Lately I've been hanging around Bodalla too long doing work on the cliff behind the station and goods yard. There is only so much scenery work you can do before boredom sets in.
I needed a new challenge. Where can I go next in the room? I weakened on my resolve to finish an area before moving on to another.
The next challenge was going to be an area that wouldn't take forever to finish (famous last words).
So it was that I decided to concentrate on Kameruka. It is a crossing loop station on the branch to the terminus at Candelo and also represents the highest point on the layout. I figured it would give short visitors an eyeballs view of the wheels of the trains. This height was not scientifically devised but the need to fall slightly below a window set its height. Once the track leaves here towards Candelo there is a down grade. None of my grades on the entire layout are steep due to the fact I have plenty of length to make them gradual. Even the grade down to Candelo is only slight. In fact a Trainorama 49 class can haul 16 loaded BCH hoppers + Brakevan out of Candelo to Kameruka. From Kameruka to Bega it is all down hill.
This is where operation working can rule over reality. Bank engine working can be introduced between the two stations there by making for more interesting operation.
Kameruka has been laid with code 100 track. It has been my intention to replace the code 100 with code 75 when ever I do a relay at major stations. Much of the initial track was second hand and has served well. I find the code 75 track is a close to real track I need to go without taking the next step which is hand laying track.
Back yonks ago when I was modelling N scale I was making a layout with handlaid track. It had code 55 rail imported from the US. This layout had well over 40 handlaid points including a single slip and a few diamond crossings. It was at the time when I decided to change scales from N to HO as there were improved NSW type models coming onto the market. All this track was built when I didn't have space for a layout but had plenty of time to construct the track. Now it is the opposite. I don't have the time to build the track but enough spondooly to buy the points.
The next issue was to work out the track layout for the revised Kameruka. Originally this station was the only crossing loop on the branch and the loop was of sufficient length to take branch length trains. (even to restricting the coal train lengths). Some time ago I found that I could make better use of this line by installing a lifting track between the branch and Bega which luckily were on a similar level. The only other issue with the loop was to lengthen it as longer trains from the main line were now crossing there.
The opportunity to dig up the track gave me a chance to review the current set out of sidings. I wanted enough industries there to allow shunting in both directions. The current set up had the goods shed on a dead end siding of which I cannot relate to any examples on the NSWR system. This was resolved by continuing the track on as a loop to reconnect with the branch. This means the goods siding can now be shunted in each direction. Unfortunately the sheep/cattle race has got the flick. Two good reasons. (1) I would have to build them and (2) I had a building that can be made up to represent a packing house.
With the extension of the goods siding this meant the oil siding had to go from its current location and I found I could shoehorn it in over near the milk siding. The milk and oil siding trail from Bega, that is they are a straight shunt in the Down direction, so in the reverse there is more shunting required to return them towards Bega. The beauty of oil sidings is that they only need to be a bit more than two tankers in length. I was originally going to have the oil siding come off the milk siding but the clearances were too tight. Shunting would also be complicated by needing to move the milk wagons prior to shunting in the oil tankers. Something I'm sure the milk depot would get the shits with quick (But interesting for the operator). By regigging (wow 4 G's in that word) it I was now able to fit in three oil tankers.
So after settling on the final layout and checking out the stock of track and points on hand I found out I needed another three long right hand Peco points. I tried the closest hobby shop on the phone and they did not stock them but were willing to order them in. I thanked them, said no and then remembered I had gotten some previous supplies from the Model Craftsman at Blacktown and had good service. It was Wednesday around 2pm and I rang the shop. Gary answered, had what I wanted and put it in an overnight delivery bag. And on Thursday morning I had my points ready to continue work on the layout. So for $9, much cheaper than the petrol I would have used and about three hours saved by not going there. The only real loser would have been Gary in the fact I probably would have bought other stuff there as well. Well recommended.
So at this stage the branch is out of service until the new track is laid in.
...........To be continued when more track is laid in.