Friday 5 July 2024

East Coast Layout Tour - pt 2

 Visting Layouts, and Train stations - Part 2

Taking pictures of the Parramatta LRVs being tested at Carlingford, was an unexpected bonus

After visiting the layouts at Batemans Bay, I had the entire afternoon, to get to my overnight stop at Kiama

I stopped at Ulladulla for lunch, and enjoyed the ocean scenery once again whilst eating the take-away.

Rough seas from a persistent Tasman Sea low pressure system would later provide for some spectacular wave action

I re-encountered NSW railways at Nowra.  This is the end of the south coast mainline - although, as I have found, many modellers have extended it down to Eden and beyond.  I left the Princess Highway, and detoured along the industrial sidings besides the Shoalhaven river. Being a Sunday, not much was happening.  Taking the detour off the busy highway onto the coastal drive was pleasant. 

Kiama is the end of the electrified railway from Sydney.  My last trip to Kiama was in the 1980s, before the electrification, and I was interested in seeing what changes had been made

View south showing the carriage sidings, and a turntable.  The unelectrified line from here goes to Nowra.

Kiama once boasted a narrow gauge railway.  It served a ballast quarry at the top of the hill.  A double track line ran along Terralong Street, to an unloading facility in the bay.  Later, an extension was made to government railway unloading facilities in the yard directly south of the station.  

Colonial era buildings along Terralong Street

Railway bridge over Terralong Street.

Site of the former port, where ballast was loaded onto waiting trawlers

The large seas mentioned earlier gave the Kiama blowhole some added pressure.

The Kiama blowhole is a great tourist attraction, if the conditions are right. 

Day 6.  Kiama to Mt Kuring-gai

I timed my departure from Kiama, so as to avoid the morning peak hour traffic.  I also wanted to stop at Liverpool, and visit Casula Hobbies for some retail therapy.

After leaving Liverpool, I wound my way through Sydney - via the Cumberland Hwy, and Pennant Hills Road.  However, when I passed over the former railway line at  Carlingford, I spied something red at the former station.  This demanded an unplanned stop for pictures

Carlingford used to have a heavy electric train service, but the powers of be, decided that the community would be better served with light rail, connecting directly to Parramatta.  The conversion started around 3 years ago, and the new service is reported to be starting in August.  The line, and LRVs were under test

There is a single line section under Pennant Hills Road, which was retained

End of the line.  (for now?)

Bob's layout at Mount Kuring-gai

Bob is a fellow blogger, and I have been following his progress for many years, but until this trip, have been unable to visit and view the On30 layout in person.

Having a diagram of the layout available to visitors, and operators is a great help to understand how the trackplan runs.  Bob's fictional line runs from Eden to Bega, via Candelo - which is close to what I did on my road trip (see part 1)

Bob uses NCE wireless throttles for control of the trains.  

View of the "unfinished" area of the train room.  Bob uses photo backdrops to extend the scenery.  

Bob has recycled an earlier HO layout.  Some of the former trackwork is still visible in the areas "unfinished" 

Bob is a keen gardener, and this "tree" was a clipping that would normally go to mulch.  The house is a quick mockup, to test sizing, and style - before expending modelling time on finishing it

Another structure unfinished, but in situ.  I had an enjoyable 5 minutes exchanging wagons at this warehouse during an impromptu operating session 

Hidden in the weeds, is a microswitch on the tiebar - used for flog polarity. Bob simplifies the electrics using tricks like this.  The throw is also done by wire in tube from the side of the layout

Big drawers, recycled from a former kitchen conversion are ideal under the layout for storage of scenery material

The finished end of the room, showing the Eden Peninsular (end of line).  Much of the space below the layout benchwork is used for storage of future layout material

The Thomson River Bridge is a magnificent example of railway modelling.  Equally impressive, is the attention to detail of the scenery, and the photobackdrop.  Bob takes far better pictures than me, and a link to his South Coast Rail can be found through my blog 

During our impromptu operating session, we both ran trains in opposite directions, and had to co-ordinate meets, like this one at Pambula.

The view across the Eden station peninsular to the Thomson River bridge

Tom's layout at Mt Kuring-gai

Bob had arranged some additional layouts for me to view.  Tom lived close to Bob.  His layout was being built, after the former layout had been destroyed after water got into his shed.  Tom explained that the insurance was worthwhile to help get the shed repaired.  

Tom ran a passenger train around his layout circulating successfully during my visit.  Great trackwork.  

Old i-phones get a second life at throttles on the Digitrax DCC system 

Paperwork from an earlier operating session.  Once again, we find reference to the east coast mainline at Bega.

Tom has recycled buildings from a former layout, and rearranged them into an effective shunting district.  Great use of space, and time saved.

Marcus's layout in North Sydney

Tom accompanied us to view Marcus's NSWGR layout.  Marcus has been building his layout for over 30 years under his house, and is prototype based   Operation from Sydney, over the line to Newcastle, continuing up to the northern tablelands.  The model is multideck, and lacks a helix - meaning quite long grades, demanding helper engines to assist.

Hawksbury River station.  This shows the 3 decks - Newcastle and staging on the middle, and Armidale staging on top.  Lighting of the lower station is particularly good.  Marcus uses a lot of LED tube lighting

I love big bridges, and this didn't disappoint.  The real Hawksbury River bridge has from memory has about 10 spans, so selective compression is a must

Gosford - All electric trains terminate here.  46 class electrics are exchanged for steam (or diesel) power for the continued trip north.  Marcus has done an excellent job with actually installing overhead above the tracks - something I really appreciated as I had installed overhead on the Yendy's exhibition layout over a decade ago

Double acting signals at Fassifern.  Marcus's use of signals was extensive, and electronically controlled.  These are Ray Pilgrim's shapeway models

I loved the way that depot plates were used to identify the loco depots

Werris creek was modelled directly above Broadmeadow

West Tamworth, with a stand-in station.  The real West Tamworth station is almost a clone of the station at Bomen that I have modelled


Milk factory modelled after the one at Muswellbrook


Newcastle staging, Armidale above

Stock trains are an important part of the railway revenue - adding stockyards do not take up a lot of space

Even unfinished, the station environment is attractive

Adding perspex on aisles to protect the trees.  The trees are sedam autumn glory. and are very effective 

Marcus has installed a clip to the top of the NCE controllers, to hold a card used for operation.  Quite a good idea.  Marcus's control is NCE radio - and I will have to consider that for my own NCE installation. 

Marcus's workbench.  It is nice to have a section of the layout running through it, and the small drawers underneath are rather neat

After the layout tour, Marcus handed us throttles, and tasks to accomplish.  I had a double headed garratt coal train to assemble, run, and breakup - a task that took me over an hour, and needed assistance from Marcus, as my knowledge of consisting with NCE was lacking.  It is good to get a reality check.

On conclusion, we had some cake, and drinks in the "crew lounge" attached to the layout, before returning to Bob's place, after 11pm.  

Finish of Part 2
This concludes the 2nd part of my East coast layout crawl.  Again, I want to thank Bob, Tom, and Marcus for opening up their layouts for me to view, and a special thanks to Bob and Deanne for accomodation on Monday night.

Until next installment, build a model or two.

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