W A Railway Page

Modelling Western Australian Railways                                                            

Why Model the WAGR?
For someone living in Western Australia it came with the realization that trying to model a railway system such as the United Kingdom that was 12,000 miles away and that I had only experienced on short visits on holidays was going to be difficult. This is because the best models are based on observation of the prototype and there landscape in through which the railway runs.This is obviously much easier if modelling the railway at ones doorstep.

Parkerville, Easrern Railway Parkerville station S scale model by Sn3.5 special interest group, AMRA exhibition Perth 1998

Which Scale?
The answer is any scale you wish. The most popular scale/gauge combination is Sn 3.5  i.e. S Scale (1:64) narrow gauge. For 3'6" gauge this is 16.5mm same as HO gauge. This scale/gauge combination has the advantage that commercial HO gauge mechanisms and wheelsets can be used as can commercial track if you aren't too fussed about sleeper spacing.

 S class locomotive model  by Paul Tranter using a commercial mechanism with body scratch built from styrene sheet.

Will I have to Scratchbuild Everything in S Scale?
Yes and no. Modelling western Australian railways is not yet at the stage of being able to buy everything off the shelf. There is however a growing range of kits and detailing accessories available through Railwest Models. However isn't half the fun of railway modelling in creating something with our hands.

Where Do I Go For Information?
The Australian Railway Historical Society archives and the library at the Australian Model Railway Association both contain drawings of locomotives, rollingstock building and survey plans of the WAGR as well as published material on Western Australian railways.  The Alexander Library in Perth has an archive of WAGR drawings including the mechanical drawings from the Midland Workshops.Of course there is always the option of getting out the tape measure and measuring the prototype at the Bassendean Rail Transport Museum or other sites around the state. A selection of WAGR drawings are available in Autodesk DWF Format from my web site.

How Do I Get Started?
If you have never done any scratchbuilding or kit building before then I would strongly recommend that you come along to the Sn3.5 meeting nights at the Australian Model Railway Association. Sn3.5 meeting are held on the second Monday of every month.

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