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14th Australian Narrow Gauge Convention - Event Report

The 14th Australian Narrow Gauge Convention was hosted this Easter, once again well attended with over 170 narrow gauge enthusiasts, including visitors from Canada, UK and New Zealand, descending on the sunny Central Coast of NSW.  

The convention activities were preceded with a selection of home layouts available to tour in the region on Good Friday.  The Central Coast has quite a good concentration of quality home layouts, so a healthy number of attendees enjoyed travelling along the coast for these afternoon visits, before checking in at Central Coast Grammar School in the evening, our home base for this years event.  The convention kicked off properly on Saturday morning, with our first guest, Grahame Swanson from Lake Macquarie Light Rail, providing our opening clinic session on some of the great preservation being undertaken by this group (to be later enjoyed on Easter Monday).  The remainder of the day saw a broad range of clinic subjects presented, from modelling techniques to prototype discussions and layout presentations, with most sessions holding an engaged group of listeners.


The modelling and photography contest was also hosted on Saturday, which always provides some stunning efforts to be admired and discussed.  There are some very talented modellers within our narrow gauge community, with the best of their work usually making for some inspiring viewing on the contest tables. 


Saturday evening saw attendees relocate to the nearby Breakers Country Club for our dinner and awards evening (contest results listed at the end of this report).  A three course meal and a few drinks went down nicely while celebrating our contest winners, plus we were entertained by some incredible images of Taiwanese mountain railways by our guest speaker, Craig Marshall.

Sunday provided another full day of clinic sessions, and an opportunity to gather up final purchases from the trade stands.  It was encouraging to welcome a number of first time traders to this convention, broadening their markets to the narrow gauge modellers, which was great to see for the state of our hobby. 

The convention officially concluded on Sunday afternoon (with a special thank you to all who kindly assisted with the dreaded task of packing up), but a group of around 80 attendees travelled north to Lake Macquarie Light Rail on Easter Monday for a special running day.  The fine weather continued with a perfect day being enjoyed in this beautiful bush property with the sound and smell of steam railway.  It was a very relaxing day of riding this 2’ gauge railway, touring the workshops, and enjoying a great lunch under the shade of the trees.  Thanks to the success of the weekend event, the Australian Narrow Gauge Convention was able to make a donation of $2500 to Lake Macquarie Light Rail, as a small contribution to assist with their preservation work.  The other highlight for the day was to see “Jack” (Krauss 0-4-0, ex-Burrunjuck Dam locomotive) fully restored and in steam, spending the afternoon squealing around the tight curves of the LMLR circuit to the delight of a bunch of convention attendees.  It was a fine way to wrap up another Australian Narrow Gauge Convention, and hope all enjoyed safe travels home.

14th Australian Narrow Gauge Convention: Contest Results

Locomotive, Steam
1st;   Roger Hill - Darjeeling Himalayan Railway B Class 0-4-0 No.786
2nd;   Bernard Snoodyk –S.A.R NGC16 Garratt
3rd;   David Price –Ex S.A.R Steam Motor Coach #2

Locomotive, Diesel & Other

1st;   Bernard Snoodyk - Simplex Armoured “Tin Turtle”

2nd;  Bernard Snoodyk - RGS No.6 Work Goose

3rd;   Bernard Snoodyk - WW1 Crewe Rail Tractor

Rolling Stock, Freight & M.O.W.

1st;  Bernard Snoodyk - Work Train with Generator Car

2nd;   David Price - Short Work Flat with Blitz Truck

3rd;   Ken Clark –Kaslo & Slogan Rotary Snow Plow

Rolling Stock, Passenger & Caboose

1st;   Bernard Snoodyk- QR Panhard Railcar #5

2nd;   David Price - VR NG Guards Van 2NC

3rd;   Peter Sansom - TGR DB Brake Van

Structures & Man-Made Objects

1st;  Grant McAdam - Murphy Bros Grain Merchant

2nd;  Bob Best - Derelict House

3rd;  John Hunter - Fishing Wharf with Bait Shop

1st;  Dan Pickard - The Winch Hunters
2nd;   John Hunter - Bulls Crossing
3rd;   Nick Ogden - A quarry loco passing a ruined building somewhere in post-war Germany

Photography, Model

1st;  David Price - “Spotting the van (2NC)”

2nd;  David Price - “Shay & Work Flat with a Bulldozer””

3rd;  David Price - “Taking out the ash”

Photography, Prototype

1st;   Roger Hill - “Darjeeling Himilayan Railway B Class 0-4-0”

2nd;   Wayne Weatherstone - “1923 Fowler 0-4-2 & Carriages”

3rd;   Ray Walters - “W.W.& F. #9 at Alna, Maine”

Special Category, The Flats Challenge

1st;  John Hunter - French Street Scene

2nd;   Murray Scholz - Central Garage

3rd;  Reg Davis—Swastik Flour Company Warehouse

Best of Show
John Hunter - Bulls Crossing (Diorama)

NGDU Award
Wayne Weatherstone – 1896 Climax Mfg. Co. Vertical Boiler – 4 wheel locomotive

Geoff Nott Award
Dan Pickard - The Winch Hunters (diorama)

Rick Richardson Award
Mark Fry