Driving past on the Hume Freeway, there’s no way Border residents can appreciate the massive operation that is the Ettamogah Rail Hub.
But even in miniature form, you’ll miss details of the hub if you’re not careful.
A model four years in the making will make its public debut this weekend at the Murray Railway Modellers annual show.
President Peter Allen and a fellow member have built the eight-by-four metre HO scale model, including the freeway, off visits to the hub, site plans and photos.
“We’ve really taken our skills to the next level with this one,” he said.
“There’s nearly 1000 hand-made trees, and a lot of the vehicles have been scratch-built, not bought off the shelf.
“We were sneaky in a way – the people who will watch the trains and then wander off will miss half the detail.
“Those who stop for a real look will see there’s a wombat coming from its hole, at a truck accident there’s a grim reaper hiding in the bushes, and the paramedic is doing CPR and his arms move.”
This is the second model like it the club has done; Mr Allen said with the support of the hub’s owner Colin Rees, the group was able to improve on their design.
“We did one about 10 years ago and after we’d taken it to a few shows, Colin asked whether we would try building one with the new extension,” he said.
“The hub keeps changing so this layout is roughly based on the past, the present and the future and the three have tried together well.”
Ettamogah Rail Hub chief operating officer Cameron Jackson said the model's accuracy was spot-on.
“It’s great to have people respect what we’ve done out here in creating this rail hub, people get to see it who otherwise wouldn’t have a close-up look,” he said.
“The guys have done an amazing job.”
‘Ettamogah Two’ is one of a number of layouts new to the Murray Railway Modellers show this year, Mr Allen said.
“We have nine or 10 layouts and we get people come from Canberra and Melbourne for the show,” he said.
“There will also be Lego for the kids, so it should be a great way to fill a couple hours in the weekend.”
- The show takes place at the Mirambeena Community Centre, from 9am to 5pm on Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Entry is $10 for adults, $5 for kids, or $20 for a family of four