Sunday, 7 November 2010

Wagga Wagga MRE 2010

The 11th annual Wagga Wagga Model Railway and Hobby Exhibition is over for another year. I hadn't been for a few years but when a mate suggested we drive down to check it out, I thought "why not?".

So I went down to Wagga Wagga by car with Andrew Rosenbauer yesterday. The drive down was also a good excuse for some prototype rail photography too. We saw triple NR's at Binalong, a pair of 81's on an empty grain train at Harden, a CPH rail motor pair at Junee departing for Griffith, and  8173, L270, and 8109 on an empty sleeper train arriving at Junee on the Up. Not bad for a morning's drive down south!

At the exhibition, there were about a dozen or so layouts. Some of the layouts included Benalta (HO), Brisbane Water (HO), Canberra/Monara N scale Austrack layout, Crestwood (HO), Eskbank (HO), Galong/Boorawa (HO), Kookaburra Park (HO), Leonville Junction (G), Nicholls Siding (HO), and Tumut/Gilmore (HO). Other hobbies represented included stamp collecting, military modelling, and crafts.

I hadn't seen the Tumut/Gilmore layout before and I was quite impressed. The layout depicted the stations and yards at Tumut and Gilmore on the branchline from Cootamundra. The scenery was well done with a good blend of colours depicting the grass and vegetation, while the structures supported the railway yards very nicely. Having visited Tumut many times over the past fifteen years, it was good to reflect on those past visits while watching the trains working between the two stations on the layout. A nice touch was a spiral-bound booklet with information explaining the planning and construction of the layout; very interesting indeed.

There were also a number of commercial stands, including Aust N Rail, Chuck's Ballast, Kerroby, Pallas Hobbies, Runway 13, and Trainworld. There were also a couple of traders selling books and secondhand items. However, my purchases were quite modest: three pairs of KD #148 couplers and a book by Lloyd Holmes about his life on the railway.

A feature of the exhibition is a modelling display based on a small diorama. There were about six entries this year - all showcasing small railway scenes to good effect. However, I was disappointed that the dioramas were in (or on) a display case in a very poorly lit area of the hall. It was hard to see all the detail and the work in these dioramas to full effect. However, I understand that John Harriott won the competition while Phil Skelton and Mick Davis also had commendable displays.

The exhibition again was a chance to catch up with friends from the local area and also from Sydney. Travelling the exhibition circuit certainly is a social occasion! The day was pleasant enough, although the drive back was a tad boring as we took the Hume Highway back to Canberra.

I'd like to finish off this post with some photos from the exhibition but I am having a problem uploading the images into Blogger. I'll try again tomorrow night.

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