The 22nd 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 2 September 2017, using the same lecture theatre as we had for 2016. Doors open at 8am for those who wish to register early, check out the commercial stands or to look at the models on display.  Formal proceedings start at 9am and are timed to finish around 5pm.  If you get lost in the Hospital, be sure to ask for directions to “the medical lecture theatres”

The convention area can be reached from the southern end of the hospital. The car park at the southern end of the Hospital that we have used in previous years is now a building site, so an announcement will be made closer to Convention date as to how and where we are to access parking. Follow our signs at the southern end of the Hospital to the area used for the convention. 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 notes are also now available on discs from most model railway shops in Adelaide for around $75.00. See our links page for a list of South Australian Model Railway shops.

The program for 2017 will include the following topics

Firewood Traffic on the South Australian Railways. Rodney Barrington is well known for a number of previous papers delivered to the Convention. They have always been researched in considerable detail and the photographs he presents with his papers have often given us plenty to talk and think about.
Firewood traffic was a common commodity transported by rail and there were many firewood depots scattered around suburban stations as well as a huge firewood stock pile at Mile End. Rodney will talk about the wagons the firewood was transported in, the method of stacking firewood on wagons, and the facilities used at the loading and unloading points. These facilities were usually minimal and can easily be fitted into a small area adding extra destinations on any operating style layout How to simulate these on a model railway layout will also be discussed.

Baldwin Loco Liveries and Architecture pertaining to locos used in South Australia. Whilst David Fletcher from Melbourne is a new presenter to our Convention, he is well known for his detailed presentations interstate. His knowledge of Baldwin Locos in Australia is unsurpassed and it is not surprising therefore that he is in the process of publishing a book in conjunction with the ARHS in Melbourne, about every Baldwin Loco that came to Australia. David has drawn a large number of Baldwin loco plans which can be reproduced in HO scale and we are pleased that his paper will include plans of the SAR N class 4-6-0 and the O class 2-8-0 steam locos. The plans we are using will be his highly detailed black and white line diagrams, but in David’s book, he will show the large variety of colour schemes as applied by Baldwin to all of their locos, on each of the plans he has drawn. The large BHP Mikados and the smaller BHP 4-6-0 used at Whyalla will also feature in his presentation. Our notes will also contain some historical information and photos regarding the N and O classes of steam loco to compliment David’s plans and to form part of our existing library of notes, plans and photos on all of the steam locomotives on the South Australian Railways.

SAR in O scale. Brian and Fran Thomas are from Canberra and they will be talking about their O scale models of South Australian rolling stock and of their O scale model railway layout. Many of their models were built by the late Lloyd Glasson and some date back to the 1960’s, but they are now being updated to run on current operating systems. The presentation will include photos of twelve different SAR steam locos all built in O scale, as well as part of their large collection of SAR diesels, railcars, goods and passenger rolling stock. Brian and Fran’s extensive layout will also feature in the presentation.
The layout is controlled by a 10 amp NCE, DCC system that has been divided into five power districts with a PSX board in control of each district. (The PS stands for “Power Shield”) With over 60 photos of their models and of the layout, this will be a comprehensive look at a gauge and scale which may well be on a resurgence in Australian modelling circles.

The SAR Z class 4-4-0. Not many people can lay claim that they are making a model of a steam loco in 12 inches to the foot scale. Glenn Smythe can, and we have invited him to talk about what is involved in building a steam loco weighing in at over 40 tons in your back yard. Glenn has already finished making the tender, the loco frame, the cab, the smokebox, the front loco bogie , some of the valve gear and con rods and he is currently getting the four driving wheels cast (at considerable expense). We read a lot in the overseas press of how a loco like the A1 Pacific, “Tornado” was built up from scratch for a mere three million pounds (and how it recently travelled at more than 100 mph) , but here is a person who single handed, is building a full size loco and who is financing this out of his own pocket. To compliment Glenn’s remarkable story, we will, depending on time, have a small presentation about the SAR Z class Narrow Gauge 4-4-0. Another of Peter Mannings comprehensive loco plans, some photos and a little history of the Z class steam loco will be included in our notes. The South Australian Railways had several classes of 4-4-0 steam loco and not one survived the scrappers torch. Glenn’s contribution in resurrecting one of the 4-4-0 locos will be a significant addition to the collection in this State.

Behind the Scenes. Whilst four of our speakers are new to the MRSAC dais this year, Bill Lewis is not having made numerous presentations over the past 22 years. Bill is a former railway man from way back with plenty of antidotes on how the railways worked or didn’t as the case may be. Bill will be talking about recollections of past work operations and how these might apply to our modelling of the South Australian Railways.

Laser Cutting techniques Don Bishop has an engineering and drafting background, and with this in mind, he explores the use of modern technology in the form of laser cutting and how it can help to produce the perfect model. Don will explain how and where in Adelaide we can get this done and will show us samples of some of his work and how brickwork and wood work, such as can be found on station buildings and goods shed canopies, can be made to look with the use of lasers. Graham Ahearn will also update us on modern modelling techniques by discussing the use of a digital cutter. Graham purchased such a cutter which he uses in making his O and HO scale equipment, so we will find out where to purchase, how much and exactly what these things can do when making models.

Commonwealth Railways in N scale. Bryan Howieson is no stranger to public speaking being the Associate Professor of Accounting at Adelaide University, however this presentation will be Bryan’s first to the MRSAC group in Adelaide. Bryan is on numerous accounting body committees scattered around Australia, but in between all of his Interstate travels and local commitments, he still finds time to do a small amount of modelling in N scale. For those wanting to model the CR standard gauge in N scale, there are no ready to run options available, so CR rolling stock must be scratch built or converted from existing models/kits. Bryan Howieson describes two conversion projects he has undertaken to model the CR diesel shunter DE90 and the Theatrette car, a mobile cinema for those living on the Trans –Australian Railway. Bryan’s presentation includes a description and some history of the prototype of these items.