Sunday 1 July 2012

 "WARNING" Read this before operating your layout.
Well from today Sunday 1st of July 2012 will be the day railway modellers will well remember.
Yes welcome to ‘Carbon Tax day’. This is a sad day we were promised we would never have.
It has been made sad because from now on electricity along with a host of other things are going to be dearer.
Now this can have a very detrimental effect on the model railway hobby and I will try and explain why with a few dot points:
  •  Most layouts are lit by electricity. Now to save costs bulb wattages may be reduced. I take a dim view of this.
  • Candles might be brought in to replace electric lighting creating a fire risk where you may end up burning the layout down.
  • When you say to your wife/partner “I think I will go down the shed for a few hours and run some trains.” Now you won’t be able to afford the electricity and surprise her by returning early.
  • There will be no more double headers run on the layout. All trains will now consist of single engine loads.
  • To overcome the above dot point, locomotive manufacturers are going to be hounded to supply dummy units to be able to replicate double headed consists at minimum cost.
  • E bay is going to be flooded with model railway equipment as operators can’t afford the electricity for the hobby any longer.
  • A new found interest will be had for clockwork trains as they make a resurgence. The old trains will be found but not the key to wind them up.
  • Sales of solar panels to power layouts will go up. Running days will in the future be held during the daylight hours. The number of locos brought along to these days will be dependent upon checking the weather before departing home. A bright sunny day will allow at least three locos to be brought along. Rainy day just bring along the cakes and beer.
  • Exercise bikes will be rigged up to generators. Each operator must do the equivalent of half an hour on the bike before being allowed to even consider driving a train. If your friends layout is generator driven and your not getting many invites to running days, it could be because you are getting too old and can’t output your half hour as you could when younger.
  • For the above dot point there is the ACCC solution. Now those initials don’t stand for what you think but “ A Carbon Cake Credit” Call it a bribe if you like but if you bring a cake along then this allows you to bypass the bike/generator ride. This slightly resembles how the real carbon fiasco will work. (But not with cakes)
  • You start playing with your son’s Thomas the Tank engine trains as you realise it costs nothing to play with. You still find it hard to accept the smiling face at the front of all locos having been accustomed to the fine detailed models coming out of China. (None with smiley faces on them)
  • In the future replacement ‘carbon brushes’ for the motors will become an under the counter product. They will go under the code name ‘motor brushes’. An email is soon to be sent to all hobby shops in Australia advising them of this name change.
  • A shortage of point throw levers will happen when owners convert back from electric powered points to hand thrown.
  • All headlight and marker lights on locomotives will be disconnected and as for the new craze of lighting your passenger carriages – forget it. Let them travel in the dark. Why bother anyway, most of the carriages run empty.
  • Electric colour light signals will be backdated and replaced with semaphore signals. How you refill the kerosene lamps is your problem.
  • You run a train up the branch but decide to terminate at the previous crossing loop. The loco runs around and heads back to town. Passengers are left to walk in to the terminus.
Well I'm sure you will be able to add to the list above, and I hope this tax doesn't have too much impact on the hobby. Enjoy.


  1. You could always plant more tress on your layout to offset the carbon? Better still sell the planted trees to others for credits! There could also be a market for hybrid trains?

  2. Bob, it's the tip of the iceberg you've struck!!! What about rubber powered models? quieter running than the clockwork jobs! Then there is the strong possibility of extra realism of coal powered locos! The smell, the coal, the workplace health and safety training!? Is there a tax on digging the carbon out? Then there's the signing off of training that all new people would require at the start of a running session. Think that I might need to start a new hobby!!!

  3. Ha Ha I showed this to my mate yesterday, and he went white as a sheet :(
    Anyway he rang last night, and sounded much happier. He tells me that he pulled the HD battery out of his Caravan, and fitted it up to be charged by his solar panels. He has LED lighting on his layout and a 55 cube" Engel fridge and is satisfied that his trains, lighting and fridge will continue to work for up to three nights, if the sun does not shine (Actually here in Wodonga it has not shined for more than a few hours for at least three weeks, but I did not remind him)
    I tried to tell him that the blog was trying to be humorous :) But then he said I got sick thinking of life without his Railway Shed! He said he would neck himself, rather than spend evenings inside with the missus! How much can a man bear? Ha Ha...
    So I guess we are going to see the suicide rate rise as blokes neck themselves because of the high price of Electricity. Surely the CoUNT will add this one to the joys of living in a clean air Country :D
    Rod (comtrain)

  4. Thanks guys for your extra suggestions on how we can overcome this issue.
    Why didn't I think of planting more trees? Rubber powered models eh? We'll all have to band together and work on that solution.
    Rod, tell your mate he doesn't have to go inside early. Tell him to take a matress out there. Most can fit under a layout.

    1. Don't forget Bob to fit dynamic braking to your locos and the excess power can be harvested to run the layout !

  5. Cheer up. I hear there's the prospect of a Direct Action Drive. Nobody knows how it works, how it fits inside a layout room or what it costs, but you sign a contract to buy it & once you've done that the vendor will think of something. Meanwhile you wait.