Based on the now, long gone, Branch Line from Campbelltown to Camden, off the Main Southern Line South of Sydney.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Fulfilling my Promise

Here are some photos of where I am up to at the moment.
The Dairy Farmers building still has to have the grassed area along side the concrete apron done, and some painting touch up, but I am holding off doing this until I can do the whole area.


 

 

Dairy Farmers
The Station Master's house just needs down pipes added and I can finish painting it. I have also acquired some strip timber to build the paling fence around the house. Fortunately I only have to build enough for one side and the back.
 

 
Station Master's House.

The factory area, well I'm not sure what was there, but as I acquired this building in my bulk buy,  I decided to use it to fill what would end up grass and bush. The fence posts I made from brass rod and I have some fine Bridal Tule for the chain wire.

"Frank Phartz" Small Goods factory.

 


Sunday, 24 September 2017

Carnival of Flowers

These last few weeks has seen little time in the train room as time waits for nobody.
The weekend after Melbourne, (Sunday), I accompanied a friend to view the Newcastle Train Show, as he has just had a Quadruple Bypass, and asked me to accompany him should he need some relief from driving. After the show we ventured to his friend, "Tim's", home to view his layout. The trains on Tim's layout have DCC and sound, that Tim has programmed himself and installed and it is the best I have ever heard, including the inertia take off and stopping. A train from full speed could take up to 5 to 7 meters before coming to a stop, unless you hit the emergency brake. The sound just matched the speed all the way, unbelievable. Each loco had it's individual sound.
Last Saturday week, my wife and I set off for Toowoomba Queensland to visit her Sister. We did the drive in one day.
On the Sunday, we visited the Darling Downs Model Railway Club in the Showgrounds and then to Toowoomba Railway Station for the arrival of the "Carnival of Flowers" Tour Train from Spring Bluff (Diesel hauled, Stainless Steel carriages - non air conditioned). This train ran from Toowoomba to Spring Bluff (on the side of the Range) and return twice daily for the period of the carnival. 8 days, 2 trips each day, 350 passengers each trip, and it was fully booked out for the whole period.
Following it's arrival, it was shunted out to a siding, and a Steam hauled from Brisbane arrived, some 20 minutes later. The Steamer did a return trip on the Saturday and Sunday, taking 5 hours each way. This was great to see and while the train stood at the platform, the Loco crew took children and smaller ones with their parents onto the footplate, something the children will probably never get to do again, in their lifetime.
We arrived back home yesterday, so now I hope to settle down this week and get some modelling up to date.
Cheers for now.


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Company Office now gone

While returning from the Melbourne Train Show, our over night stop was Picton.
Leaving Picton next morning, we travelled via Camden. Hoping to do some research at the Local Library, it was closed, and seeing it was only open Thursday to Saturday, and this was Monday, we thought the wait was a bit long. A drive around Camden, I noticed that the "L" carriage which was the office for a Farm Machinery Company, has been removed, and machinery stood in it's place.





"L" Car (now gone) standing at the original Camden Platform.
I guess the platform could be the next thing to be removed.
On another note, the Melbourne Train Show was very enjoyable, quite large in size, and most of all, the layouts were different from what we usually see. I managed to buy some things I needed. I purchased an "R" car from the Casula Stand, to add to my rolling stock. I also bought a mini drill stand to take my dremel tool. "It will certainly put a hole in things". At the show, I had a close up view of the Brake Vans which Bob had assembled by a guy in Melbourne for SCR. They were running on a "Puffing Billy Layout" and were very nicely built. I'm sure Bob will be very happy with them. Also got to check out "Austrains" 30 Class Tank Locomotives. John had 3 on display, he told me they will come with a spare set of bogies with smaller wheels for layouts with tight curves (18") and all will have detachable headlights. So the choice is up to the individual. 
The Station Masters House for Camden is well under way, and I will post a picture in my next blog. Also, the vents have arrived, and I can now finish the "Dairy Farmers" building as well.
Till next time, Cheers.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Filling in Time.

While I am waiting for vents, windows and doors to fill my requirements, I started on the Station Master's House for Camden. This soon came to holt for the same reason the milk depot halted, waiting for parts. I was not sure of the actual location of the house, but it appears to have been behind the Goods Shed and fronting Argyle Street. It has been demolished to make way for the MacDonald's car park.  
Last week I was offered a challenge to repaint a "Lima 3830" from Green and Black to all black. A search of my photo collection came up with 3830 in all black and no red lining on the Tamworth Mail Train. So, out with the emery and removed the detail from the rear of the tender, fitted larger wheels to the front pony truck and sprayed the loco and tender black, but left the cab roof silver. A permanent wire was also connected from the tender to the loco's motor pickup wire instead of relying on the draw bar connection and spring wire. Another thing I found, was that this loco has all 3 driving axles geared, where most only drive on the rear axle.
Today I made the trip to Port Macquarie and acquired a sample pot (inspired by SCR) of a brick colour paint for my buildings. I didn't realise until I started looking at buildings around, and then a colour chart, "just what colour is a brick". There are just so many different colours, I suppose it a matter of where they were made, and what colour was the material used to make them. My other purchase will be a colour for concrete, now there's another challenge !!

The repainted 38 Class.




Sorry, but I'm not taking orders for this type of work in the future.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Dairy Farmers.

This is a project I have been working on, and has taken me some two (2) months to get to this stage of construction. It will rest now until I receive some more roof vents from the manufacture. When they arrive, (I believe in two (2) weeks), I can then go ahead and finish painting the roof and trimmings and add some detail. It was a bit difficult to construct as this building in reality is on a down hill slope, and I have made it on the flat. Some things just didn't add up, and it was out of square. I thought at one stage the only way to square it, was to put it on the floor and stomp on it. That would square it !! But I persevered with it, and got it to where it is. The colour green, was the colour in the late 50's early 60's.


My version of Dairy Farmers.

Where the side loading dock is, next to the concrete apron, I will grass it and plant a tree or two. That will give Dairy Farmers somewhere to dispose of their spilt milk !!


Dairy Farmers Camden, in Flood


It is hard to believe that the waters could reach this high in flood time.

Been looking at other parts of the layout, and sizing up for some scenery reshaping, but that's another time.



Saturday, 15 July 2017

To build what first.

One of my most difficult, or not so difficult, things I will have to do on this layout, is to build without plans and dimensions, therefore I am building it based on, and not modelled on the line. I decided to tackle the Camden Goods Shed first, being a straight forward building. I thought it would not be to bad from my way of thinking.
It had an awning over the track, and the first thing I had to do was to take a measurement for the rolling stock clearance, both height and width, so they would fit under the awning. This then allowed me to get a height and width for the Goods Shed building. Similar to the length of the shed. A "End Platform Car" (FO, CCA) was close to the same length. All these measurements had to appear in proportion to each other as per the photos, and objects around it. I also understand that this shed was not built to a G1, G2 or any other type shed, we could assume it was a "one off" dimension wise. I only say this looking at it's surroundings.
 
Camden Goods Shed.
 
 
So, with these factors in mind, I will build similar to original as possible.
Something I didn't mention before, is that I have kept all of Camden and Campbelltown on a module of their own. This way, if the modules are separated, there will be only one track to reconnect. The Dairy at Camden is on the adjoining module to Camden, and therefore will require a scenery build up over the module join, to give access from the street for the man with the horse and cart to get your moo juice (just going back 60 years, dreaming of course). The Dairy I will cover in a future Blog.
Cheers.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

What if there was no structures.

I often thought of a layout with just grassed fields and bare of buildings. I can only remember seeing one layout in this matter, and that was "Arid Australia" some time ago. For memory, it came from Western Australia just for an exhibition.
When I drive along some of our highways, I sometimes see a railway line following the road, or the other way round, and think, maybe this could be for my next layout !!
But it never eventuates. We always include something into our layouts in the form of a residential or industrial area of some kind, and claim the line was there to serve that purpose. Even without any structures, the line is there so that freight can be transferred from one State or Town, to another, economically. When I was back in the working class, ships berthed in Sydney and their Interstate cargo was transferred by rail, this was to save the Shipping Company berthing fees and time spent sailing between Ports. In those days it was cheaper to transfer the freight this way, and probably still is today.
 
This layout being based on the "Camden Line", has a bit of both. Between Campbelltown and Narellan there were three small station halts, being, Maryfields, Kenny Hill and Curran's Hill and between Narellan and Camden three more being, Graham's Hill, Kirkham and Elderslie, which is the one I have included on this layout. This covered the passenger services, and the Milk and Coal being the freight.  
 
 
 
Elderslie Station.
So, with all that jargon over, I  guess my attention should now revert to doing some "scenery and structures".
Cheers.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Modules complete.

With the modules completed and setup, I have now done the track laying for the whole of the Branch Line.
 
Module setup.
As I mentioned previously, there are many changes I have had to except, as  well as  trying to keep it a representation of the Line.
 
Campbelltown on the left, Camden on the right.
Narellan is across the back wall.
The cutout further down on the right is the Napean River.
Before installing the points I have removed the jumper connection under the point and inserted a slide switch which collects the power from the main rail and delivers it to the frog, which in turn feeds back to the switch rail. This now makes both switch rails alive instead of relying on the switch rail contact to the stock rail. 
 
Bead attached to the push pull brass wire
 from the outside edge of the module

Slide switch under the layout for the point operation.
A soft brass wire is used in styrene tube to operate the point switch rail. 
Operating the points manually, allows me to follow the train around the layout and set the points as I go. Camden and Narellan only had ground frames, and Campbelltown was the only station with a signal box.
As a retired "Railway Signalman", it gives me some "realism" to the operation of the layout, as it was in those days. I guess I can play the part of Engine Driver, Guard and Station Master, all in one operation. Yes it pays to be multi skilled in this hobby.
 
Cheers.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Plans into reality.

Having concluded as to what I wanted on this layout, I set about purchasing the timber, and brackets required to support the five modules I reckon would suffice.
My main feature is "Camden to Narellan Level Crossing" (the Old Hume Highway), then "Bow Bowing Creek to Campbelltown". 
The module construction consists of 75mm x 25mm maple frames and 5/16" Ply on top. I said I would not use ply again, as it give off a drumming sound, but the weight factor came into it, and so I decided to go with the noise.  Another factor is, I need a lot of flat surface for scenery, and it would not lend itself to open frame. I will be the only one who will have to put up with the noise anyway. I may be able to kill some of the drumming sound by gluing 50mm x 20mm timber cross braces or polystyrene under the ply where possible.
All things considered, it helps you change your way of thinking.

The wall brackets and module timbers.
 
The fixing of the brackets to the wall was no problem, as this purposely designed room is all steel frame, and hexagon head metal self tappers, are the "ants pants".
 

Train Room.
The roller door was replaced with a 1.8 meter glass sliding door
during the manufacture of the framework by the supplier.
 
 Cheers for now.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Planning my thoughts.

Having given some thought now, to what I want to include, which for me were the important features on the line, omitting some of the smaller station stops, I set about planning what space I would need, and if it doesn't fit, how to make it fit.
Camden being a rural town, known for it's cattle (why the milk depot) and John Macarthur, with his sheep and wool, Burragorang Valley for it's coal, I needed to consider the sidings required on the layout, not that there were many on this line.
The line past the Dairy Farmers Depot, up into Camden station was a 80° to 90° turn. This meant turning the Camden module around and having it across the entrance to my train room. This immediately became a "no no" for me because I would have to crawl under, or climb over the module.

Entering the train room, Camden will be on the right hand side wall, together with the Milk Depot, the Nepean River Bridge and Elderslie. Campbelltown on the left hand side wall, and Narellan Station and the Coal Loader would be across the back wall, and with a total width of 12'0" and having 27" curves at each end, will leave just enough in the middle for Narellan yard. It would finish up just about right. All this would give me about 45' to 50' of run, end to end.

Elderslie, was on a right hand curve travelling to Camden in reality. I will have it on a left hand curve. My reason for this is again, "space", coming out of Narellan I have a right curve into a "S" bend. To put Elderslie on the right hand bend, puts it at the end of Narellan Yard, or on the Nepean River Bridge.
 
To see how all this would fit, I laid the whole layout out to full scale, on butchers paper, placed it on the floor in the train room and sized my modules from there. I did my best to keep points away from module joins, and where the modules join, keep the track straight and use rail joiners, as I did with "Kamilaroi". Also owing to a physical condition I have, it means I have to keep it narrow, because I can't stretch to reach the back of the module. 
Another thought I had, is how to keep the modules supported, so that there is nothing on the floor in the way of legs that I can accidently kick my toes on while working or operating the layout. This thought took me to Bunnings where I found just the right brackets for the job. They were not cheap, but if you want them, then you have to pay the price.

My office work bench.
Cheers for now.
 
 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The start of a new Layout

This will be my third layout I have built since moving into this area fifteen years ago. My first layout was "Yass" and the "YassTown Tramway". After that layout I built "Kamilaroi" which was "Moree to Boggabri". It was sold when all the point switch blades became glued into a set position. I then decides to have a lay period of doing nothing, but due to uncontrolled boredom, I have now started on Camden.
 
Camden has my interest for several reasons, one, I have an interest in disused Railway Lines, and the second, I only need one or two trains to operate on this layout.
The layouts of Kamilaroi was, and Camden  is, made up of modules and reduced in size, so that there will be no problems removing and transporting them, should the occasion arise.
Camden will be made up of five modules, and the rails cut at the end of each module, and reconnected with a rail joiner, so that there will be no cutting when the modules are separated. The electrical will have two wires running the length of the layout with droppers to each section or module. The points will be operated manually via a pushrod from the outside edge of the module, and slide switches to control the polarity to the frog.
The layout will use Peco Code 75 Rail and Peco Electrofrog Points.
The layout will be DC operated with a hand held walk around transistorised controller, and this layout will also operate DCC by changing to a MRC Black Box controller.

There is very little information available on the Camden Line, so most of it will be from my pre, teenage memories. A map of the line is shown below.
I will model, hopefully, the whole of Camden Station and Yard, Elderslie Platform, Narellan Station and Coal Loader, and Campbelltown Yard and Branch Platform, omitting the Main Southern Line for obvious reasons.
  
Map courtesy "Byways of Steam"