Kingsvale, NSW 1963

Kingsvale, NSW 1963
A view of Kingsvale station, looking north towards Cowra c1963. Courtesy Ken Ames, "From Grease to Gold Braid".

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Demondrille layout planning

I’ve almost finished a first draft of the track layout for Demondrille. The good news is that it seems to fit in the space I have, despite the fact that I have to compromise on the minimum curve radius. If I was running a point to point this wouldn’t be necessary, but to fit the whole thing in, I’d have to create two point-to-point layouts. I don’t think this would work for me operationally, so to accommodate a loop arrangement, I need curve radii down to about 25 inches. This allows me to model the prototype gradients and to have a staging yard on a lower level.

Overall, I’m stoked with the layout. I am able to reproduce every line, loop and turnout that existed circa 1955. It will be great to operate (I will need help, guys!).

I only have two concerns:

• It really will be train room; there won’t be much room for the things currently in there – my modelling bench, paint booth, tool box etc. Is this really a problem? I’ll just have to find clever solutions to work around the layout. Access into the room and to the other spaces (under the house for example) will also need to be modified.

• I like the look of the railway in the landscape. In this layout, there is a lot of track; it might look too busy and lose the special appeal Demondrille had of an elaborate steam-era facility in the middle of nowhere. This is something I will have to watch out for.

Why not choose somewhere different then?

Well, I have a passion for this place; I’m not sure anywhere else (or anywhere simpler to model, anyway; all the other places I like would be even more complicated) would sustain my interest to see it through. I wanted to find out about it and model it in its entirety from the first time I stumbled across the place. Railway modelling love at first sight, perhaps!

Anyway, it's a hobby; at the end of the day there's no wrong answer if I'm having fun.

I was there again yesterday; first time in a while that I ventured down to Demondrille south. To my surprise, the vehicular track is in pretty good shape and goes as far as the distant signal beyond Demondrille South. It must have been renewed and used a fair bit during the concrete resleepering and resignalling work.

In this picture, the road is on what were the transfer sidings, with the down goods dive on the left of frame, with the main lines beyond that. Further on, the “road” goes right along what was the Up Goods line, which seems a bit insulting.

Here are a couple of other photos where the southern junctions used to be; not much evidence left now.

This one is looking in the down direction from the approximate location of South Box.

This one is at the approximate location of the southern junction (see the picture on the cover of Trackside 3:

I’m very lucky that I photographed the remains of the facility while much of it was in place; now there is very little left, and what is left is overgrown and/or inaccessible. Those hundreds of photographs, mostly taken in the early 90s, are really going to come in handy!

Certainly going to be a fun ride building this one!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Layout planning with 3rdPlanIt

With a few days off over Christmas, I've been learning 3rdPlanIt to lay-out the plan for the train room. Although I haven't mastered it yet, it seems to be easier to use than Templot, which I tried previously, and more capable, being able to represent terrain and even benchwork.
Some time ago, I bought a power hack-saw, but it's been in the box since then. Recently I got around to assembling it and cutting up some aluminium angle for the next modules. I can fit about 6 1.8m long modules in the room in a rectangular shape. Because Demondrille yard was on a grade of 1 in 75, i can make use of the grade to include a fiddle yard under the higher Sydney-end.

Merry Christmas!

Dear reader
I hope that you have a peaceful and happy Christmas and a productive, modelling-filled 2014. I also hope that Santa brings you a few goodies for the layout!

Saturday, 5 October 2013

A great day...

Hi again,

Had a great day today, combining some family time with a visit to the Sydney Model Railway Exhibition. This exhibition really seems to get bigger every year, and it is not possible to see everything thorougly, particularly with two children in tow. So I focused on the important retail stands. I didn't spend too long at any of the exhibits, but the Wallerawang and Binalong layouts looked good, as well as the Lego "outback Australia" layout - very clever and creative and popular with the kids.

The crowd grew quickly after 10am and many of the usual suspects were spotted. Exhibitions (and most railway enthusiast happenings) do sometimes feel like some sort of live "Embarassing Bodies" event with the higher than average concentration of ageing men in anoraks and desert boots who look and smell like they could do with a good wash. But it did strike me that, for the time I have been in this hobby and the size of the crowd there, how relatively few I know well.

The rtr models are generally getting better and better. I was persuaded by Oscar Deluca to buy some SDS BCW wagons, which I had previously felt were a bit outside my era. But he was right - they are probably the most accurate and detailed NSW prototype ready to run models we have had to date. Anyway, I want to run a 48 class eventually so a BCW or three won't be out of place.

With the glut of rtr models, it's hardly worth building kits anymore, but rather than regret this, I now feel that I can concentrate on being the Traffic and Way and Works Branches, rather than spend my modelling time being a rolling stock supplier. For the time poor, this is not such a bad thing.

I also picked up some SDS Tulloch 10,000 gal tank cars, some Austrain 1915 CVs and a twin pack of Austrains FOs. Even these are very impressive, ready fitted with internal carriage lighting. I had intended to pick up some of the Trainorama MRCs, but the "pinstriped" sides, representing the tongue-and-groove timber cladding, is overdone. A bit disappointing; it's probably otherwise a fine model.

For a bit of colour, here is a shot from the Wombat Road bridge at Demondrille, taken last week.
Happy modelling!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Still here...

Mainly because of a new job and some extra business travel, I didn't get much time to model in the past year or so, much less to blog about it.  But I've come out the other side and have started working on Kingsvale again, keen to get it finished so that I can start on my life's work - Demondrille!

Last week I spent a few days following the Main South to Junee, Wagga Wagga, Culcairn, following the branch to Corowa and down to Seymour to visit the Heritage Centre there.  Came back through Albury, Rand, Henty, Cootamundra and home.  Found a few trains to chase and the weather was great.  Despite the ever-dwindling steam-era infrastructure, I had lots of fun and took lots of photos.

My next step with Kingsvale is the point rodding.  I have started on this, but it's more complicated than first thought.  But I have it figured out now and will post some photos soon.

Looking forward to Liverpool tomorrow, surely the modelling highlight of the year!