This post is quite timely as at present I am mid way through construction of the Captain's Flat ore loader which, as stated in a previous post was made redundant around 50 years ago and was demolished around 4 years ago. I had spent a great deal of time researching this fairly obscure and unique structure when one considers the many mainstream pieces of rail related infrastructure around the state. I have visited the actual site many times, scoured the internet, scanned most of my rail related historical books and also the (ever valuable) Bulletin CDs and have amassed a fair amount of material and photos to aid in my task.
It has always been my habit with anything I want to recreate in model form to stick to what I call the "Three Rs"...Research, Research, Research. For me the enjoyment of all of this is that apart from my rail related interest, there is the added bonus ( for me anyway) and that being industrial history. Of course it is a personal thing...but to me it is just as enjoyable to learn about the design, reasoning, location and use behind structures as it is to attempt to build the item of interest. It may well be that having a bit of background knowledge may make the modelling task easier...it certainly does for me. Indeed many model railway magazines and books have continually advocated to get out there and photograph what we see today as there is a fair chance it will not be there tomorrow...and as much as that seems quite sensible and fairly easy...it took me until a few years ago to heed the warnings and get of by rear end and do it!
Of course, like most things we do in this world...the little bloke called Murphy has a habit of creeping in and with the ore loader in mind...he certainly raised his head a little earlier tonight. I had just updated the Laser Rail Bits Facebook page with progress on construction and a reply came from a regular contact with a photo attached of the ore loader while in use. It is certainly one of the very few photos that I had seen of the loader being used to load rail wagons and indeed it also includes a partly obscured road vehicle dumping it's load...and absolute gold mine (so to speak) of detail. I was gobsmacked to learn that the website he referenced is one that I have visited a gazillion times for reference and I was ( still am ) at a loss as to how this photo could have eluded my prying eyes and mind for so long...Maybe I need to revisit the Three Rs and this time leave out the Murphy bit...
From a modelling perspective this photo has uncovered some previously unknown details and period changes that have taken place with the structure and it may be that it gives me cause to build another couple of versions which include these period details and ensuing changes.
For now though...I am having an absolute ball and can see myself with a few incarnations of the loader adorning the workshop... Or maybe I need to stop this addiction now and focus my attention on the layout as a whole? Yep like that is going to happen!!!