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Visitors to Scaleforum 2008 may remember that, nestled among the Diesel & Electric Challenge layouts in the Mole Barn, was my first ever showing of a section of Birmingham New Street. Well, three years have passed, so perhaps it is time to see how it is coming along. On display will be 22 feet of the eventual 72 feet long layout that will represent Birmingham New Street and its eastern approaches during my youth, (1986-87). The section on display shows progress on the actual station area modelled to a scale length, but with a reduced width.
There are several reasons why the period was chosen. The loveable Class 25s were very much into their swansong, with Peaks looking like the next to go. Class 50s were also beginning to be withdrawn at the time. In terms of liveries, Network South East was new, as was the striking Royal Mail red livery, but the colours of fragmented sectorisation were still a designer’s daydream. However, the most important thing (for me) was that the West Coast Main Line change to the use of driving van trailers on electric-hauled passenger trains was very much in the experimental stages. Locos were still at the front of the train, and loco changes were very much still the norm. It is this nostalgia for how great it all was in our youth that perhaps we all have, and is the reason why I am building my own version of a time and a railway now long gone.
Presented by Jim Smith-Wright.
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