Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Notes on a layout - Winmar

I was searching through a bundle of papers in the study over the weekend and found my notebook about my Australian layout, Winmar. It was interesting reading to go back a few years and see how some of the ideas formed about the layout. Here are some tidbits from those notes:
  • the layout was named after former St Kilda AFL player, Nicky Winmar
  • the layout design was influenced by the prototype track configuration at Culcairn and Blayney, both towns in New South Wales, but on different lines.
  • I liked the Main South Line for the types of trains I could run (express passenger and varied freight). I also liked the added operational interest generated by using a fictitious pioneer branch (inspired by a Lloyd Holmes article on Culcairn in one of the Byways of Steam books), and just like the lines to Oaklands, Kywong, Westby, and Holbrook.
  • the layout baseboard had initially been built by my dad in the late 1970's using a 12 inch grid framed at the perimeter by aluminium lengths for rigidity. The baseboard is 16' x 8' with an operating well in the middle. I put a series of formers on the layout to raise the actual baseboard height above the grid so I could fit point motors and dip the scenery. The baseboard is now extremely heavy but after several moves, remains intact.
  • the 8' long traverser that acts as a fiddle yard first used drawer rollers. These were not strong enough so I decided to use heavier steel rollers used to hold shelves of computer servers. This has been much better, although I intend to put in another roller in the middle to prevent some slight sagging.
  • I had initially used a diamond crossing to get from the inner siding to a factory but was later informed that diamond crossings were very rare on the NSWR. I changed that to an 'S' bend from the inner siding to the factory/flour mill/biscuit factory (still undecided on that one) used 24" radius curved Shinohara track. This has since been replaced by 30" curved Shinohara track, requiring an insert in one corner of the operating well to hold the track and the to-be-constructed industry.
  • a mixture of Peco and Seep point motors were used. The Seep motors seem a more simple yet just as effective mode of turnout operation.
  • single track running is fine for home layouts
  • the junction behind the station to the left (but at the front of the viewing area) at Winmar offers potential for future extension and the Lake Hume branch is gradually finding some "prototype history" to explain its existence.
  • the Lake Hume branch could be used to bring coal to the power station and agricultural supplies to farmers, and ship out timber, livestock and grain. I made a subsequent note that perhaps a mineral sands industry (like Bemax) might be possible.
There were a few more bits and pieces of information in the notebook. However, much of what was important in the early planning and construction days were formed from the thinking recorded in the notebook and mentioned in point form here. Perhaps if I had started a blog back then, there would have been even more revealed and remembered.

Now, if I could find some of the digital photos that either Bob or I have taken of the layout to actually illustrate these notes I'd be very happy!

No comments:

Post a Comment