New HO Layout Justification

This document was presented to the club at the General Meeting on 15th September 2021 to gain approval to redevelop the main HO layout.

Reasons to undertake a major redevelopment of the club layout:

  1. Need to attract new members to the club

Currently only approx. 10 members can be classed as ‘active’

Previously the club had a ‘day crew’ (retired etc) and an ‘evening crew’ (employed) – unfortunately most of the evening crew are now day crew and activity at the club ceases around 7.30pm on Wed

We need to attract new, employed members – we can’t expect them to arrive at say 5.30pm and then we all disappear at 7.30pm

Otherwise, the club will die (along with current members!!)

  1. Lack of variety in Scale, Location, Size of Layouts

Currently only HO Australian and N European available to attract new members

No room to build a small “exhibition” layout even if the labour became available

  1. is in need of major refurbishment

Much of the layout is tired – scenery is poor, wiring is a shambles, etc, etc

After 12m continuous effort the main line track is becoming acceptable BUT the layout design is such that to follow a train requires multiple retracing of steps by the operator

Garry has a favourite term for what we are doing … Polishing—–

Our combined efforts will achieve much better results by ‘starting again’

  1. New Layout

Will be essentially a ‘U’-shape eliminating the middle 2 fingers

A temporary connection will be installed to allow members to run trains as normal while design and preparation work is undertaken (approx. 6months)

Middle two fingers will be dismantled, and the space made available for other layouts – eg OO British, N American, Narrow gauge etc

We can use this space to hopefully attract new members

The remaining ‘U’ shape club layout will be completely rebuilt as a 2‑deck configuration with ‘dual main line’ and heavy industry on the lower level and single track working, rural scenes, coal mine etc on the upper level

The steel works and rolling mill will be relocated to the ends of the two fingers and the ‘gorge/bridge’ scene (ex-Claremont) will be incorporated into the final design.

Estimated timeline – 6m planning (incl dismantling middle 2 fingers), then 2 to 3yr construction.

  1. Funding

Club is currently on a firm financial footing (Gary…) and is undertaking

3 sausage sissles/yr bringing in approx. $3,000/yr

As much as possible of the existing structural material will be recycled (timber and steel framework) together with switchgear, track and point work. New materials will include plywood, foam boards, Masonite sheets, wiring and sundry electrical

Budget for 2021/2022: $1,500 (from Sep)