This coming weekend, 13/14th February, I will be assisting fellow High Wycombe and District MRS members Alan and Simon Paley with their delightful Pre-Grouping Midland and London North Western Railway layout Loughborough Road at the Festival of British Model Railways organised by Warners (the publishers of BRM magazine and also owners of RMweb). The show, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is being held at Doncaster Exhibition Centre, The Racecourse, Doncaster, DN2 6BB. Loughborough Road will be joining 30 or other layouts in a variety of scales, gauges and genres.
Alan’s Loughborough Road layout, as I have mentioned on this blog before, is a fictitious location but is based on the premise of the main road running south from Nottingham through West Bridgford to Loughborough. The Midland Railway line linking Kettering/Melton Mowbray/Nottingham runs through West Bridgeford and slightly further East was the London North Western and Great Northern Joint Railway line built to link Market Harborough & Peterborough/Melton Mowbray/Nottingham. There is no evidence that any station was proposed for West Bridgeford but it is not entirely impossible that the good citizens of West Bridgford – in 1900 a thriving and growing suburb – might have ambitiously established a terminus for the Midland Railway with LNWR running powers and all linked into a growing Nottingham suburban railway network.
The layout featured in the July 2015 issue of British Railways Modelling magazine.
It is the first outing of the layout in its slightly longer form, Alan has been beavering away replacing the short centre board with a longer one to enable more sweeping trackwork and the addition of a cattle dock to further increase the operational interest.
I always enjoy assisting Alan and Simon operating Loughborough Road, and additional operator ‘Arduino’ Roger, with its pre-grouping splendour. I can usually be found sat out the front happily shunting the yard and trying to keep up with the running sequence; which I assume has had to change slightly due to the extension to the layout and hopefully correcting the few slight anomalies that were in the old sequence to keep me on my toes. If you are planning to come along to the show, please do say hello. I was last at this show with Fisherton Sarum back in 2012 and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.