Starting at one end, I spotted an interesting 009 loco for a tenner. The guy running the stand was the seller, and assured me that it was barely run in 40 years, the only duff thing was the foam in the box, which he had replaced. It's a Swiss Waldenburg Railway 0-6-0 WB5 'G. Thommen', and certainly looked tidy. Plenty of waggly bits on the outside too.
Skipping the many boxes of RTR OO in search of odd stuff, I reached the other end, where there was a kit which we'll talk about tomorrow, and a Minerva 'Victory' class. Missing a smokebox dart, and some lamp irons, they couldn't test it, but for £100, I knew I'd regret not picking up a prototype I like (I have the Planet Industrials OO version) more than I'd feel the pain in my wallet. Having just been paid for a magazine feature the day before helped.
Anyway, I tested both with a 9v battery, but don't have any O gauge track to hand. So, off I head to the model railway club, where I hit a problem. There might be a huge O gauge layout, but it is powered by the evil DCC, rather than Gods own 12v DC. It seems that you can't run DC locos on the DCC layout (some suggestion that you can use it as Number 0, but this was firmly denied).
The same problem occured on the little 009 module.
In the end, the N gauge team, who do use the proper voltage, via Gaugemaster handheld controllers no less, let me waz it up and down in their fiddle yard. Despite being 40 years old,it runs very well, with all the bits waggling as expected. OK, there is the sligh wiff of electricals, but nothing to worry about. Maybe it's not Bachmann smooth, but definitely a very useful loco.
On proper powered layouts.