Monday, November 03, 2014

Aussie layouts

One of the biggest differences between the Australian model railway scene and the UK one is the lack of exhibitions. With major population centres being hundred, if not thousands of miles apart, any exhibitions would be very localised with little chance of bringing layouts in from outside the immediate area.

Down under, they also enjoy much more space outside the city centres than we do. Bungalows on plots larger than most UK executive houses occupy are the most common suburban accommodation. These allow for proper sized train shed often twice the size of our double garages.

All this meant I saw many very large layouts that were permanent installations. Each featured several stations and the system was operated far more like the prototype than the theatre presentations we tend to do for exhibition display. Trains are passed between operators and dealt with in a prototypical manner.

Rather than bring the layout to the operators, the operator travel around the layouts. Each weekly meeting takes place at a different venue with the team enjoying a running session + stubbies. If there are 5 in the team, that allows everyones layout to be worked once a month, allowing plenty of time for subsequent repairs and tweaks before they descend again.
Some of the layouts are vast empires. Even the more modest ones would be considered large by UK standards. You don't see many UK models where a Garratt can earn its keep in the way the real thing did!

1 comment:

Andreas Jodner said...

Phil, Good to see that you have made a mention of layouts you saw while in Australia as a guest speaker at the 2014 BRMA Convention in Adelaide.