Wednesday 9 December 2015


Well the heading says it all. I have thought over and over of how I would word this blog. Its not easy but if I had to put the words into an executive summary it would be along the lines of "We bring you sad news that the South Coast Railway is closing down"
To any long time viewers of the blog there has been a complete absence of any new works on the railway. True new models have come along and their photos were taken on scenic sections of the line. But that was the limit of the work done.
The current layout is 15 years old. Not that old compared with some layouts. The trackwork is complete and most of the scenery has also been done. Lima 44's and 422's were replaced with the later models from Trainorama and Auscision.
The year 2000. A Lima 44 and 42 haul a train into Bega. Track laying has just begun
Now there must be a reason for this decision. Well there was no one thing that made me decide to end it all. I had done plans for a revised layout plan, was getting ready to string overhead wiring for the obtained 46 and L class electrics. But as I sat down in the shed , looked at it all, the size and emormity of it all, I knew it was time for a change. Apparently being a railway modeller and changing your mind occupy the same part of the brain so its no wonder it happens so often.
I also check out Model Railroaders forums and recently I noticed a guy called 'Middleman' who had a magnificent Union Pacific railroad. Next thing he is putting up shots of the layout being torn down and the start of a new On30 layout. Now he didn't give any reason for doing this but this made me feel better when I realised I would be doing this soon as well. There is also a gene in humans that gets satisfaction from destroying things. This feeling apparently is stronger if the thing you are destroying doesn't belong to you. Now when you have to destroy your own layout you have spent countless hours building it is a different matter. To some extent this feeling of sadness can be lessened if you are thinking ahead to what will be in that spot next as opposed to what is there now.
 So what's happening on South Coast Rail? The demise of the layout has been known to a few close friends earlier than this blog has let on.
Most of the rolling stock has gone. The garratt now resides up at Wauchope on the north coast many engines are scattered around Sydney. The complete train of twenty BCH coal hoppers was sold as one lot.
Most of the building were transplanted to new layouts, and many of them now reside on a northern based layout near on the north shore. I think I was given visiting rights to make sure they have settled in okay.
This is going to be a huge task demolishing the layout. None of the layout was designed to be moved and has been fixed into position against the walls and the supported section in the middle. In building the layout I was using any materials I had on hand. The pyneboard from cupboards was used for baseboards because it was on hand. (i.e. free) I was not fussy what size, colour or condition some of the supporting timbers were. As long as they did their job they could stay for the long run. Anyhow it was all to be covered in and over.
Another bonus to removing the layout will be that I will be able to get rid of so much crap that I seem to collect. Last weekend at the local council streetside clean up I threw out four doors that had been under the layout since 2000. If I hadn't used them in that long then I am never going to use them. I also keep my working tools, drills etc in the shed as it is lockable. Another issue is that it was last painted back in 2000, so 15 years later it is looking a bit shabby. 'Possum corner' (regular readers will know where that is) is a standout in skidmarks and squashed daddy longlegs. Repairing the possum doorway (hole in the roof) into the trainroom was eventfull. With one foot on the ladder and the other on the layout it took a bit of doing.
Now to show you that it is really happening I have included the above four photos above. These were taken near Possum Corner. The bottom shot still has the platform of Narooma.
The good news is that bags of South Coast Railway scenery are available for $3.00 a bag. Some pieces were hammered to get them into the bags but all the pieces are there, some will just take a little longer to re-assemble.

So that's the news South Coast Rail as such no longer exists and soon a new railway will emerge as the Sapphire Coast Railway. By renaming it that way I can still use the SCR letters.

On the last to posts I was trying to be very subtle by putting up a few pictures of an NA I had recently bought. No one seemed to bite, but there was the clue to what was coming. I will be modelling On30 Victorian Narrow gauge railways.
I will finish off with these two pictures with my 'virgin' NA's and the next post will outline more of the demise of this SCR and more of the new SCR. I hope no-one is too shocked by this news and you stay for the new journey into the world of narrow gauge.

Seems like there is a problem with the second log wagon support


  1. Hi Bob. Sad to see the SCR go, especially the beautiful scenery. I am , however, most impressed with your choice of the new project. Are you going to model a particular line of the four that existed?
    On3 is a great scale as you get older and fingers and eyes don't work like they used to. If I were to start again,this would be my choice too. But, nearing 78, I can't see myself doing it. Besides, my "Cathkin" layout still needs a lot of work... Anyway, best wishes and good luck with your project. For one scary moment I thought you had lost the 'bug' altogether, but fortunately that isn't the case. It would be a pity for the hobby to lose a modeller of your calibre. Cheers, Walter.

  2. Hi Walter,
    Thanks for those kind words. No I could never give up railways. Mum said the first word I said was "choo choo"
    I look upon it as another challenge, new research and challenges along the way.
    I will reveal more in the next posting, I thought I had better just let it be known tonight re the demise,

  3. Bob,

    Sad to see the final demise but new challenges await. By the way, have you now made the jump to DCC or is that on the Santa wish list?

    cheers Phil

  4. Hi Bob, after laughing at your past posts and the way you used to write about the possum that kept getting into your shed, its sad to hear the little blighter finally won. Even sadder is the news of the fictitious South Coast Railway's demise. Given your talent for modelling and your skill at writing, I'm looking forward to reading your next project. Am I correct in assuming that it will be something smaller and definitely achievable in less than 15 years? And perhaps possum-proof too? Anyway, congratulations on the end of an era. Phillip

  5. Hi Phillip,
    No, I finally won over the possum, but it took a long while to achieve. I haven't seem him around lately. Only his skidmarks remain on the wall, soon to be repainted when I can get the ladder closer to the wall.
    The new project will be outlined in future blogs.

  6. Sad day Bob. But the new build will give you a new lease on life.

  7. All the best, Bob, with the new scale and prototype. Loved the SCR and its scenery so it makes me think, will the new layout have a touch of Walhalla about it? On the Saphire Coast? Looking forward to progress and hope the new layout has a Narooma on it (my favourite place)

  8. Always a hard decision to pull the pin on a layout like that. I finally did it with the layout I started inside the house about 8 years ago (was active on it for about 12 months before it got over taken as a store room, and was no longer inviting to sit and model demolished it and started again in a new purpose built shed). There were some very nice scenic elements on the old SCR, but as a VR NG modeller, I am not at all disappointed with the change of direction you are making ;)

  9. Every cloud has a silver lining, Bob. I enjoyed the trials and tribulations of SCR1, looking forward to SCR2 VR edition.
    Cheers, Lindsay