Wednesday, November 30, 2016

G'day USA

Cranking over the 100K on the hit counter was a milestone. But keeping my eye on the meter showed it raising at a great rate of knots.
As reported on my past post  of August 3, I noted there were a great number of hits coming from Russia. There is a general consensus that there are good and bad guys out there, just watch James Bond or Rambo movies where the Ruskis (bad guys) match up against the US (good guys).
The hit meter for some reason has gone haywire with hits from the USA. For this weeks counter it show 872 USA and 271 for Australia. Maybe the CIA or FBI or whatever they are called this week are onto it. But then again it could be just a bunch of modellers. Whatever it is guys, I hope you enjoy the rebuilding of South Coast Rail here. If you delve back to older posts you can see how it has evolved from a HO layout to the now On30 layout in the making.
Having said the above I welcome any Russian modellers, the translating feature might make it easier to understand. It would be interesting to see if it can translate Australian slang into other meanings.

Back to Bega

Having now allocated location names to the individual towns I am concentrating on Bega so that there is a place for trains to go to.
Above photo shows where the former terminus of Candelo has been laid flat. Part of the rockface wall has been placed onto the back wall temporarily rather than bin it. Having been painted way back in 1999, the rear wall is now overdue for another coat to freshen it all up. The can of paint is ready to go and is on standby waiting for some one to apply it.
The pile of HO track and points are bundled near the window. These will be eventually sold off to provide funds for future expansion. It is a very different feeling to pull apart an old layout to build a new one, there is so much stuff to move around and get rid of. Very different than building a new layout from scratch.
I know it has been said many times about using pineboard (Homasote USA?)for baseboards but having used it previously on another section and that it proved stable for fifteen years I am again using it on the new portion of the layout. The piece in the above photo came from an old bedroom cupboard and has been patiently waiting in the shed for its callup. The dodgy bit on the right hand side was cut off and then using some old leftover paint it was covered all over for protection from moisture. It is planned to run some MDF vertically along the baseboard facing to freshen it all up.
Looking from the other direction the board is temporarily supported to see how the new width will work. I have decided to leave in the former base of the lower town of Bodalla to form a shelf that can be accessed from the front when the facing goes on.
The former town of Candelo has now been flattened and repainted. All that needs to be done now is to fill in the former turntable pit.
The matching piece of baseboard has been cut and put into place. The crack visible is not earthquake caused but will be duly patched over shortly. Now with the boards in place I couldn't resist the urge to dry run the track layout for Bega. The passenger station will be located on the right and the goods shed on the left hand side. This allows the road access to the goods shed. I have incorporated a gentle curve to the tracks in the station area. It could have easily been straight but to my eye a gentle curve looks better.
Looking in the other direction an NA is in the loop with a six car coal train and two passenger cars are at the station. When trying to set out a layout it is easier to visualise how it will all look and fit together when the items are placed on the board. Compared with a plan on paper, this works so much better. This applied to the track as well and I have many template paper points downloaded from the Peco website. This then accurately shows how much room they will take up.
At the far end of Bega will be some loco facilities. This track comes off the station loop. At the far end of board can be seen some of the former SCR scenery. I have decided to leave it in place and then run the new track through it. This will save me plenty of time in not having to do the scenery again at the back of the layout room.
This is where SCR is up to  at the moment.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Location, Location, Location

The new narrow gauge layout situated on the far South Coast of New South Wales is located in a similar area to its predecessor which was standard gauge.
A new layout also requires new names for the stations, some on the layout will be the same such as Bega and Candelo that were on the previous one.
There was no real reasoning behind picking the new names. No study of the towns on the internet or any personal trips to the area to try and capture the flavour of the place. Well for one thing there was never a railway there in the area so no old fellas can tell me that its wrong.
Basically I opened a map of the area and picked names that I thought would suit. The stations will be at Bega, Wolumla Junction (Happy Phil?) )This is the junction to Candelo), Pambula, Greigs Flat, Snug Cove (love that name had to include) and terminating at Eden.

Location Diagram

Location of South Coast Rail

The last post had the town of Dunno, quickly made up because I was too lazy to look at the map and give it a proper name. This location will now be Bega which will be my second attempt at this location. I have obtained all the required track and points to lay here. I have stuck with the Peco track and points. I would have preferred had Peco made this track not so rough in appearance but its not worth the extra cost to move over to Micro Engineering track to resolve this minor irritation. Once the track is ballasted and weeded over it looks OK.

 Layout Diagram

Updated diagram with town names added  
This may not be the final track layout for the whole layout, we are allowed to change our minds as we go along. One thing that the old DC layout suffered from was the style of control panel once prepared in perspex and holes cut for switches and push buttons. This meant the track plan was virtually locked in, but with DCC, control panels are virtually none existant.
The shed is partly through its transition from the old to the new layout. I still have tons of crap to get rid of that is sitting on the layout. It will have to go before the new track gets laid. I will also repaint the floor to make it look better, it was last done back in 2009.

Demolition Derby 

Work has commenced on getting the town of Bega ready for track laying. The lovely photo of the garratt on the last post has now gone. This was one of my favourite sections and came up nice with the trees and the cutting around the tunnel mouth. We will have to wait and see what pops up here.
 
Snowing on the South Coast?

The above photo shows that the scenery has started to be stripped back to allow removal of this section. This will then allow this portion of the wall to be repainted to match the front of the shed. You get a sad feeling when all the work end effort goes in a third of the time to demolish than what it took to build in the first place. You have to get over it and move on, I have many photos of this section.

Where Bodalla once stood
This photo shows where the locations of Bodalla and Candelo (upper) were located. One of the down sides of going to O scale is that it takes up much more room. Also shown in the photo is another location where the old track will stay forever (or until the whole layout is demolished). I cannot get to it for removal and the time and effort is also not worth it. Looking at the plan above in this post all of the baseboards to the right of the entry door will be left in situ and I will rework the track through it. There is no point in demolishing it all to lay the track onto modules at this stage.
Bodalla Goods siding - never to be shunted again
The rock wall that has separated Bodalla from Candelo has been removed for future re-use. Luckily I was able to prise it away with little cracking. Bodalla was never a complex yard which is surprising for me. It had a goods siding and another siding that was to go to a livestock unloading point. Never had a single shunt into it!.
A high shot showing the removal work
In the above shot can be seen the second location of the turntable for Candelo. It was never operated in either location. This may show up the downside of having a large layout, too many projects and not enough time to complete them all. One of the O scale buildings is in place to  gauge how much more room is gobbled up in this scale. A lonely NQR wagon is also there to provide some atmosphere to the scene.

So there is progress on the town of Bega. When I get it connected to Eden I will finally have somewhere to come and go from.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Planning the next part

Well firstly thanks to viewers who visited over the many years since March 2009 when this blog started to record the history of South Coast Rail. The hit counter has just tipped over the one hundred thousand clicks which I suppose is a milestone in its self.
Since 2009 when I look back to some of my early work on the HO layout I suppose I can only hope that my modelling has got better. Old code 100 track was replaced with code 75 which I found to be more realistic looking. Its all part of trying to improve with age I guess. What really astounds me is when I look at the dates when the photos were taken and realise how quickly time has gone by. We only have a limited time on the planet so get in quick and finish that dream layout.
When I read that book 101 Track plans for model railroads, I seemed to get stuck longer on the page showing a huge layout and was inspired to one day have a larger layout myself. In the end I built the shed to contain the HO layout that was South Coast Rail. And now that it has been handed over to the On30 scale it is being refilled without any trouble.
This size shed has enabled me to try and create my version of the Victorian Narrow gauge as I see it. I have sort of made the shed two halves. The left hand side has been repainted and now contains the baseboards of the nearly completed Eden. The right hand side will retain all the former baseboards and have the new track laid onto them. If the retirement village calls early then this side is dispensable and stays, the portable section will be coming with me. In my opening I was amazed at how quickly time flies so the next ten years will come as quick as the last ten have gone.
So I am preparing the baseboards where the former towns of Bodalla and the branch line terminus of Candelo once stood. The end result is that I will only get one town out of two as the scale has doubled. I have attached the proposed plan for the next town planned. So far I haven't named the place yet. I will sit down one day with a map and throw a few darts I suppose and get some names. If I am a bad shot this would be how the town of Broken Hill would end up on a South Coast layout.
One thing is for sure when I plan a town layout it always seems to have plenty of points in it. Don't ever ask me to model the Camden line, not enough points. I guess this end result comes from the fact that I like operation on a layout, plenty of shunting and a few mongrel track designs to make the job harder. Having looked at all the track designs of the VR narrow gauge lines I can say that to me most are boring and too easy to shunt. Yes this is exactly what they were looking for in real life and the tracks were designed with that in mind. The only VR track plan with any interest to me was the one at Beech Forest which was unique in two ways for a narrow gauge line in that it had a scissors crossover and also a balloon loop.
6039 about to burrow under Candelo in an area now removed


I have temporarily named this town Dunno until something better comes along. I will have a crossing loop, goods siding, two industry siding, one on each end of the town, a loco shed area, a livestock siding and a few roads for rolling stock storage. This town won't be cramped by any means as the total length is over five metres in length. It will also be a junction station as this is where the track from Eden will join in as shown in another diagram. I didn't want to but I will end up with a liftout section to complete the full circle around the outer wall of the shed. It will also form a triangle which will be handy if any items of rolling stock require turning.
Proposed town of Dunno (its name yet)
The above drawing is fairly to scale. The road will come up from the right over a level crossing into the town and run along the back of the wall and disappear off behind the factory on the left. A platform for about three passenger cars will also be provided. Plenty of light is available in this section with a large window looking out over the garden.
The first diagram is not that clear as to where the tracks on the left hand side go to, so this diagram shows how the lift out section fits in with the rest of the layout. The tracks will be slightly upgrade from Eden to Dunno. Hey this might mean trains heading this way might require an extra loco? More operation, that's what I like.
Well I'll leave you with that lot for a while, so now you know where SCR is heading to.