Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back Home

Big ol' jet airliner take me back home (Photo from, but it was who I flew with & the type of plane I flew on)
Well my brief sojourn in Perth has come to an end all to quick as I had to come back to Sydney unexpectedly, my  wife is very happy (well she is actually the reason I had to come home, but that's a story for another day, maybe) and the kids were delighted to have me home (though not sure if that still holds true :-) but for me my stay in the West came to an end much to quick and unfortunately whilst I did get to sample some of the local delights, I certainly did not see anywhere near what I had intended to, both from a modelling perspective and a general perspective, though it meant I got a chance to go to the AMRA 50th anniversary exhibition held at the E.G Whitlam centre in Liverpool which I had resigned myself to missing out on (costs twice as much to fly at that time as compared to a few weeks earlier, or later, I wonder why that is) the down side is that I had hoped to get to a 'local' exhibition down at Albany which would have been a neat trip for a weekend.
Next time, and I hope there will be a next time, I hope to sample more of the local sites which was difficult this time as I was limited to public transport, speaking of which I'm quite impressed with the idea of  some of the suburban lines going down the centre of the freeway.
As I am a member of the NMRA, I took advantage of that membership to attend a couple of the meetings and meet some of the local members, who made me feel most welcome, and I must make a special mention of Alan Burrough, the Div 4 super who went out of his way to drive me to the meetings, a gesture that was really appreciated & shows the benefits of belonging to an organisation such as the NMRA, or AMRA which also has a national presence. One of the members who hosted a meeting was Phil Knife(MMR), unfortunately he was in the midst of moving and so his layout was stripped bare ready to be moved to its new home (another local Modeller has purchased it I believe), but a sample of Phil's modelling is evident in the following photo of a WAGR 'R' class that Phil scratch built to SN3 1/2 scale, using a mixture of Styrene for the superstructure and Brass/Nickel Silver for the chassis, some really nice modelling.

The other meeting I attended was at Frank Goode's (MMR) place, a sample of his modelling skills is displayed in the following set of photos :

And the view one gets when Frank opens up the door to the layout room, rather nifty I think (pardon the sideon view, can't figure it how to import it vertically.


I've been told that there is a fairly good contingent of NSW modellers over in the West, unfortunately I did not really get a chance to meet any though I did manage to get to the AMRM clubrooms near Bassendean and saw the Swan View  layout first hand, unfortunately none of the structures were on the layout as they were boxed and put away so as to minimise damages, a very good idea, they also had a range of HO/OO American & British models which were very nice, and a really nice 'O' gauge layout :

When I knew I was definitely coming home I hired a car for my last weekend, this gave me the opportunity to see a few railway related items I would not have seen otherwise, one was a visit to Whiteman Park where they have a purpose built tourist 2' (I think) narrow gauge railway (Bennett Brooke Railway - ), they do have steam there (including a couple of South African ng15 2-8-2, unfortunately they are under repair but are hopeful of having at least one back & running in the not too distant future) as well as some other smaller steamers, but unfortunately they were restricted to diesel running due to a bushfire which was being mopped up as I was there, so our trusty stead for the day was a Gemco Funkey PW27 (Wyndham). Whilst travelling in the passenger cars I asked the Guard, 'Mal' about the railroad, and whilst telling me about the history of the line he asked where I was from, when I said Sydney & that I was returning home the next day he then contacted the driver, Scott & arranged for me to have a cab ride, so my planned 1/2 hour trip ended up lasting a very pleasant 2 hours, so thank you to Mal & Scott for making this visitor from the east have a great day.

I also went down to Dwellingup to visit the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway (, I had decided not to go for a ride as I was due to fly out later that afternoon & did not want to take any risks, but I still had a great time looking at the steamer in service (a WAGR 'W' class?) and watching it as it worked its way back up the hillside.

From there I hightailed it back to Perth, there must've been a major accident in the opposite direction because I noticed that the freeway was blocked for at least 7 -8 Km and I remember thinking I'm glad I'm not stuck in that as I could have missed my flight. I then stopped in at the Castledare Miniature Railway (, they only had diesels running but still nice to see.

Quite ironic I travelled all the way to the west coast & still saw a 44, admittedly, a model (& it looked quite nice)

To me, one of the highlights of my stay in the West though was nothing to do with Railways but something that happened a few years ago now and have been wanting to see for many years now, as the PM of the day said, any boss that sacks someone today is a bum, or words to that effect, if that didn't give it away this should:

And that fabulous winged keel
Australia II, which won the America's cup many years ago, is on display at Freemantle in the Maritime museum, to me well worth seeing, as was the Collins class submarine, HMAS Ovens, that is open for a tour, well worth doing and certainly gives an appreciation for what our submariners go thru to defend us.

I guess I should also mention that I managed to do a bit of modelling as well whilst I was in the west and now I have the Southern Aurora Lounge car (BCS), Diner (RMS), Baggage car (MHN) and Power van (PHN) built to the basic shell stage(sides, structural end and roofs) , that can be a story for the next blog, but those that attended Liverpool on the Saturday would have seen Ian Black's model of the Southern Aurora running around the Waterfall layout & they looked great.

Well that's it for now.

Cheers Alex.


  1. Are you sure it was a Collins class sub and not an Oberon ????????

  2. Oops - sorry - your'e right Bolivia, it's an Oberon Class, - mustv'e written it down wrong.
    Cheers Alex.

  3. Rail Mod did you know we do run steam down at castledare miniature railway but it was probably a Wednesday run