The 23rd annual Modelling the Railways of South Australia Convention will be held at the Medical Lecture Theatre and Tutorial Rooms of the Flinders Medical Centre on Saturday 1 September 2018, using the same lecture theatre as we had for 2017. Doors open at 8am as does registration, and attendees can also lodge models for display. Once registered, attendees can look at the commercial displays. The general model display will be open from morning tea time. Formal proceedings start at 9am and are timed to finish around 5pm. The Hospital is a big place and if you happen to get lost, be sure to ask for directions to the “Medical Lecture Theatres”

The convention area can be reached from the southern end of the hospital and as building operations have been completed, the original entrance we used to use can now be accessed. A large multi-story car park has been opened at the southern end of the hospital and we are negotiating to have free car parking available in this building. Included in the convention fee is morning and afternoon teas, a hot lunch in the canteen, and approximately 200 pages of Convention Notes which will again include a number of colour photos. Three-ring folders are available to file the notes in and, together with previous years’ notes including an updated index, they form a considerable reference library of over 3500 pages. The first 15 years of notes are now available on disc and the remaining hard copy notes are currently being sold at a discount. Once these are gone, a further five years notes will be released on disc. Prices for the older hard copy notes, folders and DVDs will be included on this year’s registration form which should be available from mid-May.

The program for 2018 will include the following topics; –

Modelling Light Railways in South Australia.

Peter Lucas will be giving a presentation on modelling light railways in South Australia, and how a layout for such a railway can be fitted into quite a small space. Peter has been asked to also deal with light railways that interchanged with the State’s broader gauges. There were around 700 light railways in South Australia and a list of these can be found at the Milang Light Railway Museum where, not surprisingly, Peter is one of the driving forces. Peter also manufactures sound systems for model railway locos under the brand name “MyLocoSound” and these systems are exported extensively to the USA and to the UK.

Victorian Railways Passenger Cars in South Australia

David Goedecke lives in Victoria when he is not installing computer systems around Australia. His topic is Victorian Railways Passenger Cars in South Australia. Victorian passenger cars often found their way into South Australia, particularly on second division Overland trains, and sometimes on the first division. A surprising number of cars came over on numerous specials including scout trains, circus trains, the Jubilee Train, lots of Railway Historical Society specials and other farm and trade specials. This talk will be of particular interest to South Australian modellers wanting an excuse to run some foreign rolling stock on their layout.

TNT Islington Terminal

John Looker spent many years working with TNT and his talk will deal with the history of the company, and the development of its containers with photos of the many variations. It will also contain photos of some of the operations at the TNT Islington terminal, a plan of the terminal, photos of the gantry crane at Islington, line diagrams and photos of especially built rolling stock, and finally, details of some of the trains using this terminal.

930 class diesel locomotives of the SAR

Peter Eldred lives in New South Wales and worked for City Rail before he retired to the Blue Mountains. Peter has a number of interests which include modelling items from the South Australian Railways as well as having an interest in cars of the rubber tyred variety. Continuing with what we expect to be a series on South Australian diesels, Peter will cover the history and operations of the SAR 930 class. There appears to be no shortage of good photos of 930s, so look forward to a feast of interesting pictures. We expect Peter’s article will include copies of plans of 930s drawn for the November/December 1977 issue of AMRM.

Assembling Locomotive Kits

Phil Knife lives near Geraldton in Western Australia and is going to give a presentation on assembling locomotive kits. Phil comes to us well credentialed as he is not only a prolific modeller of locomotives, both scratchbuilt and from kits, he was also the first person in Australia to receive an NMRA Master Modellers Award. Phil will be using a BGM T class steam loco kit as well as using some of Nigel Gardner’s “add ons” such as a different version of the gearbox and the extended version of the cab sides. Phil has a wide and varied interest in prototypes having built models of British, Swiss, American, Western Australian (in S scale), Victorian Railways and South Australian Railways locomotives. His working life was just as varied having been a Commander in the Navy, a lecturer, and an Anglican Priest. He is sure to inspire those of us who still have the odd loco kit waiting to be built, or waiting for inspiration, or time, or knowhow!

N-scale Strathalbyn layout

Graham Cocks is especially well known amongst N scale modellers for his many and varied skills and for promoting modelling of N scale in South Australia. He is a member of a group of modellers who are putting together a layout based on the South Coast in general and Strathalbyn and Sandergrove in particular (at this time).  He will be talking about the N scale Strathalbyn layout he and the group are building, the research required and some of his modelling techniques. The Strathalbyn central modules will be on static display at the convention.

Building a Water Column
Gavin Thrum is without a doubt one of South Australia’s master modellers. He will be giving a short presentation on building a water column, a piece of equipment that could be found at a large number of prototype locations around the state, and yet, not found quite as often on some of our 1960s-based layouts.

Balhannah Railway Station

Ross Hurley is currently building a superb layout based on the Balhannah railway station and his scenery on the layout is something else again. Ross models in p87 broad gauge which means his track width is a scale 5’ 3” gauge, or 18.39mm. This short presentation will be a photo tour of the layout.

Other Information
As in previous years, a number of commercial stands will be at the Convention. John Gordon looks after this area of our activities. He can be contacted on or via the Convention e-mail site

Attendees are encouraged to bring along any models of their handiwork, especially models with a distinctive South Australian flavor and any models built using information from previous Convention talks. As an incentive, anyone displaying a model will be entered into a prize draw.

As in previous years, the odd extra article will appear in the notes, although not necessarily a topic for a presentation. Another of Peter Manning’s great SAR steam loco plans will be printed together with a small article to complement the plan. Also to be published will be an article on the “Malcom Vale” layout from Nigel Gardner, another P87 broad gauge model that will be of more than passing interest, and Gavin Thrum is submitting an article on his Port Dock shunting layout which will deal in particular with some of the structures on this layout.