Railex is now over and done and for the first time ever I’ve actually seen the layout “fully dressed” for exhibition.

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Its fair to say I’m more than pleased with the lighting rig, and it attracted numerous comments about how I’d managed to suspend it over the corner without recourse to putting in a support pole in the corner which would obstruct the open view. The asnwer how can be seen in the photo below. The lighting support arm is a fairly substantially engineered T girder fabricated out of 2 x 1 planed timber and a fairly hefty ply support plate either side. When we first put it up two weeks ago, we were concerned that the foot of the pylon was being pulled out by the downward force fro the lighting pelmets, even though they are pretty light. A temporary expedient was to cable tie the pylon to the support leg at the point but because its a single bracing leg and not part of the robust baseboard support legs, a permanent solution was put in place by making a strut stretching from the pylon to the very sturdy legs under that corner, which are never going to move! Result is a strong structure and an unimpeded view of the layout.

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As for the show itself, what can one say, its Railex, a show which has built an enviable reputation as one, if not the best in the country. All killer no filler they say, and it’s right. So it was pretty daunting to be exhibiting here for North B’s first show, but I neednt have worried, it performed impeccably with no real gremlins. As always there’s a few fine tuning tweeks need doing which you only really find out about under exhibition conditions but thankfully nothing major, although there is I suppose what could be called a “scenic” addition to be made by the next show.

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We had a great weekend, not only a good show to be at but David Laine and his team from the Risborough and District club run not just a tight ship but a really sociable and friendly one too. Needless to say we made a good fist of the exhibition social 😉

We had some great comments by the public and a burning question which I’d posed years ago was at last answered by a visitor who had worked at he British Aluminum works in Fort William – what did aluminum ingots look like in the early 70s and what size they were. That’s going to give me something to do between trains in my next signal box modelling session!

My thanks to my operating crew this weekend, Martin Edmondson, Phil Taylor and Ian Worthington, it wouldn’t happen without you guys. Oh and the bottle of Oban malt to christen North Ballachulish went down very well too.

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