Rourkelup

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I found myself at the WA Model Railway Exhibition yesterday and spent the usual three hours wandering the hall and looking at the exhibits. Also shuddering at the prices of some of the model trains on exhibit. It’s been a long time since I bought one and inflation has advanced…


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But never mind – seeing everyone else’s layouts and models in such a concentrated form is tonic to the soul. I enjoy miniature worlds in whatever form they are presented.

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The surprise about seeing the layout of the town of Rorkelup was that while it had a railway running through the town, I cannot recall anything about this  – all the interest was concentrated in the town itself. It’s part of the group that portrays the very long trains in Australia – and while long freighter and equally long interstate passenger trains did pass over the metal, it was still the town that made it.

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Don’t be too fussy about the fine details – remember that this is a cooperative exhibition layout that had to get there and set up in a day. It’s not like a purpose-built permanent structure in someone’s basement or second floor that never budges and can have infinite additions over a decade. The enthusiasts were flying by the seats of their pants.

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The amazing part about Rourkelup is that it has a size and a pattern that really is reminiscent of an Australian country town – and specifically a WA country town. Apart from the inevitable sign humour of the model railway enthusiast, the style of the structures and the colouring is remarkably apt. If a person were to make this town a permanent layout – and could protect it from dust and mildew – it would be a true little world.

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Note the snake heading across the carpark toward the school. For overseas readers who might discount this, I have seen dugites and tiger snakes do exactly this on the bitumen carpark of our local hospital. It pays to watch where you are driving and walking at certain times of the year.

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I would bet that this little town would be even more photogenic with some backdrop and a low, warm afternoon sun from the west – perhaps an orange flood light.

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