Sunday, March 7, 2010

It Starts From Here

I've been modelling trains for most of my life and it's always been my aim to have a layout that I felt represented somewhere in the real world. I've spent the past 20 odd years living in inner city Sydney which is not exactly conducive to having space set aside for building a layout so those years were spent researching and honing my modelling skills. Which mostly meant building something, thinking it was good and then seeing a model in AMRM or MRJ and then rebuilding it.....oh well. My friend Elscotto says I should keep some models to show how I've progressed. I think he's right to a point but some models shouldn't see the light of day let alone be run in a train. Anyway, there will be a couple left to show where it all started from.

So, 3 years ago my wife and I decided we had to move from Newtown to the suburbs as we wanted our 2 kids to have a back yard to play in. The added bonus here was that the train room was one of the prerequisites for the new home. So we bought a house in sunny Earlwood, still close to all the shops and eateries we love but importantly it had a 2 car garage that is to become the home for Picton.

Why Picton?

I've always loved the Main South and I originally wanted to model Cootamundra as it was the junction for the Tumut / Batlow Branch which I had travelled on a couple of tours in 1970's as a teenager. And it has the mainline with thundering 36'ers and 57's as well as 12's, 19's and 30T's shuffling up the branch. But to do it justice would require much more space than I had so back to the drawing board. So where else? It had to be on the Main South and it had to have a branch connection and preferably with an engine shed. Junee, forget it. Harden...maybe but again would require too much space. I contemplated Galong but it didn't have enough complexity. Goulburn was in the same boat as Junee which then left Picton. Picton had it all, mainline, branchline and engine shed plus the added attraction of Stonequarry viaduct. So Picton it is and set in the 1930's.

Why the 1930's?

To me it was the goldon age of the NSWGR but still with hints of an older era. There were specially painted named trains, pastoral green passenger engines, 57's starting to run from Enfield, tapered boilered standard goods and a plethora of beautifully lined, tuscan and russet carriages. Heaven! And the multitudes of classes of goods wagons and brake vans, a large proportion of which would disappear in the post war modernisation programmes. And the last of the J's, D's and L's were still earning their keep but unfortunatley not on the main south or its branches.

That's why it's the 1930's for me.

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