The ‘Prez’ and his wife Monica are touring Sydney in his official state coach, the ‘Alaska’.
Apparently on a fact-finding mission for the Alaska State Legislature he will be touring Australia for the next several months, gathering information on our wine industry, kangaroos, and Australian Railways.
If you should happen to spot him in your home town, please advise the local constable, as the Prez has a bit of attraction towards awkward situations.
The latest reports from the News services has the Prez on the move once again. The following is the latest reports of his and Monica's latest adventures. Having departed Alaska on March 17, 2014 the Prez arrived in Canberra Australia on March 27 as the guest of Jack Child.
First the Prez toured Binalong travelling exhibition layout of the Epping Model Railway Club (without incident, one might add). Above right and below, the Prez visits the switching yard on his way to Binalong Station.
The Prez arrives alongside a coal train at Binalong Station. The large water tank, a remnant of the glory days of steam sits above the station on the hill. New Binalong Railway Station, now closed, on 1916 alignment.
Thanks to the daring and innovative photography of our very own Pablo Paparazzi, revealing photos a scantily clad female inside the Alaska. While the exact identity of this lovely remains a mystery, it is rumoured she is none other than the notorious Sheila Rainheart, daughter of Aussie mining tycoon and the world’s richest woman, Xena Rainheart. However when this reporter checked with the CSWRR head office, they stated that it was only the chamber maid........Ahhhh, coach maid (yea sure).
Later that day, the Prez visited the Illawara Model Railway Association's Kelly River travelling exhibit. The main feature of this layout is a working single track Bascule Bridge (a drawbridge with a counterweight.) Signalling, bridge operations and track power are interlocked to prevent collision or other accidents involving the bridge. Operation of the bridge is most impressive, as the Prez will attest. He may require a similar feature on the CSWRR when he returns.
An awestruck trainspotter points out the Prez to his admiring family.
The Prez waves condolences to the grieving relatives at the burial.
Safely across the bridge. A local steam train awaits clearance, while a crowd of admiring fans graze gaze on.
Here we see the Presidential Express speeding past the Kelly River Cemetery on the approach to the bridge
Next the Prez and Monica had the pleasure of a tour of the Hi-Brid logging company railroad. Hi Brid logging is a small but very scenic point-to-point operation and is based on four USA logging railroads between 1890 and 1920. The winding mountain terrain requires the use of geared locomotives, such as Shays and Heislers. The Prez really enjoyed his tour behind the classic 3-truck Shay.
As he arrives at the Hi-Brid logging camp, some camp maintenance workers are quite amused at the size of the car built on a single "disconnect" truck. Later the Prez gets a closer look at one of the Heisler locomotives as it prepares to haul a train of logs to the mill.
Another view of the Hi-Brid logging camp showing the rustic engine maintenance shed.
On March 30, 2014 the Prez accompanied by his lovely wife Monica and as the guest of Jack Child had the pleasure of a tour of a Model Railroad Expo hosted by the Canberra Model Rail Club in Kaleen ACT, Australia. The show featured more than twenty separate O, HO and N Scale railroads. The Prez was able to visit four of these layouts as shown below.
The fourth Railroad visited by the Prez at the EXPO was the Yendys travelling exhibition layouts operated by the Australia Capital Territory Model Railway Society (ACTMRS). Yendys is an Australian outline HO scale layout based on a western Sydney setting, and includes a busy double-track suburban mainline 'under wires'. Being a main line out of Sydney, country and interstate freight and passenger trains can also be seen. The layout also features a secondary local freight line, a passenger carriage yard and maintenance facility, and other small industries served be the railway. Visit the ACTMRS web page.
The Prez has arrived at Durilgai Station, in Sydney behind a fully restored New South Wales 30 class tank locomotive. The first batch of 35 locomotives were built by Beyer, Peacock and Co., entering service in 1903/04. The last was retired from service in 1973. Passing under the electrics, a friendly engineer waves to the photographer. The 3018 model is a white metal and brass tank loco built from a kit by Jack Child.
The Prez returned to Durilgai several times during his tour of Western Sydney. The big 45 class diesel is charged with escorting the consist through Sydney and surrounds. The cavalcade consists of the 45, a comfortable coach for staff and reporters, a tank car full of Shiraz (courtesy McWilliams Winery*), and of course, the Alaska. The 45's were built between 1962 and 1964, only one remains in service today. Based on the Alco DL-541, the 2000hp locos were a mainstay of mixed goods operation until 1994. The 4580 was built from a kit body which was installed on an Atlas RSD-12 chassis by Jack Child.
Having greased a few palms to expedite arrangements for the Shay, the Prez is underway again. Perhaps he’s on his way to the wine regions of New South Walesto refill the tank car. Rumor has it that it’s half empty already (Well, heck, it’s only 4000 gallons!). Here, the Prez surveys a flooded road beneath the bridge. Shay #2 is a United Models/Pacific Fast Mail engine that was refurbished by Jack Child.
On his last trip through the Durilgai Station, the Prez is pulled by a little Z19/A93 class loco, built by Beyer, Peacock and Co. between 1877 and 1881. None remain in service today, but four are preserved at various locations in NSW. The A93 class were renamed Z19 in 1924, and renumbered from 93, 94,... to 1901, 1902.and this model is owned by
The McWilliams Wine Tanker was built from a kit . The FO end-platform coach was assembled using pieces of two coaches purchased from an estate both by
The Prez visits Kangaroo Valley Historical Railway and Monica gets her Revenge. The KVHR is a privately owned HO scale layout located in the historic Old Linton home in Yass, New South Wales. It is owned and operated by Stephe Jitts, who conducts regular operating sessions on the layout. The beautiful Kangaroo Valley lies between Sydney and Nowra in New South Wales.
Editors Note; I am amazed at the telephone lines in these pictures
The Prezidential cavalcade arrives in Kangaroo Valley behind a trusty Shay locomotive. A load of coal from the nearby mine awaits shipment to Sydney while the spectacular Blue Mountains rise in the background. The Prez insisted on visiting this scenic spot, perhaps in hope of seeing a kangaroo or two. Or maybe, just maybe, he was trying to avoid another situation with the Press.
As the tour of Kangaroo Valley passed the coal mine, the Prez was impressed with the zig-zag railway and thought that might be a fun place to visit.
As the car approaches, Pablo motions to Monica and hands a message to her. Alas, all is revealed to poor Monica – the woman in the coach is not quite the type of chambermaid described by Prez. She’s a friend of the Prez, apparently - a new acquaintance recently acquired in Canberra.
Having returned from his sightseeing tour, the Prez returns to Kangaroo Valley behind a 48 class diesel, along with his staff coach and wine tanker. Looking quite relaxed, the Prez and Monica are enjoying their escape from those nasty paparazzi. But wait! What’s this? “Noooooooo! They found me!” wails the Prez. The relentless Pablo Paparazzi has hired a railcar to follow the Prez!
The 48 class diesel is too big for the trip up to the coal mine, so the convoy returns to the main yard to pick up a little steam engine. But thats not all they’re picking up! Monica is fed up with the Prez’s behavior on this trip and has arranged a different consist for the trip up the mountain. As we spot the train heading back to Kangaroo Valley, we notice the wine tanker and staff car are gone, and a lonely chemical car with guerite is the only companion to the Alaska.
It seems that ‘guerite’ must be French for ‘doghouse.’ Our intrepid Pablo snaps a photo of our embarrassed and dejected Prez for all to see in this Sunday’s paper. Monica doesn’t seem to mind, however, as she enjoys the scenic trip up the mountain to the mine. Looking quite content, even mysterious, we wonder if further consequences might be forthcoming.
Alas, the hill was a bit too steep for the little Z19 locomotive. A restored F class tank loco (ca. 1885) is now pushing the Alaska, and the Prez, up the hill towards the mine.
Editors Note: Talk about being in the dog house.
Finally! Some attention for the Prez! A flock of admiring sheep wait for words of wisdom from the Prez. But he looks a bit worried as the flat car approaches the coal chutes. ‘Whoa!’ he bellows, but Monica only chuckles. And the engineer, of course, can’t hear a thing.
The final humiliation! A load of coal is dumped on the Prez, and a disgraced and dusty figure returns to Kangaroo Valley.
After a VERY stern chat, Monica accepts an apology from the Prez, and believing that he has finally learned his lesson reassembles the cavalcade. Monica helps restore her beloved’s composure, and they leave Kangaroo Valley for the next stage of their tour of Australia.
During his recent trip through Kangaroo Valley, Prez spotted a few kangarros grazing near the old Coal mine. “I must go see some kangaroos!” he exclaimed. On his return to Canberra he was escorted up to ‘The Pinnacle’, a nature reserve up the road from his host’s home.
In his excitement Prez forgot to consider that his sightseeing might require some walking, not being able so see the animals from the back of his coach as he imagined.
He finally was convinced to undertake the strenuous trip of several hundred yards from his accomodation in Canberra up to the nature reserve on a beautiful sunny day, where hundreds of kangaroos were spotted grazing peacefully.
The Prez visits South Australia. Now that he’s allowed out again, the Prez accepted an invitation to visit the O-Gauge
layout of Brian and Fran Thomas. While still a long way from completion, most of the track is in place and work has begun on painting the scenic backdrops. (My wife Maren painted the backdrops seen in these photos.)
The State of South Australia, in these difficult times, couldn’t really afford to provide the first-class tour the Prez expected. Nonetheless, space was found for the Alaska on one of the flat-bed cars travelling with a freight train through the rolling hills of Mt. Lofty.
“This sure is a big train” the Prez was heard to say. “Even bigger than the ones in Texas! (but still not as big as those in Alaska.)” The consist was pulled by a South Australia Railway 930 class diesel.
The Prez made a circuit of the layout, passing through a large truss bridge before returning to the hills of Mt. Lofty.
On June 7, The Prez visited Bolivia at the Epping Model Railway Exhibition in Sydney
“Bolivia” is a travelling exhibition layout, created by Rohan Fergusson. It is not based on the South American country of Bolivia, but rather in the New South Wales Northern Tablelands. The layout uses this name to represent a region rather than an actual station. The remains of the settlement comprises the former Bolivia Hotel, a disused post office, a disused railway siding and a community hall. Wikipedia.
Needless to say, this caused an enormous amount of confusion for our Prez. The Bolivians had heard all about the Prez, of course, and provided a substantial military escort (for the Prez’s safety, as well as their own.)
The Prez arrives with a military escort.
Following the escort, the Alaska crosses a small creek before encountering a flock of sheep moving up the hill.
Winding through the drought-stricken country side, the Prez has a quick look before departing for greener pastures. ‘Sack Kerr’ is probably a reference to Sir John Robert Kerr, who dismissed the Labor government of Gough Whitlam on 11 November 1975, marking the climax of the most significant constitutional crisis in Australian history.
Well, it seems the Prez was really keen to have a look at Australia’s largest locomotive, the Beyer-Peacock Garratt. Fortunately, there are several operating on the Kangaroo Valley Historical Railway, and a quick tour was arranged for the Prez.
Garratt AD6030 backs up into Kangaroo Valley station to couple up with Alaska. “That’s pretty big” the Prez was heard to say.
Now with the Prez in tow, 6030 departs from the station for a quick tour of Kangaroo Valley.
Overlooking the Blue Mountains, 6030 thunders past an empty coal train on its way to the mine. A CPH railmotor, used to transport the miners, sits in the background next to the loading platform.
The weekend of August 2-3 saw the Prez visiting the exhibition model rail exhibition at Malkara School. Malkara is a special school for severely disabled children, and the exhibit is a fund-raising effort hosted by the ACT Model Railway Society. At the exhibition, the Prez was hosted by the following exhibits: RAGS, The Twelfth Street Yard, Binabeen, Blagdon, and Bullenbung. Many thanks to all the exhibitors (13) who have extended their hospitality to the Prez.
As we headed off to Malkara on Saturday, the Prez was looking very depressed and was definitely not in his usual exuberant frame of mind. When asked, he could only mumble "homesick, want to go home". We promised to see if we could cheer him up, and arranged a special tour of Twelfth Street Yard for him.
Twelfth Street Yard – ACT Model Railway Society
This layout depicts a double track mainline running through a typical eastern U.S. city, 12 blocks away from the downtown district. Here you will see passenger and freight trains, and some switching being conducted to and from the areas they serve.
Above, An outbound freight nears the tunnel under Twelfth Street yard, while other trains are being assembled for movement out of the city.
Above we see B&O 9186 easing across the road after receiving a shipment of paper at the paper mill siding.
Left, The Prez, and his ever faithful companion (no, not Monica - the wine tanker!) enter the tunnel on their way to the next exhibit.
By sheer luck Alaska Railroad 3018, a GP 40 was also visiting the Twelfth Street yard and was commandeered for the pleasure of Prez. Soon the Prez forgot all about being homesick as it really cheered him up.
Above, The Prez rolls by a watchful police car as the Executive Special enters the yard.
Above, The sights of Twelfth Street Yard included a small Bible study group. ‘Maybe we should drop in,’ he was heard to say. “I’ve been thinking about my behaviour over the last few months.” "No way Jose."
RAGS is a fund-raising children’s adventure provided by the ACT Model Railway Society. ‘RAGS’ is an acronym for ‘Rough as Guts’, an expression for something thrown together in a hurry without a large concern for aesthetics. The layout was built in an afternoon, using two hollow core doors. Three analog tracks are provided, each with a slot car type controller, and a Thomas the Tank style locomotive. The Prez, of course, had to have a go and was delighted to whiz around the track under the watchful eye of the ACTMRS.
Above, The Prez is pulled into RAGS station by the charming Lady.
Above, Here we see the Prez being pulled away from the RAGS station behind a pink lady.
Left, Roomer has it that the Prez was too cheep to pay the dollar and Monica had to dig into her purse for a dollar.
Binabeen is an effort of the Argyle Model Railway Society. The layout is a fictitious location on the Main South railway of New South Wales between Gouylburn and Cootamundra. It portrays features of the southern tableland and NSW railway infrastructure. The trains you see here normally operate along this line.
Above, A classic green 36 class pulls a set of express passenger coaches past a new cafe, on its way to Cootamundra.
Above, Rounding the turn and heading into Binabeen station, the 36 passes a long North bound freight train.
Right, “Time for a glass of wine,” exclaims the Prez as they pull into Binabeen station. The Prez has done some serious wine sampling on this trip, and has developed a bit of a habit for the Australian wines.
Blagdon depicts the branch line terminus of the Vale Railway at Blagdon, England, which was absorbed by the Great Western Railway. The trip was cut unexpectedly short when the Prez discovered his wine tanker had been left behind.
Above, A little British tank loco pulls three carriages and the Prez out of the tunnel towards the station.
Above and Below, A quiet little station in the English countryside.
Bullenbung Creek – This layout is inspired by the branch line between Uranquinty and Kywong, with Baalfrayden being the station modelled. The track work is exquisitely crafted hand-laid code 55 track. Adding even more to this impressive layout is a working water tower and a spectacular gum (eucalypt) tree.
Above, he Prez’s cavalcade enters Bullenbung Creek through a very tight tunnel, pulled by an old 30 class tender loco.
Above, The train rolls past a magnificent gum tree, created by Ian Phemister using hemp rope, superglue and gap filler..
Above, Rolling past the big gum tree, the old steamer moves to pick up a load of water from the tower.
Insert Above, After stopping, the water pipe is lowered and the sounds of the tank filling are heard.
And now, the Prez’s epic adventure to Australia must come to a close. He was packed up in his little black box and has been posted back to Alaska. Not without a great deal of fuss and protestation, however. Even after his recent bout of homesickness he was reluctant to endure the lengthy trip again, cooped up in a tiny box with his wife and mistress. He finally acquiesced to get back into the box when given his very own (full) tank car of Australian wine to take back home with him.
I would like to thank Mr. Jack Child for his gracious hospitality in escorting the Prez around the Sidney area. As all who have had the pleasure of hosting the Business Car Alaska and the Prez well know that, it is no easy task.
On August 19, 2014 the Pres and Monica aboard the Alaska arrived home where a group of his Foamer Friends on the Party Car were waiting. Knowing that the Prez would without a doubt be in need of liquid provisions. Two cars of emergency supplies were hastily acquired from the Barstow Yard. Soon, the Prez and his friends were coupled to the rear of the Barstow Mixed and on home rails. The tank car on the far left is the now empty wine car which sustained the Prez on his voyage back to Alaska.