Although it was a long walk, this years Model Railway Exhibition at Preston College was definitely worth it, with all kinds of talented creations being put on display and operated for all to enjoy!
I wasn’t able to film all the exhibits, but the one’s I did film I shall give a brief overview below in order of appearance:
Haymarket Cross: A depiction of an early 1960’s Eastern Region depot, complete with previous LNER steam designs such as Gresley A4’s, Peppercorn A1’s, Riddles War Department engines and Thompson K4’s. The route also included many diesel examples such as Class 25’s, Class 55’s and Class 20’s.
Florinstone: A 1950’s depiction of a fictional halt on the late Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway, adorned in the styling of the Southern Railway and operated with Southern Railway Bullied Pacifics and BR Standard 9F’s.
Great Endon: A modern image depiction of an urban station and railyard in the mid to late 2000’s, with many forms of modern stock including Class 60’s, a converted Class 960, a Class 220 Voyager and rebuilt Peppercorn A1 60163 ‘Tornado’.
Rumbling Bridge: An example of a station on the Scottish Region during the late 1950’s, with trains operated by ex-LNER locomotives such as the Thompson K1, but also with diesel additions in the form of an AC Railbus.
Gresten: Set in rural Austria, this route is a fine replication of the OBB Narrow-Guage railways, using locomotives such as the OBB 2095 class and the VL14. The route was also cleverly complete with operational crossing gates that were controlled by the operator, but added greatly to the effect. Another interesting addition was the use of narrow gauge flatcars that carry standard gauge stock on top, which are used in reality by OBB.
Copenhagen Fields: One of my favorites for the day, this is a depiction of the northern approaches to London’s Kings Cross station prior to World War II, with a mixture of both LNER expresses and local services on the East Coast Mainline, but also with freight trains on the North London Line, Underground Trains and a tram trundling up and down the high street. The route however is far from completion, but in its current state it truly is a fantastic sight.
Scorbiton: Set in the mid-1980’s, this route was incredibly well detailed, with some fantastic scenery including a canal with locks and a fully detailed town with people and traffic, and the trivial appearance of a British Leyland Austin Princess for additional authenticity. But on the railway front, the stock used was a call back to the great days of British diesels, with Class 37’s, Class 47’s, Class 56’s, Class 31’s and Class 20’s all present and correct, including an appearance by LMS Stanier Princess Royal Class 6203 ‘Princess Margaret Rose’.
Loch Oran: Set on the West Highland Line, Loch Oran shows a twisting winding single-track railway that runs through the Highlands of Scotland in the modern era, with a variety of modern locomotives and stock in use, including Class 156’s, Class 67’s, Class 170’s, Class 66’s and an LNER K4. Even Nessie makes an appearance!
Helm: Set in the industrial United States, Helm is a small but highly detailed route with a locomotive depot and wagon repair works. For such a small layout, it does have a surprising amount of activity, with locomotives such as the GP38 and the SD40-2 all milling about.
Loch Dour: Once again set in the Scottish Highlands, this route shows a small settlement on the railway during the 1970’s, when the plucky BRCW Type 2’s, better known as the Class 27, ruled both passenger and freight services in this part of the world. The locomotives come complete with very good DCC sound effects, to add to the effect of a loud and noisy Sulzer 6LDA28-B echoing through the valleys.