Sunday 29 November 2009

Plates and Palms
Todays blog starts with the letter P. P as in in Plates. And to be precise Depot plates.
These were small oval plates attached under the cab windows of steam locos and on them were the name of the depot the loco was assigned to.The plate above was from Bathurst allocated number 4. It is thought that by screwing these plated on the sides of the locos they would never get lost and find there way back to the home depot.
So imagine one dark and rainy night at Bathurst 3626 backs onto the mail and heads off towards Sydney, it gets there the next morning into Central, then out to Eveleigh to rub pistons with all the other locos that have come in off the South Coast, Newcastle and all points south. The Loco Chargeman is confused and doesn't know where they all belong. And thats where the depot plates made the job easier. That night 3626 takes the Western Mail back to Bathurst. Such a simple idea.
I just threw in that bit above on the depot plates as a warm up for the next bit. One day at work unbeknown to me a mate drops a bag on the desk. And inside I found a couple of unique depot plates that could become collectors items in a few years. They were depot plates with names unique to South Coast Rail.I have placed this plate on the layout edge not only to show it off but to readily identify where the place is behind it.
Not to be outdone Candelo the branch terminus and Narooma also scored depot plates. Luckily these have been cast in aluminium so they won't collapse the layout when attached.So thanks guys for these deepoe (american pronunciation) plates. Really appreciated.

Now for the second "P". I received through the post this week three palm trees ordered some time ago. They took over a month to get here though. So next time I order some I will order small palm trees and they should be medium size by the time they get here. They are nice models having the fronds made of brass I think. Some of the plastic ones just don't look fine enough. One has ended up in Bega loco and the two smaller ones will be planted down at Bodalla. I will take photos of the said palms when their surroundings look a bit more presentable. Bega loco is a long way off at this stage.
And just to end the blog off here are two photos taken at Bega recently.


  1. You know Bob it's the little details about railways that make the hobby itself so much more interesting and enjoyable. The plates that you've told us about are one of things that many of us wouldn't know about, and as time moves forward so quickly our contact with those who have first hand knowledge is disappearing at an ever increasing rate.

    OK, there is another point to this comment the second last photo has a ground grass in a green colour on the RHS foreground. Could you tell me what it is. I did think it was one of those silfour products, maybe a buffalo grass? Great photos, the backscenes add so much depth, Geoff.

  2. Geoff,
    yes the dark green grass clumps are silfor products. very expensive but very nice. I have also used some of their other products including some which may be visible in a previous post on Bodalla. It is a very low grass and looks like weed patches.
    I got the grass from Orient Models in Adelaide. It is also know as Mininatur and the December AMRM shows it available at a few more hobby shops.