Spring Module Meeting 2018

Following a chat among module owners in October last year, one of the comments made was that we don’t have any module meetings other than at exhibitions and sometimes it’d be nice to just play trains. So we came to an agreement with the Seaboard Southern club, as their secretary is also a member, to rent their club room a few times a year.

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Seaboard Southern Annual Exhibition 2017

On Saturday 30th September, the members of the Surrey & Sussex Black Sheep set up their largest modular layout to date, some 66′ or 20m around four sides of a room at the annual Seaboard Southern exhibition.

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Seaboard Southern Annual Exhibition 2016

A train passes through Dampier MineSaturday saw six module owners and three additional engine drivers arrive at the annual Seaboard Southern exhibition to which we’d been invited. By the skin of our teeth, due to some gremlins, we had erected and tested more than 60′ of modules, our longest layout to date.

Operating was on a warrant basis, with two in operation, one each way between the fiddle yards and the central passing module. There were also sidings to shunt in each direction, adding to the operational interest. With a crew of eight, we were split into teams of four and operated an hour on with an hour’s rest. That made the day go very quickly.

A passenger train arrives at Stenning CreekStriking down was a lot quicker, with everything boxed up and ready to load within 45 minutes of closing time. Lots of things were learned, experiences gained, which means that the next outing will be even better than this.

Modular narrow gauge railway modelling is some much more fun than having a single layout, not least because it doesn’t have to be the same each time. It’s also great to be able to exhibit works in progress, so long as they are making progress.

We’re waiting for confirmation of the date for this event next year, when we’ll hopefully be doing it all again, bigger and better.

Seaboard Southern Annual Exhibition 2015

Steve Cobb, Alan and Erik Rogers, Brian Daly, Tim Neale, Ian Lampkin & Mike Peace
Steve Cobb, Alan and Erik Rogers, Brian Daly, Tim Neale, Ian Lampkin & Mike Peace

Well, that event‘s been and gone. Thankfully, it appears to have been a huge success. Here’s what was learned on the day:

  1. It is possible to set up 23′ of modular model railway that’s never been together before in under two hours, including consumption of bacon butty and coffee
  2. A line token, or warrant, makes control easier for those operators that don’t get the whole single track main line concept
  3. A Work In Progress is well received in an exhibition environment, if it’s quite apparent what the end result is supposed to be
  4. It is actually possible to have too many trains, at least for the immediate occasion. One per fiddle yard road plus a spare would have sufficed
  5. We’re not the only nutters who are inspired, interested or intrigued by this project. At least three people loosely attached to the group have committed and we took enquiries from visitors too

Feedback from the show organisers has been positive too, which might result in a repeat invitation for next year. That’ll mean more modules and more progress on existing modules will be required!

Brian Daly

imageBrian is already well-known for his 0n30 layouts, having exhibited several at many different shows in this country and across Europe.

Brian is one of the driving forces behind the current wave of Frem0n30, at least in Surrey and adjacent counties.

He is currently President of the Rio Florida Logging Company, and our expert of DCC.

You can see some of Brian’s posts from his blog here.