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.
Well, that event‘s been and gone. Thankfully, it appears to have been a huge success. Here’s what was learned on the day:
- 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
- A line token, or warrant, makes control easier for those operators that don’t get the whole single track main line concept
- A Work In Progress is well received in an exhibition environment, if it’s quite apparent what the end result is supposed to be
- 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
- 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!
- feeder droppers added to two yard lengths of Micro Engineering Code 83 0n30 flexible track
- said track pinned to the boards and soldered to the Gapmaster GM006 units used as end ties
- droppers on the straight boards soldered to the slug tape on the underside
- alignment tested by bolting boards together in various orders and running a skeleton log car
Lots of chatting, drinking of tea and a bit of driving trains. I learned a great deal in readiness for building my own modules to Frem0n30 standards. No, the two standards are not immediately compatible, differing in both height and interface but, where there’s a will or a need …
Doodlebug 49 managed a full circuit of the layout, including the fiddle yard, with it’s new trailer. The journey highlighted the need for the trailing truck on the Doodlebug to be wired in as well, increasing the electrical pickup.
In the meantime, please enjoy of two galleries below, one of the modules assembled and the other of the overall view of the hall and those present. A fantastic day out that was over way to soon.
Alan has no exhibition experience or indeed 0n30 pedigree but has been an active member of the 7mm NGA for twenty years, and its Surrey Area Group, as well as being a regular operator on the Rio Florida Logging Co.
Alan first floated the idea of collaborating on a modular layout some years ago and is one half of the driving force behind Frem0n30 in Surrey.
The history and construction of his modules are shown on his blog.
Kathy should be regarded as the instigator of Frem0n30 in the United Kingdom, compiling and publishing a standards document way back in January 2012.
As a long-time member of the NMRA, and also having been an officer of same, she’s no stranger to modular model railways or standards.
She is a very accomplished modeller in a variety of scales and genres. You can see examples of Kathy’s modelling on her modelling blog.