Australian Model Railway Association NSW Inc.

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Hawkesbury

Colour picture: Hawkesbury at the 1984 Liverpool exhibition.For many years the famous Hawkesbury was the representative exhibition layout for AMRA NSW, and depicted the epic scenery along the coast north of Sydney to the industrial city of Newcastle. Ideally suited for optimum display of AMRA members' HO rollingstock, it was essentially a folded figure eight with an extensive yard behind one backdrop panel.

Hawkesbury was designed by a young Jack Parker even before the purchase of the Rockdale clubrooms in 1968. The timber for the framework of the modules was cut at a joinery shop belonging to Phil Kelly's father in the Bankstown area. They were constructed and housed there until the business was sold shortly thereafter. Norm Read then had the idea of draping an enormous tarpaulin, obtained from a semi-trailer, over the clothesline in his back yard at Strathfield, and work continued there. When the clubrooms were purchased, tracklaying and scenicking of the layout began in earnest, and many long nights were undertaken to ensure a completed layout for the Sydney Town Hall exhibition in 1968.

Colour picture: AMRA NSW's famous Hawkesbury layout.The original oil-painted backdrops by John Dunn were revised some years afterwards by Val Bennett.

To make way for a new exhibition layout, Hawkesbury was sold in the mid-1990s. Its replacement, Wingecarribee, is currently under construction.

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AMRA NSW is dedicated to promoting the hobby of model railways throughout New South Wales.
These pages last updated 12 March, 2015 by David Bennett.