BLOG: Destination Spalding and Modern Image O Gauge


This weekend we are exhibiting close to home, as the Hornby Magazine team will be at the Spalding Model Railway Exhibition at Springfield’s Event Centre in Lincolnshire this weekend.

We’ve been a sponsor of the Spalding Model Railway Club’s annual exhibition for several years now and each year we take a different layout with us to put on show. This year is no exception, except that the layout we taking is much smaller than what readers might have been used to seeing us with – it’s our ‘N’ gauge layout Barrenthorpe.

The show opens at 10am each day and will feature more than 30 layouts acros ‘OO’, ‘N’ and ‘O’ as well as narrow gauge and overseas layouts. There will be plenty of traders too while there is also free parking, full disabled access and refreshments on site. Full details are available at the Spalding MRC website.

A ‘WD’ 2-8-0 leads a mineral train along the lower level main line at Barrenthorpe.

The Spalding show will only be Barrenthorpe’s second public appearance. Its first was at the Great Electric Train Show in 2016. More recently it has been in store, but we are looking forward to bringing it all back to life for the weekend. The layout is only 8ft 3in x 3ft 4in, but it packs a lot into this small space including a four track mainline, an engine shed, double junctions, gradients and a 14 track storage yard at the rear.

Barrenthorpe is a great showcase for modern ‘N’ gauge, not least because it uses Digitial Command Control for train and point control. Points are operated using DCC Concepts Alpha system which provides a push-button interface to provide digital signals to the points and colour lights. The panel is in plain view for visitors to the show and we’ll be happy to talk more about it and demonstrate it for anyone visiting the Spalding show.

These two Class 24s share one sound decoder. The process of swapping is complicated by the decoder being hardwired to one of the chassis which means changing the lower valance and bogies as well as the body.

One of the recent changes in ‘N’ gauge has been the provision of space for sound in new locomotive models and we’ve been embracing this new standard quietly behind the scenes. We have a number of previous sound fitted locomotives which share decoders between two sets of stock. Getting Barrenthorpe ready has meant changing decoders and chassis over between a pair of Class 20s, a 24, a 37, a Class 108 DMU and between a pair of GWR ‘Castle’ 4-6-0s. The latter doesn’t really fit in with the Midland Region theme of the layout, but its a great looking model and one we thought added to the overall showpiece of ‘N’ gauge’s capabilities.

Our sound fleet also includes a Bulleid air-smoothed ‘Merchant Navy’ 4-6-2, but there are many more locomotives which will be running without sound too ranging from an LMS ‘Jinty’ 0-6-0T through to ‘WD’ and ‘8F’ 2-8-0s, a Stanier ‘Duchess’ 4-6-2, Stanier ‘Jubilee’ and ‘Royal Scot’ 4-6-0s. If you are a diesel fan we will have plenty for you to watch too including a Farish Blue Pullman and classes 20, 24, 25, 31, 37, 45, 47 and maybe even a couple of ‘Westerns’.

The ‘Castle’ and Class 40 are making their first appearance on Barrenthorpe. Both are equipped with Next18 Zimo sound decoders.

New locomotives are joining the fleet too and you can expect to see the Graham Farish Class 40, introduced in 2017, with full sound as well as an original condition BR blue Class 50 with a Zimo sound decoder plugged in too.

This Class 46 shares a common chassis too. Its simple bogie and body swap to change it from 1980s BR blue to 1960s BR green followed by an address change.

However, the Spalding show isn’t the only event to have the Hornby Magazine presence. Richard Watson from YouTube channel New Junction will be at the first Modern Image O Gauge show this weekend filming and catching the latest new model announcements for us and showcasing the layouts from the event. The Modern Image O Gauge show is being held at Alder Grange School in Rawtenstall (postcode BB4 8HW). Doors open at 10am each day and we are looking forward to seeing the latest news from this event as both Dapol and Heljan are making announcements this weekend.

Richard Watson from YouTube channel New Junction came to film Hornby Magazine’s Topley Dale this week. Check out his new video which goes live today, November 1 2019.

If you are looking for more Hornby Magazine content this weekend, we can recommend a visit to Richard’s New Junction channel where you can watch his behind the scenes visit to the Hornby Magazine workshop including an interview with yours truly.

Whether you are at home working on your layout, visiting the Spalding or MIOG shows or simply tuning in for the latest model railway news we hope you have a great weekend of modelling.

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