Friday, 13 April 2018

Philden's Fantastic 442 Fundraiser

Will adding an Auscision Models 442 loco to my layout call for a complete roster overhaul? Hmm... maybe not!

Let me get something straight. It's not an impulse decision if you've mulled over something for a little over 2 years, right? But what if you've just completely overhauled your model railway roster to better fit the 2002-2005 era that you set out to model at the very beginning? Does a Candy coloured 442 Class locomotive that you've been wanting since you were knee-high-to-a-grass-hopper really belong on your layout? Can you really do such a thing and still be able to hold your head high amongst the purists? Well, not really. Unless... you re-envision your small bookshelf layout for what it really is, a stage.

The generic New South Wales theme is immediately evident when you take a look at my small layout, but as has been pointed out to me many times at exhibitions, Philden wouldn't take that much effort to wind back the clock. Except of course for the Countrylink sign on the station platform, and the fact that I run a 2 car Xplorer in the original Countrylink livery. But remembering that Countrylink as an operating arm came into effect on 16 January 1989, its fair to say that the Countrylink signage would have started appearing soon after. Given that the Xplorer train made its debut in October 1993, and the NSW 442 Class loco's that I mentioned above were included en-masse in the famous December 1994 Cardiff locomotive auctions, my homework reveals that I have a 12 month window that would easily accommodate a winding-back of the clock to the summer of 1993/94.

Click here to bid on my 99 cent 442 class fundraiser.

While I babble-on about the logistics of such an idea, I'm also cleaning out my desk this weekend for the last time. Next week the fit-out of my new work space and the framework for my new N scale layout that will be constructed beneath it begins. My massive eBay clean-out last month of my surplus models netted me a handy return. Handy enough to completely fund everything I need to build and operate my new N scale layout, plus secure the HO scale Pacific National 48 class loco that I really wanted to round-out my 2005 era roster.

Now, I'm faced with what to do with an over-abundance of railway memorabilia that simply isn't going to fit into my new work environment. Keep in mind, this sort of stuff is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for them. So I've listed a heap on eBay with a 99 cent opening bid price, just to see how far they go towards 'subsidising' the new Auscision Models 442 Class loco that will soon be available. I've dubbed it the Philden Fantastic 442 Fundraiser. (See how many times you can say that quickly after a few drinks in front of the football on a Friday night).

Honest, I feel like poor Barry Snelson (pictured below) who auctioned off his famous railway collection in Canberra in 2016. I later had a courier deliver 2 large crates from the auction house to my front door, and while my prized-pieces will soon be on display beneath my layout, just what do you do with the rest?

Flashback to 2016, and the Snelson Collection auction in Canberra. Guess who bought a little too much?

I'd rather have a memory from my own childhood of growing up in Gosford. Nighttime was an endless parade of 'name-trains' headed north up the coast, and Candy colour was the new cool. To add a Candy 442 loco to my layout in its final year of government operation would be pretty-neat. Or damn-near dirty if you imagine how much I will have to weather it. So with some careful selection of my current rollingstock roster to correctly utilise my NPRF/NPRY cement hoppers, NCTY and NCNX steel wagons and the lone V/Line VLCX louvered wagon that is still on my roster, I could easily switch eras whenever I want to, just by swapping a single locomotive. (Keep in mind I only run the Xplorer and 1 locomotive on the freight train at a time). And just to reinforce the time difference a little more, adding a highway advertising billboard to the overpass near the mouse-hole entrance could enable the advertising to swap as I please, between era appropriate early 1990's and early 2000's.

When you only require a small roster to operate a small bookshelf layout anyway, swapping between eras adds another whole new dimension. Best of all, adding a 1990's roster to Philden isn't going to require me to sell the farm, just a few unwanted pieces of railway clutter.

See also: Philden's Snelson Collection Additions

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Thanks for taking the time to visit Philden. I hope you'll book a return ticket soon. Cheers, Phil