In 1989 a group of model railway enthusiasts from the Warrandyte area gathered in a beaten up old public building in the freezing cold middle of winter with a common goal, to start a model railway club. The Warrandyte Model Railway Club was born.
The club's first layout was built in N scale, and was modelled on the Trentham area of Victoria and featured a replica of the Trentham Falls. This layout was of very sturdy contruction for an 8x4ft layout and as it was a public building that the club was meeting in, the layout had to be hauled up to the roof and bolted in place until the next meeting. This process required at least 4 people to heave on the ropes and 1 person to climb a ladder and slide the bolts in to anchor the layout in place in it's heavenly home.
Fortunately the council knocked the building down (without us or our trains in it) and the club spent some time moving from garage to garage, swampy shed to swampy shed until the council completed construction of a new shiny community centre of which the WMRC had been allocated (for a reasonable annual fee) a large area in which a new layout could be built.
There had been some discussion during the swampy shed days as to what should be built once our space became available, and Bacchus Marsh on the Victorian Railways western line to Ballarat during the 1960's was chosen.
Skipping ahead to 2000...
The club relocated from Warrandyte to Lilydale (both on the north eastern outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria) and settled into the Railway Goods Shed, courtesy of the railways, in 2001. As part of the move the club had to disassemble it's large Bacchus Marsh to Ballarat HO layout and reassemble it in the new premises. This meant that some long quiet geographic fault lines were suddenly very obvious (where the layout was cut into pieces and re-assembled). Over time these have been tidied up and the scenery once again resembles the real thing, with a number of bridges, rocky outcrops, bare hills, green valleys, livestock, houses etc.
The layout depicts the Victorian Railways (VR) in the mid 1960's. Rolling stock is mostly owned by the members of the club and while it typically reflects that period of the VR, it is possible to see the Westcoaster running in it's blue livery, or perhaps an NR in Ghan colours pulling a container train, or even some English locomotive pulling a passenger train that would never have run on this line. VR, V/Line, standard gauge, broad gauge, modern trains, old ones, steam or diesel, they all run along these railway tracks at some stage.
The atmosphere of our club is a relaxed and casual one, albeit a little cool in winter! We have an extensive collection of Australian Model Railway Magazine (AMRM). We also have collections of a number of other publications. We do have more than one copy of some issues and these are available for sale.
The layout itself consists of approximately 75 metres of main line (not counting passing loops, sidings, double track etc.) with various sidings, stations and loops as per the real thing. Some photographs can be found on accompanying pages.