Tag Archives: Geelong

An Australian RIP (switching) layout

At the Corio Model Railway show in 2017, I was lucky enough to catch this outstanding Australian switching layout. Owned by Ian Wilson of Ian Wilson Models (which is sadly no longer in business) this layout was simply outstanding. You’ll notice that the layout is completely self-contained, with no off layout cassettes or fiddle-yard.

Despite that, it had all the needs for a working layout including a run-around to allow the single locomotive to serve all facing and trailing sidings.

At 2400mm (8′) long by 600mm (2′) wide, it was a delight to see operate in the flesh. Sadly I was advised today, that the layout is (sigh), no more.

If you have any images of the layout or further information on it, I’d love to know. Please contact me through this site’s contact page (which send me an email), or on the Facebook page with details.

Enjoy the gallery of images.


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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.


Site seeing 17 February


I love the internet publishing phenomenon. What Gutenberg did for the printed book, the internet has done for the publisher. We now have more access to more information than ever before. I cannot vouch for the veracity of the information provided, in general for the modeller the publishing boom has been a godsend.

We now have access to more free, high quality photos of areas, industries, locomotives, railroad operators and rolling stock than in any time in the history of railroads. I could not create the prototypical layout designs I do without this access.

If you’ve not read this blog before, I live in the Western Gold Fields of Victoria, in the fair city of Ballarat. The city is steeped in our country’s (albeit short) history. Primarily Ballarat’s history focuses on the Eureka stockade and the beginnings of the Australian democracy movement. Geelong our nearest sea port (and Victoria’s largest Regional centre) is a short 88 kilometre, 60 minute drive south. (Unfortunately there is no direct rail service there at the moment.) But I digress…

Site 1 – Rail Geelong

Today’s site seeing tour focuses on our nearest big regional centre Geelong, and its railways. I only discovered the site thanks to T-Trak Ian’s blog with a link from there to the Sadliers photo page (Link Here)

There is a lot of photos there, and even though I am relatively short drive down the road, I’ll be using Marcus Wong’s site for quite a bit of research in the near future.

You can visit Marcus’ excellent site here: http://www.railgeelong.com/

Site seeing – February 14 – with a difference

Site seeing with a difference this St Valentines Day. The family headed for the ocean today to Geelong Victoria. While we were down that way I took the opportunity to visit K & L Model Railways Hobbies & Model Construction Supplies of 81 Ryrie St, Geelong VIC 3220.

All I have to say is – what a surprise. The shop is small, but what it lacks in floor space it more than makes up for in stock. They have a great range of O scale parts, kits and so on.

Had a chat to the owner to the owner this morning and I’ll be back there again once I have a bit more disposable income.

With K & L’s assistance I’ll be building a rake of O scale (7mm:Foot) NSWGR 4 wheel RU Grain wagons (see a photo here: Offsite Photo).

These cars have been on my build list for some times but not being able to find a local source of Brass ‘W’ irons and sprung axle blocks has meant that I’ve had to hold off on the build.

With K & L’s owner assuring me that he can get me everything I need the RU planning process can begin. I expect to build the first body out of styrene, then I’ll cast the remaining bodies before tackling the chassis out of brass section. This will make mounting and securing the ‘W’ irons much easier.

All the best on a lovely ‘cool’ summer Saturday in Ballarat.