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!