A new location …
I had always planned for the section from the bottom of the helix back to the storage yards to be hidden.
A couple of months ago, Andrew suggested I look at making it into a scenicked section, with the possibility of adding another crossing loop. I shied away from the idea at first, but just recently, he raised the subject again!
His idea is to be able to bring a Down train out of the storage yard and wait in a crossing loop scene for an Up train to arrive from Pangela via the helix. If the section is hidden, as was originally planned, a Down train leaving the yard heading to Pangela has a long trip before it enters into a scenicked area. The proposed new scene would at least give the operator something to look at whilst he waits for a train from Pangela.
After thinking about the whole idea, I began to like it more and more. Damn it Andrew – what have I told you about thinking about stuff!
The problem now was to come up with a location to model. As I really only had room to model another crossing loop, I only had about three locations in mind to choose from. I didn’t want to model something too far away from Pangela, but far enough to give the illusion of distance. Murrurundi was out as it was a major yard and depot. The next three locations down the line were Blandford, Murulla and Wingen.
A quick search on NSWrail.net found only modern photos of the now gone Blandford, zero photos of Murulla, and some quite good photos from the late 60’s and 70’s at Wingen.
I then spent some time redrawing the section from the helix to the storage yards to incorporate a crossing loop, and eventually came up with the design shown below. At this stage, it’s a first draft, and I’ll probably refine it over time.
The overall track geometry did not change much from the original plan. Standing room in the loop as shown in the drawing is about nine feet, but when built, I’m hoping to be able to extend this a bit more, up to probably around ten and a half feet, which is a fraction longer than Kankool. The same grade was kept at 1 in 55, albeit a bit steeper than the rest of the layout at 1 in 84, but this shouldn’t be a problem for trains, as the helix is at this grade anyway.
After some correspondence with a few people to obtain some more pictures of Wingen, it was decided this would be the location modelled for the new crossing loop.
Wingen was 28 kilometres (17.4 miles) from Pangela. As can be seen above, the original signalling diagram from 1948 showed a goods siding as well as the crossing loop. From the photos I have acquired, it appears the goods siding was still in use around 1980, but the goods shed was gone. The loading bank and stock races will probably be modelled in a run down form as well. It appears that the station building was there, but at this stage I am unsure what type it was.
The image below is a revised Google Earth plot of the layout route, now including Wingen.
The pink line shows what will be the ‘hidden’ section from Pangela’s Down Distant signal, down the helix to Wingen’s Up Distant signal. Wingen is shown in yellow.
I have been given permission from various people to use their photographs. Below is a small selection. Hover your mouse over them for a description. I will place larger versions on the Liverpool Range Scenes page.
I am pleased Andrew has convinced me to add this fourth location, as it should provide some interesting modelling, and will be different from the other three locations.