Monday, January 23, 2012

Frame Begins…

The frame is now coming along but still needs a few adjustments and strengthening. I wouldn’t make a welders bum but it seems to be holding together OK. I will add some stiffeners  just to be safe. Overall it isn’t to heavy but I am not to worried about weight this time as it wont be moved very often. There is only three modules all much larger than Bowen Creeks ever were so they will get heavy. The steel is 25mm SHS and was really cheap at $15 for an 8 meter length.


Bit difficult to see but I think you will get the jist of it.



Corner module


Threaded rod is used to connect the ceiling to the base rather than welding.

Next the frame will need tidying up and a coat of black paint but will probably have to wait until the first weekend in Feb.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Discovered Photo’s…


While I am busy playing with Ideas I think it is worth keeping a history going. I have been frantically google-ing away for photo’s and tid bits. Here is what I have found;

kjongstationKurrajong Station


Mixed Freight


Up the grade toward Kurrajong Yard. Note the inside guide rail, perhaps someone can enlighten me as to its purpose and how it works as I have seen this on corners and grades before.


Known as “The Pansy” seen here crossing the Hawkesbury River. I have no idea how this train came about this name

kurrajongstation2 .

Again in Kurrajong yard. I assume this is a CCA and an FO in Tuscan and Russet Livery.


Road overbridge with the Hawkesbury River Crossing in the background. I may try to use this on the entrance to the layout but it is to early to be guaranteed.

So these photo’s give some ideas to reflect on and use to my advantage. As I have said before I am going to use some modellers licence for the area but overall I think if I can capture the atmosphere of the railway I will be well pleased. As I find little bits I will continue to add them to the blog as I am intrigued by the venture.


P.S, Photo’s by permission from Alan Aldrich,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why Kurrajong?


I want to do a small branch line terminus but nothing too large. I was planning to do Merriwa at home but I have since gone off the idea because of wheel profiles. After all I would still like to continue with Proto 87 standards but steam era in this form is still a challenge. I don’t have the skills at this point to turn wheels and probably never will, but I would like to do a steam era layout none the less.  I went to school not far from the Carlingford branch, and after discussions with Tom Rogers, started thinking about Ermington but really its Tom’s project and I didn’t want to hijack it. We also started discussing Rogans Hill branch and I became interested in this.

So my early plan was to build Dural, where the line was to extend to. But because of the type of line Rogans Hill was, it would be unlikely that any other class of motive power would be used, other than tank engines, and scenically it isn’t that interesting so I was becoming dissatisfied with the branch. Then I looked at Kurrajong and with a little modelling licence quickly thought this is what I am looking for. Nice and hilly with lots of trees. This allows for a more rural branch feel in a very green mountainous atmosphere. I want to capture that Puffing Billy type theme which is not hard to get inspired by. So with that said, lets now start a modelling proposal.

In the new house I have allowed for a large dining room which will give me a wall space of 3900mm x 3600mm along two walls. So I can build a point to point layout on a right angle. I plan to build a storage yard at one end using cassettes of approximately 60 scale feet; this will save on handling stock. I have some kits in the cupboard that I would like to incorporate into the layout so I don’t have to sell them on eBay. Once we leave the storage yard I plan to have a large timber bridge, perhaps a Half Howe Truss, swing around a large curve and into Kurrajong. I plan on having Main, loop and goods siding. I will also add a turntable for “operational interest” which would never have happened but that’s what modelling licence is for. The track plan is not set in stone at this stage but is a good starting point.


I will build a modular steel frame, so if I choose, I can exhibit it. I will do a solid back scene this time as pulling  canvas around a corner has hair on it. I will build splines for this layout as I believe it to be far superior to the foam we used on Bowen Creek. Ian’s experiments have proven that. I am thinking of doing the ceiling with prismatic diffusers and mounting dimmable LED’s for the lighting but will need to do some more investigations on this. Layout height to be around the 1250mm to track level as clearance will be required for shunting and should still be at a comfortable viewing height.

Train lengths will be restricted to 600mm and speeds will not exceed 20MPH as per the prototype. At this stage I plan on three forms of power. The 20 class as this is what actually ran on the prototype. A 12 class and a CPH because they would be really nice to have. Rolling stock to be mostly four wheelers and maybe one of Mikes doggies just because I can. I will be  using hook and chain (3 link couplers) where appropriate. Sergent’s couplers to be used also. Era to be based c1940’s.

Control by DCC and I am quite interested in the Ring Engineering concept, but I will still need some time to think on this. Points and signal to be operated by mechanical levers (ground frames) and turntable to be by some mechanical operation.

Kurrajong used a Pc3 station building so I will continue with this, but I will change the goods shed to a G1b. I was going to use one of my 5 ton gantry crane kits but Tom has me considering the crane at Yeoval as it’s not as obtrusive.  A lattice signal will be the go and Ian has some ideas for this. The rest of the structures to be fairly typical of a terminus.

So I think we have something to start with here and I will try to blog things as I go without getting off topic.

Wish me luck and I hope you can enjoy the developing layout with me.



Thursday, January 12, 2012



First a bit of history, taken from Wikipedia.

The Kurrajong railway line was a railway line in the distant rural western suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was an extension of the branch off the Main Western line from Blacktown to Richmond and was operated by the New South Wales Government Railways.

The construction of the railway between Richmond and Kurrajong did not receive Parliamentary authorisation until 1919, by which time roads were being improved to a standard that did not warrant a railway to bring the produce of the area west of the Hawkesbury River to the Sydney market. From its opening in 1926 until its closure in 1952, it remained a minor branch line.

The branch began in the back platform at Richmond and continued across East Market Street on a level crossing which was protected by a station employee with a red flag or red light. It then passed around Richmond Oval, continuing in a north west direction along March Street at the far end of which it left the town centre and entered its own right of way. This dropped through a cutting towards the river on a 1 in 50 grade before making its way across the alluvial soil of the level floodplain. Trains were running to this point by April, 1925.

Gravel trains ran from the Nepean Sand and Gravel Siding located just before the line crossed the Old Kurrajong Road. This material was being used in the construction of Sydney Harbour Bridge.

A very short passenger platform was located on the eastern bank of the river. This opened in 1928 with the misnomer of Nepean Bridge. It was renamed Phillip in 1934. This location was a favourite swimming and picnic spot.

The bridge over the Hawkesbury River for the railway was erected on concrete piers which were an extension of those supporting the adjacent road bridge. Upon leaving the river, the line ascended on a 1 in 36 grade through the western river bank and reached Bells Line of Road which it crossed at a 45° angle and entered North Richmond station. This station had a 200 feet (61 m) long platform with shelter, a goods siding.

Upon leaving the station, the railway continued in a straight alignment, largely through the property of farmers. Being classed as a 'pioneer line', the route was unfenced, the rails second-hand and laid on wooden sleepers with ash ballast. Stopping locations were established between North Richmond and Kurrajong at locations which, in 1928, were named Red Cutting, Kemsleys, Thompsons Ridge, Nurri and Duffys. The line through these locations passed orchards and small farms as it slowly climbed into what is the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Embankments and cuttings were now a feature of the line as it headed towards its terminus. Kurrajong station was located on a site carved from the side of the ridge on which the village is situated. A concrete slab station building stood on the platform. There was a run-round loop and looped goods siding which served a goods shed and hand crane.

The speed limit for passenger and mixed was just 20 mph (32 km/h) and safeworking was by means of Ordinary Train Staff.

Very little freight was handled on the line beyond Hawkesbury River. It was far more convenient for orchardists to use road freight to the Sydney markets as this gave the opportunity for back loading of fertiliser and other farm requisites.

Whilst the line was initially considered a country branch line, from 10 October 1941 it was brought into the Sydney Metropolitan fare scales. This permitted reduced off-peak returns and child weekend excursions.

The closing date was not one with the usual advanced notice. Heavy rain on the weekend of 12 and 13 June 1952, caused the Hawkesbury River to flood and, as was usual with such occurrences, the railway service was suspended. More flooding followed in the following weeks and a bus had been substituted on the Kurrajong side of the river with a floodboat ferrying passengers across the flooded stream. A cutting near the terminus had collapsed and, despite constant efforts, would not stabilise until prolonged dry weather returned.

Consequently, it was announced that in view of the damage to the line and the fact that the line was never a commercial success, the line would not reopen. The usual round of Protest Meetings occurred, but finally, on 17 September 1952, the newly appointed Commissioner for Railways, Reg Winsor, made the official notification. The total annual income of the line was less than the cost of repairs.

In the next post lets take this history and turn it into a model proposal.

Cheers for now,