Sunday, January 1, 2017

Eugowra, a plan forms, and a New Year begins!

It's been way too long since putting pen to paper, or to keyboard about thoughts and plans for my home layout. The last two years  or so have been challenging, health wise for H. All appears good now, but it has been a real challenge, and does change your outlook on... everything.

So modelling is a pastime that deals well with breaks, pauses, what ever you want to call them. So here I am recharged and ready to make some progress. If we all roll with our hobby a bit more, do it when it feels right, and don't when your hearts not in it. Then it will be enjoyable. It should always be enjoyable what ever you do.

So then some modelling plans for the year. The list in no particular order would include the following:
Toowoomba Show, can't wait for this one after missing last year. I'm heading down to Sydney again this year for a third 'modelling the railways of NSW' convention. The Early Days convention is a must do after attending for the first time last year. Then there's the RMCQ show as well. Oh! Another new one for me, well the second one actually, is the Coffs Harbour 'Branchline Modellers forum'. I loved it last year, what a great group of Modellers!

This is just the major ones, there will be plenty of others with modelling nights, Tuesday nighters, and running sessions at different layouts. What a great year ahead!

I've been interested in the Early Days period for a while now. My attendance at last years convention really cemented my modelling focus in this time period. I'm not close minded to other times, but this one does pique my interest. Having a more certain time period does also refocus your kit buying also. A real advantage rather than just randomly purchasing kits etc, that you like the look of. I did attend the New England convention last year, and did source some new kits from Peter Boorman's workshop. Truly Peter has done some beautiful work, and they are Early Days kits also, what a bonus!

The area I have available for modelling is not ideal. It is open to the outside so dust is an issue. I live in Brisbane so temperature, and more importantly humidity is an issue. The space is an enclosed double garage, that I have use of half of. I've discussed all this in previous posts so I won't go over it again.

The plan for the layout has stayed the same. What has changed is the order of construction. My current layout 'Splitters Swamp Creek' is almost at the end of its run. What I mean is that my interest in it is waning. Time for some new modelling challenges I think. It has been such a long time since I started building it. The time between modelling efforts has made the whole thing a really long term build, and it's only small!

It has helped me plan a little better for the next one. I plan to build it in stages that when fitted together with some linking areas will create a whole home layout. It will enable me to exhibit different parts of the layout at different times, so that should keep things fresh from a general public perspective. As I said though, I live in Brisbane and the number of shows I attend is pretty light.

The first part I intend to build is the Tenterfield Stockyards. It will be two modules of about 2metres each, at this stage.

 I've had a bit of a play with the plan as you can see, with some scaled down sizing for the sidings. What no Station? nope, not this time. I plan to run the rollingstock and train consists from early on not long after opening. there will be a fair amount of detail able to be built into it though with a ballasted deck trestle bridge located right beside the area I plan to model.
 It does open up a can of worms though, of things to take into account, like, what ran and when? what type of rollingstock was used? What information do i need to source and from where? Remember it was a different time back in the 1920's or so. Rollingstock was completely different to the RTR that we see everywhere now. What locomotives ran? can I obtain them in HO? Who has a ballasted deck plan that is what was built at this location? How long have I got to build this? Will I hand lay the trackwork? What code rail? How will the modules fit into the home layout?
A fair amount still to consider, and still a bench full of kits half built to clear up first. Theres a local buy and sell in a couple of weeks so I'll be there clearing some gear out to help me move towards this next step.

I'm looking forward to a productive year, a simple plan in mind, enjoy my hobby. I hope to catch up with you at some stage this year!
Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Eugowra, Nanami, Trajere, Nyrang Creek, North Gooloogong...a quick visit.

This last week I had a chance to spend a day traversing some old dirt roads, down by the Eugowra line with my Son Z. We had the best time, and without Z's help on the GPS there would have been no way we would have found as much as we did.

The scenery is fantastic, fresh air and cow pats! We started at Eugowra and took many photos of what is left. A lot of deconstruction around the main station area has seen huge piles of dirt and rail making the area safe for trucks to turn around it seems.

Off to town and we took many photos of the local houses and we were watched by a silver headed fellow in his Aurion, in fact as it turns out he does it to anyone he doesn't know, apparently a one man neighbourhood watch group! So the local ladies in the coffee shop told me.

Down the road we headed and we found Nanami, a stub siding with a timber mill and five S wagons. The area was being used to store farm equipment and had not seen use as a mill for ages. The area was set into the side of a hill, as were other spots on this line.

Once we left Nanami we drove along looking for Trajere when we spotted an old mud brick Church in a paddock close to the road. I find these sort of buildings a real attraction, so out came the camera. It will definitely find its way onto the layout. The outside of the building walls were not completely worn away, as up under the eaves some of the walls were protected enough to keep their surface. I just really loved this spot, trying to imagine who had been here, how it effected the local community, Gods House. 
Oh yeah! Trajere as well, great silo complex. to be honest i'm not sure about all the silos, a heap of work to model, but what a presence on the layout.
Next on the list was Nyrang Creek a loop siding just down the road. It is being used currently by graincorp, and Z loved the idea of illegally trespassing, and with his Dad!

North Gooloogong was last on the list. The Station is about 4km out of town, located in the side of a hill between cow paddocks, quite literally! The area could not be seen from the closest road, in fact without the GPS we would have thought the access road was a dirt driveway. This was by far my favourite spot. Silo, two loading banks, gantry crane  (footings only) and Station (long gone). The whole of the complex was on a curve following the lay of the land. An interesting point if you haven't already noticed, all of the above mentioned silos had their corro roofs painted, just these the other side of Gooloogong and they are unpainted again. It does pose the question though, when were they painted? Did it happen when these stations were opened? More to find out I think.

It was a great day, and has really got the research juices flowing. In case someone reading this can help. Some questions to find out:
1. What was the track layout of Eugowra at opening? Did it have a grain shed at opening?
2. Who ran the timbermill at Nanami, and why are the wagons still there?
3. The Church at Namami, wow! Anyone got anything?
4. Track plans for any of these stations, when they opened, and as they were changed.
5. Any photos of this line?
6. Where and what to ask for when wanting information on trains that ran, what locos, what wagons?

Thanks for reading, what a hoot of a day, I did have the best of company though, Thanks Z, 
have a great week,

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's down to four...maybe five

A couple of weeks back Daz dropped in some ideas of what could be done in the space that I have out in the garage. The basic plan is for a two level layout with a peninsula ending in a helix which is about halfway along the track plan. It is a great use of space, enabling long stretches for the yards and some scenery between them. Daz, your a generous man of your time and ideas.

So armed with thew basic idea of what the layout could be and the space it creates I started looking at track plans and locations. The main stations start with Eugowra on the top deck along the back wall of the layout, then moving along the left hand side a scenic break before moving into either Trajere or Nanami, then down the helix then into North Gooloogong, then round to under the scenic break above on the left hand wall ending with Canowindra. This means that at each station there is not a yard above or below. The above sketch is mine, Daz has done a much better one.

There is one issue, that being if you follow your train around the layout when you start at Eugowra and head to North Gooloogong (on the lower level with Canowindra) you then have to head around to the other side of the peninsular to again pick up your train before you head into Canowindra. Any ideas of how else to manage this would be great. I'm off to the Toosdy Niters tomorrow night so I'll open up a discussion to see what they come up with.

I've also used the line drawings of three stations to convert them to the spaces I have working on the same ratios so that the the yards are proportioned the same. My first thoughts on the yards is to build them as opened, which basically means no silos and slightly simpler yard layouts, perfect for restricted space for layouts. This also sets the layout in the 1920-30's maybe.

So as an example Eugowra yard to HO scale would be 8872mm long. I have 4000mm for this yard. I simply divided one into the other giving me a reduction rate of 2.218. This then gives a total yard length of 4000mm, stock siding of 2318mm, loop siding of 2726mm, loco siding of 1243mm, and a goods siding of 1699mm long.  These sizes sound ok to me so I've gone on and done the same exercise for Canowindra (total yard length 3938mm), North Gooloogong (total yard length 3624mm),
 and Trajere ( total yard length 2087mm). I don't have a plan for Nanami just yet. These sized yards do fit in the spaces ok. I might be able to reduce the size of Trajere and North Goologong so that the other two main yards appear larger and the space between stations increased for scenic purposes.

I have to get back to the Historical society to get some more specific info on this part of the branch. Have a great week!

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 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 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.