Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Taking the first steps

I've known for ages that the time to begin planning a home layout was really upon me. That decision to start means so many decisions needing to be made I guess it's just been easier to do nothing. Not that I've been sitting around my show layout SSC is certainly keeping me busy, but not forever I'm afraid. I'm aware that there will be a time that I'll want to get into the home layout, and I guess I want to make sure the planning is well out the way before Splitters is no longer in use.

The thought of having to tie myself to a particular area is one that has had me jumping about the state of NSW, not literally but certainly linking thoughts to photos to line diagrams to Branch lines. The discs available from the NSW Heritage Society of track plans around the state have been spinning for many an hour in the disc drive that's for sure! I'm being careful of not falling back to old favourites, like the Grenfell line from Koorawatha, an old favourite from years ago. In fact it came to my attention after reading about it in one of the earlier AJRM mags (always a great read!). Grenfell is a huge location, so won't be possible in the space I have...maybe another show layout?

 Daz and I had a tour through NSW years ago now taking photos of what was left in as many closed lines that we could find. We looked at track layouts, topography and anything else that might be of interest. I've been trolling through these photos as well, and Eugowra kept coming up. I've been mindful of being as clear minded and sensible about this choice of location as possible. So after a fair amount of time I thought, OK lets really look at the Eugowra Branch.

The discs from NSW Historical Society have been a huge help. I searched for Eugowra first and it brought up the stations that the extension from Canowindra to Eugowra opened with, those being Nyrang Creek,Trajere then Eugowra. The extension opened in December 1922. I had a look at the NSWrail.net site to look up any photos of the line and discovered that there were other stations that opened on this line in later years, the station listing became:

Nyrang Creek
Geradan             opened March 1927
Gooloogong       opened Feb 1924
Nanami              opened June 1933

These additional stations I searched for on the discs, but only had Gooloogong come up as North Gooloogong. The photos on the NSWrail.net site had me intrigued with photos of a grain shed and mill located at Nanami. I will definitely have to look into that station further for my own interest.

The whole of the branch before Canowindra includes from Cowra, Cowra West, Glen Logan, Billimari, Bangaroo then Canowindra.

The space that I have in the garage is fairly limited. If I had any grandiose ideas of a railway empire they've quickly evaporated when reality of track design and aisle widths come into play.

For the sake of starting off this blog and planning here are two sketches of how things have changed so far. Things are still fairly liquid so the stations picked may change or be deleted as the planning continues.
 This first sketch shows a couple of different stations to the second. When I was planning originally the spot where Bangaroo is was to be a staging area. Well I'll see how I go as the plan moves along, but I think a simple trackplan might engage me in modelling a little longer than a staging area, so we'll see.

The second one has a little more thought to just how aisle widths and track radii will come into things. Also the station names have changed, but they may go back to Nyrang Creek instead of Gooloogong depending on room. The two stations set in stone are Canowindra and Eugowra. There are still oppportunities for change even with just these two depending on 'time' the layout is set in determining the track layout and its features.

I've still got to get into the track plan, but that will come just not in a hurry.

A busy couple of months in front of me, and for those of you who may read this in the next week, Merry Christmas to you and your families,
 may the gift of Jesus Christ touch you in a very personal way,
Peace be with you, always.



  1. Hey Geoff,

    Good to see you making a start on the home layout. May I make some constructive criticism.

    Be careful not to cram too much into what is obviously a small space. You haven't got much distance between stations. A train would no sooner leave one then it enters another.

    You need to be able to watch a train just running through the countryside as well as through a yard.

    When I was designing Liverpool Range, one of the main criteria was that I wanted distance between crossing loops/stations. This is especially important if you want to include signals on the layout. You need to have distance between the Home sticks and Distants/Landmarks of each location.

    Anyway, as I said, I hope you see this as constructive and not negative.



    1. Ian, I value your comments, so definitely constructive comments. I tend to agree with you. I have started with the maximum, and depending on how it moves forward space wise the station number may well reduce. I would like to have Eugowra for sure, really the rest is still fairly fluid. The more I find out, the more the minor stations intrigue me. I'll keep you posted!

  2. A nice choice Geoff, It is a line close to my heart as I spent alot of my youth in Cowra and my mother grew up in Billimari, a location I would like to model. I look forward to your creation with interest.


    1. I'm with you andrew a great part of the world!

  3. Geoff
    I have no doubt, after watching SSC grow, the Eugowra will be something special.
    Planning can b frustrating and rewarding at the same time. Now construction of Cambewarra has started I find myself a little overwhelmed at the complexity and enormity of the task ahead (also the amount of disposable income it disposes of !). I know the blog has been very quiet for some time but I hope to post some progress pics soon. I have been busy !
    Hoping you and your family have a truly blessed Christmas.

    1. Thanks Gary, I look forward to your updates, I'm always keen to see what you've been up to, and also Christmas Blessings to you and your clan as well!

  4. Now it is all coming to me. I share your excitement in watching this project grow and look forward to offering any assistance that you need, oh and of course running a train. Darren

  5. Thanks Daz, it'll be years before the trains are running! But it's not just about the destination, and yess I'm sure I'll bend your ear from time to time, Geoff.

  6. G'day Geoff

    I gather you are doing a point to point layout & not a return type of plan? I believe that has advantages as well as not.

    Depending on how you are wanting to operate it means that turntables need to be considered & by doing Canownidra makes for better planning for a branch line layout, as it had both the Eugowra trains as well as those to Canownindra on the other days as well. The line also had a fair few stock specials running especially in the 60's when still steam & early diesel.

    You can get away with having 900mm walkways as its surprising at hom much room you do have, & I am no skinny bellied type either, but be aware that they can create a choke point when they are placed opposit two station areas that need to be worked.

    I travelled to Canownindra either last year or the one before, & was quite surprised at how intact the whole station precinct is, albeit quite overgrown so you do have the chance to do another trip & capture much of what was there years ago, a real trip back in time, & that is not often the case these days with so little surviving.

    Looking forward to seeing things as they develop.

    1. G'day Colin, Canowindra is a great location, I was there with Darren ( Nimmitabel Extension) a few years ago, and I quite agree.
      Thank you for the comment about spacings, I've so much to get through, but it is enjoyable.

      I've already had some very promising contact with the ARHS, so we'll see how that develops,

  7. Geoff,
    Call me thick but what scale are you working in?
    Trevor Hodges

  8. Trevor, HO. I've been spending a fair bit of time with the layout, and I am teetering on the edge of a 2 tired layout to add more room than the floor area can offer. I guess I should post again soon with an update, Geoff.

  9. Geoff,
    What a great little branch line you have chosen to model.
    The group I am with exhibited a 24 sq foot layout in Perth 3 years ago modelling Eugowra station. It was successful in winning the show. If you care to follow my blog (of which you already do) one of my earlier posts shows some photo's of it as part of my old home layout. Alas its now gone for good.
    Any help or info you need please let us klnow, as I my be able to help. Keep the progress updates coming.
    Paul (Alco)

  10. Paul, sorry for taking so long to respond, we've been away and without computers for the last two weeks, fantastic!

    I have had some great info already from the historical society down in NSW that seems very indepth, so that looks good. Of course if there's something that you'd like to forward to me it would be most welcome. I'll contact you through E-mail, and send you mine, thanks again, Geoff.