The VMRS’s previous exhibition layout is based on Korumburra. This layout is now on permanent display in our clubrooms. Korumburra is a small town in South Gippsland and the railway served a dairy farming and coal mining area. The track layout at the station was big enough and interesting enough on which to base a model and small enough to reproduce almost completely with minimum compression and omission. There was a locomotive depot with a four (later two) stall shed. The wooden coal stage was replaced by a steel, overhead loading tower. The layout has been shown at two exhibitions and is currently being installed in the clubrooms.
In the late 1990s a proposal was put to a general meeting of the Society that a new exhibition layout be constructed. Malmsbury was looking a little the worse for wear and it was built using old technology and was very heavy to move. Furthermore, it was stored in the clubrooms as part of an operational layout and moving it in and out for exhibitions was difficult.
Korumburra was suggested as a prototype and drawings prepared to see how it could be done. A design using the prototype track configuration, suitably foreshortened, would fit into a workable layout.
Various club members put their hands up to do the different jobs and the work started. As it turned out there was only limited input from most members and the construction of Korumburra fell to a handful of people. This meant, of course that the job took much longer than first anticipated.
Finally, at the Hobson’s Bay MRC exhibition of Easter 2008, Korumburra made its first public appearance and was widely admired. It was eye-catching, to an extent because of the good front lighting, and represented faithfully a recognisable prototype that drew favourable comment from people who knew the real Korumburra.