Crowds flocked to Peterborough Arena on Saturday (April 12th) to attend The 16mm Association National Garden Railway Show.
The event celebrated everything model railways and saw over 85 traders and exhibitors attend to share their expertise and insight with enthusiasts. While there were hundreds of different models on display there was one group of engine that stole the show – Mamod’s Brunel engine. The Brunel Vertical Engine has long been a favourite among collectors and Peterborough provided the perfect location for it to be promoted once again.
While most of the talk before the show was of the upcoming Telford Train, the Brunel was once again a popular item with many collectors eager to get their hands on the model. Three Brunels were purchased throughout the course of the day while another collector picked up a Mark II model from the Mamod stall and the Telford was on display for the first time in its new format.
Mamod engineers have been working hard to finally get the “runaway train” ready to be sold and this was just a taster of what is to come throughout the rest of the year. There was much interest in the new designs of the Telford and visitors were intrigued to see the proposed slide valve when it is completed. However, the company admitted that there are some teething problems with this design so it could be a while before the full version is launched.
Away from Mamod, there were a whole host of electric and steam trains on display. Traders and exhibitors managed to create a wide array of impressive layouts which drew in various enthusiasts. Alongside the electric and steam models there was also a number of wooden train kits that featured various carefully designed engine and carriages.
The focal point of The 16mm Association National Garden Railway Show was a train named Alice. This Quarry Hunslet Locomotive is the sister engine to Holy War and was built in 1902 and worked at Dinorwic Quarry in Wales until 1960. Like with many steam trains, the dawn of the electric and diesel era put an end to Alice’s use as a working steam train and has been subject to restoration projects for a number of years.
Bala Lake Railway volunteer worker Chris Scott is the person responsible for bringing Alice back to her former glory. Mr Scott purchased the remaining parts of the train in 1987 and spent years working at Ffestiniog Railway restoring Alice and in 1994 the engine returned to steam. It is still used today by Bala Lake Railway as well as being toured around the country at various events such as The 16mm Association National Garden Railway Show and other regional demonstrations.
The Peterborough show was hailed a success by organisers and it also gave an opportunity for some of the younger generation to join in with model railway collecting. With various clubs signing up new members, youngsters are being able to start themselves off with a hobby that can last a lifetime.