With just a few days to go until the Great Central Railway’s (GCR) annual Model Event, attention in the Hornby Magazine office has turned to final preparations for our ‘OO’ gauge BR Southern Region exhibition layout, Twelve Trees Junction, and its appearance at the show this coming weekend (June 15-17).
Having rapidly established itself as a must-visit weekend on the modelling calendar, the GCR’s Model Event boasts 70 layouts, 40 traders, demonstrations, model engineering displays, garden railways, railwayana stalls, plus, of course, the opportunity to travel behind the heritage line’s motive power and rolling stock between Loughborough Central and Leicester North. This year, subject to availability, the line hopes to have a trio of BR Standards consisting of ‘Britannia’ 4-6-2 70013 Oliver Cromwell, ‘9F’ 2-10-0 92214 Leicester City and ‘5MT’ 4-6-0 73156 in steam across the weekend, together with appearances from the resident Class 20, 37, 44 and 45 diesels, and more.
Having previously appeared in its end-to-end format in 2015, Twelve Trees Junction returns to the Model Event this year in its extended continuous loop form which has transformed its operation and enabled us to operate many more trains. This adds to the busy nature we’ve always wanted to portray, with multiple simultaneous movements through and across the busy junction area.
Behind-the-scenes, I’ve been gathering together a selection of suitable ‘OO’ gauge locomotives and Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) from my collection of Class 71s, Class 73s, 2-BIL, 2-HAL, 2-EPB, 4-CEP and 4-VEPs to add to the extensive roster we have at our disposal for use on the layout. Mike is also hoping to have his Bulleid Tin-HAL complete too, though the paint might still be drying at the show.
Preparation means testing that each model works as it should, cleaning the wheels, oiling mechanisms (if necessary) and also checking the Digital Command Control (DCC) decoder addresses are correct, as I do have a habit of swapping body shells over (particularly locomotives) between shows for use on my home layout.
Having now corrected all the addresses, my next task over the coming days is to check they all have similar CV settings, to make multiple operation that much simpler, which is particularly important for the EMUs.
For the GCR show we will be calling on our usual roster of steam and diesel/electric locomotives, rolling stock, EMUs and Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMUs), suitable for the late 1950s/1960s era, but we also have a few surprises up our sleeve too, which may include a little overlap into the new BR corporate blue period, which started to appear in the late 1960s, later in the weekend.
Plus, following the arrival of a few recent ‘Southern’ releases, we will have the opportunity to run some of these new ‘OO’ models including Kernow Model Rail Centre’s Bulleid 1-Co-Co-1 diesel, Hatton’s ‘OO’ gauge SECR ‘P’ Class 0-6-0T and Dapol’s just-arrived ‘B4’ 0-4-0T. You might even see a Heljan Class 07 pottering around the depot too. But that is not all, as we are also working on a few extra-special guest appearances for the weekend as well…
The main exhibition site is housed in a huge 35,000sqft covered hall alongside Quorn and Woodhouse station, with additional outdoor displays and layouts at stations along the GCR’s heritage line. Tickets for the event are priced at £20 adults, £14 children (family options are also available) and include full access to the exhibition sites and your travel for the day on the GCR’s intensive timetabled services. Parking is available adjacent to Quorn and Woodhouse station, priced at £5 for the day.
The Hornby Magazine team will be there with the trade stand too, with special show-only subscription offers, models, modelling accessories and more. Mike and I will be there all three days and will be happy to answer any questions you may have, so please pop along and say hello! Oh, and keep an eye out for ‘our’ special locomotive headboard on your travels too.
We look forward to seeing you there, this weekend!
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