Liverpool

As I do every year over the Oct long weekend I attended the AMRA model railway exhibition at the Whitlam Centre in Liverpool, Sydney. I was there on Saturday working on my scratch built (Z)20 class locomotive on the Aus7 stand and again on Sunday morning where I stood around talking and playing trains on Arakoola. I was asked a lot of questions by people who attended and spoke to me about the locomotive I’m working on but the most common question by far was about the books I had on display in front of me. The answer to the question “are these for sale” had to be an emphatic “No”! However I thought it might be best if I posted the details of them here and let the people I know who asked about them have a record of the ones I use.

This book by Iain Rice is possibly the first Wild Swan book I ever purchased. It's where I picked up all my

This book by Iain Rice is possibly the first Wild Swan book I ever purchased. It’s where I picked up all my “ill-founded” prejudices against locomotives with rigid chassis. Mainly because I found what Rice had to say about them was correct. Absolutely, this is the one book I would recommend without hesitation to anyone who wants to build a steam locomotive in any scale or gauge from kit or scratch.

Guy Williams built many of the locomotives for the Pendon Museum. I think that probably says it all. What this guy doesn't know about scratch building locomotives isn't wrth knowing in my opinion. Ignore the

Guy Williams built many locomotives for the Pendon Museum in the UK. I think that probably says it all. What this guy doesn’t know about scratch building locomotives isn’t worth knowing in my opinion. Ignore the “4mm” in the title, these books contain a wealth of info for anyone who wants to build better locomotives.

Geoff Holt has written two very informative and practical books to guide the scratch and kit builder. There are lots of information in these books and they are well worth the price of purchase. These are much more recent books than the other three.

Geoff Holt has written two very informative and practical books to guide the scratch and kit builder. There is lots of information in these books and they are well worth the price of purchase. These are much more recent books than the other three.

The second main area of discussion and questions I got into was similar to the conversation I had with my friend Chris Harris as we walked endless loops around Arakoola, all 56′ feet of her. We were discussing a locomotive kit he’s building at the moment and he was saying that he can’t find a way to fit pickups to this locomotive. There simply isn’t the room for Slaters plunger pickups and the kit manufacturer hasn’t been all that helpful by stating in the instructions “fit pickups of your choice”! I mentioned to Chris that I had come across another variety of pickups that, while they may not fit his needs, intruded into the space between the loco frames to a much lesser degree than the Slaters variety. So I undertook to photograph the pack and its contents for him. I thought a few other readers might also be interested in these.

The label for these pickups speaks for itself but I can't remember where I bought these. I can probablytrack down the source if anyone is interested. My advice is just Google the name on the label in the photo and this should come up with a supplier that sells them in the UK.

The label for these pickups speaks for itself but I can’t remember where I bought these. I can probably track down the source if anyone is interested. My advice is just Google the name on the label in the photo and this should come up with a supplier that sells them in the UK.

As expected Arakoola walked away with a trolley load of trophies and well deserved they were too. I enjoyed myself at the exhibition but it was a two day drive to get home and I slept for 11 hours last night after getting back. Thanks to my friends Dave Morris and Stephen Reynolds for putting me up.

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