Last Sunday, in my new position at MRE Mag, I snagged an invite to the Bachamnn Press day. It's where they announce new products for the coming year and generally schmooze those of us in the media. Well, that's the idea anyway.
This year the normal base for this is being re-organised so we were asked to meet, along with around 100 members of the collectors club, at Rothley station on the Great Central Railway.
On arrival, everyone was tagged with a coloured spot. The press corps were blue, trade yellow and others red. This allowed the organisers to shepherd the right people to the right places. We were presented with packs containing some press releases, a CD with photos and a couple of booklets with the main news items in. All good and exciting stuff.
After a little wait for chat, we were herded on to a train and taken for a tour of the carriage and wagon works. Then back to the station where lunch was provided - 2 rounds of sandwiches (one cheese, one ham. Sliced bread. Very nice), crisps, banana and choccie roll. I mention this before someone complains that corporate hospitality has pushed the price of model railways up.
Finally, we had a tour of the TPO sets containing showcases (the ones you see at model railway exhibitions) with some of the new goodies in and the best of the old. Obviously I'm not going to tell you what was in there, you'll have to scoot over to MRE Mag for this, but suffice to say, I could have brought at least one item home with me if there hadn't been too many Bachmann staff to stop me...
It's years since I've been to the Great Central Railway and I was quite impressed. Not by the locos like you are supposed to be, but by the atmosphere. One set of coaches arrived dirty, just like they should be. OK, so it's nice to see gleaming carriages but that's not how they really were on the "good old days".
There were quite a lot of very nice and extremely modelable buildings too. I'll pop some pictures up later this week of these in case anyone fancies getting the plasticard out.