This post is long. If you are really keen on reading it, make a cuppa and grab a bikkie first. There could be a few typos too.
There was fantastic staging but little access if things went wrong at the back of the staging yard.
January 2016 was spent putting the staging yard down. The control panel was planned but sensibility sort of kicked in. Discussions with the head track layer were had and he agreed that my plan wasn't that great after all.
October 2016 and January 2017 were spent relaying track. This time into a new plan. This plan has balloon loops at each end and the track is really one big oval with the occasional cross over between sides. There are no real up and down lines and every train (I've had three at one time.) follows each other.
Where did I get the idea from?
A couple of places. The first was this plan from Railway Modeller November 1984. Printed here without permission.
This article is well worth a read, if you can get your hands on it, as it explains the whole operational side of the layout. Quite often I find that UK layouts, though great, often have the fiddle yard to front style with little operation. I can't whinge too much that's what my original layout at this location was. For it's drawbacks, read old blog posts.
The problem with this layout was that it had a single track line. Great for solo operators or for regional lines but I like the hustle and bustle of suburban traffic. Let's face it. The Sydney suburban modeller has more electric units than he can poke a stick at these days. I wanted a double track line.
The second source of inspiration came from the Gosford City Model Railroad Club. I've been a member there for a few years and still visit it on Friday nights when I can. We had to relocated a few yeas ago. We are now part of the Kincumber Mens Shed. With the shed built for the club the committee went about coming up with a track plan. The idea was that it would be one continuous oval with the tracks running parallel until they his the loops at each end. The train would head out from the main station, travel the length of the layout and return from the direction it left in. I love that idea as it is an out and back layout and prototypical.
Lots of work on AnyRail was carried out and a new plan assembled. It is still along way from finished but it's going well.
Here's a tour of the line so far. Images were taken on an iPhone. Some of the quality may not be great but you get the idea.
Near the freight yard is a couple of loco storage sidings. We pick up 4494 in the yard.
After leaving the yard and crossing to the Up Line, we pass the station throat, stop and then reverse into the carriage sidings. We are collecting a RUB set bound for Sydney. The carriage sidings won't be electrified so electric locos won't be able to pick up their trains from the carriage shed. The 79 class is parked for operators of electric locos to get their trains. It won't be a separate job. From here 4494 pulls forward and takes its train around the back of the station to Platform 1.
4494 awaits the signal to leave Platform 1 for Sydney. Sitting in Platform 4 is the local suburban train. In between Platform 1 and 2 roads is a through road so that trains can still run if both through platforms are full. Above this scene will be the station building and townscape. Most of the trains will be covered. I like long platforms but in a smallish space sometimes compromises have to be made.
I have no idea what the main town will be called. Traditionally it was Paddington South Coast. (See the first post for a shabby explanation.) In my old shed on the coast it was a terminus station with an overall roof. It sat under a clock with Paddington London printed on it and I had even made a little Paddington Bear with a Mr and Mrs Brown talking to him. I also like Paddington Station as I have spent some time over the years trainspotting there on holidays.
The train leaves and crosses to the Up Line and past the carriage shed. The white stuff in the background is Woodland Scenics 2% incline. Expensive but worth the cash for the fuss it avoids.
The train continues north past the main freight yard. It has five sidings. This will also be some open staging sidings. In the yard currently is an empty coal and a wheat train. When the whole layout is finished these trains won't need to be using this yard.
This is the site of the first station out of Paddington SC (for want of a better name). I haven't got a name for this yet. Where the screws are will be the top level. There will be another short platform for the top branch. I'm planning a kick back siding to a couple of industries which will run above the carriage sidings. The carriage shed will be a short representation but will be the opening for full length sidings.
At the moment destinations from this yard are Bega Yard and Billabong Marina. I'm hoping in the next couple of weeks to finish a couple of other places.
The train is about to head into a tunnel underneath what is planned to be a brewery. The freight yard will be open.
The train comes out of the tunnel and past the entrance to the yard. The yard is accessible only to down trains. This location is called Two Bridges. I scribbled a rough description on some ply when I was piecing things together over twelve months ago.
The line to the right of the train is the passing loop and Platform 3. 4494 is on the terminating road for the suburban trains. The S Set from earlier will follow our train and turn around here. Interurban trains will also stop here as it is the suburban limits. Our train is an express to Sydney so it sails through the station.
Platform 3 is also the access to the top branch, which is yet to be built.
The train disappears into a tunnel. To the right is the Platform 1 Road of Paddington SC. Where the spray can is will be a cathedral and other town buildings. From here the train descends to the bottom level.
Travelling at a moderate speed 4494 leaves the darkness after about a minute at Billabong Junction. Above the train is the entrance to the yard. There is a line here which leaves the Up Line and heads under Two Bridges and ends up at Billabong Wharf. Passengers change here for the short trip to Billabong Marina. To the left of the train is the small Goods Yard of Frogs Hollow. It is a location near Bega.
The train doesn't stop here so it races through Frogs Hollow Station. Above is Two Bridges Station.
After rounding the bend and past a tower for the hinges, (Two Bridges was named as it is two bridges for the tracks.) the train is about to vanish again into a tunnel. Above is the main station. The train is on the Up Line. The cross over from the Down to the Up is for use when trains are shunting at Frog's Hollow. The next track is the line from Bega to Tathra. At Tathra there will be a dockside layout with a passenger station and a few sidings. On of the sidings will be to a set of wheat silos, this is the closest track. The station and harbour will be a little cramped as it will be 30 cm wide. Another 30 cm will be allocated to a loco depot (or the impression of one.) This will be the main loco storage for the layout.
The train appears from under the bridge carrying Platform 1 of the main station and into Platform 1 of Bega.
Like the main station, only part of the train will be visible. At the end of Platform 1 is the Fat Controller. He'll have a little speech bubble welcoming people to the Sapphire Coast.
At Bega the interurban electrics will terminate as the overhead wires stop a little north of here. Electric locos will need to be swapped for diesels or steam. But this is a tad difficult as the locos will be under two layers of layout, so they can travel on a bit first before technically arriving at Bega.
From here the train continues through Tunnel Junction with some very reliable side mounted Peco point motors. When it appears is carries on past Twofold Colliery. This colliery will have the three tracks for loading coal and well as a flood loader for some QR hoppers that I have to go behind a Northern Rivers Railroads 421 class.
And it is back under the main freight yard, through Tunnel Junction again. The lever frame controls Tunnel Junction. The switches switch the three roads from the auto reverser to normal so that shunting in the colliery can take place while other trains go past. The curved track leading to a pile of stuff will go to a small industrial area of unknown industries as yet.
Magically the train turns into the return train from Sydney. It is now that locos can be swapped. There is a 46 class waiting to back onto the train to continue its journey south. 4494 rest in the siding next to the 46 and wait to be swapped for a northbound journey or, when built, it can retire to the loco depot at Tathra.
The trip has taken 2 1/2 minutes in real time. As Paddington SC is the only place to park a HUB set, the operator needs to take it back to the top. If they went out with an electric loco, they will swap at Bega, go for another trip around, swap the loco back at Bega again and the original train will head back to the main station. The job will take about 15-20 minutes.
Beyond the 46 class is the Bega Yard. Here the empty coal train for Twofold Colliery will be collected and after a couple of laps with some loco swapping, will shunt Twofold Mine and travel back to Bega Yard with a couple of laps as well.
Some shunting can be done here but I see this as a staging yard mainly. The sidings are smaller than the main yard so I will need to be judicious with what ends up here.
Hope you enjoyed the tour if you stuck it out.
Until next time.