Layout Tours

The Convention includes both Self-Drive and Guided tours of Layouts as part of your fee. 

There will be a bus trip visiting layouts owned by the SA N Gauge Society (SANGS) as well as the clubrooms of the SA Railway Modellers Association (SARMA).

There will be a range of layouts setup for Convention Goers to visit a short walk from the Convention Venue.

On Monday the 11th, several private home based model railway layouts will be opened for interested convention goers to visit between certain times.

A list of some of the layouts you will see follows:

Greater  Portland                      South Australian N Gauge Society (SANGS)

Greater Portland is the ultimate layout for any Model Railroader. Greater Portland is the culmination of 12 1800mm x 1200mm rectangular pieces plus 3 800mm x 1000mm hexagonal sections all of our award winning scenery. Greater Portland is the massive monster layout owned and operated by SANGS. Greater Portland features Generica's Cityscape, Portland's Naval Dock, Portland's Intermodal wharf, Larrit Music Bowl, Casey's Zoo and the iconic SANGS yards.

SANGS's Greater Portland layout theme is based at a harbour side location. Portland is home to large ship building yards that are complete with dry docks. These dry docks regularly service naval ships and other sea going vessels. Portland intermodal yard allows for shipping containers to be loaded or unloaded onto both container ship and truck alike.

There is also an automobile import/export facility that supplies automobiles to the citizens of Generica.

Greater Portland has are many vantage points that railfans will love to see.

T-TRAK                                     South Australian N Gauge Society (SANGS)
A selection of T-Trak modules constructed by club members to show the potential of limited space modelling.

T-Trak is a new way of building space saving modules that allow serious and effective modelling in a very short space. The great benefit about N scale is that the T-Trak standard works as a perfect compromise for most modern houses where space is limited. T-Trak also offers an easier, fun and - most importantly - an affordable entry point into the hobby. 

SARMA    (South Australian Railway Modellers Assoc)

Rails to Morgan Wharf                                         SARMA

South Australian Railway Modellers Association (SARMA)

The layout depicts various locations on the way to Morgan, on the Murray River, where the township and wharf area are located. 

The layout then assumes that the proposed extension to Barmera has gone ahead, making Morgan a through station, not a terminal. The railway would have travelled beyond Morgan, to Cadell, and then on to Barmera.  The trains then head to hidden sidings that represent the rest of the journey.

 Apart from the various scenes around the station and wharf, the local railway modellers club has a Nissen Hut on the reserve, which refers to our Club’s original clubrooms, formerly on railway land at Mile End.

 We hope you enjoy our version of what might have been.

STRATHBURN         South Australian Railway Modellers Association (SARMA)

Set in the Adelaide Hills during Spring-time in the mid 1960’s and consisting of a double line main, a single branch line and a station based loosely on Strathalbyn.

The layout is generic South Australian, but equipment from other systems sometimes make an appearance.

The layout is fully DCC and is usually operated by 4 persons at a minimum, but there can be more.


The layout was commenced in July 2011, with a lot of members volunteered (seconded?) to build electronic bits, buildings, scenery items and other bits and pieces for the layout.


Even if the layout looks as if it is complete, there are always changes and upgrades that are required to maintain it in a viable and interesting condition.


We hope you enjoy the scenery and actions of Strathburn

The Enchanted Wood                               Robert or Janine Partington

A whimsical exhibit for the children and for the ‘young at heart’. This layout depicts Christmas in the ‘Enchanted Wood’, where the forest animals gather with excitement to see Father Christmas and the magical Christmas tree, shop at the Christmas fair, catch up with the woodland gossip and let the children play or take a ride on the ‘Lego’ train. The scene was inspired by the magical woodland scenes in Shirley Barber’s story books. The woodland animals are from the ‘Sylvanian Families’ range of products. We had a lot of fun bringing the idea to fruition, and hope you enjoy viewing ‘The Enchanted Wood’ as much as we enjoyed making it. 

Puzzle Cove                                                         Robert Partington

This exhibit was designed and built to demonstrate the solution to a classic ‘shunting puzzle’. There are two trains facing each other on a single line, with just one short siding available, but the siding will not hold more than one wagon, carriage or locomotive. In order for the two trains to pass each other and continue their journey, a series of sequential shunting movements is required, using the short siding.

The overall theme of the scene is ‘somewhere on the west coast of England’ and depicts ‘narrow gauge’ railway working. Broadly speaking the display has been modelled to 7mm scale (‘O’ gauge) but is running on ‘OO’ track so it depicts a track gauge of about 2 feet 4 inches. The trains are controlled using DCC (digital command control) and the layout has been automated using CTI-Electronics software and hardware.

MIXTUP RAILWAY                                             Richard Larritt

Mixtup Railway was built in 2005-2006 as a coffee table for a 10 year old boy’s model train love and an excuse for the father to have a model railway.  Mixtup Railway features an industrial facility outside a town in a valley.  There are 2 independent train lines, the main line a looped 8 formation with the auxiliary track an oval. It follows no typical design and used whatever was available on second-hand stalls to construct the layout.  There are German buildings, an American Cinema, and an English Church.  You will even see a Japanese train.  Hence the display name.

Mixtup Railway allows the “little ones” to get up close and personal.  Take them off your shoulders and let them sit on the floor to see the sights.  Can they find the roundabout, the campsite, the bicycles or read what is on at the pictures?  See the level crossing lights flash as the train rushes past.

Port Dock & Commercial Street                          Gavin Thrum


These are (2) fold up layouts that were conceived to save storage space.

Commercial Street was built first and the fold away ideas were gleaned from my first fold up layout I built on the English style Minories theme track plan created by CJ Freezer. The idea of using a fold up baseboard appealed, so I then added another fold up section with hidden sidings creating a zig-zag fold up layout.

Construction with pine and 6mm MDF, makes it light weight, the fold in legs are integral with the framework and are assisted by gas struts for a quick erecting and fold up procedure. 

Each layout is 3m long and when folded creates a storable layout with a size of 1000 x 350 x 500mm. Port Dock was a natural progression of the late 1950s to early 60s South Australian Railways theme used on Commercial Street that now makes the completed layout operationally interesting using the ABLO card system.

Scale is HO, much of the running equipment was scratchbuilt and the coupling system is Kadee. Many of the buildings were scratchbuilt with some card kit buildings customised to create such buildings as the large warehouse. Track is Code 75 PECO, point work is operated by spring steel rodding from electric slide switches and control is from DC feedback type controllers. There is on-board digital audio sound for added atmosphere.

Pelmets made from 3mm MDF and pine, lighting is (Natural Daylight) LED strip and curtains are made from Broadcloth.

UKANDOOIT                                                      Helen O’Connell

We don’t model any particular place or time, it is a freelance layout.

This layout is to show the public how easy it is to start in model railways.  It has a simple double mainline oval shape track and a small shunting yard. 

It is controlled by a Hammant & Morgan Duette controller running DC.

The main focus of this layout is the scenery work that has been done.  You can spend quite a bit of time taking in all the little scenes depicted on the layout.

 All of the locos running on Ukandooit are from the steam age.  You will see British, American, and European engines running around the layout.” 

We say to you, Ïf we can build a little layout like this, U KAN DOO IT too!

So please enjoy our offering and feel free to ask any questions.

StrathalbyN                                                    Graham Cocks


This award-winning layout is a representation of Strathalbyn station and yards and Sandergrove junction in the early 1960s. It has been built by a small informal group of N scale modellers who live in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. The town of Strathalbyn is situated part-way between Mt Barker and Victor Harbor. The line between Mt Barker and Victor Harbor is used these days by SteamRanger Heritage Railway.

Strathalbyn was chosen as it offers interesting yard operations and through trains of the South Australian Railways. Sandergrove, although only a small station, is the junction station for the branchline to the Murray River town of Milang. The layout is to be expanded later to include Milang station and the in-between wayside station of Nurragi.

 Trains that you will see running are representative of trains that actually ran on the line during the 1960s. These include Bluebird and Brill railcars, passenger trains, freight trains, grain trains and livestock trains. Non-passenger trains will be seen doing shunting, especially at Strathalbyn.

 The Aus-moN free-form modular system was chosen as the basis for construction. Please feel free to ask any questions about the layout or the free-form modular system.


A summary of the progress of the layout may be perused at the Blog site:

The specifications and guidelines for Aus-moN may be viewed/downloaded at:

NOTE: Aus-moN is an aspect of the proposed unified Australian Free-moN modular system.

Prefect Park                     Peter Cawthorne

N Scale layout depicting a ride-on train.

The layout uses T Gauge track, motive power and rolling stock chassis. The loco shells are 3D printed.

The cars were scratchbuilt to suit the purpose of ride-on.

Scenery is foam fruit boxes cut up, then painted and scenery scatter applied.

Buildings are modified Grafar models.

The train runs on 4.5volts and is powered using a plug in power pack. It can be run on batteries if desired.

Rolling Stock

EMD FP7A & B - (3D printed in Frosted Ultra Detail) from Steel City Trains

Flying Scotsman T-Gauge Version 3 – (3D printed in Frosted Ultra Detail) from Everything T Gauge

21 Metre Motorised Chassis from T

Mini-T Modules                                                     Rodney Poole


Having been a scratchbuilder in Styrene for many years a decision was made to make a curved chord Truss bridge similar to the one at Murray Bridge but as I already had a home layout I required somewhere to display it. The idea of a single track module was considered and as I did not require a large area for scenery this system looked attractive similar to the ones that the Japanese were displaying online. The Australian version is 70mm in height but I have used the original 100mm as in Japan, realizing it would not join h regular T-TRAK modules, but that was never intended.

There are 4 modules 308mm long as a standard T-TRAK length and 4 modules 618mm and 4 end corner modules that will allow a radius of about 12 inches. They are constructed using 12mm plywood with 3mm MDF front panels, the bridge module is inverted for the river. Except for two short modules which have Kato track and switches for the yard modules the others have short Kato track sections for joining and  Peco 80 Flex track in between.

Monday Self-Drive  Layout  Tour


M F L RR                                                                Peter Sanders


The MFL RR is a DCC freelance L-shape with 2 mainline tracks, a few passing sidings, and a 5-track freight yard across a river, making it a U shape.  3D printed bridges give access to the 5-track yard on each arm of a Wye junction. The MFL runs a mix of Amtrak and UP engines. The railroad is fully automated using CTI hardware controllers and up to 5 trains can be run at any one time.

 A drop-in bridge across the doorway can connect the outer track to the backend of the yard.

 The CTI system consists of sensor boards, yardmaster control boards (can handle 16 turnouts per board), a combination of common cathode and common anode signal boards, to handle the signal system and town lights.

 Sensors are a mix of Infrared, RFID and current sensing on all sections of track so the Train Brain software can and does keep track of all trains and control them accordingly.

 The Train Brain software communicates with the DCC system through NCE Power Pro via a USB to serial interface cable.

 The inner loop has 2 trains running in opposite directions, changing into the sidings to allow the passenger service to proceed. The Outer loop has 3 freight trains running.

 Bridges and a few of the buildings have been designed and printed by me in 3D.