Those who have followed this blog over the years will know that I have been building portable, modular and easily movable layouts for at least the last 8 or so years. And the reason for that was so that if (when?) we moved I could simply pack the layout up, move it, then set it back up again at our new home. And for that purpose the layouts have worked amazingly well.

 

But now the movability of my layouts has found a new purpose – to allow them to exhibited. Over the years I have had the opportunity to be part of an exhibition team, exhibiting other peoples or club owned layouts at various exhibitions. But in a few days I will be exhibiting my HO scale Dolton and Illinook modules, representing the fictional Dolton Industry Park and Illinook Industry Park, for the very first time. Although whether exhibiting the layout becomes a regular occurance remains to be seen.
There is an interesting dynamic at play here which will make the exhibition interesting for me operating my own layout – keeping the operating interesting over a whole day. Up until now, operating sessions have lasted up to about 1 hour in length, and that is with the Blue Island yard module attached. At the exhibition I will need to operate it for a whole day without the Blue Island yard module, although I dare say there could be times when the layout can have no trains moving as long as it isnt for too long. Because of the mixture of industries on the layout, I can have a good mixture of cars, and the plan is to have about 12 cars on the whole layout – a few box cars, reefers, gondollas, open and covered hoppers, and maybe a caboose. And 2 switchers for motive power – a GE 70 tonner, and a GE 44 tonner (a model of a prototype which the NSWGR railways once owned). I am not sure whether to design some sort of operating scheme or timetable, or whether to just operate as the mood takes me. I am tending towards the latter.
The exhibition is not a model railway exhibition as such, but an exhibition of miniatures – miniature anythings. And is at Henty (NSW) over the weekend 11th – 13th March. My layout will be there for the whole weekend, but I will only be operating it on Sunday 13th.

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