Sunday, 20 January 2013

LEGO Railway at the Leamington & Warwick Show...

Hi all. This weekend, as a change, we were booked as exhibitors at the 38th Leamington & Warwick Model Railway Exhibition, held in Stoneleigh Park's Hall No2. Though we had been booked for the show for a good few months, it was still a bit touch & go whether we would make it due to the heavy snow that came on Friday afternoon. Heading down the A46 in the fully loaded Saxo, great care was taken not to travel too fast due to the poor conditions. We managed to get to Stoneleigh OK and slid easily onto the site. The light was already long gone as we pulled up at the loading bay for Hall 2 at about 6:15pm. The 12ft x 4ft layout was then unloaded and, when all of the stuff was at our stand, construction began. The layout had never been exhibited in a size as big as this before and so building it up took a little longer than normal. The three green baseboards were first laid out and pushed together, before the countless pieces of LEGO track were laid on top...
Though some layouts and traders had agreed to come on Saturday morning instead, or indeed cancelled completely, there were still a dozen or so stands setting up on Friday night. We took our time and the LEGO railway gradually left its boxes and started to occupy its new formation. I still had one more of the Car Flat rake of wagons to build and I bet we were definately the only layout still building rolling stock the night before!...
We left Stoneleigh at about 8:30pm, with the layout being covered by its sheeting with only a few more jobs left to complete before it was operational. Saturday morning soon dawned and we were back on the roads, which were much improved than on the night before. The doors opened to the public at 10am and thus the railway was operational by 9:45am as we always leave good time for us to get everything warmed up and to do the final checks. Though the LEGO railway is, in a sense, a large collection of toy trains, we still like to maintain a professional outlook and want everything to run as smoothly as it can. As long as the three trains that are running at any one time are travelling at a 'normal' pace and move smoothly without power losses or dead spots, we are happy. We have a total of 8 LEGO locomotives on the line, 6 of which will have motors fitted at any one time. (The motors are easily switched between engines). Saturday went well, though the visitor numbers were apparently down on previous years due to the snow. Importantly, the LEGO railway gained alot of interest and we were kept entertained for some of the day by Eddie Jones. Sunday was alot busier and we were asked many questions and alot of photographs were taken of the layout by both ourselves and the visitors. I have included a few of the pictures that I took during the day in this post. Below, loco No8: the red diesel shunter: awaits departure from the half-way loop on No1 Track with a passenger...
The Santa Fe Super Chief diesel locomotive was popular as usual, towing the two Metroliner Club Cars and the Santa Fe Observation coach. The loco is spotted below and is, I feel, one of the better models to come out of LEGO's 9V range...
Though the layout is essentially a collection of the 9V range that was discontinued by LEGO in early 2007, we have included a few models which come from the more recent offerings. The station spotted below, on the branch line, is a relatively recent model that I purchased brand new, as are the three car flats that we see behind Loco No1 here...
An ever popular model that LEGO still produces in some shape or form is the Harry Potter "Hogwarts Express". The red locomotive and tender is coupled with the included passenger coach as well as one of our red Caboose's...just to match the livery. The loco is seen rounding the back of the Dustbin Lorry model on No3 Track...
Another new addition for this show was the LEGO level crossing which I picked up on Ebay just before Christmas. The level crossing range has been updated through the years but this one is one of the 9V originals, dated 1991. The Super Chief model passes over the crossing as the crossing keeper looks on, below...
The entire 12ft x 4ft layout...
Finally, I have one last shot from the weekend in terms of a video clip. This quick shot shows Nos1 & 3 tracks in action on Sunday...

Thanks for reading folks. It was a very enjoyable weekend at Stoneleigh and we have been invited back again next year. It was a nice change to be out with the LEGO again. Our next shows:
  • February 16th - G Scale Society Exhibition - Hobs Moat - Solihull
  • September 15th - Hinckley Model Railway Show
  • November 23rd/24th - Warley National Model Railway Exhibition
Thank you. Sam.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam, The Lego railway is looking good! In fact in it's largest ever guise I think it looks the best I've seen on your blog posts, as you can run longer trains more easily. I notice that you've got quite a lot of venues lined up for it this year. If you want to borrow the Lego Snowdon Mountain Rack Loco again to pose as a "load", just let me know, Kind regards, Emma-claire.