The 24th 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 7 September 2019, using the same lecture theatre as we had for 2018. Doors open at 8am for those attendees who wish to register early, or to look at the commercial stands, or to lodge models for display. 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 Centre Lecture Theatres”

The convention area can be reached from the southern end of the hospital through the original ground level entrance we used to use. A large multi-story car park has been opened at the southern end of the hospital and we are again 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. Finally, we anticipate that a CD with additional information for one of the presentations will also be included in the price. Previous years’ notes will be available, including an updated index, which forms a considerable reference library of around 4000 pages. The first 15 years of notes are now available on CD 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 CD. Prices for the most recent hard copy notes and discs will be included on this year’s registration form which can be downloaded from this web site. The registration forms will also be sent to everyone who has attended over the last year or two.

The program for 2019 will include the following topics:

Locomotives – the 900 Class English Electric Diesel. Des Egan is well known to South Australian modellers for some of his previous presentations, including topics covering Wolseley Station, Blackwood Station and the Clare to Spalding Line. The 900 class diesel will be the third paper on diesels to be given detailed coverage. The article Des is preparing will include a number of photos of this class of diesel, as well as a number of photos of various 900 class model diesels, including the ready-to-run brass model produced in the mid 1970s, BGB’s body kit and the Ozrail ready-to-run model. Drawings of the 900 class will also be provided. A main line diesel, the 900s found plenty of work on the Pirie, Peterborough, Serviceton and Angaston lines in particular.

SAR Passenger Cars. Hugh Williams will be giving an update on SAR passenger carriages. Over 40 plans of broad gauge cars have now been redrawn using CAD systems and these will be provided, along with a picture of most types of SAR passenger cars and the SAR line diagrams of virtually all types of SAR passenger cars, for both broad and narrow gauge. A CD will be attached to the notes containing all of this information. Numerous articles on passenger cars have been produced for previous conventions and these will also be republished on the CD for those people who have not as yet got of copy of these articles.
The CD will contain updated lists of all SAR passenger cars for both broad and narrow gauge, each car being listed separately by number to show its individual measurements and other details. The 40-odd plans drawn by us in CAD on this CD include numerous four-wheel vehicle plans for which new or additional information has come to light, plans for most types of dog box cars, the Centenary and centre-loader cars, the Pullman cars Adelaide and Mount Lofty, and the 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 class cars.

Renmark. A detailed article about the Renmark railway station will be presented by Rodney Barrington showing track plans, structure plans and prototype photos of the station and its environs. The station had a loco shed, triangle, a 15 ton coaling stage as well as all normal station facilities. Whilst many trains started from Renmark, it was not the terminus of the line as the line was extended to Barmera. This gave rise to a number of interesting operations for branch line trains. For anyone not interested in modelling main line operations, this paper may well give inspiration for modelling a typical SAR branch line. Rodney has given a number of presentations to the Convention over the years and he always seems to find some interesting modelling and prototype information to include.

Modelling a Preserved Railway. Modelling SteamRanger’s line from Mount Barker to Victor Harbor would provide more than sufficient scope for many modellers when one considers the varieties of steam locomotives, diesels, railcars, and passenger cars that are running on or that have run on this line whilst operating as a preserved line. Peter Michalak is well placed to talk on this topic, as he spends many of his weekends volunteering on this line. Peter always has his camera with him so anything that looks interesting usually gets recorded. Many of the stations on this preserved railway are worthy of modelling, particularly Mount Barker, Strathalbyn, Goolwa and Victor Harbor, all of which have or had extensive yards, numerous industries, loco facilities, etc.

Grain Silos. Ken Pearce will cover a topic that will be of more than passing interest to the average modeller, because grain silos could be found at a large number of South Australian country railway stations. If modelling railways from the 1960s onwards, grain silos would form part of the railway infrastructure at many of the SAR stations. Note that silos were around, even in the steam loco era. Silos themselves come in many shapes and sizes, and by using silos as part of a low relief backdrop, they can be placed in many a small space at the back of a station area. Ken will show us plenty of examples of the different types of silo in South Australia and will no doubt cover the how, when and where to model them.

Riding the Narrow Gauge Ghan. David Griffiths will be well known for his book on the BHP at Whyalla and also for his detailed presentation to the Convention in 2016 on the BHP Iron Knob Tramway. His presentation to this year’s Convention will feature the train that he rode to school – the narrow gauge Ghan – and the models it inspired. David’s presentation features some superb photos of models of SAR and Commonwealth Railways narrow gauge locos and rolling stock. Even the backdrops on his model of Government Gums station are worthy of a mention.

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 built from previous Convention notes.

As in previous years, some extra articles will appear in the notes, which will not be formal presentations. This year there will be a supporting article on 900 class diesels giving additional information regarding the workings of the loco. A considerable number of Andrew Emmett’s colour photos of all the English Electric diesels on the SAR will also be published. These include the 350, 500, 800 and the 900 classes. And Gavin Thrum has provided some more information on the structures he has built for his Port Dock shelf layout, information that did not make last year’s notes.