Its a different feel now when I go to an exhibition having changed scales. You know there won't be many O scale layouts there but I now spend more time in front of them than I once used to. One thing I am not missing is the constant carousel of new HO locos and carriages coming out. It was always a juggling act to justify whether I needed the new item. It is very rare now to be able to buy a single item, they come in double packs and triple packs etc. This temptation is certainly not there in the On30 scale. We are all sweating on the Haskell model of the NQR open wagon and although contrary to what I have just mentioned re the HO packs, I will obtain a few of the NQR triple packs to build up the rolling stock fleet. These will be the only commercial ready to run vehicles offered so far.
On my blog of April 10 I put up a proposed plan of the layout when it has spread to fill the whole shed. It also included a plan of Eden which is the terminus of the line and the current starting point for the layout. The plan of Eden shown has slightly changed from that published and a final revised plan is shown below:
The plan shown is laid out on two joined baseboards of 1.8m long each. The tracks have been laid across the join but connected by rail joiners so that the boards can be separated at any time. Some sections are soldered to some printed circuit board to hold the adjoing tracks aligned. These two boards formed the town of Bega on the former HO South Coast Rail. The odd shape on the bottom left hand corner was un-intentional being part of the original layout has formed a handy corner to fit in a livestock loading point.
The various sections of Eden are:
- Livestock. This will be an edge of baseboard livestock loading/unloading facility. I have two VR NM wagons to be assembled and this is where they will operate from.
- Transfer Shed. Based on the shed at Colac it will contain a standard gauge track set lower in the baseboard so the floor level of the S truck matches the floor level of the NQR or other wagons. At Colac the narrow gauge track was raised to match the broad gauge floor level but I cannot do this here so I have gone the reverse. I will hand lay the standard gauge track here as most of it will be covered with weeds and ballast.
- Gantry crane. There was also a gantry crane at Colac for transferring heavy objects that couldn't be man handled across inside the shed. There is a nice ready built gantry crane on the market but at around $350 I will take my chances on building one myself. This will also give some vertical presence on the layout.
- Eden Station. A small terminus station holding around three passenger cars. I have a "someone else built" model of a station that I obtained from the Broadmeadow exhibition last year as well as a few other buildings. The windows need replacing and the hopeless chimney which was the end cap from a supeglue tube has been replaced with an excellent Ian Lindsay version. The building will suffice for the time being and will be replaced one day with another scratch built version.
- Carriage siding. A siding next to the station for holding around three passenger cars or brakevan. Two different types of shunt will be required to and from this siding to the platform. Forming an outward bound train will just need the loco from the shed to hook onto the front end and propel to the platform. On the return the passenger cars will need to have the loco run around and shunt onto the rear and then propel into the siding.
- Loco Shed. This will be a small single scratchbuilt loco shed shoehorned in between two tracks. Clearance will be tight but will have an air of compactness around it. I have searched the files of the various forums I have joined and found the plan for a single road shed based on Colac. This shed had a curved roof. An excellent model of this shed has been built by Murray Scholz as shown on his Bogong and Geehi blog. My shed as being based in NSW will have a gable peaked roof. This a future project to be built.
- Ash Pit. Already built as shown on my last blog entry. This was an easy build and forms part of the essential working of a steam facility.
- Coal Stage. Already in the planning stage it will be scratchbuilt into the corner next to the ash pit. I am presuming they would have shunted a NQR to the stage and shovelled out the coal onto the stage ready for the next steam loco.
- Water tank. Again another structure to be scratchbuilt but luckily a piece of PVC downpipe has turned out the right diameter for the tank. I have a plan reduced to O scale and this will make building of this project so much easier.
- Goods Shed. I have another "some one else built" goods shed which looks more freelance than having VR narrow gauge roots. It may be modified for the position or I might build a smaller version of the Gembrook goods shed. There is not a lot of room on the baseboard to put a large goods shed. I have also an Ian Lindsay goods shed which may end up here as well.
- Mechanics workshop. Another Broadmeadow obtained building which looks plain but once some "car junk" is placed around it on the outside it should turn out OK. I bought some of the Kerroby parts such as spare tyres, car jacks etc to dress up the area.