2017 Corio Model Railway Club show report (28-29 January)

The city of Geelong (of which Corio is a suburb) is just over 90 kilometres away from home, that’s around an hours travelling time each way in the car. I may be getting fussy in my old age. I find myself considering the costs of getting to and entering shows versus the enjoyment gained as a criteria for attendance. The Corio Club’s show is still one of the best large non-metropolitan Melbourne shows going, although I find that my fascination with the ‘BIG’ exhibition layouts diminishing, and the desire to find and watch small layouts is growing rapidly. Don’t mistake that I am only interested in small layouts. What I want to see at exhibitions are more layouts by individuals, for individuals. That is people who’ve built a layout, who can show others how to build a layout for themselves. The large club layouts are fantastic to me but I know that they are beyond my personal reach, and I am sure that when the punters who come through the door so full of enthusiasm get home, take a long hard look at the price of trains, track, baseboard, effort, blah, blah, and blah are left with a hollow feeling. That is the feeling of not being able to achieve. I’m hoping to reverse that trend with my own small layouts this year. More on those for later posts; during the meanwhilst let’s on to the exhibition report.

Exhibition report

The 44th MR Exhibition was very well attended. So well attended in fact that it was very warm inside the location and packed to the gills. Moving around was difficult to achieve, photography even more so. The site this year was larger than in previous years, moving from Geelong West out to Belmont, near Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus. It appeared easy to get to by public transport and by car. Well supported by the local and national vendors including Broad Gauge Models, Outback Model Company, SDS Models, Kerroby Models, Train World Pty Ltd, Road and Rail Hobbies, and many more. This year there did seem to be more vendors than exhibitors though. I understand that you need vendor support, yet I felt crowded in by vendors and struggled to see enough layouts.

One brighter note was the layout bought by, and showcasing the models of, Phoenix Models and Hobbies. Not only the best layout at the show (small of course), even though it was not listed in the program. I was impressed by the central idea which dovetails nicely with other layout ideas I’ve been working on for some time. Now let’s get into the images.

Image Galleries

There were several layouts of note. Some I’ve shown on the blog before, others new.


The first is Yendys from the ACT Model Society. A large layout imagining a section of the leafy outskirts of the Sydney are. As a Sydney boy born and bred it reminds me most of the main western line between Stanmore and Ashfield. It could just as well be the Bankstown line between Sydenham and Hurlstone Park. If you’ve ever spent any time in Sydney’s inner city by the railway you can smell the brake dust and diesel fumes the moment you see this layout.


This HO scale layout displays the area around Alexandra in Melbourne’s north-east as it was in 1947, prior to the closure of the timber tramway. The track plan is the original Victorian Railways (VR) track plan. Buildings are scratchbuilt from photos with the Broad Gauge (5’3″) VR line coming in from the left side of the layout and the narrow gauge tramway coming in from the right. Each has its own fiddle yard. You can read more about the tramway by visiting the museum’s website. If you look closely you’ll see on the model the green Kelly & Lewis 0-6-0DM of 1935 in the images.

Phoenix Models and Hobby display layout

This layout was the standout of all layouts at the show. Yet it was not in the Exhibitors program. I hope they’ll bring it to many more shows in the future. There’ll be more on this layout and it’s features in another post soon.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope that you enjoyed the layout tours. This is not all of them mind you but the standout ones I wanted to share.



11 thoughts on “2017 Corio Model Railway Club show report (28-29 January)”

  1. I love the Phoenix Models switching layout. Lost of action in not a huge amount of space. Thank you for posting this.


    1. Jeremy – you are most welcome. I could not believe that this was not entered in the competition for best layout. Completely gutted that it was not actually. It was just fantastic and well presented too. Thanks for commenting mate.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrew, I agree wholeheartedly about Ian’s layout – I have seen it a number of times now (Kyneton, Warrnambool and Corio) and appreciate it’s relative simplicity (all insulfrog points I understand) notwithstanding the versatility of the shunting operations that can be carried out. Ian is a great bloke and always willing to talk to you about his design concept and how he operates the layout. Moreover his layout shows you what is achievable with minimal resources and which appears to be a lot of fun to operate. I look forward to seeing it at many more exhibitions in th future.




    1. Thanks for jumping in Peter. Normally I don’t like a layout full of track, and yet in this case it looks just right. Just t like the real thing and I look forward to catching up with Ian the next time I see this layout in action. And I hope to take a lot more photos.


  3. Andrew… I appreciate the fact that simple but memorable layouts can be constructed with simple resources – “Twigg” (an exhibition regular for years) is another great example of this approach. I look forward to seeing it at many more exhibitions.


    1. Peter, no worries. I’ve edited the second comment because I think it has a lot of value in it still. Let me know if I need to make any changes. I don’t think that I altered the direction of the comment.


      1. Andrew

        That’s fine – thanks for doing that – once again my apologies – I had thought that the original did not get published but had not realised that any comment was moderated by you first (which makes sense) before publication.




  4. Andrew,
    Thanks for the positive report on our 2017 exhibition.
    By way of feedback the exhibition hall this year was in BELMONT (not Corio).
    We felt this venue handled the show crowd better and, with support from City of Geelong, have now been able to book that venue again for 2018.
    Hope your readers don’t look for us in Corio next year?


    1. Peter;
      Thanks for the correction. I’ll make sure to update the post and publish an update to make sure to get people to the right spot next year. Keep me up to date on what’s going on for 2018. Glad to help get the word out for the show.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.