Strathmore saw the first public showing of Murranbilla on the 8 to 9th of August 1999.
An excellent exhibition run by the Essendon Model Railway Club, it’s not too large making it a wise choice for a first showing.
It’s interesting to compare where the layout has come from in terms of presentation and the changes in the scenery, especially the lighting.
All photos are by David Head and are unretouched, straight out of an Olympus 900Z digital camera and resized down.
The E class were originally introduced to haul Melbourne’s suburban trains from 1890, and were built by Phoenix at Ballarat and Munro and Co in Melbourne. With electrification of the suburban network in the 1920s, they were relegated to shunting duties, apart from 20 which were sold to the SAR (classified there as the M class).
They underwent extensive design modifications as their usage patterns changed: E236 is shown here as a 2-4-2T, while the other surviving examples are both 0-6-0Ts. There are three surviving examples: 506 (now numbered as 236), 369 (both at ARHS Museum), and 371 (Newport shunter, now at Victorian Goldfields Railway).
(from http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~ajh/trains/vic/index.xml, viewed 24/4/2010)
It’s interesting to note the improvement in lighting for Murranbilla over the years. These shots were taken when there was only a spotlight or two to light up the layout. More recent photos with even more lighting makes a huge difference to Murranbilla’s appearance.
Photos: David Head.