GEEK ALERT! MODEL TRAINS AHEAD!
Early this morning, Bill and I headed to Geelong, a city of 180,000 people about 45 minutes southwest of Melbourne on the western end of Port Phillip Bay. Our destination was Geelong Christian College, the location of the 13th bi-annual Australian Narrow Gauge Convention. For the uninitiated, a Narrow Gauge Convention focuses on model trains based on narrow gauge railways, i.e., those that are not your standard 4’ 8.5” width of tracks. It is a quirky, occasionally bizarre world of model trains, populated by quirky, occasionally bizarre layouts created by quirky, occasionally bizarre railway fanatics. In other words, I fit right in. While I spent the day with 200 men and a small number of women, Bill went off on the partners’ program (formerly known as the wives’ program) visiting the National Wool Museum and a fine restaurant in a local winery. Meanwhile, back at the convention, I attended workshops (from the joys of micro-layouts to creating realistic scenery), met fellow model railway enthusiasts, and drooled over the many displays, layouts, and vendors. It was great fun and I didn’t blow my budget…well, maybe the book about Tasmanian railways was a little expensive, but it’s such a beautiful book! Plug: if you are interested in modelling narrow gauge railways, check out the wonderful Australian magazine for narrow gauge model railway fans, Narrow Gauge Downunder (link). It is an excellent magazine - one of the few train magazines that I actually keep after reading.
Now, of course, I’m feeling inspired to create a micro layout based on Tasmanian trains… Woohoo!
Tomorrow, we visit Toolangi with friends Christine and Gary.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these photos of the convention. In particular, take a look at the photos of Sparrow Hall, a black and white layout created by Allan Ogden. What a concept!