Friday, 12 March 2010

A few photos from Sandown

I have selected a few photos I took from the Sandown Exhibition to show here. I didn't have a great selection of quality images to select from, but the following images at least illustrate some of the layouts I particularly admired from the exhibition.

The first image is of steam locomotive N489 on the Florey Springs layout exhibited by the South Australian Railway Modellers Association from Adelaide. The N class of steam locomotives were built from 1925 (at the Newport Works) onwards for the Victorian Railways. N489 was part of a batch of locomotives built in 1949-50 by the North British Locomotive Company in the UK. Out of this order, ten of the locos were purchased from the Victorian Railways by the South Australian Railways and became the 750 class.

The next image is of the stone-loader on the Florey Springs layout. I liked the whole stone-loader complex and associated buildings as a good-looking lineside industry. The model looks like an adaptation of the Walthers HO scale New River Coal Mine.

The angled shot of the station and yard on the Totternhoe Mineral Railway gives some indication of the way the railway has been displayed. The actual model railway sits on a curved "ribbon" on a black-painted baseboard, within a black frame, and with rear black curtains to maintain an integrated and theatrical layout presentation. I first saw this layout a couple of years ago at the Sydney Model Railway Exhibition but the layout has not been widely seen on the exhibition circuit despite the layout being built over fifteen years ago!

The Dolly Varden Mines Railway is a wonderful narrow gauge layout (in On30) that was up for sale at the exhibition! Here we see an example of the detailed scenery as a diminuative steam loco hauls a couple of wagons on this exceptionally detailed model railway layout.

The UP/Rio Grande layout was huge with four(?) continuous loops allowing for plenty of train movement. The layout was built and operated by the La Trobe Valley Model Railway Club in Victoria. If I heard correctly, this giant layout took only 12-18 months to build! This image shows a steam locomotive hauling a mixed freight over one of the many steel girder bridges on the layout.

The ANP Switching District layout was a great example of a shelf style switching (shunting) layout that could fit into most standard-sized bedrooms. In fact, that's where this layout lives when not at exhibitions. The layout was unfinished but had all the trackwork and wiring completed, and several lineside industries had been constructed in styrene but also unfinished. Operation was with DCC. I actually think there should be at least one operational but unfinished layout at every exhibition to show the average show-goer that exhibition layouts just don't magically appear out of nothing!

The final photo shows the Murranbilla layout. I first saw this layout last August at the Caulfield Exhibition. For Sandown, the layout was a little unusual since it had both a barrier fence around the layout and a good set of layout lighting (in what looks like grey aluminium guttering).

I will finish my "review" of the Sandown Exhibition by saying that I enjoyed the exhibition but feel the quality of presentation of some layouts was sometimes let down by poor layout lighting. Perhaps it was the overcast day and the rain; perhaps it was my eyesight! But I can assure people that excellent layout lighting really showcases quality modelling and must be considered as a major component of any exhibition layout.


  1. Brad,
    thanks for the review and photos of the exhibition. I think you need to travel interstate every now and then to see new layouts. There does not seem to be the turnover in new layouts at exhibitions as there once was.

  2. Hi Brad,
    Some nice shots you have there :)
    On Florey Springs, Yes that building is made from parts of the Walthers Kits as described and is the third building constructed for that section of the layout, due to changes in scenery over the decade that this layout has been exhibited.
    Iain Kennedy
    SARMA member