Category Archives: About

General Information

Jack ‘Shortliner’ Trollope – RIP – April 27, 2019

For those of you reading, who did not know Jack “Shortliner” Trollope, AKA Shortliner Jack, you really missed out on an experience. Jack was a courteous and caring man, modeller and mentor. Always giving of his ideas, and time, with many across the world of model railways.

His passion for small space railroad modelling ignited my passion. It wasn’t until today that I realised I have been in touch with him regularly for most of the last 20 years online, in forums and through the Model Trains International magazine and website. He was the person who first took an interest in my designs and got me to write several articles for MTI over the years.

His most enduring design (I think) was Box Street yard. A timeless design along the lines of Cyril Freezer’s ‘Minories’, Alan Wright’s ‘Inglenook’ and John Allen’s ‘Timesaver’. To have a layout design spoken about in that august company should by anyone’s model railroading standard be considered an honour. I’ve included an image of Box Street below (image courtesy of Carendt.com) . Click on the image to get taken to the site for a full review of Jack’s layout design. A fitting tribute to the man and the modeller.

To his wife and family you have my deepest sympathies. I’ve shed a tear, and to his memory I’ll raise a beer shortly. RIP Jack. You’ll be greatly missed. You’ll not be forgotten.

Andrew

Site Update – The 2018 year in review edition

Earlier this year Andrew’s Trains passed the 100,000 individual views mark. I was very pleased at that result. You can read more by clicking the link above. With the start of 2019 I wanted to review the year that was at Andrew’s Trains, and see what insights came to light.


The year that was

2018 was a good year. Of note have been that the small layout designs have been of greatest interest to those visiting. Of note:

  • Just over 32000 hits on the blog, and
  • Almost every month was bigger than the year before (which is good)

Insights show that most people are still looking at the layout designs. So that will give me the focus for this year.

The year that will be

During 2019 I’ll have a couple of projects that I want to complete. These are:

  • More modelling and scratchbuilding – kitbashing/modding – articles including completing all the outstanding/started but not finished freight car projects,
  • Updating all the small layout designs with their own pages and a written operating plan to help readers understand their design and operation, and
  • Chronicling the design and build of my own small layout (8′ x 1.5′  – 2400mm x 450mm) shunting layout, with off-board staging.

I’ll be uploading more sketched ideas, and less of the computer generated designs than I have in the past. This is simply down to time, as in I don’t have enough of it to spend on learning new software packages while not having enough time to model. With my work as a tram driver I just don’t have the spare time to devote to any hobby that I’ve had in the past working regular 9-5 jobs.

I’ll be finishing the current XAF10 Railbox series of articles and complete the build articles that I’ve been working on for quite some time for the Victorian Government Railways ‘GY’ wagon build, and any other outstanding articles completed too.

Thanks for coming back and thanks too for those of you following the channel. You are the reason I’m doing this. I love sharing my skills, tools and ideas and all I hope is that you get the bug and start to build and operate. All the best.

Andrew Martin

Site update – Milestones, not mill stones

This month I’ve reached the first major goal I had for this blog – 100,000 individual views.


Satisfaction and thanks

100,000 individual views is not bad for a one man band. It is a joy to know that something I love so much, small layouts combined with operation, could be something that inspired so many of you to come along with me on this ride.

I’d like to thank you all for your time, not only to view, comment and write emails but for the personal lift I’ve received when you did so.

The model railroad hobby can often be a lonely thing. Working so far from so many of you, in regional Victoria, in southeastern Australia while modelling primarily US railroads would not be possible without the help of so many of you.

Looking forward to hitting the quarter million view mark as the next milestone. I hope that you’ll stay along for the ride.

Site update – Tram pictures update – A2 Class edition

I’ve updated the Melbourne A2 class page with additional photos of the Southbank assigned units.

I’ll continue to update photos as I find or take them.

Site update – Tram pictures update – A1 Class edition

I’ve finished uploading and documenting all of my recent Melbourne A1 class tram photos. You can see the page here: https://wp.me/P47pPY-hi

All the photos are of Southbank trams (with some exceptions where I’ve not driven them). There are some Glenhuntly A1 class trams that I’ve not managed to get photos of – yet.

Keep coming back as I’ll be updating photos as I can get them. And I have a bunch that I’ve yet to get on the website. They’ll continue to come up as I can get the time to upload and write them up.

 

Merry Christmas for 2017

Hi all;

Just wanted to say a quick Merry Christmas to you all. It’s been a busy year at work. So the sharing here has been light on. I wanted to wish you all the best for the Christmas season, and the best for 2018. Be safe, be happy, keep modelling and operating your layouts and keep coming back when you can.

Merry Christmas 2017 from Andrew Martin

Site Seeing – May 25 – MRH Universal modelling sizes chart

If you have not become a reader and participant with the crew over at Model Railroad Hobbyist, now is certainly the time to do so. IN the current issue (May 2017) of their free online magazine they have great download: a universal modelling sizes chart.

Has all the major gauges in the chart in both PDF and Excel format free for download.

Go here for the download page.

Enjoy and have a great day.

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.

Yendys

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.

Alexandra

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.

 

Site seeing – January 27 – The ‘times they are a changing’ edition

I received an email from Shawn Branstetter earlier this week announcing that his site http://shortlinemodelers.com/ would be closing down very shortly. I was, to say the least devastated. Shawn’s site is a treasure trove of useful articles and ideas.

I contacted Shawn for comment and post it here in its entirety: “Unfortunately it is true Andrew. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with the content however, the Facebook page will remain active. Whiteriver Productions has expressed interest in hosting the content and I don’t want the name to go away I just don’t have time to be a developer, writer, very poor editor and illustrator by myself and find time to build. It’s just too much. Somehow I will make sure all content is available to everyone. As soon as I figure that out, I’ll let you know.”

Site 1: Get it before it is gone – Shortline Modelers

Go see it and grab anything you can now. Not sure how long this will remain available or where it may move to. Check out his cement modelling articles – they are outstanding.

Site 2: Shortline Modelers on Facebook

Head on over to the Facebook page and follow him there if you have a Facebook account. This will keep you in touch with Shawn for the future.

Site Update – 13 November 2016 – Ballarat Tramway #18 Page

During 2016 Ballarat Tramway museum’s number 18 has undergone some major mechanical work to keep her running. Among the works being undertaken are motor rewinds, wheel reprofiling, work on the axles to bring them back into true, work on the Brill truck, journals and bearings. All of this is normally underneath the tram and out of the public view.

During our regular Tramway Tuesday working bee members have been involved in preserving the tram, and thankfully preserving the skills involved in maintaining trams like Grandfather used to. It is only one benefit of volunteering at a working Tramway Museum.

I’ve updated the number 18 page with a gallery for the work being undertaken. I’ll add photos as I take them over our Southern Hemisphere summer as she gets put back together. These photos are a rare and interesting chance to see under the skirts of a tram. I hope that you enjoy them.

Drop me a line or post a comment on the page if you find something you like.