Sunday, 8 June 2014

Brick pit

In the past I set myself a goal of going to 2 NSW exhibitions a year, they being the annual ones put on by the Epping Model Railway Club now held at the old Brickpit at Thornleigh, on the June long weekend. The brick pit comes back to my memory as one of those midnight shunting locations on up pick ups, usually with K wagons rather than other types. 

Another siding nearly opposite the Brickpit called Gonoroo, & often by a name near to it, was also a regular shunting location that took Barley & other grains for processing. The one big memory of the area was the stench that came out from a company called Harris or similar that was from memory associated with the grain unloading facility caused the smell as they made flavourings for many products.  The brick pit was shunted on the up with Gonoroo on the down.

The other exhibition is the annual one held at Liverpool over the October long weekend, while this exhibition is pretty well known the Brickpit one is quite so, but is certainly gaining in popularity. Owing to the amount of pain with my back, from end of 2012 I was unable to get to either exhibitions last year, & something I missed a lot. So with surgery last September I was really looking forward to this years calendar & getting to both of them this year.

One thing about health is when its bad its great when you get better & back to some sort of normality, the trip to Canberra over Easter was my first such venture since the operation & while I passed with flying colours, the trip yesterday to the exhibition showed just how far I still have to recover, even though I spent around 4 hours there yesterday, which really is nothing by the end, I was glad to get home & the hours drive up the M1 was a mighty relief for me when it finished.

I am not a person who takes photo's at exh's, & is something I should reconsider but my past efforts have not been as good as I had hoped so apologies for none in this post.

I have to say that the Epping clubs exhibition really sits on the top rung of exhibitions, sure its hard to beat the big brother Liverpool for sheer volume & size, which also equates to numbers, meaning crowds of people, especially on the first day.  My wife Julie came down with me & we arrived at around 0910, able to get a park under the hall & even then with near an hour to go the line was out to the footpath so we go in for a cup of coffee, & gee I have to say how much I dislike the auto machine coffee, next year is a thermos thank you, although the snag sandwiches even at the price go down nice.

The line started to move around 10 minutes early, so we sit for 20 minutes to wait for the clearance walk out & see the line down at the underneath car park entry, near as much as big brothers line. My thoughts immediately turned to the dreaded crowded aisles & stand issue but, what a wonder when inside out of the wind it was a wonder at how many people could get into this hall without blocking anything.  One lady on the way as she walked to the hall said she had to drive around for over 1/2 hour for parking, which is likely the biggest issue facing this location.

While Julie thoroughly enjoyed herself even building a small module at the kids scenery clinic, well done NMRA members who were much supported by those in the CCWN Wednesday nighters who I enjoy the company of & membership in.  She left for ferry rides in the city after 1 1/2 hours with a new found enthusiasm for my modelling & seeing what goes on, augers well for the future.

My overall time at the exhibition before my back started to really complain was 4 odd hours & leaving there around 1430. While it was nice to see the arrivals of new models for the first time, the OTM TRC's, amongst their other collections, the improved models in the Austrains range, taking in the new samples of BHG/SHG/ Loaf of bread EHO's, new RTC's from SDS, seeing items on the Southern stand, & the very nice 43cl sample from Auscision, perhaps the model that captured my greatest drool points was the O gauge Garatt.

What an awesome looking model, but I'm blowed if I intend to pull down the HO layout & go into a new venture to get one, including the other bank busters on display. 

Moving to Eureka's stand I noticed that their steam models have moved away from the original plug connectors between engine/tender that provides the electricals & take on the load bearing from the motored engine, now the wiring has a plug & metal connector as found on the TOR 32cl, which to me is a much better setup, although it means 2 connections to play with, I like the idea of the stronger set up like this.

Being a mid 50's modeller, my hope is to see the Eureka 40cl arrive before long, but they seem to be plagued by the latest drama's at the old SDK factory, this has apparently been resolved so one can only hope to see this long awaited model arrives soon, the same with the Austrains G/BL & 81cl. I also thought the samples of the G wagon from Eureka looked very nice as well.

The one area of layouts that continue to impress is the O gauge in both the Arakoola & Spicers Creek, the latter the child of Garry Spencer-Salt from MRRC at Blacktown & wonderful layout especially the attention to detail with the scenery. Using the natural dried parts of Sedum plants the "gum" trees look the part, as does the whole depth of the layout.

Lastly, for me it was great to catch up with the many friends & bloggers, friends from times past & bloggers from times now, the friendliness of the stall holders I spoke with showed how much less stressful this exhibition appeared to be.

The cottage industry people also with their small stands, including the new kid on the block Shrike models shows also that the hobby has a bright future.

Thanks to Epping & everyone for the day, & it was great to be back in circulation.


  1. Col,

    I agree with yours views of the Brickpits Exhibition and yes, congratulations are due to the people from Epping Model Railway Club. It is a great show and I get the sense that the organisers seem to make an effort to attract several new layouts each year. Liverpool seems more like an expo these days and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Taken together, it is a good combination.

    Sorry I missed you but from your timings, it seems we only overlapped by about 30 minutes. I was probably still making my first lap of the auditorium and was too awe struck by Boliva, Spicer's Creek et al.

    cheers Phil

    1. Phil

      Interesting term, Liverpool Model Railway Expo. Could be catchy.

      I am actually wondering whether to continue the early drive & come later as the crowds seemed about the same when I left, but looking outside the parking is more a problem at that time.

      Might be good to have a bloggers table there for a meet up.