Saturday was the first day of the 2014 Brisbane Miniature Train Show held at the Doomben Racecourse. I attended as usual and actually run trains for about the first hour and a half of the day and then just walked around talking to people at the front of the layout and at various stands. I also found time to have some money relieved from my wallet by a mad hatter selling some great scenery products. I think these scenery products are just magic, and I will put them to good use while super detailing some scenes on the layout.
This was the first show that I have run trains at for quite some years. I had quite a few people ask questions about the DCC system controlling our Club layout - of course it was NCE. I also had a number of people say hello to me yesterday and ask how my layout was coming along. So I had some quite lengthy chats. It was great catching up with the Toowoomba guys in particular.
I was quite a bit disappointed by the quality of the layouts on display. I’m not really a fan of the N scale T track module system, and there seems to be quite a few of those types of layouts in attendance, but it is these types of layouts that can be taken up the two flights of stairs and escalators and exhibited in the rooms in the top decks of the racecourse. The bit I dislike about the T track is that every module is built differently and the layout joins stand out like the proverbial ...... I’d assume many exhibitors of other types of layouts will not volunteer to show their large expansive N and HO layouts unless they can be assured of a ground floor setup position. I must admit that I thought our two club layouts, the HO and N scale were very good looking. There were also a couple of other layouts that I thought were good. I must admit that I did like the T Gauge (1:450) layout - Winston & South Maple Railway and of course my perennial favourites - Broxburn Sidings and Cascade Crossings.
I left the exhibition early so I could get home, have a debrief about my son’s morning soccer game and then within an hour head back out again for a further fix on model railways. I headed down to Darren’s layout - Wattle Flat along with four others, and then the 6 six of us (including Darren), had a BBQ dinner and then had the first official timetable operating session on the layout. It was great! We ran 3 trains out and two of them got to come back in just under a hour and a half of operations. Crickey there is some shunting to do on that layout. It was very good indeed, although the loco that I had was configured to a very high level of momentum, so I had to travel very slowly and the brake function was not configured. It was driving me crazy. Due to this very, very slow throttle response time on the throttle, at least once, there might have been an acquisition that I might have put some wagons through the end of the stop blocks. Luckily, there was no photographic evidence available, of the supposed incidents. So now those incidents are referred to as – What incidents? I have no idea what you are talking about!
Following the session, we had a quick discussion before I had to head back home at just before 9:00pm. It was also quite cool out last night and on the long trip home, I was accompanied home by the trust car heater.
Here are some photos of the Darren's layout:-
A view of Wattle Flat station.
The local grain processing plant.
The next major location further towards Sydney.
The next location, a very nice ballast siding.
The first location modelled on the layout - North Gulgong. I had a train that I needed to shunt at this location. Crickey it was complex!
The staging yard with two of the staged trains on the right most two tracks. One train started at North Gulgong. The train that I ran was second from the right. It was quite long.
There are quite a few other locations not captured here of other locations where industries are starting to spring up and be incorporated into Darren's timetable. It is coming along just great. I await the next opportunity to muddle up a shunting activity.