BLOG: Great Central weekend


It doesn’t seem that long since we were packing Twelve Trees Junction up at the Great Central Railway Model Event in June 2018, but 12 months later and we’ve just finished setting up Grosvenor Square at the show ready for the first day tomorrow, June 14.

Our Western Region ‘OO’ gauge terminus is making its second appearance at the GCR Model Event, but it’s first in its new extended format. In fact, this weekend is only it’s third showing with the addition of the depot, turntable and roundhouse.

Grosvenor Square part way through set up on June 13 at the GCR.

The first test trains were run using a Heljan Class 128. RailMaster controls the points and signals while Gaugemaster Prodigy handsets drive the trains.

Looking along the 20ft long scenic section from the depot.

The GCR Model Event on June 14-16 2019 is a must visit in our exhibition calendar. Featuring more than 70 layouts, 40 traders (including manufacturer stands from Bachmann, Dapol, Hatton’s and Kernow Model Rail Centre) plus an intensive timetable on the full-size railway outside between Loughborough and Leicester North, it has something for everyone. The main exhibition site is at Quorn and Woodhouse station, housed in a giant marquee, and this is also the main location for parking for the event too.

In the background, I’ve been gradually working towards the show with a handful of new items to add to the roster. These include a pair of Kernow Model Rail Centre D600 ‘Warships’ – D601 Ark Royal in BR green with disc head codes and D602 Bulldog in BR green with small yellow warning panels and split head codes – plus Class 43 ‘Warship’ D845 Sprightly and a Hornby ’72XX’ 2-8-2T. The latter doesn’t really fit in with the passenger theme of the layout, but I have a soft spot for these powerful heavy freight tank engines.

D601 Ark Royal after receiving the first layer of weathering on its underframe.

D845 Sprightly gains its Lifecolor Frame Dirt under frame weathering.

All of these have now been sound fitted and weathered too – I put the finishing touches to D602 on Thursday evening and its currently waiting for the paint to harden before I pack it up for the journey to the show. D601 and D602 are both using Wheeltapper sound files from DC Kits while D845 is using the Paul Chetter ‘Western’ sound file (I know its not 100% accurate for a ‘Warship’, but it has all the driving functionality that I want and a quality hydraulic sound) while the ’72XX’ uses a Digitrains sound file for the GWR ‘Hall’ 4-6-0. A full feature on the sound installation for the 2-8-2T is coming up in HM146.

The completed models of D601 and D845 pose at Topley Dale.

Aside from that, there are new carriages for the rolling stock fleet including a set of Hornby Collett bow-end non-corridor 57ft stock, though I haven’t weathered all of these, while I have also completed the ‘Inter-City’ carriage roof boards on one side of the chocolate and cream livered Mk 1 rake to run with the ‘King’, as featured in HM143.

The layout itself is exactly as it was at the Basingstoke show. We literally loaded it out of the storage unit into the van on Wednesday and set it up on Thursday at the show. As usual, everything worked (apart from a small niggle with the turntable) when we powered it up and we are looking forward to running it through the weekend.

It doesn’t look that big here, but in its current form, Grosvenor Square is 29ft long.

If you can’t make it to the GCR we’ll be posting images and videos from the event on the Hornby Magazine Facebook page, and if you are going, do come along and say hello to Mark and me with Grosvenor Square.

For more information about the show, visit the Great Central Railway website.


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