Review of 2023 Show
As we have become used to Rail-Ex Taunton was once again at its home in Taunton School. Their Sports Hall, Dance Studio, Old Gymnasium and Old Library complex were filled with layouts, traders, societies and demonstration stands. On display over Saturday and Sunday 21st and 22nd October were 34 layouts covering all the common scales and gauges, from 2mm Finescale to O gauge, and even large scale trams were to be seen. While the majority of the layouts were based on the British scene we also hosted two that were very different – a depiction of an industrial Chinese city in the early days of the 21st century and an American shortline in the 1950s.
Returning Visitor Feedback 'Good selection of layouts/gauges and stalls. Friendly atmosphere. V.good catering!' - Mr Y from Exeter

'Well set out with space between layouts and traders. Excellent food, good value roast dinner.' - Mr C from Minehead

'Best in the South West!' - Mr W from Saltash

It was very pleasing to see so many of our long standing trade supporters back with us yet again and their stands always seemed busy with customers. Other people were taking advantage of advice and services of the society and demonstration stands.
The School’s dining facilities coped admirably with the flood of visitors, and many of them made a point of commending the Sunday roast dinner!
'First Time' Visitor Feedback 'Nice layout of the exhibits, good mix of trade and display – will come again!' - Mr G from Bristol

'Nice varied selection of layouts. Not too cramped even at popular exhibits.' - Mr W from Berkely

'People very friendly, very welcoming to young train enthusiasts. Great variety of layouts.' - Mr H from North Petherton

There were three awards presented on the Sunday afternoon which were received by three different layouts. The votes cast by the public were spread across a number of layouts reflecting the high quality of modelling on show.
Rail Ex Taunton Cup
The superb depiction of Bath Green Park station and loco depot in 4mm scale received the greatest number of votes from the public, and was awarded the Rail-Ex Taunton Cup.
Bath Green Park
Chilcompton Tunnel St Christopher Shield
The beautifully detailed recreation of the Mendip scenery received the most votes from the members of Somerset Railway Modellers Club, and was a worthy winner of the St Christopher Shield.
Chairman's Shield
Old Elm Park was selected by the club Chairman, Martin Hebditch, as his 'Best in Show' winner.
Old Elm Park
Review of 2022 Show
After an enforced hiatus of three years the weekend of 22nd and 23rd October 2022 saw the return of Rail-Ex Taunton to Taunton School. As before the exhibition filled all the space in the Sports Complex (the Old Gymnasium, the Danced Studio and the Sports Hall] as well as the Old Library. A grand total of 31 layouts were on show, together with 20 traders and half a dozen societies and demonstrators. It was very pleasing to be able to welcome back many familiar faces among the visitors to the show, and to see again most of our regular traders. Feedback from our visitors rated the show as good as, or better than, Rail-Ex 2019. Taunton School's newly reconstructed and extended dining facilities also attracted much favourable comment. 'Much Better' than their previous visit.
Returning Visitor Feedback 'Great selection of layouts and sellers. Keep it up! Thank you!' - Mr H from Yelverton

'Good show with plenty of layouts to see - not too many traders. Good balance overall.' - Mr M from Yate

'Good mix of exhibitors and trade stands. Always fascinated by the details people manage to achieve in their layouts.' - Mrs Y from Worle

As usual the layouts on show were complemented by a good selection of trade stands, many of whom have supported Rail-Ex for years - it was good to see them back again! - and one or two new faces like K & M Trees and Just-in-Case - welcome! Since the last Rail-Ex in 2019 Taunton School had undertaken an extensive (and expensive) revamping of their catering facilities. The new and greatly enlarged dining hall was greatly appreciated by everyone who used it to enjoy the, as ever, superb quality food.
'First Time' Visitor Feedback 'Brilliant show - the best I've attended for quite a while! Quality layouts, plenty of space and excellent catering.' - Mr W from Bristol

'Excellent facilities, plenty of space. Good selection of layouts.' - Mr M from Swansea

'Excellent show! Worth travelling 90 miles for.' - Mr T from Taunton

Rail Ex Taunton Cup
The N gauge winter scene layout “Moors View”, set on the edge of Dartmoor received the greatest number of votes from the public, and was awarded the Rail-Ex Taunton Cup.
Moors View
Review of 2019 Show
The weekend of 26th and 27th October saw Rail Ex Taunton return to Taunton School utilising all the exhibition space from the previous year with the addition of the Old Gymnasium. As a result the show was the biggest ever with 35 layouts, 25 trade stands, 3 societies and 3 demonstrations. Once again the show proved very popular with overall attendance in line with previous years meaning nearly 2000 visitors enjoyed the exhibits over the weekend. Visitor feedback indicated that the consistently high quality of the layouts was a major draw for visitors year after year with 73% of regular visitors rated their experience 'Better' or 'Much Better' than their previous visit.
2019 Exhibition Plan
Regular Visitor Feedback 'Very well laid out and very organised. Overall a great experience' - Mr P from Barnstaple

'Friendly welcome again!! Layouts were very interesting and plenty of trade stalls. Exhibitors are very friendly and knowledgable. We will be back again next year for sure. Keep up the good work.' - Mr P from Lostwithiel

'This may not be the biggest show in the country but I believe it is the best. You seem to go the extra mile in all departments, I drive down from Birmingham each year for the show' - Mr K from Birmingham

The layouts were supported by varied trade which included a number of new partners this year in the form of Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust and Aspire Gifts & Models. Every attempt is made to welcome visitors and ensure they have an enjoyable time viewing the exhibits. The high quality of the Taunton School facilities were consistently mentioned by visitors including the superb refreshments that were served in the main school restaurant. It is always pleasing to see new visitors, especially from Taunton, attending the show and leaving positive feedback.
'First Time' Visitor Feedback 'Excellent range of layouts and trade stands. All the exhibitors were willing to offer advice. Great atmosphere too!' - Mr H from Taunton

'Good venue with excellent catering. Enjoyed the show and will be back next year' - Mr B from Camelford

'First show ever visited. Exhibitors and traders all very helpful' - Mr T from Taunton

There were four awards presented on the Sunday afternoon which were received by four different layouts. The votes cast by the public were spread across a number of layouts reflecting the high quality of modelling on show.
Rail Ex Taunton Cup
The highly entertaining Bewdley (OO gauge) by Wirral & North Wales MRC was the public favourite and received the most votes.
Crossley Scrap St Christopher Shield
The extremely detailed Crossley Scrap (OO gauge) by Joshua Lovell & Barrie Jones received the most votes from the members of Somerset Railway Modellers Club.
Chairman's Shield
Mutton (OO gauge) by Rob Gunstone was selected by the club Chairman, Jack Sully, as his 'Best in Show' winner.
Old Elms Road Brian Winter Salver
Old Elms Road (OO gauge) by Bodmin & District MRC was judged to be the best signalled layout and awarded the Brian Winter Salver.
If you want to see moving pictures of the show why not view these You Tube clips,
You Tube film by The Siding Show
You Tube film by SDJR7F88
You Tube film by Northern Soul Express
You Tube film by johnrugman52

Planning for the 2020 show has already started with confirmed dates being 24th and 25th October 2020 at Taunton School. We are confident that we can present a show that will equal if not better the high standards set in 2019. We hope you will support us in 2020.