The Caulfield Model Railway Exhibition is over for another year. This year marked the 40th anniversary of the exhibition run by the AMRA Victorian Branch. I went to the exhibition yesterday, flying down from Canberra, and had a great time.
There were 25 layouts out of 65 stands. The plethora of commercial stands at the one location made it very easy for shoppers to part with their money! Of most interest, were the Austrains Victorian Railways 4 wheelers (B, I, and IA) which sold out just after lunch on Saturday. I understand more packs were made available today from an express overnight shipment from Sydney. Austrains were also selling their newly arrived NR in Southern Spirit green and white livery.
A number of pilot models were on display at the Caulfield exhibition. Auscision had their forthcoming Victorian Railways GY 4 wheeler. Trainorama displayed their Commonwealth Railways GM and NSWR 48 class diesel locomotives. Elsewhere, the NSWR 48 class diesel (in four different versions) was on display from Powerline. Meanwhile, Eureka was also at the exhibition, fielding a number of inquiries about the continuing delays for the VR R and K class steam locos and the NSWR 40 class diesel. Ron Cunningham advised that Eureka were going to use a new manufacturer since they had been cut by Sandakan (Kader). However, I am not sure if the models previously announced have been cut by Sandakan or not. Perhaps Ron will explain more in due course on his website.
Of the layouts, the AMRA Victorian Branch were exhibiting their HO scale US prototype layout Wills Street for the last time. The layout was being offered for sale. The photo belows shows a BN&Q train heading through a rather deserted looking yard on Wills Street.
Another large US layout on display, and exhibited at the show last year, was from Glenn Brooks and the Latrobe Valley Model Railway Association featuring western railroad action based on the Union Pacific and Rio Grande. This layout was very impressive, both in terms of physical size and plenty of continuous train action.
The Coffs Harbour (NSW) Railway Modellers Group came all the way south of the border to display their large US-styled HO scale layout. The layout scenery and buildings are based on the US scene, but at different times during the day trains from the US, NSW and Victorian Railways all get a turn showing their wares around the layout under digital command control (DCC). The photo belows show US steam action with a long train of reefers.
VR-based layouts in HO scale included Benalta, Broadford, Coliban Valley, End of the line, and Tyobic. I hadn't seen Tyobic before and it followed the tradition of a VR country through-station with a yard. The layout had a split backscene, like End of the line, that sent a train through to the fiddleyard through a gap in the backscene just passed a nicely modelled railway crossing. The next two photos illustrate Tyobic.
In N scale, layouts on show included Georgetown (UK), Springhill Yellow Pine Division (US), and Enoshima (Japanese). I think Enoshima was being displayed at Caulfield for the first time and certainly drew in the crowds.
There were also two very different but very interesting layouts on display. The first, was the HO scale Howjadoit, that showed a small compact layout under different stages of construction. This display was a great demonstration of how a layout is constructed, something we need to show to the public more often.
The second interesting layout was the Oe scale Pierreville. Pierreville depicts a French railroad station where narrow and standard gauge tracks meet to transfer passengers between the systems. A nice feature of the layout was the fernicular railroad at the front. And I was quite intrigued by the system of getting trains on and off the layout (see photo below).
As well as enjoying the layouts and commercial stands, I caught up with several railway modellers that I know very well; most from Canberra or Sydney strangely enough. All in all, it was a great day out.