Sunday 30 March 2014

Canberra Model Railway Expo 2014

The 26th Canberra Model Railway Expo was held over weekend (29-30 March) at Kaleen High School, a northern suburb of Canberra. The Expo was organised by the Canberra Model Railway Club. Once again, this exhibition was a great way to see plenty of model railway action and to shop at the numerous commercial outlets. There were over 50 exhibits and commercial stands in all.

Here is a selection of layouts that caught my eye during the afternoon today.

The first image shows the layout, Binabeen. This layout is under new ownership in Goulburn, having been called Willigobung by the previous Canberra-based owners. Binabeen is a HO scale NSW layout representative of the type of  large layout facilities on the double-track Main South Line.

Another HO scale NSW layout on display was Binalong from the Epping Model Railway Club in Sydney. The layout is based on the real Binalong which is also on the Main South line. Binalong won the award for best layout on show. In the image we see a streamlined 38 class pausing at the station with a Melbourne-bound passenger service.

The next image is from the 638 Mile layout, a HO scale NSW-themed layout. The 638 means that the location is 638 miles from Sydney. The layout is operated by DCC (digital command control) using NCE equipment. The image below shows a 620/720 railcar set in "candy stripe" livery leaving the station.

The wonderful O gauge layout, Arakoola, was on display, featuring a mix of steam and early diesel locomotives set in a rural NSW yard environment. The layout showcases some superb modelling and demonstrates what can be achieved in the larger scale. A photographic backdrop provides good depth to the modelled portion of the layout, as can be seen in the photo below. In the photo, a 50 class standard goods locomotive sits simmering in the yard awaiting the ok to proceed down the line.

Some Sydney-themed layouts were also on display. The suburban Yendys layout was exhibited by thee ACT Model Railway Society. Yendys is a HO scale layout operated by DCC. The image below shows an interurban set about to depart the station.

Mungo Scotts is an HO scale layout based on the Mungo Scott flour mill facilities near Lilyfield in Sydney. The rail line is now used by the recently opened Dulwich Hill tramway extension. The HO scale layout depicts the line in its days as a freight operation.

Another HO scale NSW layout was Electric Car Sheds that featured a selection of electric passenger and goods trains based in a typical electric car shed environment in Sydney.

Blue Ridge is an HO scale US-themed layout that showed what can be achieved in a relatively small space. The layout would fit easily into a standard sized bedroom and uses standard commercially produced locomotives, rolling stock and buildings. The layout was based on the southern end of the Cascade Mountains in California where the McLeod River Railroad had its operations. The layout was run on DC and I was impressed by the smooth-running of the trains even late on the final afternoon of the exhibition.

And rounding out the day for me was the compact N scale layout, Midford. One of the things I like about N scale is the buildings and Midford had some good examples.

There were plenty of other layouts and commercial stands at the exhibition to provide for a wide range of interests. I hope the exhibition was a success for the organisers because it was well worth the visit, especially on a rainy Canberra weekend.