Model railway enthusiasts from all over the UK descended upon the NEC in Birmingham on Saturday and Sunday (November 23rd and 24th) for a celebration of collectables.
Warley National Model Railway Exhibition returned to the Midlands for its 46th year and continued its tradition of being the UK's premier model railway show. There was huge interest in the vast array of models, layouts and demonstration as traders brought a wide range of products. Pretty much everything an enthusiast could want was on display ranging from real-life train stations scaled down to model to the fully functional steam models.
Mamod was among over 85 working model railway layouts from both the UK and Europe. The company brought along some of its premier products including the SP8 James Watt Beam Engine, a powerful engine using a double acting slide valve cylinder. There was also the classic Diamond Jubilee Saddle Tank, Brunel Vertical Engine and the new Telford, which will be available in December just in time for Christmas.
The 46th installment of Warley Model Railway Exhibition carried a 'narrow gauge' theme with special appearances from two locomotive from the Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway, the Baldwin locomotive number 778 and a Motor Rail 'Simplex', along with an engine from the Corris Railway.
Visitors were also able to marvel at a full-size steam locomotive which was laid in an "under construction" state. The LMS Patriot Class locomotive echoed a king-size pre-assembled model. The visit of this locomotive was a commemorative move by Warley which will be transformed into the National Memorial engine, named The Unknown Warrior. It is expected to be completed in 2018 in time for the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice.
There were various exhibitors on hand to provide expert advice for any query that visitors may have had. They were adept at handling issues over maintenance performance and even how to expand a collection by purchasing various pieces of scenery. Furthering a collection means people will have the opportunity to recreate some of the most famous landscapes from around the world.
Organisers were happy with the event, despite a few challenges, and wrote on the Warley MRC Exhibition official Facebook page: "As with all our exhibitions everything went to plan – yeh OK! Some of the things that had to be dealt with were wrong hotel rooms, abandoned vehicles, lost property, lost children (and one lost Dad!) power failures and even a stand put up the wrong way round.
"You would not believe the number of people who bought a ticket from our clearly signed sales booth and got to the door before they realised it was not the motorcycle show !"
Following the success of the 47th annual event, plans are already in place to bring the event back to Birmingham in 2014. Organisers announced that November 22nd and 23rd will play host to 47th Warley National Model Railway Exhibition which will no doubt bring out the best of the model railway family once again.