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Discussion Starter #1
I have some rather sad news to pass on, Ralph Holden passed away on the 12th of August. Long-time readers of Garden Railways magazine and Narrow Gauge Down Under are familiar with his Eyre Peninsula Division based on South Australian Railways Port Lincoln narrow gauge line.

Ralph’s prototype 1:32 Scratchbuilt narrow gauge railway was quite pioneering as at a time when there was very little in the way of equipment and resources available. Over time he developed a very unique, close to prototype railway with a lot character and a charm much like the real thing.

Sadly his Eyre Peninsula Division railway ceased operation in 2018, ironically the Port Lincoln Division ceased operation in 2019. Recently he wrote a farewell article in Australian Model Railroader Magazine closing the book on E.P.D. which has only just hit the newsagents just days after his passing.

Ralph Holden leaves a big legacy in terms of the body of model work as well as written articles and presentations given at conventions. His influence will be felt for a long time in the Australian and large scale modelling community
 

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Scott, This is very sad news, I have never met the man but his railway was a great influence on how I see my garden railway. Many of us large scale people here in Victoria seem to often discuss aspects of his modelling and his railway in conversation as a pinnacle of what we should do even though we are mainly live steam.
I purchased his book " A Stupid Undertaking" where I thoroughly enjoyed reading about his journey in large scale 3'6" narrow gauge that was as he says "... seventy years playing with a train set.." where he stayed true to his prototype and scale something we all stray from.
May his memory and legacy of his Eyre Peninsula Division last.
Russell Malley
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Russell. I have the same book and trying to source another for a mate in Canada. Ralph certainly had a unique slant on the hobby and it has rubbed off on a lot of people much like ourselves. I've been quite fortunate in having met him personally and spent time with him at some of the Modelling South Australian Railways Conventions.

We had some good discussions over modelling, I got to show him my finished Rn wagon and other projects then I got to see his Faegol railcar with trailer followed by more in-depth discussion. He was quite interested in the 3d modelling and how it augments the hobby.

Although sadly I've never got to visit his famed E.P.D. in person, I have have friends who've operated with him and worked on the layout. I hope his models and layout can be preserved as a testament to a great modeller.
 

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Hi Scott , at the risk of derailing this thread on Ralph's legacy we here have often lamented that the live steam side of the hobby on 45mm track really needs to see Australian 3'6" in 1/24 scale represented starting with a live steam Beyer peacock 2-6-0 such as the SA Railways Y class (one without that huge dome in my opinion) as these were common and ran in many states of Australia.
A loco like this, and done in electric too, would kick start modelling in this scale and I'm sure Ralph would applaud us talking about it.
By the way, re Faegol railcars, go and follow my recent thread from 10 days ago titled "Two scales and prototypes for one layout" and you will find a link to a video of a steam up at my place with a very nice model of a Faegol and trailer built by the late Claude Henderson who was very keen on doing Australian 3'6" in our group. Sadly he has also passed away but some of his excellent models have been taken up within our group.
Russell
 

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Russell, You have bought up a very valid point and that is building on from the legacy of the pioneers and innovators. Ralph started something that appealed to a lot of others, even those in different scales, prototypes and method of power. He was humble and very self effacing about inspiring others to carry on from where he started and continue on making it achievable.

Ralph inspired me to make high quality accurate working models of prototypes and a railway, so now I've had interest from others about parts and equipment.There is interest out there because of Ralph, I'm happy to keep that going.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
David.

I was unaware of that and has now been fixed. For everyone else out there grab a copy if you can. Cheers mate
Scott
 

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sad news. Ralph and I have been emailing for over 10 years. just got one from him on August 9. must have been something due to his recent hospitalization.
 

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Scott, sad news indeed. Ralph and I exchanged newsletters for many years and I still have many of them filed away for the interesting ideas and descriptions for operating to a sequence timetable. Easter 2009 on a trip to Adelaide from Sydney I managed to visit Ralph and the EPD. Most impressive modelling of a unique line. Farewell Ralph Holden.
 
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