For the first time in 13 years, I ventured down to the Modelling the Railways of NSW Convention. This one being No.33. The last time I went, I think Paige had just been born and the Convention was still at Petersham. This year’s convention was at Loftus TAFE, the same location as for the last few years. I was joined there by fellow Tuesday Nighters – Darren and Geoff. Also there were the four stooges from Toowoomba - God these guys are funny. Some of this crew were there 13 years ago – at least Bill, Bazz and Dazza that I can remember.
I left home Friday morning, travelling by bus and then train to Brisbane Airport. I fly Virgin to Sydney. At Sydney Airport I was met by Darren and Geoff, and we proceeded to head into Sydney by train and visit Hobby Co, have lunch and then head out to the ARHS at Redfern where Geoff picked up some bargains. This was followed by a further train ride to Kirrawee and then a short walk to the Sutherland Motel - our place of residence for 2 nights.
Once settled in we went for a walk to the Boyle's Hotel and had a couple of beers before we heard that the Toowoomba guys had also arrived. So we walked back to the Motel and then soon after walked to a nice Thai place and had a great dinner over a few more beers and then back to the motel for a night cap, and plenty of great laughs. It turned out that the Coffs Harbour guys were also staying at the same Motel on Saturday night.
The next morning we walked to Loftus TAFE (about 20-25 minutes) and had a very enjoyable time. I purchased a few items, including an X200 class along with a decoder, and 6 sets of white metal gates and 4 water tanks. There was plenty of other things I would have liked to buy but I thought the weekend had already cost enough.
After another 20-25 minute walk back to the motel, we arranged for a pickup of pizza and garlic bread and of course these had to be washed down with some cold amber fluids. Again we had great company and lots of laughs, but eventually pulled up stumps late.
Today we were up early and caught the train into Domestic Airport and flew home. After catching the Airtrain from Brisbane Airport to Altandi - cost $0, I was picked up by the boss and caught up on yesterday’s Soccer score - 9-0 (Go Lauries) and the other incidents that ended up with Kyle having an X-ray to his ribs following activities at his sister’s school’s Open Day. He had issues from a soccer game 2 weeks ago and they were came back to bite the poor kid hard yesterday. This wasn’t mentioned to me while I was interstate yesterday. He needs to rest all week, if he wants to add to his season goal tally from last weekend of 3.
At the Convention, there was a good selection of topics and I was able to find 5 that interested me. I believe I learned a bit and now I just need to put that into action. I will certainly try to put into action some tips I learnt from Warren Herbert from his fastrack point building demo. Again the display layout (Bullenbung Creek) was fabulous. I had to laugh when one session that I went to, had a reference to Craig’s Shed in his presentation’s sources. That made me feel quite chuffed. I also had some good conversations with quite a few people. Maybe if we had access to a car while down in Sydney, we could have done a few things on Friday and Saturday night or Sunday during the day. So maybe next year, if we can get four coming down from Brisbane, we might drive down and back, spending Friday at the ARHS and Sunday at Exhibitions and potentially Operating Sessions in Sydney(?). I just hope finances permit this occurring next year as well.
So this arvo after lunch, I took my gains down to the Shed, and tested the X200 on DC, and then installed the Decoder into it. It worked quite well. I then set about locating the various new gates and water tanks around the layout at their proposed future locations. In an effort to tidy up a bit after dumping everything in the Shed from the previous weekend, I located 30 Jacaranda trees around the layout. They look very good indeed. During the week, I was spending lunch times at work trying to watch a few minutes of the DVD that Shelton burnt from a video taken by Darren back in 1992 from the cab of double 44 class locos when travelling from Clapham Yard to Grafton. I still have not completed the detailed analysis of this video as I'm only half way there at the moment, but I have taken quite a few notes to assist with detailed scenery planning around the layout in my crossing loops and between loops. One thing I did record was the location of various Jacaranda trees located around Cassino. So these locations now have their correct trees installed.
I think I will now jump in and get my two 73 class locos operational over the few weeks and then jump into adding quite a few more meters of fencing around the layout and permanently adding a few more trees. I have about 20-30 trees in various locations around the layout that need coating with no more gaps. I should get stuck into this as well as adding foliage to about 25 woodland scenic trees that I also have. Still plenty to get done on Cassino. I think I will sleep well tonight.