RailFest this weekend

It was full steam ahead last night down at the club trying to get ready for RailFest this Sunday. With the N‑Scalers only just back from the Albany Hobby Expo, and the Arid Australia boys still making their way back from Sydney, we are not as prepared as we normally are.

All members are requested to come along on Sunday for as long as they can — not just the one or two hours you have put your name down for on the public layout roster. It appears likely we could be short of people!

The picture above is from the N‑Scale layout whilst on display at Albany. It shows the brilliant effect that can be achieved by using “Glass Coat” 2‑part epoxy resin for simulating water. The picture is of a cow drinking from the river (complete with reflection) viewed under the bridge on the new terminus station module constructed specially for this exhibition. On the rails above, a German beer train is being shunted by a steam engine.

I’ll post some more pictures from the exhibition soon.

Hard Work — Soft Light

3km bridge at Hotham Valley Railway following heavy rains at the end of May.

The Railway Museum will be exhibiting selected photographic prints by WA photographer Kevin Scott taken for the new book 48 months, 48 minutes — building the Perth to Mandurah railway. The exhibition will be on display Sunday afternoons from 29th June 2008 for a limited time only. This book, and others about the new line, is on sale at the museum. [Hard Work — Soft Light Photographic Exhibition Flyer]

The official opening of the photographic exhibition will be on Sunday 29th June at 3pm. Kevin Scott will be at the museum to open the exhibition and speak about this project — get your copy of the book signed by the photographer!

AMRA have started sending the Branchline newsletter electronically to us, instead of by post, so I’ll upload them to this website from now on rather than printing them out: AMRA Branchline — June 2008. One advantage of getting it electronically is that all the pictures are in colour!

This edition contains the wrap up from the Model Railway Show as well as an interesting snippet about sound equipped DCC locos. The issue of excessive noise levels in the club rooms as a result of the constant throbbing of sound equipped diesel locos, or the chuffing of steamers, has come up on a couple of occasions in our club. AMRA have obviously had the same issue as their committee has decided that sound equipped locos may only be run (with the sound on) in their clubrooms for a 10 minute period following each hour (i.e. from ‘o’clock’ to ‘ten past’, one sixth of the time).

Remember the devastating bushfires around Dwellingup at the beginning of 2007? Thousands of hectares of bush were burnt out, and the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway was severely affected as every one of their timber trestle bridges was destroyed — as well as many drainage culverts and thousands of wooden sleepers. Restoration and rebuilding of the railway is proceeding well, and I was delighted to discover progress is being documented and photographed on-line on the news pages on their web site.

A link to the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway has been added to the links page.

Image: The rebuilt 3km bridge on the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway after heavy rains at the beginning of June 2008 (from the HVTR web site).

Arid Australia” at the 2008 Perth Model Railway Show

Iron-ore cars

72 photographs of “Arid Australia” at the 2008 Perth Model Railway Show are now available as a Picasa web photo album in the gallery. (This is the first time I have used a Picasa web photo album on this site so please let me know if you experience any problems with it.)

Several (informal) attempts were made to break the world record for longest model train over the weekend with varying degrees of success. The best attempt occurred on the final day of the show when a 902 car train was assembled by joining five sections of 180 cars, each hauled by one locomotive (with one extra set of two cars on the end, with the end of train marker). The resulting consist travelled a distance of around 50 feet without interruption — the best of the day.

Whilst this train was long enough and technically travelled far enough for it to reclaim the world record, it was less than what the “Arid Australia” crew were actually hoping for. In their eyes it isn’t a proper train unless it does at least one complete circuit of the layout without derailment or outside assistance. Sadly they were unable to achieve that goal.

Arid Australia” is now planning to travel to the Sydney Model Railway Exhibition at the beginning of October where they plan to break the world record properly (with a bit of luck)!

Image: Some of the 1100 iron-ore cars stacked in the holding sidings.

Perth Model Railway Show 2008

\

The annual Model Railway Show run by AMRA(WA) is on again for all three days of this Foundation Day long weekend (31st May — 2nd June). We are participating again in this year’s show by helping run the mighty “Arid Australia” layout — a truly massive layout capable of running immense length iron-ore trains with multiple locos and nearly one thousand wagons. (The “Arid Australia” group is not a part of the WAMRC, but all of it’s members are also members of the WAMRC — so it is closely linked.)

12 years ago at the same exhibition (on 3rd June 1996), “Arid Australia” set an official Guinness World Record for the longest model train consisting of 650 iron ore wagons and 4 locomotives. They lost the record on 27th November 2005 when Miniature Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany made an 887 car train with three locomotives.

This year, all the stops have been pulled out to try to win the record back. The layout has been extended (to allow for longer trains), double tracked (to allow other trains to run while the record attempt is set up — which takes a long time), converted to DCC (for better power control and distribution), and every owner of a significant number of HO scale iron-ore cars in the Perth area has been approached to see if they can be borrowed for the weekend. They have nearly 1,100 cars available and enough space on the layout to run a train of 900–950 cars. Can it be done? Come on down to the show and find out for yourself!

Image: The WAMRC N‑Scale layout “Maple Deutshe” on display at the Model Railway Show in 2005