Getting right into it we have the N Scale Modular layout from the Dutch group PH & LF Railroad Association. This impressive layout was brought over from Holland for the show and was made up of modules from different groups. At each end was a return loop, one of which was supplied by the host club, the Black Diamonds. The loop shown below was built by the Starmans Brothers.
The Starmans brothers are big Pennsylvania Railroad fans and have a huge variety of Pennsy rolling stock and locomotives.
Leaving the loop, the line enters a single track main line and passes through a town scene which is still under construction.
The line then enters my favorite section of the layout which was built by Wim and Susan Kieskamp.
This scene is beautifully modeled and the freight car ferry terminal was wonderful.
Leaving this scene the main line turns into a traditional N track module layout with the three main lines.
Again the details were beautifully done; these pictures simply don’t do them justice.
A Baltimore & Ohio EM1 rolls through with a long freight drag.
These modules are mostly industrial, giving plenty of switching around the 3 main lines.
The only station area is situated in the shadow of office buildings, above a freeway, giving the feel of a big city station.
Leaving the industrial section the main lines pass a large container and intermodal yard.
A Pennsy K4 heads a fast freight past the terminal.
This K4 is one of Bachmann’s new models with sound and below is a short video of it running past the roundhouse.
The next layout is a modular HOn3 layout which depicted logging and narrow gauge railroading through the high mountains.
These locomotives are wonderful machines and come with sound as well as fantastically smooth motion. Below is a short video of two running on the layout.
The final layout, not including our own that is, was a HO layout which I didn’t get a lot of time to visit. So apologies to the owners and to you for not having many photos. However I did pop over as they were setting up and they had a huge EMD DDA40X sat outside the engine shed purring with its onboard sound chip.
Behind the shed was a turntable and loco staging area which I am sure later was full of motive power.
I also managed to grab a quick video.
So that brings us to my club’s layout ‘Solent Summit’. If you’ve been following me for a while you may have already seen photos of this layout on my blog and may even be familiar with it. However we now have several new modules and this show was the first time we had erected them all; except for one. So even if you have seen it before here is a video I took to give you an overview of all our modules, new and old, as we were getting ready on Sunday morning.
Throughout the weekend we ran a variety of equipment; Solent Summit is a main line for all railroads. Below we have a D&RGW L-131 leaving Solent Summit on a coal drag. This was converted from a Bachmann EM1.
A DD35 sits in the team track at Solent Summit awaiting its next job where big power is needed over the summit.
A Union Pacific ‘earthworm’ awaits departures from New Mills halt. The water column to the right is soon to be a thing of the past as this new breed of motive power evolves.
And to power these new locomotives the need for oil continues to grow; luckily this guy has found oil near the railroad.
The CSK and a relic from the former Monon railroad wait in Solent Summit for an oncoming train.
A Virginia Railway Express bi-level Commuter train sits in Solent Summit as a local freight trundles past.
Over at the sawmill the switcher is bringing more log cuts in from the woods on skeleton cars.
As well as boxcars of timber products, saw dust is collected and shipped away in the large gondolas by the Burlington Northern railroad.
UPs SD40-2 power moves coal down the main line.
Over at ‘Priddy’s Yard’ a long mixed manifest rolls by as the local steam switcher awaits its next job.
The mixed manifest was headed by an A-B set of Alco FA units and an EMD DD35 giving the extra boost.
Although the big passenger trains don’t stop at New Mills halt the workers all arrive on the local stopper.
The factory has borrowed a 44 tonner switcher from the Rio Grande.
The 2-8-0 Consolidation has been fitted with sound. Here’s a short video of it leaving New Mills.
And, as you may have seen from my previous posts, I have been getting my new modules ready for this show; New Mills is one of them and my trestle over the Warsash River is the other. The module is called ‘Warsash Wye’.
A mighty UP Challenger heading the Portland Rose crosses the trestle.
It’s the end of the summer and the Warsash River has all but dried up.
Later in the day a trio of Alco FA’s from the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway trundle across.
Closely followed by the Northern Pacific’s North Coast Limited Vista Dome headed by a large 4-8-4. I guess the EMD F3s are in the shop.
With winter approaching the snow plows are moving out to key locations anticipating the big drifts of snow.
The line to the left in the photo below runs out of the module though the mountain, splitting the main line. This gives the module its name, the ‘Warsash Wye’.
Back in Solent Summit the North Coast Limited Vista Dome takes on passengers as a Burlington Northern ore train passes
UP excursion train tenders await the next steam special heading over the Summit.
The snow plow has arrived in Solent Summit where it will wait untill needed.
The UP always has big power over Solent Summit and here is a video of three DDA40Xs and a DD35 puling a long line of boxcars.
The Amtrak ‘Texas Eagle’ sits in Solent Summit.
The Summit allows trackage rights to all sorts of railroads; here is a video of the Canadian Pacific running over the Warsash Wye trestle.
A pair of Rio Grande GP60s head a mixed freight out of town.
A fun side to the convention is when we run trains at night, which gives a whole new aspect to the layout. Below is a video of the Amtrak ‘Texas Eagle crossing the Warsash Wye trestle at dusk.
‘Solent Summit’ is great fun to operate but it could not be done without the team, and here they are. From left to right, Ted, Morgan, Bob, myself, Chris & Chris.
And that wraps up my review of the NMRA BR 2015 Convention. I’d like to say a big thank you to the Black Diamonds for putting on a great weekend and I’m looking forward to the 2016 NMRA BR Convention which will be hosted by The Thamesiders on Friday 28th to Sunday 30th October 2016 at the The Best Western Plus Manor Hotel, Meriden, England. Here’s a link to next year’s convention, hope to see you there.