I am back in Canberra after a week down in Melbourne with a work assignment. I return to Melbourne later in the week and I have plenty to do before then. In keeping with my tight schedule, here are some of the photographic highlights from the Epping Model Railway Exhibition.
First up, we have the award winner for best new layout - Grischun. Greg C.'s Grischun is representative of a Swiss alpine town with main and narrow gauge lines in HO scale. The scenery is superb, as one might expect from a Swiss-based layout. The catenary and running qualities of the layout were also of a fine standard. Grischun is a very good example of a well-detailed and compact exhibition layout. I was also impressed with Greg's use of a painter's pole and roller for the lighting stands - very ingenious!
The next layout is Geoff Small's Oddwalls - a layout first exhibited earlier this year at the Canberra Model Railway Exhibition. The layout is HO scale and showcases a small rural town in the mid 1960s. This layout is another good example of an effective exhibition layout without taking up too much space. Oddwalls is a very well designed layout with good topography, a busy little town, and a nice parade of trains on the double track main line to keep the exhibition-goers entertained.
Another well presented exhibition layout was Bowen Creek. This HO fine scale layout has a relativiely simple track plan within some superb rural scenery. The layout is exhibitied in the box-showcase style with good internal lighting. The modules are constructed of 20mm square steel tube and the backscene is one continuous length of material used for advertising banners. This is a high quality layout for discerning tastes - a real standard-setter for quality.
Another exceptionally presented pair of layouts was Sunny Corner/Lily Flat. These two diorama-style layouts had some amazingly detailed and natural scenery. Both layouts were On30 and showed how effective the larger scale can with superb scenery and quality modelling.
Wallerawang (HO scale) is another fine layout, based on the station west of Lithgow, and presented by the Guildford Model Railway Group. The layout is 6.5 metres long and 2.8 metres deep, including the 14 track storage yard at the rear. The station buildings are the signature piece of this layout.
A perennial favourite, Jembaicumbene, was on show again. This HO scale NSW-based layout has had a very long exhibition life but still has plenty to offer the crowd. A good range of trains and a nicely detailed townscape are features of this layout
Branigate (or is it Brani Gate?)is a US-prototype layout in HO scale. A feature of this layout is the ability to change the lighting to reflect a particular time of the day. This was an interesting feature that might become more popular in the years ahead.
Turning now to some different track gauges, Duck Creek was also making another exhibition appearance. Duck Creek is HOn30 (i.e. 2.6" gauge prototype railway) based on the famous Puffing Billy railway in Victoria.
One of my favourite layouts, the Japanese N scale Enoshima, was also making another exhibition appearance. Every time I see this layout I find some new and interesting part of the city scene that I had overlooked before.
The Lake and Dale is an O scale narrow gauge layout based on the Lake District in England. It features a fine station scene and bridge with some typical English scenery.
In N scale we had Tarana and Carlo. Unfortunately, my photos of Tarana didn't come out so well. But making a new appearance at Epping was the suburban-electric layout, Carlo. Carlo is loosely based on the terminus of the Carlingford Branch at Carlingford, a suburb of Sydney. In real life, Carlingford was supposed to link up with the Epping to Parramatta leg of the now defunct expansion of the suburban network. Maybe Carlo will feature an extension next year to show how it's done!
As always, the second-hand store was popular and retailers were well represented.
And finally, this is what the new Australian Journal of Railway Modelling looks like for those of you who may have missed seeing the new issue at the Epping Exhibition.
Check out the AJRM website for info on how to purchase the magazine.