Saturday, 22 March 2014

Tis The Season...


Well with Autumn now upon us and seeing the workbench requirements are easing, it is time to hit the layout with a vengeance.  I am not sure whether everyone looks forward to the cooler months...but I love the winters in the tablelands.
The often heard saying down this way is that March "hits with a bang and ends in a whimper"... while this is largely true and we tend to experience regular thunderstorms and sometimes unseasonably warm weather at the start of months end the cooler weather is upon us and by Anzac Day in April... the sub zero nights are with us.

With the layout room tending to maintain a fairly stable year round temperature, there is nothing better than locking one's self away from the world on a cold and rainy day with just the layout,  radio in the background and copious cups of tea for company.

My task this winter will be to finalise scenery on the Fish River side of the layout and to make a start on the branch line section and scenery... which is adjacent to the main layout room and separated by a dividing wall that also doubles as scenery break... The Fish River station and area basically takes in half of the main layout room and is 9 metres long x 900mm wide.

With the actual Fish River valley  area being finished some time ago it is now time to work in both directions from this point.  In the up direction this will require both the mainline and branch line tunnel mouths to be complete and scenery by way of two separate cuttings from the river to the respective tunnels. These tunnels take the lines out of the main layout room and with respect to the branchline...through a scenery break to the branchline terminus area.  In the down direction the scenery will be taken through the main station ( Fish River ) and yard to a point where the mainline disappears into another tunnel and through to the other side of the layout room.  As I have stated in previous posts, most structures required for these sections have been built and detailed "off layout" and will be placed at the appropriate times.  As the work continues I will feature the main industries and lineside infrastructures as they are positioned.

And so over the last couple of days I have been preparing the tunnel mouths and internals, finalising ballast and touch ups where required and while waiting for all of this to dry...I have also commenced static grass application and other associated works in the down direction towards the station yard.  Next weekend I will begin to form the scenery and cuttings required to "climb" the scenery from the river valley to the tunnel portals.

As much as the visible changes are not that obvious yet, I took a couple of shots this afternoon and also covered some train movements as well...

Short Freight with 4425 in charge ambling back to town along the branch

Afternoon pass returning off the branch as the driver keeps an eagle eye for favourable signals

Branch and main line crossing the river with the tunnel portals leading "off scene" in the up direction
The mainline was originally double track...but after rationalisation... the "up main" has been truncated and the "down main" is now bi-directional
(If ever I decide to "reopen" the up main and reinstate a double track main line ...the option is always there...) 

DON Smallgoods began life as a diorama well before the layout was commenced and has now been recycled as the first industry along the branch...this view looking back through the tunnel to the main layout room and Fish River station in the distance.

Boiler House adjoining the main DON Smallgoods building

Back in Fish River Yard as 4910 and train have arrived off the mainline looking in the "down direction"

Another view of 4910 awaiting entry to Fish River yard...


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