Sunday 17 January 2016

Getting stuck into it

I am feeling sorry for Pat O'Scale in the above photo knowing what's ahead of him. A lot of work. The pile in front of him is the ballast being reclaimed from Bega Yard. I was looking for a bulldozer to help him but couldn't find one.
Well there's no turning back now, it has all gone too far for that. And boy what a mammoth job it has been so far, certainly no five minute knockover. The plan was to demolish the layout across the front of the roller door to allow access into the shed. The only way was just to get stuck into it and slowly but surely the layout was dismantled.

Where the western end of the layout once was
In the above photo can be seen part of the usual clutter that habitates under layouts - out of sight, out of mind. The square box has been there that long it once delivered a 19" CRT monitor now long gone the way of the dinosaur. (So has the monitor). On the right hand side are the remnants of Narooma and Batemans Bay on the lower level. The top level was the skinny board that took the branch up to Kameruka.
Current location of western end of layout
The above shot shows where most of the demolished layout ended up, turfed out you might say. All of the baseboards that were pyneboard have been sent to the far reaches of the garden to wait for the heavens to rain on them and so return to the soil where they started life. Sort of an ashes to ashes type story. All of the other boards that might have a third life will be trimmed, denailed and set aside waiting their next calling. Those that don't measure up will wait until June where they will go onto the council roadside clean up pile and end up as landfill. They have a similar journey as the pyneboard but are basically on the slow train to re-incarnation.
The current end of demolition ends at the former entrance to Narooma and Batemans Bay, hopefully  drivers will be vigilant to see the sudden drop and stop. Part of the scenery has been de-nuded of scenic material, going into the take away containers for later use.
One job that seemed to take ages was the stripping of track from the boards at Bega taking nearly four solid days. The first job was to go down each track and remove the brads from the centre of the track. The heads were so small a few were often missed but found when the track was started to be lifted. Once the brads were removed the next job was to tip a bottle of water all down the track to loosen the ballast glue. Trust me using PVA glue is the best way to secure track down, after about twenty minutes of soaking a chisel is dug under one end and slowly works it way 'down the line'. Being an optimist I hope that quite a lot of track can be salvaged to help pay for the new track required. Once all the track is removed and piled up all that is left is the ballast. I then used a chisel to pile up the ballast also for reuse. (See lead photo) Most of the track on the layout was laid straight onto the baseboards and I rarely used cork. The pundits say "O, I used cork underlay because it is quiter" and then go and run some noisy sound locos over it. Who's hearing the trains now? It wasn't until day three when my hand was sorer than day one, when I came up with a brainwave.  I put a wire brush into the electric drill, and got through it much quicker.
The photo above shows where Narooma and Batemans Bay once stood, never to run again. In the foreground is a box that contains a food processor that somehow found its way down to the shed. It begun life in the kitchen but only for  a short time. I declared it a failure in food processing just after I had read in a magazine that you can convert foam rubber into foam for scenery in one of these machines. All that was necessary was to add water, set it to high speed and hopefully instant scenery. Well all was good, it produced good foam but then I thought why not add some green paint and cut out a later step in the process? So that worked OK as well but it was just after this first attempt that its return to its intended position in the kitchen was never going to happen. The wife would freak out with a green stained bowl. Suppose I could have said I was making Kiwi fruit juice? So currently its just in the way, I'm not sure of its future.
The intention is to remove the baseboards from the walls around the front part of the where the new layout will be erected. This weekend I have been going around patching all the holes that come from removing the baseboards. Some holes end up bigger than others depending on the nail size that held the board to the wall. Today I purchased a tin of ceiling paint and hope to get it on this week. Its like playing draughts at the moment, all the items that came from the baseboards at Narooma and Batemans Bay are sitting on the "Bega" board down the middle. So when the walls are painted I will put up a temporary table to receive back the "Bega" board items. So when the roof has been painted, the walls will be done.
I thought all trace of my friend the 'possum' was a distant memory but when I opened the roller door I found his calling card on the very top of the door previously out of site and out of mind. I would love to get the pressure washer onto the job but the roof and everywhere else would get flooded. So it looks like a tedious job of getting the rubber gloves, scrubbing brush, disenfectant, bucket of hot water and getting into it. Ah that might be Wednesdays job. Then the inside of the roller door can be freshened up with a nice coat of sky blue paint, its first one since the year 2000.
Now sitting perpendicular to where it once ran, the track from Bega and a few other places is piled up awaiting the pressure washer to hopefully blast the ballast off. Most of the track will be able to be resold on. On the right hand side is the box of screws that have also been reclaimed from the dismantling.
This is the box of points that have been collected do far, with probably another thirty to be removed. Now if anyone is interested in some track and points all code 75 you can contact me at southcoastrail - at - and I will let you know. Most of the points are in good order certainly cheaper than new ones and a good pedigree. There was also some track that didn't play ball with the track removal gang and only gave up its rail. So if anyone is scratchbuilding track in code 75, I have plenty.
So plenty of action down the old shed this week. I have also been notified that my "South Coast Rail" mugs have been despatched as described in the previous posting. Seems like a fairly quick service. I'll post some photos when they turn up.


  1. Geez Bob, you really have got stuck into it! I'm impressed particularly when I have achieved next to nothing over the same period.
    cheers Phil

  2. Hi Phil,
    Being retired helps a bit. My target is to have everything removed, re painted, and the new layout planned out by the end of January. Fingers crossed.

  3. It's kind of sad to read of a layout being dismantled, but on the same hand I'm enjoying the SCR farewell tour. Thanks for your bravery in documenting the South Coast's demolition. It's almost like reading about the closure of your favourite line, knowing that once the rails are pulled up the train ain't comin' back. Only this tale had one final reminder of the adventures of Mr Possum.

  4. Hi Phil,
    Yes I cleaned off the top of the roller door today, removing his calling card.
    Never will he be seen again (I hope)

  5. Hi Bob.
    Tried to email you re the points, but yah-boo-sucks rejected it.
    Weddin Jct

  6. Hi Lindsay,
    sorry, my bad.
    The email address is southcoastrail at I left the au off the end.