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.




  1. Hi Andrew, Let me be the first to comment on your new venture! It sounds like a great concept already. Good luck with it. I will be, as always, eager to read of your progress.

  2. Hey Andrew,
    I love your enthusiasm. Look forward to seeing it progress. Must talk about Merriwa Silos again before Ebay get it.


  3. Andrew, it was Rydalmere station pre or post electrifcation, Ermington was where you went to school if I recall correctly, Regards Tom

  4. Andrew, great to see what you're up to. I'm keen to see how the tackle the Goods Shed, I'm in the middle of one myself, but this is NOT about me! New Blog, New layout, exciting stuff. Keep Charging!

  5. Thanks for the comments guys,
    Don't worry Ian it has your name on it.
    Yep you're right Tom. Used to play footy against Ermington/Rydalmere and it still confuses me :-)
    I have been watching your G1b Geoff, and if it is as good as your station building you can make one for me too! :D

  6. I should have added, the way your going you would build Rydalmere before I ever will specially at the moment, it would have been no drama if you picked, looking forward to progress with this new endeavor nevertheless, regards Tom

  7. Andrew,
    an idea for your lattice post - Kerian Ryan has done etches and will be releasing the kit soon.
    good to see that you are also considering the use of ground frames in the layout

    looking forward to reading of your progress with this new venture.

  8. Hi Andrew,
    Are you building this one to P:87 as well? Your statement about steam is equivocal.

  9. Hi Rene'
    I would love nothing more than to do it in P87 but you know the story, steam drivers and spoked wheels are the issue. I have decided not to focus on it at this point but hopefully we can have some solutions in the near future. I am watching the 3D printing with interest and hopefully this can all come together soon.