Sunday, September 26, 2010

He's Baaaack!

Well I have just spent an enjoyable(?) week in Sydney. Last monday morning we boarded the Sydney bound XPT from Roma Street and while raining in Brisbane in the morning, the further south we went the less rain there was.
Our XPT at Roma Street Station

The sun was out by the mid afternoon. Monday night we arrived in Sydney. On the way down, I took lots of notes on the scenery on the north coast coupled with some photos through the train windows and I have some photos to assist with my modelling. We also crossed a few freights, saw a few wagons in sidings here and there and the trip was rather enjoyable, although boring for the kids at times - all they wanted to do was eat.
The kids in the train

The kids were tuckered out by the time we arrived in Sydney, but with a couple of hours of sleep after dinner from just before Newcastle, they awoke to assist with the pulling of their own kids suitcases to the local hotel a couple of hundred metres from Central. We then did 3 days of touristy things over the next four, with three-quarter of a day on the other day allocated to me to visit the train shops alone. With two young kids with not much to do in the hotel room, between their early 6:00am rise and us hitting the road (or track or busses) around 9:00am each day and they were pretty noisy and kept doing things that annoyed the boss and myself - but then again they are kids and I suppose they were not that bad. They enjoyed the various sights, the trains, busses, ferries, the trips to Manly and Bondi.

Just outside Kyogle.  The road underbridge (The Summerland Way) and Pratt Truss bridge I have modelled in the distance

Luckily as it turned out we came home on Saturday on the 12:00 noon Virgin Blue flight. It appears that all Virgin flights have been delayed today (Sunday) for long periods of time due to a computer issue. It was the first flight for the kids and they enjoyed it. My son wants to fly next time, but my daughter in not so sure as it was a bit bumpy with all the cloud while descending into Brisbane. We used the train to the airport in Sydney, the train to the airport from Brisbane Airport to the Roma Street station in the city followed by two busses home. By the end (3:25pm) the kids were pretty tired, but not too tired as about 1 hour later two of their cousins came over and they were very happy running around again. The kids got a free trip home as none of the Bus drivers wanted to charge them on the busses we caught home as the wife and I had Go Cards and just tagged on and off from the airport on the train and bus all the way home - certainly a lot cheaper than a $100 taxi fare home but at the expense of an extra 30-40 minutes travel time.

While in Sydney we were able to catch numerous trains from Central to Circular Quay and back again, as well as other city stations. On Thursday morning, I hit the train and visited, Casula Hobbies, with a train trip to Liverpool. From here I caught the train back to Granville before heading back to Parramatta to visit Bergs Hobbies. From there I caught another train to Strathfield before getting on a Hornsby service to West Ryde to visit Tom Hobbies. So on my way home I just caught a train to the city and went back to the hotel and bedlam and tried to have a rest.

So Joe had a great range of detail items and kits and is certainly a true gentleman and very welcoming in his shop. I picked up a few bits and pieces for my modelling including the windows and water tank detail parts for his station building. I thought Bergs had lots of nice second hand models that were just slightly over priced for my liking, but who knows they might be getting a good turn over. That sort of thing is certainly lacking in Brisbane. At Tom's there are some real bargains in the bits and pieces area with lots of containers in pairs for $5. I did purchase a 44 Class shell and I will build a dummy mechanism for it so I can add it to the shafts of my loco combinations. I also visited Hobbyco as it was just down the road from where we were staying. I like looking at their display of miniature figures from the various brands at what I consider a good price.

I have already downloaded my and my daughters photos from the trip, assembled a 20,000 gallon water tank a got from Joe's, and caught up with my email. Hopefully I'm ready for a week of modelling.

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