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Saturday, 28 July 2012

"Murrum" - what it's all about


"Murrum" is the planned P87 layout that I'm working towards building 'one day' (sound familliar?).  

I'm taking small steps first with getting my eye back into modelling and kitbashing rollingstock and fitting P87 wheels to them (I'm still waiting for those elusive P87 10.5mm 8-spoke wheels).

The next step will be a test track doubling as a photo track, similar concept to the one by Roy Elder in the latest edition of AMRM.  

From there it will be a series of dioramas which will be incorporated into the layout proper.  The track plan is yet to be finalised.

The inspiration for Murrum  comes from a variety of sources:
  1. The name Murrum is derived from the Murrumbidgee River, which originates in the western foothills of the Great Divide as well as in the ACT
  2. The Riverina Highlands branch lines of Tumut, Kunama and Tumbarumba (Murrum to have the 'look and feel' of those lines and regions and not being an exact replica - I just don't have the room!!!)
  3. The writings of the Late Ronald George Preston; 'Tender into Tank' (and 'Standards in Steam the 30 Class to a lesser extent) had a profound effect on me with his description of these lines
  4. A few visits to these lines over the last 20 years appreciating what once was and the beautiful scenery of these regions - for our Victorian cousins, think Cudgewa line scenery wise and you'll understand the appeal
  5. A 1977 school excursion to Canberra and the Snowy (standard Primary School fare- Parliament House and the Snowy Scheme) which came back through South Gundagai and the Prince Albert Bridge - the Sheahan Bridge was still being constructed at the time; I saw the rail viaduct, no trains but I remember cattle being droved onto the bridge and then down onto the floodplain - what a smell!
These regions hold a special place in my heart.  

I would strongly advise anyone travelling to the Gundagai area to visit and photograph both viaducts, the road one has had all pedestrian access banned and the next flood will take it out, the rail viaduct is OK, but yet again it's 'demolition by neglect' as so often is the case outside the 'Sandstone Curtain'..........

That's all for now.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

In the beginning


Welcome to my blog!

A bit of background on my HO interests before the explanation of what Murrum is.  Being a kid of European parents growing up into the '70s, we had in the larger clan a bit of a tradition when it came to the train set the boys would get; it was always Marklin.

My Cousins and my Brother were given Marklin (all of them are 10+ years older than me), but for some strange reason, dad gave me Lima HO; a 38 class amongst other things including some OO carriages.

Go figure.

In the 60's Marklin was pretty expensive (still is, but the average price of a NSW RTR HO carriage being over $100 is making premium European brands such as Roco and Brawa seem like value for money nowdays....).

Anyway, in the intervening years the Marklin was put away, the baseboard and track my brother started building in the early 70's was forgotten about and deteriorated.  About 9 years ago he gave me his Marklin as well as the layout, which today is very treasured as well as some I had inherited from my late Uncle and some other Marklin I had picked up.

In the last 9 years, I've been building a new layout of about 3m x 2m, this is my family's heritage.  As I explained to 'er Indoors, the Marklin is 'playing trains' the 'other stuff' is scale modelling.  The Marklin project is ongoing and might feature in a future post.

The interest in NSWGR?  Blame the Model Railway Exhibition at Asquith Boys High in September(?) 1974, Locofonic Recordings "The Last Run...?" and the RTM Steam Extravaganza at Enfield, October Long Weekend, 1974.

Enough said.

(well maybe more in a future post)

I started to model NSW HO in the 80's, modifying Lima TAM's and progressed to 2 x DJH 50classes in the early 90's.  I finished 1 (saturated) and 1/2 started a superheated version.  Because of my high level of involvement at Thirlmere from 1984 through to 2002, these locos were neglected, parts lost and NSW HO was on the backburner.

These 2 x D50's have now been stripped down to the frames and I'm waiting on some replacement parts from Al at AR Kits.  The replacement of the Romford wheels with  P87 wheels is another question entirely..........

Fast forward to late 2010.

The interest in NSW HO was rekindled from a combination of things, particularly with how much the RTR product had improved (TrainO 44's and wagons etc).

I can't explain how or why the interest in P87 came about, but having seen P4 equivalents in Model Railway Journal and seeing blogs such as the inspirational Bowen Creek (and finally seeing it in the flesh at Thornleigh last year) confirmed my decision as correct.

A quantum leap from NEM340 standards to P87!

That's all for now.