'shouting', but I see far too much in the way of poor running at shows these days.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Tony,

 

An absolutely fantastic check list ... I've immediately printed it off - Thanks

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2 hours ago, Denbridge said:

One has to wonder why consistently unreliable layouts continue to be invited to shows? Why do the owners of these layouts continue to exhibit bad workmanship?

Does the owners/operators reputation proceed them?

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When I’m involved with building a layout or booking one for an exhibition the first criterion is ‘does it run well?’Any visitor at an exhibition can tell if a layout runs well and most of them will be happy. Now if the layout runs well and is a great model everyone will be happy.

Some people have talents in one of the modelling disciplines but not others. I suppose that’s why we join clubs or build layouts with our mates.

Happy modelling Eric

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Possibly but also it depends on what show's the layouts are being invited to. I know from experience that small club shows in village halls sometimes struggle to book layouts. Low budgets demand that they have to rely on those being produced in the immediate local area. Especially if said area is rural and therefore the number of competent modellers is very low. If there's a local modeller who's good at scenery and regularly churns out a new layout every year then they will get an invite.

 

A lot also depends on how a layout runs when the Exhibition Manager or Scout is viewing the layout. If it only runs well for 1 hour and that happens to be the hour that the manager is there then they'll invite it.

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2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks for that, Mick,

 

'unless you want to backdate the body which would not be a easy conversion' 

 

Just as difficult (financially) for Hornby. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

Tony

             Not a problem for Hornby if they had chosen the other Locos to make in the first place, too late now anyway. Hopefully they will be a success , I see little reason why they would'nt , at the moment.

 

cheers

 

Mick

 

 

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23 hours ago, jwealleans said:

 

Being utterly pedantic, there is one which doesn't, but it's been on the sea bed since 1942.....

In case there are people wondering it was the IJN "Hiryu " of Pearl Harbour fame . She was finally sunk at the disastrous ( for the Japanese ) battle of Midway on 5/6.42 . The experiment with the bridge proved a failure & was not repeated .

                                                                         Ray .

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7 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

'silly old Hornby have not produced the tooling for that particular locomotive.'

 

Though you might have intended the above comment to be 'tongue in cheek', Andrew, I think it's rather unfair. 

 

Though I'm not claiming any credit for what Hornby is doing (nor responsibility!) with regard to the Thompson Pacifics, Pauls Isles and I discussed at length which A2/2s to do. Because the first Hornby RTR Thompson Pacific was going to be the A2/3, when the A2/2 options were discussed, it made sense to exploit the commonality of parts - especially the later Thompson/Peppercorn boilers. It might have been very nice to tool up to be able to do the A2/2s as originally rebuilt (and 60503/4 until the end of their lives), offering them in full LNER regalia, but (as I've mentioned before) if it costs £6,000 to tool up for a new chimney on an RTR model, think what it would cost to make an entirely new (and substantially-different) smokebox, boiler, firebox, cab and footplate? 

 

It was exactly the same situation when I advised DJH (years ago) as to which A2/2s were viable, after the firm had produced the A2/3.

 

It really begs the question (or at least it does to me) what do folk expect? Since you've 'suggested' the question, in your case (I assume) you couldn't really care less. If you want something, because you're a most-accomplished modeller, you'll make it. The majority can't.

 

By the end of this year (or early next year), anyone (providing he/she has around £200.00) will be able to buy an RTR model of a Thompson A2/3 (for the first time ever!). If, by exploiting commonality of parts, an A2/2 can be produced as well (remember, Hornby already make both tender types for the P2 rebuilds), even though it's only four out of the six, why is that silly?

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

 

 

Good evening Tony,

 

Tongue in cheek, me. Perish the thought.

 

As to unfair, I don't dig it baby, Hornby are a big rich powerful company with posh influential friends such as yourself. I'm big heap of not a lot in model railway land, I'm sure I scare them to death. Personally I think that Hornby's tooling up of the last LNER big engines is pretty cool. I would buy one myself, or half of one, I can't afford a Hush Hush, W1, A2/2  and an A2/3 as well as building models. I would have snapped up an LNER Cock of the North (see below) in an instance. They are not making one, so tough. I also have the right to froth for instant gratification just like anybody else you know, maybe a Hush Hush for the Master Cutler. Yum yum.

 

Re Thompson Pacific's on the GC. There were three fast freights in the early morning from York bound for Woodford, all diagrammed for B16 locomotives. The 3.10 pm off Dringhouses was a typical example, arriving at Leicester's south goods loop just after 6.00 am. These were the trains worked on occasion by York A2's. I say A2's because as part of our research into LSGC, we had access to David Webb's notes in his spotting books. Proper notes, not just the crossing off of numbers. In the early fifties he recorded all of Yorks A2's, both Thompson and Peppercorn on these workings. His observations were backed up by the Railway observer (earlier I quoted the RCTS, by mistake, for some reason I keep saying RCTS when I mean RO.) Due to the early running of the services to Woodford, the locomotives were not often spotted. The likes of David Webb, having heard rumours of the engines, went out especially to catch them. There was no balanced workings off Woodford that would take the locomotives directly back to York. As a result, they would work up as far as Annesley on a verity of services. From here, they would return to York on a fast freight working later in the day.

 

It was on the return working from Woodford that the locomotives were most commonly spotted and reported in the Railway Observer. A couple of the early to mid-morning ordinary passenger train workings were used to return the locomotives, both B16 or A2 variants, north to Leicester or Nottingham. 60501, the loco that was photographed at Nottingham Victoria, ( I also have a copy of the photograph) was on a Northbound twenty odd carriage ECS working. As a contrast, 60503 was spotted heading north with a single brake van behind the tender. The 'prototype for everything' cliché springs to mind. Apparently, 60503 and 60501, pre 1952, are not being produced by Hornby. This is not a bad thing as the B16's were the typical motive power on these workings. The A2/3s seem to have displaced the A2/2s to some extent as back up motive power on the York Woodford freights in the early to mid fifties, probably because a larger number of these were then allocated to York. In the late fifties and sixties, B1's and York V2's  became the typical alternative motive power to the B16's on these duties. Perhaps the York V2's are more prominent in the record in later years, as they were more likely to be hijacked by the GC men and photographed on other workings. In contrast, the Thompson Pacific's were more likely to be sent on their merry way.

Edited by Headstock
clarify a point
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Duplicate post.

Edited by johndon

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46 minutes ago, Ray Flintoft said:

In case there are people wondering it was the IJN "Hiryu " of Pearl Harbour fame . She was finally sunk at the disastrous ( for the Japanese ) battle of Midway on 5/6.42 . The experiment with the bridge proved a failure & was not repeated .

                                                                         Ray .

 

Didn't the Akagi (also of Pearl Harbour and Midway fame) also have her island on the port side...

 

John

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1 hour ago, LNERandBR said:

 

 

A lot also depends on how a layout runs when the Exhibition Manager or Scout is viewing the layout. If it only runs well for 1 hour and that happens to be the hour that the manager is there then they'll invite it.

I know from personal experience that layouts always work best on Sunday afternoon and at their worst Saturday morning.

Quite often these days layouts are booked ‘not seen’ .This can be for a number of reasons including the layout is still on the drawing board! If a layout is of ‘good pedigree’ it’s likely to be booked before a wheel has turned. Layouts can been booked without being seen in the flesh, say from photos and video clips and edited to show the layout at its best. As the phrase goes ‘buyer beware’

Our exhibition, Barnsley, not a big one but we do try!

sorry I’ve edited your message  but I’m replying to this part in particular. Hope I haven’t abused any protocol.

Happy modelling

Eric

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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

With regards to my 'experience', Tim, I can only comment on what I feel are 'essentials' with reference to the 'successful' exhibition layouts I've been involved with.

 

1. They must be very robust in their construction - ie; when boxed-up for transportation, sections must be strong enough for a grown man (or men) to stand on!

 

2. Every board must have a mate to which it can be boxed together, so that the 'tops' face each other, are separated by substantial end boards and can be strongly bolted together. This protects any scenery and minimises the risk of transportation damage. Ideally, a scenic board will match with a fiddle yard board to minimise the depth of the pair. I've seen some layouts where no two boards are the same size, so successful transportation (without damage) is compromised. When adjacent boards are fixed together during setting up, the same (10mm) bolts must be used as those which secure the transportation end boards. These should pass through 11mm holes in the (metal) endplates, giving some adjustment. Speaking of adjustment, always use a spirit level when setting up and have plenty of pieces of packing. Layouts which employ disparate sizes of means of fixing themselves together are doomed at shows!

 

3. All track ends MUST be very securely-fixed. On Stoke Summit and Charwelton, the rail ends were soldered to substantial metal sprags, Araldited into the baseboards. Any track ends MUST be protected for transportation. 

 

4. Electrics must be robust and reliable. For the inter-connecting of boards, there must be several spare leads. 

 

5. Before any exhibition (even after attending dozens) a layout must be set up beforehand to be thoroughly-tested. 

 

6. Any new items of locos/rolling stock MUST be tested beforehand, and NOT run for the very first time at a show. 

 

7. In conjunction with 6, if any items of locos/rolling stock fails/derails/jerks/stutters/etc, during a show it must IMMEDIATELY be taken off and the fault investigated. Though just popping something back on is all right if it's caused by operator error, merely re-railing a dud is entirely unacceptable. If the fault can be cured at a show, all well and good, providing any future testing is NOT conducted when the show is still open. If testing during non-open hours proves successful, then an item can be placed back on the layout, but NOT until the public has gone. There is no exception to item 7. No matter who the builder is, nor his or her status in the hobby, if what they've built fails, it's OFF

 

8. No team should be allowed to operate a layout until EVERY member has had a full practice session beforehand. I've seen some layouts where complex controls are handed over to a guest operator (who has never operated it before), in the middle of a crowded show, and the result is chaos! There are exceptions which could be allowed - for instance, if it's the last half hour of a show, youngsters might have a try, but only under supervision. And, tangentially, guest stock might be allowed to run, but never during the show's busiest times. 

 

9. When setting up at a show (say, a Friday evening), if possible, a layout should be thoroughly tested to make sure no faults have occurred in transit. It should also be thoroughly tested on the Saturday morning, to identify if any faults have occurred overnight, due to changes in conditions/temperature/etc. So, no lying in bed! Track cleaning is also essential. As is hoovering. 

 

10 NEVER, NEVER, NEVER assume fishplates will conduct electricity! EVERY section of rail MUST have its own feed. 

 

11 All operators should be concentrating at all times, and not be indulging in idle chit-chat with each other. This doesn't preclude having fun, but I've seen too many layouts where NOTHING is happening and the operators are blissfully unaware and just merrily chatting among themselves. To answer any questions from the public, it's a good idea to have a member of the team outside the layout, who's not operating, to explain things. We are in the (paid for) entertainment business. 

 

12 if a fault does occur (and it will), don't wave arms and shout at each other. Be calm, apologise for the problem and fix it as quickly as possible. Occasionally, a major fault will occur (a point failure, for instance), and fixing it will take time. If this does happen, explain the problem to the public. Ironically, someone wielding a soldering iron can prove of interest! 

 

13. If any faults do occur at a show (and their effect can be minimised, if not completely fixed), then they MUST be noted and attended to as near as soon as possible after the show, and DEFINITELY before the next one. I was a guest operator (fully-trained!) on a layout where a V2 constantly failed and a point caused derailments. When I asked if that had happened at the last show, the answer was 'Yes'. And that's all! I declined the next invitation to operate it. 

 

14. It goes (almost without saying) that all track and all stock must be compatible, and, under NO circumstances should dead-frog points be employed. Neither should any stock with plastic wheels be used. 

 

15. As with the layout, all locos/stock should be examined before a show and cleaned/adjusted/oiled as appropriate.

 

16. Others are less-imperative. For instance, on the layouts in question, WMRC members built the locos and stock for them, not being RTR-dependent. 

 

No doubt there are other imperatives which I've missed, and I invite others to 'fill in the blanks' as it were. 

 

My apologies for 'shouting', but I see far too much in the way of poor running at shows these days.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Any new items of locos/rolling stock MUST be tested beforehand, and NOT run for the very first time at a show. 

 

 

10 NEVER, NEVER, NEVER assume fishplates will conduct electricity! EVERY section of rail MUST have its own feed. 

 

Who needs fishplates ?

 

 

12 if a fault does occur (and it will), don't wave arms and shout at each other. Be calm, apologise for the problem and fix it as quickly as possible. Occasionally, a major fault will occur (a point failure, for instance), and fixing it will take time. If this does happen, explain the problem to the public. Ironically, someone wielding a soldering iron can prove of interest! 

 

 

14. It goes (almost without saying) that all track and all stock must be compatible, and, under NO circumstances should dead-frog points be employed. Neither should any stock with plastic wheels be used. 

 

 

Some of the above happens now and again on my American O scale railroad - adds interest & realism (well that's my excuse) !!

 

Tony forgot No 17 - Check your detonators are in place !! (now this is OTT even for me).

 

 

Brit15

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3 hours ago, ardbealach said:

As a regular exhibitor, I cannot agree more with your list of items to be taken into account on exhibiting layouts, Tony.  I would add one other - that operators do need regular breaks.  Too many continuous hours operating can often lead to the brain not computing properly and silly mistakes happening  - and they seem to always happen at the busiest times of the day!

 

I intend to print off your posting - if I may - and let the other members of our team see it - sadly they are not all RMwebbers!   Your note says what a few of us have been saying on many occasions in the past.  (AM) 

  

'I intend to print off your posting - if I may - and let the other members of our team see it'

 

Please do. It's not just my list, but one developed over years of exhibiting. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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45 minutes ago, Headstock said:

 

Good evening Tony,

 

Tongue in cheek, me. Perish the thought.

 

As to unfair, I don't dig it baby, Hornby are a big rich powerful company with posh influential friends such as yourself. I'm big heap of not a lot in model railway land, I'm sure I scare them to death. Personally I think that Hornby's tooling up of the last LNER big engines is pretty cool. I would buy one myself, or half of one, I can't afford a Hush Hush, W1, A2/2  and an A2/3 as well as building models. I would have snapped up an LNER Cock of the North (see below) in an instance. They are not making one, so tough. I also have the right to froth for instant gratification just like anybody else you know, maybe a Hush Hush for the Master Cutler. Yum yum.

 

Re Thompson Pacific's on the GC. There were three fast freights in the early morning from York bound for Woodford, all diagrammed for B16 locomotives. The 3.10 pm off Dringhouses was a typical example, arriving at Leicester's south goods loop just after 6.00 am. These were the trains worked on occasion by York A2's. I say A2's because as part of our research into LSGC, we had access to David Webb's notes in his spotting books. Proper notes, not just the crossing off of numbers. In the early fifties he recorded all of Yorks A2's, both Thompson and Peppercorn on these workings. His observations were backed up by the Railway observer (earlier I quoted the RCTS, by mistake, for some reason I keep saying RCTS when I mean RO.) Due to the early running of the services to Woodford, the locomotives were not often spotted. The likes of David Webb, having heard rumours of the engines, went out especially to catch them. There was no balanced workings off Woodford that would take the locomotives directly back to York. As a result, they would work up as far as Annesley on a verity of services. From here, they would return to York on a fast freight working later in the day.

 

It was on the return working from Woodford that the locomotives were most commonly spotted and reported in the Railway Observer. A couple of the early to mid-morning ordinary passenger train workings were used to return the locomotives, both B16 or A2 variants, north to Leicester or Nottingham. 60501, the loco that was photographed at Nottingham Victoria, ( I also have a copy of the photograph) was on a Northbound twenty odd carriage ECS working. As a contrast, 60503 was spotted heading north with a single brake van behind the tender. The 'prototype for everything' cliché springs to mind. Apparently, 60503 and 60501, pre 1952, are not being produced by Hornby. This is not a bad thing as the B16's were the typical motive power on these workings. The A2/3s seem to have displaced the A2/2s to some extent as back up motive power on the York Woodford freights in the early to mid fifties, probably because a larger number of these were then allocated to York. In the late fifties and sixties, B1's and York V2's  became the typical alternative motive power to the B16's on these duties. Perhaps the York V2's are more prominent in the record in later years, as they were more likely to be hijacked by the GC men and photographed on other workings. In contrast, the Thompson Pacific's were more likely to be sent on their merry way.

'posh influential friends such as yourself.'

 

Really?

 

Thanks for the informative post, Andrew.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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Hope the above is taken a bit tongue in cheek. 

 

But to be positive - I have found the following on my O scale layout helps. Sharp curves and long trains - thats what I have & run.

 

Couplings

 

All freight cars are bogie cars with knuckle couplers, a mixture of old Atlas, Weaver and Kadees. Atlas are chunky & not scale but they work. Kadee - just NEVER had any problems whatsoever, so long as they are securely fitted at the correct height (important). The height is varied by shimming either the coupling (to lower) or the bogies (to raise). The three makes couple together but care has to be taken not to couple longer cars to shorter ones with different couplers, there can be trouble on sharp curves. of course the answer is to convert to Kadees, this is a long term project. The Weaver couplings are a little fragile and I have had quite a few break due to the weight of the train - answer  again is to convert to Kadee's - a five minute job (though not cheap). Some locos (Atlas SD45) are long and heavy, I file the coupler pockets to give a little more coupler swing.

 

Track - a few sections cause problems / derailments & uncouplings, due to level changes on curves - careful re alignment solves this and just a couple of sections (the hardest to get to of course) to do - a spring job. NEVER had a problem with my Peco points though a touch of servisol switch cleaner on the blades helps every now and then.

 

Electrics - No problems I use 5 amp lighting wire, most sections a few yards long, no trouble with fishplates conducting electricity (Peco bullhead & fishplates).

 

I wish I could say that I can couple any car to any other etc - but some are just NOT compatible however I try, turning one round or moving it in the consist usually sorts this out. I tend to run my trains as blocks of cars anyway so not a problem. One or two cars though are just bad news in the running department and are in the naughty box for attention. Perhaps I'll make one good un out of two bad uns !!

 

Here is my views on certain stock

 

Inter Mountain - scale kits and a pleasure to build, they run fine just a bit of extra weight required. 

 

Atlas (old 70's) decent stock with over scale plastic wheels and couplings. Not too bothered with the over scale wheels as they run well on my Peco track, I tend to run these together in rakes so fewer coupling problems.

 

Atlas (new) / present range Expensive (ish), scale metal wheels & couplings - not as good as kadee though - they all run very well though and look a million dollars !!.

 

Weaver - A firm recently finished trading. Good quality easy build kits let down by their poor couplings (easily changed to Kadees). Plastic scale wheels (nylon?) - free running with no problems.

 

Quite a few of my cars have metal wheels (I wish they all had) - and some have sprung trucks (bogies) - not really necessary but they glide over the tracks with grace and a wonderful clickety clack noise !!.

 

Locos - a varied selection and most have Kadees (or will have soon). All (old and new Atlas, Weaver, Rivarossi) have no problems with Peco bullhead track & points.

 

Track Cleaning - I don't - just run trains alot although I find occasionally a bit of gunge builds up at pointwork frogs / blades - easily seen and wiped off with a damp (WD40) rag.

A touch of servisol switch cleaner very occasionally onto the loco wheels / pick ups works wonders.

 

I wouldn't like to run my stuff at shows though - not that it's unreliable - it's just sometimes too realistic, like the videos above !!

 

Brit15

 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

'posh influential friends such as yourself.'

 

Really?

 

Thanks for the informative post, Andrew.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

A little extra information with tongue firmly in gob. It wasn't uncommon for a B16s to be nabbed on route to Annesley to work a round trip of ordinary passenger train services between Nottingham and Leicester. There was even a chance of passing an ex GWR Hall working on the same services. Once at Annesley, they could even end up working a runner back to Woodford, returning on the 'Vegi', the fast freight from Southampton docks departing Woodford at 6.40 pm. This service would pull into the North loop at Leicester to drop off and pick up wagons and  also to allow the Northbound Master Cutler to overtake it.

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8 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

SNIP

 

Mo and I had a great time at the CMRA Show at Stevenage over the weekend. It really was an excellent event. All together, we made £66.00 for CRUK (a very good start to the year) through my fixing locos and most-generous donations (many thanks, Bill). I was able to repair/fix everything brought to me, apart from a Bachmann DCC-fitted Brush Type 4. Having finally got inside it, all I found was a serpent's nest of wires, none of which made sense. I did get its lights working, though - then gave it back! 

 

143011094_mystand.jpg.35472b2571a24b9077755a6839c45786.jpg

 

This was my stand. Does its number suggest anything?

 

Right away I remembered -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ha-ZsGxCb8

 

Just North of Santa Barbara, the East Coast main line, originally SP now UP, runs between the highway and the beach for about 20 miles before the highway swings away.

 

Andy

 

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4 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

With regards to my 'experience', Tim, I can only comment on what I feel are 'essentials' with reference to the 'successful' exhibition layouts I've been involved with.

 

1. They must be very robust in their construction - ie; when boxed-up for transportation, sections must be strong enough for a grown man (or men) to stand on!

 

2. Every board must have a mate to which it can be boxed together, so that the 'tops' face each other, are separated by substantial end boards and can be strongly bolted together. This protects any scenery and minimises the risk of transportation damage. Ideally, a scenic board will match with a fiddle yard board to minimise the depth of the pair. I've seen some layouts where no two boards are the same size, so successful transportation (without damage) is compromised. When adjacent boards are fixed together during setting up, the same (10mm) bolts must be used as those which secure the transportation end boards. These should pass through 11mm holes in the (metal) endplates, giving some adjustment. Speaking of adjustment, always use a spirit level when setting up and have plenty of pieces of packing. Layouts which employ disparate sizes of means of fixing themselves together are doomed at shows!

 

3. All track ends MUST be very securely-fixed. On Stoke Summit and Charwelton, the rail ends were soldered to substantial metal sprags, Araldited into the baseboards. Any track ends MUST be protected for transportation. 

 

4. Electrics must be robust and reliable. For the inter-connecting of boards, there must be several spare leads. 

 

5. Before any exhibition (even after attending dozens) a layout must be set up beforehand to be thoroughly-tested. 

 

6. Any new items of locos/rolling stock MUST be tested beforehand, and NOT run for the very first time at a show. 

 

7. In conjunction with 6, if any items of locos/rolling stock fails/derails/jerks/stutters/etc, during a show it must IMMEDIATELY be taken off and the fault investigated. Though just popping something back on is all right if it's caused by operator error, merely re-railing a dud is entirely unacceptable. If the fault can be cured at a show, all well and good, providing any future testing is NOT conducted when the show is still open. If testing during non-open hours proves successful, then an item can be placed back on the layout, but NOT until the public has gone. There is no exception to item 7. No matter who the builder is, nor his or her status in the hobby, if what they've built fails, it's OFF

 

8. No team should be allowed to operate a layout until EVERY member has had a full practice session beforehand. I've seen some layouts where complex controls are handed over to a guest operator (who has never operated it before), in the middle of a crowded show, and the result is chaos! There are exceptions which could be allowed - for instance, if it's the last half hour of a show, youngsters might have a try, but only under supervision. And, tangentially, guest stock might be allowed to run, but never during the show's busiest times. 

 

9. When setting up at a show (say, a Friday evening), if possible, a layout should be thoroughly tested to make sure no faults have occurred in transit. It should also be thoroughly tested on the Saturday morning, to identify if any faults have occurred overnight, due to changes in conditions/temperature/etc. So, no lying in bed! Track cleaning is also essential. As is hoovering. 

 

10 NEVER, NEVER, NEVER assume fishplates will conduct electricity! EVERY section of rail MUST have its own feed. 

 

11 All operators should be concentrating at all times, and not be indulging in idle chit-chat with each other. This doesn't preclude having fun, but I've seen too many layouts where NOTHING is happening and the operators are blissfully unaware and just merrily chatting among themselves. To answer any questions from the public, it's a good idea to have a member of the team outside the layout, who's not operating, to explain things. We are in the (paid for) entertainment business. 

 

12 if a fault does occur (and it will), don't wave arms and shout at each other. Be calm, apologise for the problem and fix it as quickly as possible. Occasionally, a major fault will occur (a point failure, for instance), and fixing it will take time. If this does happen, explain the problem to the public. Ironically, someone wielding a soldering iron can prove of interest! 

 

13. If any faults do occur at a show (and their effect can be minimised, if not completely fixed), then they MUST be noted and attended to as near as soon as possible after the show, and DEFINITELY before the next one. I was a guest operator (fully-trained!) on a layout where a V2 constantly failed and a point caused derailments. When I asked if that had happened at the last show, the answer was 'Yes'. And that's all! I declined the next invitation to operate it. 

 

14. It goes (almost without saying) that all track and all stock must be compatible, and, under NO circumstances should dead-frog points be employed. Neither should any stock with plastic wheels be used. 

 

15. As with the layout, all locos/stock should be examined before a show and cleaned/adjusted/oiled as appropriate.

 

16. Others are less-imperative. For instance, on the layouts in question, WMRC members built the locos and stock for them, not being RTR-dependent. 

 

No doubt there are other imperatives which I've missed, and I invite others to 'fill in the blanks' as it were. 

 

My apologies for 'shouting', but I see far too much in the way of poor running at shows these days.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

Tony,

 

I think you have just described London Road and how we usually managed to run it. Much of what we did was based upon what John Redrup of London Road Models had found out when he and the other two original builders of the terminus version of the layout started displaying it in the late 1980s.

 

Some exceptions include;

 

1. I didn't let anybody stand on it, either when set up or in "transport" mode with the baseboards bolted together face to face.

 

2. The baseboards were aligned with pattern makers dowels so didn't need the facility for adjustment.

 

8. Because my friends who operated the layout came from far and wide , they couldn't always get the the pre-exhibition set up events. These were held in a local village hall, usually over Friday to Sunday (at a hire cost of £100). In the first photo, John Redrup is getting out his stock to run, while Paul Cram gets re-acquainted with one of the fiddle yards. We hadn't set up the lighting gantry or the pelmets at point. Getting the right operators can be a problem. I have had to disengage a couple of the years, while some others need careful management.

639152920_Testsession1.jpg.d57d5765c2894544ceb6dbff79ca9fd7.jpg

 

On a couple of occasions we did have novice guest operators, as the photo at the NEC in 2016 shows.

959383584_Newoptraining2.jpg.cf36a7b2067f4ff6ba7da936162b0625.jpg

 

9. Agree entirely. I always aimed to have London Road set up and tested - even if all the stock hadn't been put out - by eight o'clock on the evening before the show at the latest. Having started about 12 hours before that to pick up the hire van means it had already been a long day but I always wanted to be satisfied that there wouldn't be any issues when the show opened. We usually started operating about 30 minutes before the show started so any last minute issues became apparent and the operators were in the swing of things.

 

I would add - have a checklist for everything you need to take - and go through it as the very last thing you do before you set off! Fortunately we never left anything behind, although I did forget to pack a hairbrush in my overnight bag on one occasion. As an idea of how much "stuff" was involved, this not very good photo shows what it looked like when packed in a SWB Transit. I later changed over the type of stock boxes I used from the one shown at the back of the van when the amount of stock outgrew the two I had of that type.

 

 

365453753_SWBtransitloaded.jpg.b20552eb2299d0026d9021dfeb4d9292.jpg

 

The problems we had over the years tended to revolve around aging dropper to rail connections, which never manifested themselves before play opened, but at some time over the weekend. Transporting the layout in the back of a Transit obviously exacerbated this problem and in later years I used rolled up car rugs to provide shock absorbing "sausages" under the baseboards. Derailments were pretty infrequent and usually stock related, so the policy of "take it off straight away" is a must. I usually spent no time operating, but was on hand to fix problems, clean stock, etc. and answer any questions about the layout. Clean track, loco wheels,  properly adjusted pick ups and AJ couplings were all a must to get the best running. I found that steel tyres with small brass pickup pads on phosphor bronze strip pickups worked best.

 

The subject of exhibition invitations is an interesting one. Most came from the scale gauge Society events or show managers I had got to know as modellers through the years. Very few unsolicited ones came my way, including some from small clubs with one day shows where it wasn't really economic for them and so it didn't happen. Even after London Road appeared in MRJ and RM in late 2018, there was a deathly silence. 

 

Jol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jol Wilkinson
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Thanks very much for the thorough answer Jol ... very helpful and informative.

 

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This is a video showing what not to do when you move your uncoupled loco away from its passenger train. Should you ever see this replicated on a layout then at least you can say there is almost certainly a prototype for everything.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

With regards to my 'experience', Tim, I can only comment on what I feel are 'essentials' with reference to the 'successful' exhibition layouts I've been involved with.

 

No doubt there are other imperatives which I've missed, and I invite others to 'fill in the blanks' as it were. 

 

I see far too much in the way of poor running at shows these days.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

 

 

HI Tony,

I agree with you entirely although some in your list are not always possible in reality.  I am thinking of your suggestion of the need to set the layout up and test it prior to going to the next exhibition.  At Shipley (MRS) the same floor space is needed for three layouts.  Two of our exhibition layouts  (LSGC and Hungerford) and our new exhibition layout Clayton (still under construction).  As a result we only erect an exhibition layout between exhibitions if there has been a problem at the previous exhibition that we need to investigate before remedial action can be taken.  

 

Another cause of compromised running at exhibitions not yet mentioned are poorly designed control panels.  These 'encourage' the operator to make errors whereby a train takes the wrong route or stops on a dead section, etc.  The problem gets worse at the end of the day when the operators are tired and therefore more prone to making mistakes.  This can be just as frustrating for the operator as for the viewing public.  In contrast a well designed control panel not only keeps the trains running smoothly but also helps to keep the operators fresh and relaxed.

 

Regards,

 

Frank.

 

 

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There was a fair bit of poor running in evidence at Stevenage, more than I recall at any other show, or at least there was when I was watching trains. One large layout was plagued with problems. It was such an interesting model I had fully expected to spend an hour or even two in front of it. Even though I returned several times through Sunday it seemed as if never a minute went buy without something going wrong. I don't know if this is normal for this layout but it was a great shame and I expect the operators were disappointed as well.

Perhaps ironically, given that smaller scales are sometimes considered to be a bit less reliable, two layouts which did work faultlessly during the time I was watching them were both N gauge – Brinklow and another, the name of which escapes me, but which featured very nice looking FiNetrack with hand built points. The locomotives had sound on board but they were turned down very low, which was actually quite effective and not at all obtrusive. The layout ran very well.

On one 4mm layout I witnessed a member of the team have an all too public meltdown at continued electrical problems and on yet another a locomotive set off without it's tender drawbar connected so the engine was reduced to tugging its tender and train behind it on an all too long leash of electrical  pick-up wires. What was perhaps more amazing was that none of the operators appeared to notice.

As always it was a pleasure to meet with Tony and Mo and also to meet Geoff Haynes for the first time.

Edited by Anglian

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5 hours ago, Kevin Roche said:

The Anglo Scottish Cement Trains on The ECML commenced in August 1960 with the introduction of The Purfleet to Cambuslang / Leith Service. Initially these were loaded at just 15 Presflos and were hauled by 9F’s and V2’s. This train grew progressively in length until August 1961 when a new Anglo Scottish Service commenced between Cliffe and Uddingston loaded to 28 Cemflos. 9F’s were initially the mainstay until the introduction in December 1961 of  2 Class 33 diesels on the working, the second unit being provided because of the high rate of failure on these locomotives at the time.

However I have been unable to identify any photos or detailed observations of the use of A2/3 Pacifics on The Cement Trains and wonder if the use of The New England A2/3 was just a one off trial. It would be interesting to discover which locomotive was used on the initial trial.

Looks to be 28 Cemflos or thereabouts in this train:

48706332371_e43efb4420_c.jpg92039_nrStevenage by Robert Carroll, on Flickr

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49 minutes ago, Anglian said:

Brinklow and another, the name of which escapes me, but which featured very nice looking FiNetrack with hand built points. The locomotives had sound on board but they were turned down very low, which was actually quite effective and not at all obtrusive. The layout ran very well.

 

That sounds like 'Little Salkeld' by Paul Moss. It was opposite Hobby Holidays stand in the same hall as Tony.

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In Tony's list of exhibition operating, I would agree with all but point 8.

 

Other than that, I like to think that is how I would do things unless major problems prevented me. There has been the odd show where transport or other problems meant setting up on the morning of a show, which I always hated doing. I needed to know that all was well before I left the layout on the Friday night and would never truly relax and start enjoying myself until we had proved that it still worked on the Saturday morning, perhaps running through a sequence fully. 

 

One of the great joys in exhibiting, especially my recent experiences with Leighton Buzzard, have involved seeing somebody who is clearly showing an interest in how the layout works and giving them the opportunity to have a go. Under close supervision of course and if any sign of not wanting to run it properly is spotted, they are off straight away.

 

Apart from anything else, other viewers seemed to enjoy the explanations of what was happening and why as the new operator worked under full instruction. The pleasure and joy that it gave others was many times over worth the risk of an inexperienced operator making a mistake.

 

So if I ever exhibit a layout again, I won't be banishing any guest operators. If it encourages a newcomer to the hobby by making their visit to a show a bit more memorable, it is worthwhile.

 

If we could do it on a terminus/shunting layout, how much easier should it be on a "turn controller on/turn controller off" roundy roundy?   

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12 hours ago, robertcwp said:

Looks to be 28 Cemflos or thereabouts in this train:

48706332371_e43efb4420_c.jpg92039_nrStevenage by Robert Carroll, on Flickr

In Townsend's  East Coast Pacifics at Work , the A2/3 working is mentioned , the way the running  is worded it may have been a one off trial run ., no other details theron.

Edited by micklner
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