Well there has been an awful lot of progress since my last post, almost too much to cover in one blog post. the entire length of mainline is complete but there has been a halt in further construction as the past few months have been spent helping to construct a friends exhibition layout. He has been using the space in the centre of my shed to put the boards together. As soon as work had finished another friend began construction of another exhibition layout in the centre of my shed. When this work is complete I will begin the constructing the frames to build the branch line. Again, since the last post there have been many changes made. Having seen how much space I have available in the centre of my train shed whilst the exhibition layouts were being constructed I retweaked the plan for the branch line to incorporate a second station further adding to operational possibilities. Furthermore, at an impromptu operating session we brainstormed an idea of constructing a small industrial spur to extend the metropolitan mainline section of the layout over the unused area above the workbench in the shed. this new section is roughly 5m long and 45cm wide and adds several new industries and a terminus passenger station. It is heavily inspired by the work of Gavin Thrum in the form of his fold away Commercial Street, Port Dock layout. The theme for this section of the layout is somewhat reminiscent of GMH Holdens at Woodville, the Finsbury industrial line and Hendon. (those who are familiar with the SAR will understand) I have amassed a small group of like minded individuals to help run the railway and the group is slowly growing. In my spare time as well as layout construction I have been toying with timetables and freight movements in preparation for having organised running sessions. The more I plan the more I realise the layout needs a minimum of eight or nine operators to function smoothly. Hopefully I can start to become more regular with my blog updates. Pictured below are some shots of the stations around the layout and a plan for the newly conceived industrial branch.
Attached below is a rough sketch of the overall plan for the layout. It begins with a traverser (lower level right of screen) that represents Adelaide, Mile End, Port Adelaide, Dry Creek and other lines on the system. The mainline is double track for the suburban sector of the layout between the staging, the first station representing a rough Mitcham and the second station a very very rough Gawler. The suburban area will have suburban passenger trains and the typical freight movements of firewood and carload goods etc each station having a private industry or two ie; a flour mill, engineering firm, firewood yards, fuel depot and livestock. Past station two we enter the country part of the layout the mainline from here in is single track. Station 3, Mount Lofty is not a busy station more a passing loop and passenger station. Station four, Mount Gambier will be the main focus point of the layout all trains must pass through Mount Gambier to work the mainline to Wallaroo or reverse direction onto the branch line to work to Angaston. Lots of shunting and marshaling trains here as well as a large loco servicing facility, Mount Gambier is also the location of an abattoir producing a lot of inward livestock traffic and outward cold meats. Last stop on the mainline is Wallaroo. This station will see all the grain sent inward to be shipped out on boats and plenty of general freight in and out for the docks. Another main industry here will be fertilizer. Sulfuric acid will be sent from Port Adelaide and Phosphate rock will be shunted from from the wharf into the fertilizer siding then empty OB’s after having offloaded grain will be loaded with Super-phosphate and sent back to Adelaide. Lastly the “Barossa Branch line” will encompass Angaston, Penrice quarry and a cement factory generating plenty of diverse train movements. Enough for now, plenty more to write about as I try to get this blog up to date.
I will try to keep it short and simple. I have constructed three layouts over the past five years all have been trial and error culminating in the layout I am currently working on. The plan is to run a mainline beginning at Adelaide through several stations and terminating (point to point) with a focus on operations and specifically freight movement. The locations will be based on actual areas in SA but the line fictional (incorporating stations from different prototype lines into one fictional line) the purpose, to utilize the specific freight shipped in and out ie; Wallaroo fertilizer and grain, Angaston limestone and cement etc. the list goes on and on. The layout will operate with ABLO cards and a fast clock as well as utilize automated signaling similar to the SAR speed signals used on the prototype. I will cover more in the ensuing posts with plenty of photographs and design information. Happy reading, I’ll leave you with a photograph of one of the stations on the layout. Watch this space for more.
So it has been an awfully long time since I have used this blog. In the time since my last post which I believe has been a year? I have been living on the other side of the planet. In fact as I write this post I am till living 16000kms away from my layout. I was, however, back in Australia for a few months over summer and was able to do quite a bit of railway modelling. The first major project I undertook was completely deconstructing Jamestown. The entire layout has been demolished and removed. like all things when learning on the job I was unhappy with most of it. it was sloppy, over sized and didn’t cater for interesting train operation. As soon as the job was done pulling the entire layout apart I got to work constructing a new layout. This one has been freelance modeled on anywhere you may find industrial sidings in South Australia in the late 50s early 60s era. A small hidden staging area a small yard for sorting the trains and a number of sidings to shunt. It has a flavour of railway terrace at mile end but with a hint of the dockyards and large industries at Port Adelaide as well. This layout is slightly smaller but fits a lot more into the space used and offers much more hours of train operations. Here is about 4 months of construction photos condensed into the next few posts. These first photos are the initial construction phases. Benchwork, track laying, wiring, and train testing. Enjoy
Unfortunately there has been NO progress and there will be no progress for some time aside from perhaps drawn layout plans. I am now living in Belgium and my shed and the layout within are over 16000kms away. My time abroad however is giving me plenty of time to read more and more on the topic as well as scour the internet to further my knowledge of the hobby and of the South Australian Railways. When I return I plan to make some major changes. Completely revamping the layout
into something with more operational options, perhaps a point to point layout encompassing at least 3 stations with plenty of different train movements possible, I’m hoping to have a bit of artistic freedom but it will most definitely be 100% South Australian. The locations yet unknown. I’m growing a desire to construct a very abridged mile end freight yard with perhaps a station or two to feed into it. IE: Mile End in the centre one side leading to a version of port Adelaide and staging(Northern trains) the other side perhaps a large station on the Adelaide to Melbourne line something which allows for plenty of freight movements as well as staging for southern trains. Many ideas and much time to plan. So until I return there’s much thinking to do.