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15th Australian Narrow Gauge Convention - postponed until 2022

12th July, 2020

Announcement regarding postponing the 15th Australian Narrow Gauge Convention. 

We forward you this update with the regrettable announcement that the 15th Australian Narrow Gauge Convention will be postponed until 2022.

There has deliberately been minimal information regarding this event posted to potential attendees as the organising committee has essentially been held in watch and wait mode for the last several months, with  COVID-19 restrictions limiting the committees ability to effectively commence the research and planning required to organise this style of event. 

While we have had to sit and watch various model railway exhibitions be forced to cancel as the year progresses, we had remained optimistic that a sense of normality would be returning to the world in due course, and allow our convention to proceed as planned.  Up until about four weeks ago, that optimism was looking and feeling good, with COVID-19 case numbers seemingly well contained and social restrictions beginning to be relaxed across various states.  The lapse that has occurred in the last couple of weeks in the Melbourne based virus outbreak has demonstrated how quickly this situation can change, and also how quickly government and health officials can impose restrictions to attempt containment.

The organising committee has debated the ability to assemble the type of convention we would like to host, but with so many changes and uncertainties for the unforeseeable future, the realistic opinion is that the event faces too many compromises to proceed at this stage.  As an Australian event, we rely on participants from around the country to be able to contribute and add content to our convention.  Unpredictable times regarding travel options are the first of many concerns.  The broader impact of COVID-19 is the unknown, with businesses associated with tourism, accommodation, transport and catering all now having to assess their viability, all of which we also rely on as part of this event planning.

Our decision has been made to postpone this event for an additional twelve months and reschedule for Easter 2022.  Yes, this decision has been called early, because as a volunteer committee, the preference was to preserve these volunteer hours for when it is hoped the event has a more stable environment to be organised.  It is also hoped that by that time, freedom and confidence to travel to the convention is restored, and we can resume with a convention being hosted in a lower risk era for our valued attendees.

On that note, we hope you all stay safe and healthy, and expect to see a plethora of new creative efforts the next time we can assemble as a community for the 15th Australian Narrow Gauge Convention.   

Thank you,

Dan Pickard
On behalf of the Australian Narrow Gauge Convention organising committee