Sunday, 12 February 2012

The Next Phase

Now that things are settling down, I am starting to plan the next expansion of layout. The main motivation for this is to provide a destination for some of the wheat trains that pass through Philip’s Creek. With some 14 BWH/FWH, 3 WHX and 10 RU’s, there are enough wagons to form two block wheat trains of a reasonable length, at least for the early 1970s. My intention is that at least one of these block wheat trains should travel to a destination on the layout rather than pass through it as they do now.
My first challenge is to get my mind around how to present two separate elements, coal mining and wheat, that did not normally exist in close proximity to each other in the general area that I am modelling, somewhere on the Main North a bit beyond of Muswellbrook. From my limited research, I understand that the last coal mines are not too far north of Muswellbrook but wheat storage facilities do not occur until Willow Tree and beyond. That means there is a considerable distance between the two industries that must somehow be replicated in HO scale and unfortunately, the garage is not that big. As I see it, the only solution is to create a new scene, separated from the other part of the layout by a visual barrier.

The current staging area representing locations
 north of Philip's Creek that will be relocated

At this time, I am leaning towards leaving the barrier that now exists between the staging area and layout proper, relocate the staging area and construct the new scene adjoining the other modules. Conceptually, this is shown in the plan below. Potentially, I could also build the new scene to adjoin the existing staging area but with the space available, this means that I would need to create a branch line terminus and I don’t want to do that at this point in time.

I would like to get this section started at some time this year but there are a number of obstacles that will need to be cleared first as you can see from the photo along the proposed along the proposed alignment.  Unfortunately, there are other jobs, unrelated to the railway construction that will need to be completed to ensure that I don’t cop too much flak before I can contemplate the initial relocations.
So now, it’s just a matter of finding the time.
Meanwhile behind the pub...

"Please God, just one, pleeeease!"

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