Saturday, 29 July 2017

We can now cross that bridge when we come to it.....

If you had been a previous follower of the HO South Coast Rail, I hope the last post and the link to the Flickr photos brought back a few memories. I was reading the August Australian Model Railway Magazine today and looking at the new products pages you would hardly believe that this hobby of ours is slackening off. There are heaps of products now available to drop straight onto the tracks and just go.  Auscision are finally offering their locomotives with sound. Far from being envious of the new products my hip pocket is glad that I have made the change over to On30. The range of products other than the Haskell NA locos and their NQR wagons are basically kits that need assembling and painting.
Meanwhile back at the layout, the trestle has advanced far enough along to be able to finally lay the track across it. The trestle is built on a 30 inch radius curve and fits in nice to the corner module. It took quite a few hours to get the trestle made, but I am happy with the end result.
Bare roadbed waiting for track
I made a choice to use the Peco O16.5 narrow gauge track as opposed to the only other commercial track that being the Micro Engineering brand. Those two brands are the two extremes of the ready to run track. The Micro brands sleepers look to anorexic and the Peco brand suits the English style of track. Some where in the middle would be nice. I know the answer is to hand lay some track  but if I knew I was to live till 150 years then I might try that method. Any how once the Peco track it is painted up and ballasted it doesn't look too bad.
Track has been laid across the trestle awaiting ballasting

Join between two modules
First load of ballast dumped
Between each module I have used a section of printed circuit board and laid across the joint. It is then soldered down. I haven't cut the rail at this stage preferring to maintain electrical continuity. The tracks will be cut one day when the layout needs to be moved. Sufficient ballast is used to cover up the lack of sleepers.
I also added a check rail to the trestle as per common practice. It is supposed to prevent rolling stock toppling off when a derailment occurs. I wonder if it will still act that way on the models?
The check rail was made from a piece of leftover Code 75 rail which in theory sits lower than the code 100 rail. This should allow me to clean the track without rubbing off the rusty painted check rail. It didn't end up a perfect parallel track to the main running rail but this should give clearance for the flanges.
Another addition I decided to add to the trestle was the nut and bolt washers on the top timbers. Again I got my inspiration from the Monbulk trestle. There are 182 nut an bolt castings across the top of the trestle. So it took a while to drill all those holes and then place each casting into the hole with a small dab of glue on each one. Now you know why it has been slow progress in this corner.  
I decided to model a ballasted top trestle as opposed to open timbers. I am sure this method was quicker and easier to do.
Looking the opposite direction from the previous photo
 Although the ballast has been down for a short while, the weeds are starting to appear, maybe I need to model a poison train to keep the weeds down.
I chose to add an oil/grease trail across the middle of the tracks, this gives some variation.
Climax 8 trundles across the ballasted trestle

If I thought this trestle absorbed a lot of time I wonder how long it will take to complete the Thomson River bridge? It scales out at around 1.90 metres long. Oh well I like a challenge!
NA + trestle


  1. Hi Bob,

    I never cease to be amazed at your scenery skills, everything just looks so right.


    1. Thanks Darren,
      I see you are making good progress as well

  2. Bob,

    The bridge and scenery look great and as Darren said, a tribute to your skill. In addition you maintained a very commendable momentum unlike yours truly who has dawdled and procrastinated on a similar task.

    cheers Phil

    1. Hi Phil,
      you must be due for another coffee?

    2. I think you're right. I'll give you a call later in the week