Wet wintry weekends do have some advantages. It has been a miserable winter here and I have tried to take advantage of the ordinary weather by working on the layout. Since making the video tour of the layout in early June, my focus has been on building Coolamine.
Coolamine is were the narrow gauge meets the broad gauge and is the first thing you see of the layout when you enter the shed. It is also the largest yard on the railway so getting it built was important for a number of reasons. I would like to get some of Coolamine looking finished asap to give a good first impression as guests come into the shed. I also wanted to get the track laid so I can start running trains. Through experience I have found if I have trains running I am more motivated to work on the layout. On Sunday I finished laying the yard. There are a couple of sidings still to lay but they need some scenery work done first
I wanted the track to have a look common to many of the yards on the VR narrow gauge with the ties sunken into the ground . I had a chat to John at J&K hobbies who make Trackrite underlay. He custom milled some underlay to match the Micro Engineering On30 track I use and the 11 foot track spacing's the VR used. Thanks John you have saved me a lot of work and when I put my soil down the ties should just peak above ground level. I have tried to follow the track plan of the narrow gauge yard at Colac as close as I can. I am hoping that by being as prototypical as possible shunting the yard should be also prototypical and trouble free.
A feature of the yard will be the transfer shed and crane. When time allows I hope to add some broad gauge wagons to give comparison to the different in size. I had a week away with the family during school holidays and I managed to build a couple of Ian Storrie's beautiful NM cattle wagon kits. The layout currently swallows up rolling stock and I badly need to get some more kits together.
I still have lots to do like get the soil down, paint the track and install some lighting so I can get some decent photos! I have also been contemplating how I will control all the switches. I have decided to try a singlet servo built by Tam Valley Depot
and sold here in Australia by Model Railroad Craftsmen
. I have yet to install it but it looks like it could be a good option.