Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of travelling south (literally) to travel north (figuratively … at least from the Border District’s locale of Victoria/South Australia!) and experience an operating session on Craig Mackie’s NSWR “Cassino” layout. I’ve known Craig since way back when the Logan club was known as the Beenleigh club (such heady days – trying to run my VR “E” cars on a NSW layout …) and have admired his grand plan from the distance of his blog for some time.
The session gave me a chance to meet several other bloggers – Brendan, Paul, Greg – what a small world the internet has given us. Thanks to PK for the “lend” of a throttle for the session, and to Peter for sharing thoughts on the Flinders Ranges. It was also great to catch up with Darren Lee – both Craig and Darren would have to be two of the nicest guys modelling NSW I know. Hang on, how many other NSW modellers do I actually know? Hmmm …
Craig’s plan, and his layout, is BIG! I thought I had trouble with four stations on the Border District … sorry Craig, I am still trying to work out how many stations and locations are on Cassino … thirty-something?! Craig’s layout certainly allows you to feel like you are running a train from one place to another – with some distance in between. Unfortunately, this is one of the short comings of my Border District.
I’m not sure about all those brown NSW locos though – give me blue and gold or maroon and silver any day. It was nice, however, that I fluked the #12 Pick Up goods out of Murwillumbah with a blue “Interail” 421 on the front – as close to VR as I was going to get! However, shunting Old Cassino was too much of a challenge … seriously, what was that ballast train doing there?!
Lastly, a big thanks to Keith for getting me to and from “Cassino” in one piece and, as always, providing great company.