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!


  1. James

    I have just had a look at a 1902 plan of the trackwork at Demondrille which is much simpler than the later version and also the satellite view in Google Maps.

    I am afraid I don't understand your track plan and there doesn't appear to be any available space for the wide open scenery of the area.

    Are you sure you haven't got a bit carried away.

    Sorry to put a dampener on it but it is your railway so you can just tell me to shut up ;-)

    Ray P

  2. Hi Ray,
    Thanks for your comments.

    It's normal for me to bite off more than I can chew, and I probably am being overly ambitious here.

    As I said in the post, I am concerned that it might be too busy. To explain the layout, the bottom section (in the drawing) is Demondrille North while the top section is Demondrille South. Demondrille South is where the elevated coal bunker is, which I have always wanted to model. The line disappears to a common staging yard common to the north and south ends of the line.

    The earlier diagram you found is indeed much simpler, but this is prior to duplication, before the coal bunker was constructed in 1922.

    Demondrille was the only location in NSW where all steam-hauled trains stopped for locomotive purposes only while on the train. This required a unique layout where up and down "goods lines", which effectively quadruplicated the main line, ran alongside the enormous coal bunker.

    This is the main focus of the layout, so I could just concentrate on this (which also has the least density of track). Demondrille has the added features of the branch to Cowra as well as two platforms and a number of sidings for shunting traffic on to and from the branch. Hence the temptation to "have it all"!

    But thanks, your comments are welcome and give me pause for thought. It may be moot as I probably wouldn't live long enough to build all those points and signals anyway!

    Happy New Year


  3. Hi James.
    Your Kingsvale project is coming along nicely. By the latest post I see you may have taken leave of your senses a bit by this huge undertaking.However we are all different and that's what makes this hobby great. I know you are somewhat younger than myself but bare in mind it has taken me 6 years in April to get as far as I have with Burrowa and I am retired so God speed with your endeavour.
    All the best for 2014.Peter

  4. Hi James
    Are you sure your steam engines are going to negotiate those sharp curves? What appears to looks really nice on your track planning software does not turn out to be really nice when you go and start laying track and running trains. Believe me, I have made the same thought process as you and it didnt turn out too good. Just my 2cents worth.