We arrived on a chilly day around midday and as with the previous year, it was difficult to view some of the layouts due to the numbers at the show. Tip: around 2pm the numbers tend to drop off and there's more opportunity to get up close and personal with the layouts. However, it was good to see the show and the hobby well-attended. Now, at Off the Tracks we like US-themed layouts so we made a bee-line for these. In fact you'll see some of the images from these great layouts in the pics that go with this article.
One of the layouts that got an incredible amount of attention was Karolina Falls, an On30 layout built by David Bailey. This layout er... featured running water. David, explained that he built the layout a little like a fishpond, with the running water feature being encased in a tank. Well, you wouldn't want a leak. However, on our Instagram site post a few guys cautioned about knocking your rolling stock into very real wet water! A wooded trestle passes over the aforementioned water and it really was a talking and focal point for the young and not quite so young viewing the layout.
A little history of Karolina Falls...
A gold prospector discovered the falls in the mind 1800s and named them after his wife. Such was his prospecting success - there was gold in them der hills that he persuaded a railroad to be built. And such was his entrepreneurial ability that when the gold ran out he was able to develop logging as a viable industry.
The layout is a basic oval with a passing loop and a 4 track traverser in the fiddle yard. Its size is 8 foot by 6 foot.
Another agreeable layout was the HO Pacific Electric railway, which was in the form of a simple oval with trains constantly running. Off the Tracks caught up with its operator and had a good chin-way. The design we were told was great for allowing such chats with on-lookers - there being no need to hide behind digitrax or MRC controllers. (We think that the hobby needs to be a little more sociable, yes, most of us trains guys seem to be on the quiet side but let's be welcoming.) The attention to detail was great and more finescale. The palm trees were very much a talking point and had their height extended. We were told to search model trees on amazon.
Away from the US layouts Kensington Addison Road in O scale deserves a special mention, modelling pre-grouping overground and underground trains in the heart of the metropolis. Some very powerful looking LBSCR tanks engines being highlights.
We're already looking forward to next year's show.