View single post by Davoetype
 Posted: 24 Oct 2017 03:41
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Joined: 15 Jun 2016
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 147
Introduction-layout design principles
My layout is set in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales but a far more efficient Blue Mountains than the one we have to travel over on our Westerly journeys from Sydney. No such inefficiency as a Zig Zag railway was ever necessary as my Dargan is accessed by spiro tunnel from the heights. The line then runs through the rural valley of Hartley Grange with a small stop at Hartley Minor before another spiro tunnel leads out to the Western plains of NSW. Luckily it passes by the coal mining centre of Glen Davis and therefore avoided the construction of a branch line through rugged territory to service that location. Had it been constructed it would possibly have been called Dargan’s Deviation.
The recent completion of the standard gauge line from Broken Hill to Port Augusta in South Australia could well see an increase in traffic over the western line. The line is already busy with coal, wheat and mixed goods services as well as regular passenger operations. There is still a lot of steam to be seen but diesels are being introduced. A passenger service , reportedly to be named the Indian Pacific, will launch next year in 1972 and will operate all the way from Sydney to Perth, passing through Dargan on the way.
Background- me
Growing up 9 miles South of Melbourne, we used to live just 100 yards from the railway line serving the Mornington Peninsula. This line catered for both electric suburban trains to Frankston and rural trains to the Peninsula. I was always fascinated by the activity on this line, both stream and electric so naturally was a frequent lineside visitor. A nice time in history when children could wander about freely without fear of coming to grief. I know I was aged seven at that time because of the nine week train strike in the latter part of 1950. My dear father had to cycle the nine miles each way to the City during that period. Perhaps it was his perverse sense of humour that I was given a wind up metal train set for Christmas that year. That started the rot.
In the following years I discovered the new world of electric model railways and after long badgering of parents, a scholastic target was achieved which resulted in the arrival of a Triang train set of two diesels and three passenger carriages. These were added to progressively but always packed away in a suitcase designated for this purpose as there was no room for a permanent location. I blinked one day and found myself with one lovely wife, three lovely children and still no room for a model railway. Finally a career move to Adelaide and the acquisition of a 45 square piece of Adelaide sandstone allowed for the allocation of bedroom five to a study and the first layout. This was a simple 2400 x 1200 board as the objective was then and remained so for a few years, a place just to operate my trains. It was also the transition to Peco trackwork and Australian outline models via Lima. All to be interrupted by another career move, this time to Sydney and increased to four lovely children.
The Shed
Much discussion within the family over a number of years finally saw a home for the board. The former garage, now the Shed, was allocated for this purpose. It measures seven metres square and  contains bathroom and the proverbial kitchen sink. The layout (no longer the board) runs down the left side and was recently extended to form an “L” at the rear with just enough room for the E. To the right is all my wood turning equipment which is connected to an extraction system to cope with any dust. Lighting duct runs the full length of the layout. The curtain behind it covers storage for some of the rolling stock.

Initially DC it has been converted to NCE DCC using two remote control and one fixed units. There is a dedicated laptop running Decoder Pro. All locomotives have been equipped with sound decoders. The main bus is connected to all individual track and turnout segments to achieve consistently smooth operation. There are four ECB protected segments. All turnouts are operated from the central control panel. The turnout switch motors also operate the signalling system. All buildings have lighting. For the statistically minded, there are 74 metres of track, 33 turnouts, three double slips, two diamond crossings and one powered turntable. The most useful piece of rolling stock in the collection is the track cleaning car.
 The Layout-West
 Since we have moved to a layout rather than just the board, as has my interest expanded to structures and scenery so a number of structures have been included. While I try to be true to the location and era, if I see an item that I like, then in it goes. So you will see that the western end includes a cattle yard and a freight transit shed based on Werris Creek. Flour millers Mungo Scott from inner Sydney have also constructed some silos to house their reserve stock. It is also the general freight marshalling area for Hartley Grange. The signal box is based on Ultimo while the water tank is based on that still to be seen at Hornsby. I like to model my own trees so old electrical cable is never discarded. 

  The Layout-Centre West
The morning service to Bathurst with 3830 in charge is pausing at Hartley Grange for servicing after the climb up from Sydney, while 3508 and 3531 with a full complement of empty FWH wheat wagons in tow await 3830’s departure. Both up and down lines pass each other in this part of the layout so it can look quite busy at times. The small halt at Hartley Minor is seen in the background as are 4102 and 4107 with a load of S truck coalies. 4102 is looking quite smart  as it has been fitted with roof top radiators to solve cooling problems. That proved to be a fruitless exercise.

The Layout-Centre East
Point to point railmotor services are provided between Dargan, Hartley Grange, Hartley Minor and Glen Davis. The larger 621/721 twin car unit covers the peak period and has already returned to Dargan. Here single car 401 is ready to look after the quieter times. 6040 with a load of LCH coal hoppers is about to leave for Sydney’s White Bay power station.

The Layout-East
 The roundhouse is based on Valley Heights in the Blue Mountains but resized to suit available space. It presently houses some of the streamliners, these relatively new machines being the pride of the NSWGR. The passenger carriage workshop is a model of the one standing in the park east of the (now closed) Newcastle station. The walls had been removed for better public access and although I could get the measurements, could not identify the wall detail. One day we went for a walk up to Fort Scratchley which overlooks Newcastle Harbour. Lo and behold in the foyer was a photograph of the carriage workshop so I was able to complete the model with full authenticity.

The Layout-Glen Davis
 I just had to have Glen Davis as although it is now just a few overgrown remnanats of decaying ankle deep brickwork, It along with Newnes, Clarence and the branch line of Dargan’s deviation are a significant part of the history of the Blue Mountains. The structures are yet to be weathered and are of course much smaller than the originals. Here is shown 3130 on shunting duties while 6020 stands patiently awaiting the call to action.

The Layout-Dargan
The only thing that seems to be missing is Dargan but Dargan is a tale for another day. In the meantime there is also much static grass to be installed and I have also found Gormo’s video on small signs so the stations can now be named.
Happy Modelling

Too many toys but who cares?

My Dargan, a NSW HO layout based in the Blue Mountains