Sydney Model Railway Exhibition 2019

 
  yogibarnes Locomotive Fireman

A quick comment.  I've just got back home to the south coast after spending four hours at the exhibition.  There were some issues which need improvement (ain't it the way every year) but I enjoyed it, mainly because, for the first time for me, there was space and time to talk with the traders, especially the cottage industry guys whom I rely on.  Location/parking?  I parked at Lidcombe and used the train shuttle - worked a treat.

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  Z VAN Locomotive Driver

I attended the show yesterday.
I arrived by train at 10 o'clock. There were no marauding Football fans to hassle anyone.
Outside of the station was an electronic display directing this way to the Train Exhibition.
One hundred and fifty metres latter I was there.
For me the the Hall was spacious and obviously at that time it was very easy to walk around that I did for four hours.
How many Traders and how many layouts compared to previous years I do not know all I can say all of the Big Name Traders were there.
All of the display layouts were good as I do not compare in the sense all require considerable effort to make and are pitched at different levels of the hobby.
Food and drink were available. Yes a Coffee caravan that seemed adequate, fit for purpose.
Naturally when I was leaving I was going against the people flow. No trouble as the Station was designed for events.
Initially I believed why have the train exhibition there on Grand Final Weekend. It turned out there was no conflict in any regard as there was room for all. In fact because of the Football there were more trains and possibly buses.
Was it as good as the Epping Model Railway exhibition at Rosehill last June? For me the same!
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
Always interesting to read this forum for some of the exhibition reports and impressions...I have a dark sense of humour.

I didn't travel up to the exhibition, so can't comment on the attendance, the access, the catering or the venue itself, so only commenting on the comments provided here.

Lack of Cottage Industry traders...those large size shows come with large size trade fees, which for most Cottage Industry traders are far more expensive than what their potential turnover of sales will be for the weekend.  Most small Cottage traders have a limited range of products that they sell, so of course potential sales are limited.  The other main factor is what major traders are going to be present...its simply not worth the effort and expense for the small traders when you have the big guys with their big stands making sales of $100's to $1000's, with all the hobby dollars sunk into the new release RTR loco or rolling stock 3 pack (have seen it first hand too many times, with the hungry hoard that pour into the venue and charge for the Auscision stand with fists full of cash...which is kind of demoralising for the little traders).

Layout fatigue...that kind of made me laugh a bit, especially given the layout that was referred to (Fingal).  Whether or not you are into Tasmanian narrow gauge modelling, Fingal is a great layout, that has absolutely deserved each award it has taken and the magazine publication it has featured in.  It's different, its visually very good, and perhaps the most important part from a modelling perspective is the entire thing is essentially scratch built...there are zero OO14 locos or rolling stock available, and given the vast amount of stock that Simon has created over the years of building this piece, it's a commendable effort (from own masters, to moulds and casts of a wide range that goes into the 100's of pieces).  Its a layout that should be booked for plenty of exhibitions because it should be appreciated by the viewing public (although I imagine all the big RTR manufacturers don't like it because none of their boxes were opened and plonked on this one!).  Add in the effort required to load this layout up and transport it across from Tassie multiple times.  I;ve seen the layout about six times now, and would happily see it six more, but I believe this was its last exhibition as it has been sold and this was the weekend to deliver to the new owner.

There are plenty of other layouts on the circuit that I reckon I have been seeing out and about at the same exhibitions for more than 10 years, and those layouts even look fatigued!  Fascia's all scratched, scenery covered in dust, models looking damaged...all stuff that could be cleaned up and repaired with a weekend on maintenance, and the layout would at least look presentable again.  That aspect of these layouts I find poor and lazy, and frustrating that the general public are paying money to see this sort of presentation.  Would be nice if some these tired old layouts maybe took a hint of pride in what they are displaying...or as much pride in their layout as they have in their brand new shiny RTR thing they have just plonked on the rails and paraded around the loop all weekend.  The big layouts aren't necessarily the good ones, as these are generally giant club layouts that are normally guilty of the above comments, where the layout is just a place for club members to rock up and run their big collections on (without contributing anything to what they are running them on, such as dusting maybe).

Dan Pickard
  G Train Locomotive Driver

I went yesterday & found it easy to get to by train. Lots of great specials by the likes of Austrains, SDS & Auscision. N scale represented by Frate N & O Scale by Model O Kits. Lots of Australian layouts in HO with Arkoola in O & Fingal in OO14. Cottage industry was represented but a couple from previous years were absent. The fella selling trees Trackside Trees has some great specimens so I made sure I picked up a packet. Overseas prototypes also represented.

The hall was spacious & although only one coffee cart in the venue, the coffee was excellent! Whilst I have seen a few of the layouts before, they do change & have different rolling stock & operations to keep my interest & inspire me in my own modelling. A pass out for more food choice at lunch was easily obtained & it was great to mingle with the NRL fans outside amongst the food vans on the green. No issue moving against the fans leaving just a bit slower.

There were fewer families yesterday but could the NRL grand final have impacted on that? It would be interesting to hear if more families might attend today. I also went to Rosehill too & thoroughly enjoyed that as well.

A good day out in my opinion & thanks to the organisers & exhibitors.
  The Inevitable Looney Beginner

It was a good experience for me.  Parked the car at Campbelltown Station and caught the train. Comfortable A & M sets all the way, quick walk from Olympic Park Stn and I found the hall quite spacious.  The ambient lighting seemed dimmer than Liverpool but I thought that it enhanced some of the stands and showcases.  Liverpool seemed to have quite a few ante-rooms where things were tucked away and could be missed.  Olympic Park hall had one, that I found!.

I heard a note of criticism from an overseas visitor re the trade stands that you're paying an entrance fee to visit shops.  Well, for some of us it is the only chance to see many items outside of an FB or internet page as well as talk to the principals.  I don't think he was impressed with the quality of layouts but for me I thought they were outstanding with Blue Mountains and the WW2 exhibits being very innovative.  I really enjoy seeing people exhibit layouts of Sydney electric trains.  Kudos to Bergs Hobbies for recognising and fostering that market.  

I appreciated not having to drive through city or Liverpool traffic.  At Liverpool you either walked through a dustbowl or a mud pool to get to the hall from your car.  I can't compare to Rosehill but I will try and get there next year.  As for AMRA and its people, I have no comment as I don't know any of them.  I like the mag and the exhibition and I appreciate the effort that must go into both.  

Exhibition fee and mag subscription are good value for me.
  Lloyd1952 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Sydney, Australia
I attended on Saturday and used the train. That worked well as previously I have driven from Newcastle to Liverpool. At 8.45, the queue was shorter than previous ones. My  pre purchased  ticket made for a quick entry. Surprisingly the cover of the program lists the venue as the Whitlam Leisure Centre Liverpool. This error was not a good omen. You walk in on carpet but the spacious building quickly becomes a concrete floored warehouse feel. There was plenty of room to move around. The aisles were very wide and the crowd was relatively modest. Surprisingly Murray Bridge, East Mateland SimSig we’re located in a side annex.
The program listed 81 exhibits. I think 28 of them could be classed as layouts ranging from the likes of Arakoola, Blue Mountains, Fingal to name a few well known layouts to some more modest displays. The Rosehill exhibition had most of these and probably more. I guess you can only show what people are prepared to bring. There were some good retail specials if you were after some items. For children, there was an O Gauge Thomas layout and U Drive but nothing else. No train rides or G Gauge LEGO type layouts. There didn’t seem to be many families there and I wonder what publicity was used for the new venue?
Somehow, things felt flat. Was it just me being grumpy? There was no buzz. The venue had some real advantages like toilets that didn’t stink but there was nowhere to sit and relax or chat. There were some tables and chairs in a corner near the coffee kiosk, enough for maybe 40 people but these were fully occupied each time I looked and the coffee queue at around 10.30 was slow. I didn’t get close enough to see what food was available but that was it. Two people serving coffee and food from a small booth! Not good enough. I went searching outside for something to eat. The precinct was like a ghost town. Gloria Jean was all that was open five minutes away. Walking back into the pavilion on a cool day, it felt stuffy and there was a burnt coffee food smell. Time to go home. I appreciate the enormous effort that volunteers put into organising and running an exhibition like this. There was a lot to enjoy but it failed to deliver as a showcase for model railways.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I caught the train from Wynyard on Saturday morning as above and what I did appreciate was the service frequency.  10 minutes between trains for a model railway exhibition at the showgrounds for a model railway exhibition was brilliant service in my view.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I caught the train from Wynyard on Saturday morning as above and what I did appreciate was the service frequency.  10 minutes between trains for a model railway exhibition at the showgrounds for a model railway exhibition was brilliant service in my view.
bevans
Trains normally run every 10 minutes on the Olympic Park line on weekends.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I caught the train from Wynyard on Saturday morning as above and what I did appreciate was the service frequency.  10 minutes between trains for a model railway exhibition at the showgrounds for a model railway exhibition was brilliant service in my view.
Trains normally run every 10 minutes on the Olympic Park line on weekends.
seb2351

That is a brilliant service compared to the terrible timetable we have in Melbourne sometimes on services they run on a main line of 20 mins plus.

Sydney Trains doing a great job.
  Phantom47 Locomotive Driver

Location: In The Shire
I think the general atmosphere of Olympic Park was terrible. I have never been to the venue before and was surprised just how few people were wandering around the site in relation to the number of apartment towers surrounding the precinct.

Liverpool was surrounded by housing and families were looking for a day out.

Let's hope AMRA sort it soon.

PHanton
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Well day 3 should be done and dusted now.  I'm sure they'll review and then make changes where needed.
  ssaunders Train Controller

The venue is certainly superior to the Liverpool site.

I think the larger hall made the numbers of people seem smaller, nice wide walkways were certainly an improvement. For those who complained it was another hour of travel I beg to reason that if you lived at Hornsby it was less travel. The train services there are frequent and the same distance as the carpark to the door at Liverpool.

Food, yes limited but a 200m walk back past the station had many food and drink options.

Parking, I managed parking 30m from the door, there are several options if your homework is done right. Meter, pay all day and free but time limited.

There was a short line to enter which took around 5 mins on Monday morning at 11am and as above, I think the large space gobbled people up and it was still comfortable. They could have done with more chairs. The ventilation was way better than Liverpool which becomes oppressive at times.

Overall, it was a big improvement in location and venue.

Re the content, yes some layouts are there often, Fingal has been sold so may not be seen again, I think the AMRA would do themselves some good if they searched out some layouts over the next 12 months, in the spiders web of connections they must have for some new viewing.

With this new large space they could have invited more layouts and it still would have been large and comfortable to visit.

Rose Hill is a great venue and the AMRA lost focus for a while so hopefully they can build on this.

ss
  menangletrains Station Master

Attending the October Long Weekend Sydney Model Trains Exhibition, has been something that i have tried to attend every year, since i was a little boy. When it used to be held at the Lower  Sydney Town Hall- Underneath the main building.

And since then the hobby- has Grown, and has been moved from Venue to Venue. Liverpool has been most peoples favourite venue.As it was a central location, there was parking close by. they provided Buses - to the door. from Liverpool Railway Station.

And Rosehill has been trialled for the Event on the June long weekend.

But the venue at Sydney Olympic Park- Hall 5- the Southee Complex. As much as it was Large enough, It had a few problem to me. Parking to attend  Was expensive Street Parking. It was a bit of a walk from the Railway Station. and an even longer walk from the Parking Stations around S.O.P.
But i dont think this year - there were as many Displays at the show.

I know that not everyone can be pleased- as to where it would be held.But i think to look at some Venues away from S.O.P. would be a much better option for 2020- and into the future.
Maybe they chose that venue to encourage those who attended the N.R.L. - GRAND FINAL, would visit the Exhibition earlier in the day, then go to the Grand Final.

But Homebush in my option is not the best venue for such an event.

Dave Innis.    Menangle. N.S.W.
  ssaunders Train Controller

Attending the October Long Weekend Sydney M..........

And since then the hobby- has Grown, and has been moved from Venue to Venue. Liverpool has been most peoples favourite venue.As it was a central location, there was parking close by. they provided Buses - to the door. from Liverpool Railway Station.


But Homebush in my option is not the best venue for such an event.

Dave Innis.    Menangle. N.S.W.
menangletrains

Liverpool is a more central location to Menangle, however Liverpool is not central to many others.

You don't need buses at the Homebush location as it's a 3min walk. The food at Olympic Park is superior which is a plus for me.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re the content, yes some layouts are there often, Fingal has been sold so may not be seen again, I think the AMRA would do themselves some good if they searched out some layouts over the next 12 months, in the spiders web of connections they must have for some new viewing.


What a difficult task it is these days to find new layouts. There are just not enough new ones to refresh these shows. Or the offering may not meet the standard of the show's organisers.

Then there's the call to bring  interstate ones over. That costs a heep ! Sometime too much !

So most times they rely on the goodwill of those who will show their layout.

And Fingal raises another interesting point. Some say seen it before - but how many times has it been to the sydney show ?  Obviously there are many dedicated railfan  who go interstate to see these shows. To see it a few times is great, but most will and have not. So travel lets one see many layout not normally seen in one's  home state - but can present a travelled layout too Smile

Is the next step to import  exhibnition layouts from other countries? Arakoola went to the UK and returned ! Imahine the cost they incurred to do that !

Interesting thoughts I am reading, fasinating !

Regards,
David Head
  7334 Chief Commissioner

Location: In the workshop wondering why I started 7334 in the first place

You don't need buses at the Homebush location as it's a 3min walk. The food at Olympic Park is superior which is a plus for me.
ssaunders
The walk at Homebush from the train station was not an issue.

The exhibition just left me unimpressed.  Would I return - who knows but probably not.

To say the food is superior rather depends on whether you are aware of it even existing.  I didn't and was not encouraged to explore as the whole precinct seemed to a large extent deserted and I was not likely to suddenly happen upon a bustling food precinct.  Result - I just got on a train.

I came out of the exhibition looking for the coffee I was not prepared to get in a queue to buy inside and settled for a one at Lidcombe station.

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