Sunday, December 18, 2011


I guess it's about time I post an update seeing as its about 6 weeks since I last posted anything. The trip to study new methods of salt mining went well except for the trip home. 36 hours straight in planes and airports and 2 hours sleep does not make Mr Picton a happy chappy but at least I went to some places I hadn't been before. Tried to get some train action in but my colleagues are not what you'd call "enthusiasts" so I was limited to watching what went past close to the hotel. Here's some suburban train action in Stockholm

Modern Stock and no Graffiti

Stockholm was a blast with fine food and lots of history except for a bit of salt mining thrown in to ruin everything.
When I got back, I was supposed to begin doing the house repairs but unfortunately our builder got delayed on his current job so now, this isn't going to happen until January 9. Which wasn't a bad thing seeing I came down with 2 'flu's in row and would have been totally useless. Anyway, what all this means is that not a lot has been happening at Picton. I've finished off the L girders for the lower deck and am now in the process of attaching the bearers and backdrops.

Slowly bit Surely

A Certain Viaduct will be located here

Hopefully, I'll have all the bench work done soon and can move back on to track laying and wiring and hopefully running some trains one day.

There's one other thing that's also happened recently that just goes to show you what resourcefull, helpful modellers are out there and the value of the Internet. My fellow Pictonite, Linton, posted a question in the Yahoo Group, Aus_Model_Rail regarding obtaining bullhead rail so he could build the road over bridge at the Sydney end of Picton Station. I replied and we had a bit of banter then the next thing I know, Linton and I get an email asking about what information we're after for the bridge. Anyway, I'm not going to go into too much detail but the information we've received from this gentleman is pure gold and we're both extremely grateful for his help on this. He wished to remain anonymous and I respect that but I'd like to thank him for the information he's shared with us as it will go along way for Linton and I to build some accurate models. Thanks heaps!!!!

This maybe the last post before Christmas so I'd like to wish a very Merry Christmas to you all and your families and hope Santa brings you lots of railway goodness. I know there's a little boy in my family who's getting some LNER 4472 love. Have a good one!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Progress

I've been beavering away in the Train Cave laying the grade for the Loopline from the junction round the reverse loop up to Thirlmere. Also done is Thirlmere and the beginning of the grade up to Hill Top as well as some of the hidden sidings. I plan to finish off the top deck and then do the bottom deck followed by the track work. While thinking about the track work, I thought I'd do some research on flex track prices as I certainly won't be hand laying the track in the hidden sidings. I began by looking locally for pricing on Shinohara Code 70 flex track and the best price I could get was $15.70 per metre. A quick check on the net yielded $6.70 from Walthers!! Add in the exchange rate and it's a no-brainer where I will be buying the track from. I've read around the various groups that people are often getting far better prices overseas for supplies and now I see what they are talking about. Up until now, I've had no need to purchase things overseas that could be purchased here. All the stuff I need is either only available here or overseas exclusively. People also mention about the price mark up from the wholesaler / importer and if that's the case, then I can see why people are complaining and buying overseas. I hope the wholesalers wake up soon otherwise the local hobby shop will find it difficult to compete. Anyway, here's some pic's of the current progress.

What a mess

1 in 40 all the way

Still some work to do

I'll be having a bit of a break for a couple of weeks as the salt mine is sending me away for a bit and when I get back, I'll be into some major repairs on the house that needs attention so I don't know how much work I'll be getting done in the next month. You never know.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


It was brought to my attention at the Liverpool exhibition that I hadn't updated the blog for a while. I explained that I had nothing to update and therefore had nothing to say. Now I could get all "emo" or political and talk about absolute crap just to get a post up but this blog is about building Picton so if there's nothing happening, there's no posting.
There's actually been a bit happening but how much can you talk about building bench work? I've cut and mounted the bearers plus mounted some of the back drops. Check it out.
Loopline Storage yard

The grade up to Thirlmere from the bottom deck

The grade up to Hill Top

I'm slowly getting there but there's a lot to do including building the lower deck.
Liverpool was good again this year, though I must admit I did more talking than looking at layouts. I guess the layouts didn't interest me that much as the NSWGR layouts are all too modern for my tastes. Still, there was some very good modelling although one scene that made Elscotto and I laugh was a Belpaire Pig crossing a Freight Rail 81 class...yeah!!
And Mike McCormac made an entry as well!!!!! Only 5 or so years we've been waiting but good things come to those with lots of patience and the wait has been worth it. Doggies galore for Picton and I can only hope that Mike gets the support that he deserves so he can look at getting the CX and BX done as well. Just not another 5 years please Mike!!!
Also met Linton from Stonequarry Creek who was loitering around Mike's stand looking to take some Doggies for a walk too. He couldn't hang around due to some inconsiderate friends having a wedding on Liverpool Saturday. How dare they!
I'll keep plugging away at the bench work and keep updating the blog when there's something worth talking about. Unless I get all Emo and want to have a cry.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

This Time For Sure

I've started the benchwork for Picton Mk II and work has been progressing well so far. I decided to use L girders this time around as it will be easier to get the grades right as well as the multiple levels for the spiral and storage yards. Ian T sent me some photocopies from Linn H Westcott's article in Model Railroader describing how to build L Girder benchwork. This article would be nearly 50 years old now but is still relevant today. One things for sure, the bench work is much stronger than Picton Mk I.
I've been spending about 2 hours a night since the last post and so far, I've built the L girders for 3/4 of the Loopline which is attached to the wall plus the top and bottom for the standalone parts of the layout. I've still got to build the cross members which the roadbed risers will attach to plus the roadbed itself so there's still quite a bit of work to go. Plus the bottom deck, the backdrops and the facias so I'll be busy busy for a while yet.
Fortunately, I've been able to re-use all the wood from the first benchwork attempt so I've not wasted anything in the rebuild except for my time.

Thirlmere is over on the back wall and the spiral from the bottom to the top deck will be in the foreground

Another view of the bench work where the spiral and the storage sidings will be

Looking down the aisle to the work bench. Hill Top used to be attached to the wall on the left

I'll keep building away for the next couple of weeks and see how it goes. Not long to the Liverpool exhibition either so lots of train action in store.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


As I've said in a previous post, Ian T came over and suggested I make some changes to the layout design as the current plan wouldn't have been practical as I get older and less mobile. So, in the meantime, he's been slaving away at his computer and has come with a whole new track plan and design. And it's a heap better than my feeble attempt, not that my track plan wouldn't have worked, it's just that Ian's version has something "extra" that mine didn't. The trap I fell into was the old "must use all available space" which isn't necessary if you have a 6m x 6m space. The other problem Ian has solved is where to put my work bench, now its facing the back wall next to the window and with no railway to hinder things. Here's how the new track plans look,

Bottom Deck

Top Deck

The new design has meant that the first attempts at layout building need to be rebuilt and with that, everything has come down. It's amazing how quickly things come apart compared to putting them together. Everything is now pulled apart and I've rebuilt where Thirlmere is and have moved the 2 top and bottom decks from near the garage doors, where Hill Top is on the plan, to where the hidden exchange sidings will be.
The lesson here, I think, is to vett your plans with other people, particularly people who have built a few layouts otherwise you might end up making some critical mistakes like I would have. Luckily, I wasn't at a point where it was too late.
A Big thanks to Ian T for putting in the time and effort to come up with the new plan and helping me get it right.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Paint the Town Red

I've worked out what was going wrong with the spray painting finally. I got the mixture right and the pressure right but still the airbrush was not giving the desired results. I was trying to do some weathering of my goods wagons and there was still splotches and furriness happening and it had me dumbfounded. My airbrush is a Paasche VL double action that had worked previously but I had an old Badger single action airbrush that I used to use 20 years ago so I thought, what the hell, I'll give the Badger a go. And, voila, all is good in spray paint land. So I quickly finished weathering the goods wagons (See new Goods Wagons page) and splashed some venetian red around on some passenger carriages. Now the trick will be working out what's gone wrong with the Paasche. Here's how I Paint the Town Red

BKD Prison Van

KB Bulk Mail Van

FN Second Class Car

 I ended up painting the 7 car NIB set, 2 x EHO's, 2 x BKG's, KKG, BKD and KB as well as the previously mentioned goods wagon. I'll try and finish the passenger cars soon and then it'll be on to the lining. Can't wait for that.......especially the elaborate '30's lining that I haven't worked out how to do. Can someone remind me why I model the 1930's????

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Going Forward, We Need to Take a Few Steps Back

Well, here we are and it's been over a month since the last post. Some will ask where has he been the slack $%^& and others will say "oh dear, he's back to whinge again" Whatever, I'm going to tell you about the value having somebody else's eyes look over the layout and what you're planning. Elscotto has been great in this but even 2 sets of eyes can miss stuff. Enter Bob G, Es D and Ian T. The 3 amigo's dropped over last Thursday for a bit of a squizz and while they were very encouraging with their feedback, there was also some questions about why I'd done some things a certain way and what were my plans for Picton and gaining access to the top deck. One of the things they brought up was the height of the top deck and also the depth of certain parts of the top deck. So, the top deck is built for us normal height people (Elscotto and I are both over 6ft) but for shorter people, it makes it difficult to see. Also, I've built everything as a still agile middle aged bloke but as I age, I'll lose that dexterity and I won't be able to reach the places I can now. This can be catastrophic for the longevity of the layout and seeing this one will probably be the only one I build, (it'll take me years to complete it) I better get it right to be able to use it in my old age. These are things I didn't consider. Also, we talked about the access to the top deck from the bottom deck and operations. I was planning on running permanent sets of passenger cars to replicate the Mails and Expresses while there'd be shunting for goods trains at Picton as well as permanent goods trains sets like stock trains and fruit expresses. This meant that I'd need storage tracks which I'd thought about but not in great detail
It's important to keep an open mind and not be precious about your modelling as how else do you learn if you can't take any criticism or new ideas? Anyway, Ian T said he'd whip up a track plan developing my ideas which he sent me on Friday. Having seen his ideas, I can tell you it's lucky I hadn't built more bench work as I'll be doing some major alterations by the looks of it. The plan Ian came up with is heaps better than my current one so I'm very pleased and grateful that Ian and the guys are helping me out. I'll post the new track plan once Ian and I finalise it.
In the meantime, I had a bit over a week in Cairns on holidays since the last post so no train time during the break but I have been doing some weathering on the goods wagons which I've posted in a dedicated page. I'll do the same for passenger cars, loco's and scenery when I get around to finishing some.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Busy Busy

I've just taken 2 weeks off from the Salt Mine for 2 main reasons. One, it was my birthday and I don't like to work with salt on my birthday. And secondly, I wanted to finish off the the top deck or 1919 mainline for my layout. I also decided to lay some carpet in the train cave and also make another 4 bookcases so I can move all my train porn into the cave. So it was a very busy 2 weeks in the cave plus a few other odd jobs around the house like fence repairs with my neighbour Gavin and cooking for the little get together I'm having next weekend with friends for my birthday. I don't normally have any celebrations but this year is a little different seeing as my age now has a 5 in it. The good thing about the birthday was the wonderful evening I had with my wife's family and the lovely speech she made for me....I'm sure she was talking about someone else because all of the nice things she said. Some train goodies came my way as well including a NCE ProCab. Woohoo!!!

So here's some pic's of the train cave

Watch your head Fred

New Top Deck

The Top Deck meets

So now, it's back to the Salt mine after all the fun of finishing off the Top Deck. I know where I'd rather be.

Night Time is the Right Time

Went down to the Loftus Tram Museum last night with the Kids and had some rides on trams in the dark. Met up with Elscotto as well as he's a confirmed tram geek as well!! Well Steam Tram that is but the electric type are also cool. The kids loved it as did Elscotto and I and it really showed what it was like to ride in a tram in winter and at night. Running were O 805, W2 249, Adelaide H Car 358, Nagasaki Car and Ballast Tram 42s. Riding in the O was great if a little chilly as the wind whipped in through all the open doors.....luckily it wasn't raining!! The thing that struck me was how bright it was inside the car. For some reason I expected the light to be a bit on the dull side but you'd have no problems reading in the O class.
Everything ran well except for 42s which decided to mount the concrete turning from the mainline between Railway Square and the workshops. No problem though, just back 'er up and she re-rails herself.....nice.
It's a pity the Museum can't run the trams down to the Royal National Park after dark but I'm sure there's some rule or regulation which prevents them from doing it.
I also took some photos of which 98% turned out  crap. I've posted the best of the bad bunch for you all to laugh at.

After last night I'm really kicking myself for not hanging around for the night trams during the 150th anniversary celebrations. Hopefully, they'll do it again at the next tram gala and I'll have my act together photographically.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Days are Early Days

As the years go by they seem to get shorter as it feels like only a couple of months ago that I attended the 20th Modelling the Early Days of the NSWGR. This year, the 21st convention has come and gone again and apart from a new venue, the quality of presentations and information was the same as always....excellent.
Some of the standouts were Craig W's presentation on the preservation of a 1903 cattle wagon. This was excellent as I'd seen this particular wagon on the TRAK blog and since they'd disbanded, I'd wondered what had happened to it. I had heard it was going to Oberon but we all know now that the wagon is at Valley Heights and will be the subject of a static restoration / conservation led by Craig. Interestingly, it's the last wooden framed cattle wagon in existence as the preserved examples are all 1960's conversions using standard 18' steel underframes which, as Craig pointed out, are not really a true representation of the cattle wagon as the majority were wooden framed. It also seems that the 2 "Ned Kelly" cars that were conversions from wooden framed cattle wagons have disappeared from the RTM during all the moves and disposals of assets. Not good. Craig is looking for volunteers so get in contact with the RTM if you want to help out on this project.
We also learnt from Ian D about the tubular framed vehicles imported by the railways in the 19th century as well as Cowdery couplings and the experimental combination cars trialed by the railways to try and get more revenue from stock wagons by using them as covered vans as well.
But the standout for me of the day was Gary S and his research on the liveries of the NSW locomotives in the 19th Century. Liveries are such a controversial topic but Gary's well researched presentation left me a lot clearer on the colours used....except maybe below the or indian red???

The other great thing is meeting new people so this year was no different. Spoke with Oscar D about his incredible engineering and the superb results he achieves in his true to scale modelling. I didn't know P87 wasn't "true scale" but I do now. Also met Nick who's been reading this blog....hope you get your house completed soon so you can get back into modelling again.

And lastly, it's the access to great Kits produced to suit the era we model and this year was a beauty. Spent a fair bit of money but what else should I spend it on? Booze, women, fast cars....nah, nerdy trains it is for me!! This year I picked up an 1885 and 1891 louvre van as well as some second hand Pioneer Models 2nd class Redfern cars (thanks Es D) as well as a T 14 class single spinner from John Sever of Ezi Kits.


Yes, the 3 members were gone by 1893 and no, they never ran up the hill beyond Picton but I don't care. It looks so good and should look lovely hauling some 4 wheel passenger cars that Elscotto purchased from Eddie G.

Bring on next year and I won't leave it so late to get my models finished to take to the convention....didn't take any this year as I didn't get to finish them....oh well.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Ants that Ate Earlwood

As usual, I had planned to spend an hour or so per night in the garage working on the railway. Monday went to plan and I spent some time repairing the horseboxes etc that needed some work after the paint stripping exercise. All is good. Tuesday night comes around so I wander out to the garage, lift the roller door and turn on the lights. And I see them. There's a trail of ants wending their way across the floor to the back of the garage where I've stacked some 3mm ply. I check to see if they've made a nest in the ply but no, they obviously prefer something more tasty (and more expensive). The ant trail continues on along the back wall of the garage to where I have a book case where the laptop and ALPS printer lives. You can see where this is going. I look at the bookcase and see that the ant trail leaves the garage floor and climbs up the back of the bookcase to disappear under the laptop........
I lift up the laptop and the little buggers scurry everywhere but this isn't their main objective. I lift up the printer and it's a seething mass of ants and eggs, hundreds of the little %^&$s. But it doesn't end there. There's still ants coming from the printer so I open the hood and there's an even larger mass of writhing insects. I won't bore you with every detail but there were literally thousands of them infesting every nook and cranny, the printer ribbons, the control board, the power supply, the print head even inside one of the paper rollers. So out with the vacuum cleaner and 3 nights later, after dismantling every component, I'd gotten rid of every ant. It then took me 2 nights to get it all back together again as one of the paper feed components fell out when I was dismantling it so I didn't see where it was attached. That took a couple of hours to work out. Fortunately, they didn't like the taste of laptop so I didn't have to pull that apart as well. The good thing is everything appears to work after the ants had been evicted which is a relief as ALPS printers haven't been made in years and I don't where you'd be able to source one. Aust-N-Rail was where I purchased mine but they haven't stocked them for years.
Next week, I'm off on training for the salt mine where I'll become a new and improved being but unfortunately I have to stay on site so no train time this week. Boo!!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Let's do Everything Twice

Modelling is so much fun I'm going to do everything twice.....or so it seems at the moment. During the week I sprayed 2 x BKG's, KKG, KB, BKD, GT and NIB set with some Craftsman Models Tuscan Red that had been laying around for a number of years. Well that was a mistake, at least for the BKG's, KKG, KB and BKD. For some reason, the paint finish was "furry" and reminded me of the texture of rough suede. Now the GT and NIB set seemed to be nowhere near as bad but I can't work out why this has happened to the others. So what this has meant is I've had to strip the paint off with Poly S paint Stripper and start again. It also means reattaching some of the details that have come loose in the stripping process. I'm going to give the NIB and GT a blast of gloss clear to see if that fixes them up otherwise they'll be getting the treatment as well. This has never happened to me using Floquil Paints so I suspect it's to do with the Craftsman paint...maybe not thinned enough or too thinned either way, I've  got to do it again this time with some newer Railey Paint. Oh, I'm all ears if anyone has got any ideas what went wrong.
I also attempted to print the decals I'd spent hours on doing the artwork. I created the artwork using PowerPoint 2010 on my Windows 7 computer in the living room. The ALPS printer is getting on in years and as the manufacturing ceased about 10 years ago, there's no drivers available for modern Operating Systems. This means I have to run the printer via an old P3 laptop running Windows ME and using PowerPoint 2000. So I saved the artwork to the earlier version of PowerPoint and transferred the file to the laptop. I opened the artwork to see if everything was OK and all the print registration was all out of whack. The red shading had moved all over the place and will take hours to get it right again.
Happy Days!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Track, Paint and Decals

Since the last post, I've done a bit more on the layout. I've finally finished all the track for Hill Top and it seems to work OK so far. The proof will be when I finish off the wiring and install the DCC system and run some trains. The DCC system will be coming sometime in June according to the Capital Revue Board so I'll have to wait until then to really prove it. I have to install the point rodding but I think I'll wait until I've proven that the track doesn't derail anything otherwise I could be ripping up track and rodding. It'll be nice to have it done so that I can move onto new projects like the station, platform and scenery. This will be my first attempt at making buildings and scenery so it should be interesting to see how that works out. No doubt there will be some tears along the way. Here's the track for Hill Top.

Hill Top

Sydney End points for the Refuges

I've also painted the NIB set in Manilla and masked them in preparation for painting in Venetian Red. I'll also paint my 2 x BKG, KKG, KB and BKD in red as well

Here's one of the FN's

Lastly, I've been working on the decals I'll need to finish off the models. I've never been happy with any of the commercial decals available for NSWGR carriages (Goods and Passenger) so I long ago bought an ALPS printer to make my own. I used MS Word to create the goods decals and have used MS PowerPoint to create the shaded characters that I'll need to letter my passenger carriages. I've managed to fit all of the codes numbers and class designations onto one A4 sheet.....truly death by PowerPoint

The shading has moved in the conversion process to jpg format

I'm also going to attempt to create the artwork for the fine 1930's lining used on the passenger carriages and see if it's practical to print and apply the decals to the carriages. If that doesn't work I'll try a Rotring pen with some BR buff lining ink I bought from the UK many years ago. If that doesn't work I'll toss it all in and go modern.

Maybe not.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Heard it Through the Grapevine

For some time, I've been trying to get hold of one of the Railscale Ashbury (CB, LCB) cars. These carriages would have to be my favourite carriage and 3 of them survived up to June 1938 so they fit my time period perfectly. Anyway, there was an etched kit produced by Railscale in the late 1980's I believe, well before I became interested in Early 20th Century NSWGR so I missed out on getting a kit. Unfortunately, it was a small run and of course, all kits were sold. I spoke with Eddie at the 2009 Liverpool exhibition and he said he only had 1 side left over so I was going to have to scratch build one if I was going to replicate No13 Cootamundra Day train. My 1924 train composition book shows a mouth watering collection of cars that formed the 9:45am departing train.

HFX    Picton, Saturdays
CX      Picton, Saturdays
LCB    Picton, Saturday excluded
BX     Goulburn, Monday
LFX    Goulburn, Monday
LFX    Goulburn
CX     Goulburn
BK     Camden, Tuesdays and Fridays

By 1937, No13 had become the Goulburn Day Train and was composed of EHO, LFX, 2 x CX and a CUB set, nowhere near as exciting but light years away from today's Explorers.
So while I don't have an exact date as to when the 1924 composition stopped running, it will be running like this for my layout. The BK unfortunately didn't make it through to Picton but you never know your luck in my Picton. The last BK in service I believe was BK 497 which was converted into a Far West Children's Car in February, 1934 which means it just scrapes in time wise.
Anyway, back to the grapevine, Elscotto was talking to Eddie about some other kits he was interested in and Eddie mentioned that a friend of his had a spare Ashbury kit that he was willing to part with. So Elscotto got the gent's contact details and passed them on to me. A few phone calls later and a trip to Peakhurst and I'm now the proud owner of 1 Railscale Ashbury Kit.....truly superb.

Here's a shot of one of the Etches

Thanks to Doug for parting with his kit and to Eddie and Elscotto for telling me about it. I also had a good chat with Doug and saw some of his very impressive models including 37 class Pacific, 39 class Northern, 58 Class 2-6-8-0 Mallet with Southern Valve gear and the T/P clase 4-8-0 Fantastic!!! I also learnt a lot from him regarding standard goods tapered boilers and DJH kits so it was a very productive afternoon.

I didn't do any painting last week as it was a bit too humid but I did do some more track laying and installed some Kadee uncouplers.....boring

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I'm going to leave the track work for a while because frankly, I'm over it for the moment. I might do 1 night a week just to keep it moving along but after today's efforts, I need a change. So I'm going to finish the weathering on the goods wagons and I thought that it's time to dust off the cobwebs from some of my passenger cars that I've got sitting in the storage cabinet. I've got a 7 car NIB set that I'd started years ago and it's in undercoat and ready for the spray gun's coat of Venetian Red and Manilla. Now, before you ask what's a NIB set doing at Picton in the '30's, there's a shot of a NIB set on its trial run after delivery from Waddingtons sitting in Picton with a green P class on the front in 1939. So it makes it into my time period....just.

Just as Mr Berg intended but with a little extra detail

I've added a basic interior

The other thing I've done is remove the end diaphragms which I'll be replacing with working ones as I want to have the set coupled with the diaphragms touching. I also dug out a GT parcels trailer that I'd finished a while back. This started off as an Iain Lindsay Kit which I modified by discarding the underframe as the original looked nothing like the prototype. There's a quite noticeable gap between the car body and the sole bar which I thought just had to be modeled or it wouldn't look right.

Scratchbuilt underframe in brass and nickel silver

Here's how it looks. It has sprung buffers and screw couplers as well

Yes, yes, I know the CPH's in Picton didn't run with a GT but I couldn't resist. Last of all is an AR Kits wooden frame BKG. This needed a bit of work also as the wooden frame version only had 1 door per grooms compartment and the planking was horizontal which meant I had to fill everything in and re-scribe the planks. I also added some underframe detail including the gas tank. I also built another one as a steel frame version which meant the groom's compartments could remain as they were but meant scratch-building a new underframe after removing  the wooden one. Here's how the wooden frame version turned out.

BKG Underframe

Groom's Compartments modified

The BKG's also have sprung buffers and screw couplers. I intend to run most of my passenger trains as permanent sets as there was only a couple of trains that dropped off or picked passenger cars at Picton so the screw couplers won't be a problem and will look much better then Kadee's. That's it for this week.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Summer, what a Bummer

I've said before how much I hate summer, well this summer has been particularly bad and on so many levels. All the floods and cyclones makes my little gripes pretty insignificant so I shouldn't whinge about not being able to play with my trains. But I will. The weather has made the garage uninhabitable and its only been the last week that I've been able to get out there and do anything because of the heat and humidity. I don't know about anyone else but I can't model while I'm dripping with sweat and as a result I think I'm going to have to put some air conditioning out there as I don't want to have to stop building Picton for 4 months of the year.
It was so good to be able to do some work again after such along absence and I've been able to lay some track and install 3 points and the associated point motors. Here's how it looks at the moment.

Point Motors and Wiring

Point Work

Point Work, Refuge and Mainline heading down the grade to Sydney

I hope the weather continues to get cooler and there's no Indian Summer to keep me out of the garage so I can get the track work finished and move back to building some trains again. Anyway, at least I'm doing something.


On the weekend of the 26th and 27th, The Sydney Tram Museum at Loftus held a 2 day event celebrating and commiserating the 150th anniversary of the first Tram in Sydney and the 50th anniversary of the last tram to run. The weekend was divided into pre 1930 trams on the Saturday and post 1930 trams on the Sunday. I've a bit of a "thing" for Sydney's trams and I would have liked to go both days but I could only go 1 day so Pre-1930 it had to be.
So, the family and I went out after lunch on Saturday together with my next door neighbour and his daughter. Everyone had a great time riding the trams especially yours truly, my son didn't want to leave (neither did I) as he wanted to ride the trams at night. Dinner time called so we dropped in to our favourite hamburger store, Paul's Famous Hamburgers at Tom Ugly's Bridge at Sylvania.
Tram wise, the 2 C's were running as well as the F class, J, L/P, N, P, and Coupled O's. Additionally, Ballast Tram 42s and Scrubber 134s (Ex D) got a run as well. The highlight for me was the sight of coupled O class 1111 and 805. Not since the closure of the tramway system has this sight been seen and to see it once again was fantastic. There was a big crowd on the Saturday and seeing the 2 O's with nearly full loads gives you an idea at how truly superb these vehicles were for moving large amounts of people quickly. 2 O's will handle 80 people seated each and when you add a standing crush load of around 130 each, you can see why they were so efficient. And we stupidly threw them away, a complete travesty.
It was a great day with the only downside was getting out my Canon SLR to take some shots and realising that the batteries were flat........
Luckily, my better half had her iPhone4 so I took some shots with that. I found it quite difficult to frame shots with it but at least I got some shots of the day

I had a ride in O 805 and the thing that struck me was the smell. O 1111 doesn't have any particular smell about it but 805 had this musty "old" smell about it. Whether it was the smell of electrical equipment not being used for 50 years or the smell of decades of people riding in it and then it being stored I don't know. The interior looked like it had just made it's last run before withdrawl, whatever it was it made riding in 805 something special. I hope it stays at the museum for a long time. One day, I'm going to have to model some part of the Sydney Tramway. I'm thinking O Scale and I like the possibilities of the Enfield line where it terminated at Ashfield. There was a connection to the NSWGR for the transfer of trams via the goods yard that was once there. My Grandmother used to live in Orchard Crescent which borders the goods yard and I spent many an hour sitting on the steps of the goods yard as a boy watching the trains go by. Anyway, it's something to dream about. So many things to model, so little time