What will be.... hopefully. Well after many months thinking, planning, demolishing, selling, thinking, painting, cleaning, coping, building, typing and soon to be laying and wiring. I feel I am getting over the 'ing' disease. All those 'ing' words involve an amount of physical and mental attention.
I enjoyed building the old SCR, its plan was developed with just a pencil on paper and the route it would take for the main line traced out. When developing a track design, depending on the state or railway you follow there are certain elements that needed to be included. Following NSW's railways for most of my modelling, the final design, especially Bega the main station, followed that ideal.
So when it comes to modelling another style of layout, now being narrow gauge, you have to get your mind around that particular way of laying things out. Armed with all the books I could get on the Victorian narrow gauge, it then became a case of trying to follow narrow gauge design.
In building the new layout, I decided to begin with the terminus and work my way out from there. I have called the terminus station Eden, trying to maintain the South Coast line flavour at least in names by not necessarily true to history. That part is where the imagination steps in. It will contain the usual elements of a terminus that being a station, engine shed, goods shed and a typical transfer shed based on what is at Colac. It will be interesting to shunt, making and breaking up trains all part of operational interest.
I have included the diagram above of probably one of many versions of the intended layout. The intention is to start on the left hand side of the entry label. To date the old layout in this area has been demolished, the walls repainted and the floor rediscovered. What will be the final design for Eden is shown on the diagram. The plan is to have a 180 degree turn to the wall at the top. At this stage I will try and include a small area to unload the coal wagons. This will be their final destination having come from the "Coal Mine" to be unloaded and returned for more. This will be on the top board but will only have provision for emptying two hoppers at a time. This will require three local shunts out from Eden to unload the coal. It will include a van which will be left on the main line while the wagons are being unloaded. Plenty of scope for operation.
The brown shape will be a factory based on the Nobelius siding on the Belgrave line. It will take louvered vans and maybe a few open wagons for loading/unloading.
As can be seen from the plan the layout is eventually going to continue around the complete shed and will form full circle by way of a liftout section at the doorway. A triangle leaving Eden will also aid operation with the ability to go in either a clockwise or anti clockwise direction. This will also allow certain types of locos and rolling stock to be turned removing the need for a turntable.
Four crossing loops will be on the outside wall layout. When you move up in scale its spooky at how the distance between stations gets smaller. I'll just run the trains slower!!.
All the baseboards on the left hand side will be made on modules and not permanent. This means if I move I can take it with me or if I cark it then it can be sold off. Win Win. But by the time I get around to building the right hand side of the diagram, I think I will just build over the old layout. Some of the scenery around the gully and the far right hand wall can probably be slightly modified for the new narrow gauge style.
To add to further shunting operation I have included a branch line. This will involve shunting the train at the junction station before heading to the end. On the branch (In blue on diagram) coal and timber trains will need to head to the terminus and shunt before reloading. Coal trains will reverse down to the mine for loading then have to reshunt the brakevan, proceed back to the terminus, again reshunt, then head back towards Eden. All part of the fun.
Two features that are the benchmark in my mind for the narrow gauge railways are the trestle bridge outside Belgrave and the Thompson River bridge on the Moe to Walhalla line. The Thompson River bridge scales out at around two metres long and I look forward to the challenge of building it in the future.
Well thats the current planned outline of the new layout. We all know how things can change but we will see how it all pans out.