Some of you who inhabit other forums might already recognise me - I've been lurking around for quite a while now. I live in Melbourne, not too far from Neil Wood, in fact, I am British-born and bred and spent much of my childhood in the Home Counties (West Sussex, Kent and Essex, not necessarily in that order!) with a brief excursion to Cornwall (went to school in Tintagel for a short time).
I'm not trying to bore you all with my heritage, so much as explain where my interest in railways of the south came from.
My first memories of the Southern Region were of watching trains on the London - Dover and London - Hastings lines at Petts Wood, from the kitchen window of my Grandparents house in Queensway. The back garden ended at the low embankment leading up to the fast lines and south-eastern end of the Petts Wood station platforms. I am old enough to remember steam on the Kent Coast lines (particularly the steam-hauled Golden Arrow), just before the electrification to Dover was switched on.
Later I lived near Three Bridges station, on the London - Brighton line, at Pound Hill.
So, my interests have been primarily BR Southern Region but I have also always had a fascination with the London Transport system, both trains and buses (again, I am old enough to remember meeting my other Grandfather off a London trolleybus).
Even so, I have an interest in Diesels in general, and EMUs and DMUs in particular, so have several "foreigners" with running rights on my OO layout, which I always describe as having a Southern flavour, rather than being an accurate SR model.
In recent times I have dabbled with DCC and thoroughly enjoyed the experience enough to expand the DCC to the whole layout, whilst retaining cab control and the ability to switch any section to either DC (any of several controllers) or DCC (an NCE Power Cab system, soon to be expanded to their PowerHouse Pro system).
The layout itself is incomplete but developing constantly. It has a double-track freelance main line continuous circuit, and a double-tracked branch based on C. J. Freezer's "Minories" plan, mirror-imaged and stretched, with an additional double-slip added to ease entry to the turntable and engine sheds.
I have been in the process of (ve-e-e-ery slowly!) adding another separate branch, end-to-end, for the LT EMUs to run on. This has an East London line flavour, allowing me to mix surface and tube stock.
Scenery and signage is set in the 1960s but I do like modern image as well, so sometimes run modern stock on the main lines and "preserved" stock on the branch (another excuse for buying non-SR stock that I just happen to like!).
Please feel free to chat or discuss things with me - I have some expertise or knowledge in particular areas that I am happy to share. I also don't claim to "know it all" and I'm just as happy picking other peoples' brains! That's what our wonderful hobby is about, I think.
I'll eventually get around to creating a signature - give me time. I should also join the procrastinators' society ... if anyone has actually got around to forming one.