Sunday, 6 August 2017

Malkara 2017 Exhibition

With the layout now back at home and everything again stored in the various nooks and crannies it lives in in my apartment, it's nice to take breather and look through some photos from the weekend.

My brother and his partner very generously came down to Canberra and helped me get the layout to and from Malkara, as well as helping me to exhibit it. Shunting a plank for two days straight has it's limits, so I first would like to acknowledge their contribution; could not have done it without you. 

A number of modellers who read this blog came up over the weekend and said hello. If you're reading this, thanks for saying hi. It's always good to put faces to names in what can sometimes be a solitary pursuit outside of a club. Plus it's good to know that the entries over the last few years are helping or at the very least entertaining people!

I don't have many photos from Saturday because most of it was spent catching up with people and just enjoying running trains, but here's what it looked like just before kick off.

An addition since last year has been a custom-built signal, built by Dale Richards. You may recognise his work from many of the Epping Model Railway Club's layouts including Binalong and Bethungra. The upper signal arm is a lower-quadrant signal (for proceeding off the layout) and the arm adorned with an 'S' is a 'shunt ahead,' meaning that the train can draw ahead of the signal in order to shunt, but can't pass it. From what I've been able to ascertain so far from the guru's, it permitted moves in a yard as long as the rear of the train didn't pass the signal (and I am happy to be corrected and pointed to the chapter and verse of a better definition!).

I've added this signal for visual interest, but also because signalling is a distinctive feature which helps to establish the layout in a specific time and place. In the operations we were running, each operator would draw up to the signal, request a 'shunt ahead' path via the horn to the signalman (whichever one of us wasn't the operator at the time) and then draw ahead of the signal as far as necessary without going off the layout. By Sunday afternoon we were using this for nearly every move.

Sunday morning we reserved for some out-of-the-ordinary running. Mainly because we can, but also because these museum-quality passenger carriages spend most of their lives under my bed and deserve a run. Any excuse to get out the Southern Aurora :)

Once we'd had our fill of running those for a whole, normal programming resumed.

 As the crowds started to die down we slowly removed all of the rollingstock via shunting moves off the layout.

I felt sorry for the gentleman who rocked up at 3.55 on Sunday afternoon to only see the X200 shuffling a solitary JHG in and out of each siding until the clock struck four. I couldn't help thinking about a blog I was reading a few months ago - probably on Trevor Marshall's Port Rowan in S Scale blog - lamenting exhibitors who pack their trains up early and leave one token consist doing the rounds to satisfy the requirement of exhibiting until closing time. While the 'horse and cart' consist isn't exactly breaking this rule, I'm borderline on whether it's in the spirit of the event. As much as I would like to keep running trains, I need to get home and my brother needed to get on the road, and we still have to return to work tomorrow. I enjoy the shunting layout, though more and more my experiences are cementing in my mind the benefits of a continuous-run layout in future.

Finally, here it is, almost all packed up for another year. Mercifully, it still all fits in the back of a medium-sized car!

Next time, I'll go into detail on how I achieved the backdrop. 

For now, I am zonked. Until next time!


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