Thursday 4 April 2024

A visit to Kaleen

 Kaleen Exhibition, and home layout planning logistics

The 2024 Kaleen Exhibition was held on the 23rd, and 24th of March.  I was able to share a ride with Pete and Ben, from Junee to Kaleen on the Saturday, arriving just after 10am

After the exhibition, we made a detour via Yass Junction.  

The exihibition is held at Kaleen High school, and most of the school was occupied with layouts, and retailers.  There was far more there than the pictures below show.  


Darling Harbour (NSW HO) was a layout I had not previously seen in person.  Grand scale, with impressive buildings.  There were a couple of trains circulating, and a shunting engine moving wagons at the rear into the double deck goods shed.  

Glasson is a new NSW O scale shelf layout, running from a fiddleyard, to a small station. 

Gresham, (NSW N scale) by the Sydney N scale Model Railway Club

The small railbus shows how small a model you can fit in an N scale decoder.  The 38 class is waiting at the signals.  The showers painted on the backscene though didn't work in my opinion

The lighting was with  LED strips under the valence, and I felt it didn't quite illuminate the excellent scenery well enough.  

Gunning, (NSW N scale) by Rob Popovski was a nice sceniced layout combining Gunning, with other aspects of the main south.

Positioning of the turnout controls on the front fascia was something done on home layouts, but different on an exhibition layout


Unfortunately, the lighting was positioned so that the models closest to the viewer had dark shaddows that obscured many of the details

Mungo Scott (NSW HO) by the Arncliffe Model Railway Society

Tarana and Oberon (NSW N scale). St Georges Model Railway club.  A very large new layout, showing the branch line up to Oberon.   Innovative use of a self contained mainline operation oval at Tarana (fiddleyard at the rear), with a rambling branchline then extending quite a distance on seperate layout sections.  

The Small Depot  (NSW HO) by Geoff Small.  Another in the series of "small" exhibition layouts, concentrating on a theme - this one being a depot.   

Yendys (NSW HO) by the ACT Model Railway Society.  I understand that this may be the last time this layout is exhibited.  It is planned to incorporate Yendys into the ACTMRS permanent club layout.  As I designed Yendys in 2003, and spent 6 years actually building it, this layout is a great survivor, and the detail improvements since I left, have been a credit to the Society.

It was easy to spend all day, and we were ushered out of the school just after 5pm. 

As mentioned, our return trip was via Yass Junction, and Binalong for photos, and we had an excellent evening meal at the newly opened Harden Chinese Restaurant

My haul of retail delights.

It is important to support the retailers that support the hobby.  The retail support at Kaleen was extensive, and I tried to buy something from many of them

My Purchases from Kaleen.  Many of the items are for the Wagga layout, including DCC chips, modelling tools, and some scenery items.  The "Railway coins", "Model Box"and book were extras.

3022 was a purchase from the "seconds" bin at Wombat models.  The faults mentioned - slight wobble, and headlight not working at speed was something I could live with, maybe fix.  Anyway, on the test track (the kyeamba creek bridge diorama I built a few years ago), I struggled to see the wobble, and the headlight worked fine (at low speeds).  Add a chip, and weathering - and another loco for the Tumbarumba branch. 

Train Room flooring

The last pieces of the flooring were wrangled into position

The final full floorboards down leave a gap, that requires the board to be cut lengthwise to fit.


I am waiting on advice on whether I fit another board, or a tile for the front entrance

Gap mostly filled - a 1cm gap will be covered with the skirting

Note the trim around the internal door has been extracted to allow for removing of 5mm ot timber at the bottom  (thickness of the vinyl floorboards) and easier painting.

All the door upright trim pieces painted gloss outside on the trestles.  The skirting boards were treated the same way

I tried to add the trim, and skirting boards by myself, using hammer and tack nails.  Result was disappointing.  Without a nail gun, the boards and trim moved. So, the trim and skirting will have to be removed, and reattached when my builder next makes an appearance

Aisle Planning with BLOBS

With the floor now down, I made a start with brown paper, chalk, to define the main layout end loops, which I am calling blobs.  This is to check my small plans, and physically confirm that the aisles are big enough to accomodate operators.

Track radius is 70cm.  The radius to the edge of the future benchwork is 80 cm (for Shepards blob), and 85cm for the Wagga blob. Note the metal ruler
22" pinchpoint is acceptable, as this is not an operator position.

Drawing the track plan on the brown paper will check my design 1:1 size.  This is the Wagga blob. It is much easier to make adjustments with chalk, than later when the track is down 

The main line takes up the most floor space, so I am drawing this one out first.  The staging track layout will then be superimposed over the mainline, to confirm it fits properly.  The branchline, with the exception of the helix, will be easier

Living in Junee, getting to exhibitions is often impossible.  I am fortunate that Kaleen is relatively close for a day trip.  Thank you for the organisers (Canberra Model Railway club) for a great day.  For those wanting more, Will James was in attendance with his video camera, so watch for his video on you-tube shortly.

Back in Junee, I will continue with the brown paper layout planning whilst I wait for completion of the train room. 

Until next time, build a model, or two.


  1. G'day mate. Just want to say two things. Love reading your posts. And, Gresham is not a part of the NSW N Scale Group. It is a layout from Sydney N Scale Model Railway Club.

    1. Appreciate the advice Lachlan. I will make the amendment. Thankyou