Layout Plan - "The Great Southern Railway"

 
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Hey John - if I recall correctly, I see a photo of you operating your layout and you being seated?
"Shazam75"

I guess you mean this old photo:

I am sitting (perhaps half-sitting) on a high stool; perfectly reasonable when the job is "station master" at Anunaka. Although there are a couple of stools, the road crews don't bother sitting, as they are always walking along with their train. Most of the sitting down is done between shifts, when my pile of unread magazines and books is given a good going over...

Getting back to layout height, I would prefer the trains to be perhaps six inches higher, to lessen the "helicopter" viewpoint.  The under-construction Stannary Hills layout will be higher for that reason.

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  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
Ok got a reply from my friend with layout.  His minimum height is 47in (1.2metres) with maximum height being 53in (1.35m).  This is what I will likely aim for with my layout.  You get option of looking at the scenery from birdseye veiw, however dont have far to lean if you want to get down where the action is.!!!
  GreatSouthern Junior Train Controller

A couple of items to consider, to add a little interest, are the road over rail bridge on Bena bank that carries the Bena-Kongwak Rd over the line about 1Km short of Bena, and one of those long, low trestle bridges used as flood openings near Koo-Wee-Rup.
The road bridge is quite tall and spans a deep cutting, providing a useful scenic break on the aproach to Korumburra.  The bridge still stands and is used by road traffic, but it was recently strengthened with concrete footings and rail reinforcement for the timber piers.  The hill on which it's located might also provide a useful scenic break to the Wonnie' branch as it heads to Kilcunda, vaguely like the hills behind the line as it climbs out of the Bass valley towards Anderson.  Interestingly enough the district immediately south of Bena is known as Kilcunda Road, even though it's about 20Km from Killie!
There were a number of 11' opening trestles near Koo-Wee and they feature in the Train Hobby book of Lindsay Crow photos from the Gippsland region.  At some stage they were replaced by concrete construction, so I guess it depends what period you're modelling.
The plan looks terrific and I'm sure it will provide many pleasant hours for operation.
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
A couple of items to consider, to add a little interest, are the road over rail bridge on Bena bank that carries the Bena-Kongwak Rd over the line about 1Km short of Bena
"GreatSouthern"

I havent thought of that!!  I might try and inlude that.  I was down there for the heritage weekend and took a great video from there.

and one of those long, low trestle bridges used as flood openings near Koo-Wee-Rup.

This bridge was in my original plan but I thought id go for the Lang Lang river bridge instead.  As mentioned earlier I now have 3 rail trestles, "high trestle (kilcunda), medium trestle (langlang) and a long low trestle (agnes).  Any sometimes less is more.......especially when scratchbuilding the trestles!!!!   Shocked

There were a number of 11' opening trestles near Koo-Wee and they feature in the Train Hobby book of Lindsay Crow photos from the Gippsland region.  At some stage they were replaced by concrete construction, so I guess it depends what period you're modelling.

I have this book.  It has provided me with much inspiration for the layout.  I hope to model the stations when they were at theyre peak, up to late 50s-60s.  There is still a long trestle remaining on the Down side of KooWeeRup
  GreatSouthern Junior Train Controller

I know what you mean about more being less, but all the trestles that you've planned are 15' or 20' openings with beams and transverse decks.  The flood opening bridges near Koo-Wee were 11' opening with longitudinal deck and look quite different.  They are a bit of a signature item for that low area of the Koo-Wee-Rup swamp and would help to set the scene.
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
They are a bit of a signature item for that low area of the Koo-Wee-Rup swamp and would help to set the scene.


True.  I would really like to have the low trestle on the layout.  If I can get KWR as far to the left enough to fit it in without looking silly I probably will.  The only reason it wasnt in the updated plan was because there wasnt room between KWR and the entrance module.  There is a great pic in Lindsay Crows book showing one of these bridges.  

Is the low trestle still there?  It was on the Up side of KWR?
  GreatSouthern Junior Train Controller

I'm not too sure what's there now.  There's a series of short bridges over various drainage channels including the Bunyip river about 800m in the up direction from Koo-Wee, although a few of these have been converted to concrete and concrete/steel.  So far as I know the bridge on P25 and 26 of the Train Hobby Gippsland book was a bit further on in the Clyde (up) direction.  Looking at your plan again, and given that the whole thing is a selective compression, I'd have thought there was room for a bridge of, say, 20 or 25 openings between your fiddle yard and Koo-Wee.  Even 30 openings will finish up just over two feet long in N scale.  Nothing will shout "Koo-Wee-Rup swamp" quite like such a bridge.  The construction of the 11' opening bridge will make a nice variation, compared to the larger bridges featured elsewhere on your layout.  
Alternatively consider the bridge over the Bunyip river and one or more of the parallel drainage channels.  These bridges are easily viewed from the Pakenham Rd, but I supect it will take up too much room, even in N scale.  The Bunyip River bridge alone is about ten openings of 20'.
One other small point, Koo-Wee-Rup had at least four tracks in the yard.  If you look carefully at the photo on p27 of the Train Hobby Gippsland book, Lindsay Crow was standing in an open wagon placed on the fourth track when he took the photo.
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
Looking at your plan again, and given that the whole thing is a selective compression, I'd have thought there was room for a bridge of, say, 20 or 25 openings between your fiddle yard and Koo-Wee.  Even 30 openings will finish up just over two feet long in N scale.  Nothing will shout "Koo-Wee-Rup swamp" quite like such a bridge.  The construction of the 11' opening bridge will make a nice variation, compared to the larger bridges featured elsewhere on your layout.
"GreatSouthern"

What do you mean by openings?  Do you mean the distance between the trestles?


One other small point, Koo-Wee-Rup had at least four tracks in the yard.  If you look carefully at the photo on p27 of the Train Hobby Gippsland book, Lindsay Crow was standing in an open wagon placed on the fourth track when he took the photo.

Finding track diagrams and pictures of KWR has been difficult!!  I only have a few picures of the station, not much of the yard and none of the turntable area.
I have been along the line from LangLang to Nyora (made easier due to recent clearing for track removal) and there are only 2 trestles.  Lang Lang R. bridge and the one just Down from KWR.  I havent Gunzelled much of the line Up from KWR.  Perhaps next weekend!! Smile
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
The construction of the 11' opening bridge will make a nice variation, compared to the larger bridges featured elsewhere on your layout.
"GreatSouthern"

What do you mean by openings?  Do you mean the distance between the trestles?
"Zomer"

Openings are the width of the span between the sets of piles.

The VR had two 'families' of trestle - the shallow longitudinal deck with 7'0" or 11')" openings, or the deeper transverse deck with either 15'0" or 20'0" openings. David Foulkes did a presentation on VR timber bridges at the 2008 Prototype Modellers Meet - I will bring along the notes to the next meeting. Smile
  Robert_Boyle Train Controller

Location: In a 6d6 orbital, probably
Finding track diagrams and pictures of KWR has been difficult!!  I only have a few picures of the station, not much of the yard and none of the turntable area.
"Zomer"


Koo Wee Rup was almost as complex as Nyorah until the late 50's, although nowhere near as busy.

Try and track down a copy of the book "Steam to Strezlecki" by Merilyn Ramsay, published by the ARHS in 1991. You'll find a copy of the plan for the turntable area at Koo Wee Rup, as well as a couple of photos of the turntable, engine shed and surrounds before the last remnants of the Strezlecki line closed in the 50's. One photo looks like it might be printed mirror image though.

I believe the ARHS plan to reprint the Weston Langford series of trackplans books this year. The Eastern and South Eastern District book has sketches of the track and signal layout for most of the stations on the SE line and it's surviving branches as they were in the late 50's when Wes was roaming around.

The only other book on the SE line I'm aware of is 'The Great Southern Railway' by Keith Bowden, published with the ARHS back in 1971. Hard to find and expensive when you do. Not a lot of use as a modelling resource, but a good history of the line. Some copies ended up in public libraries, so yours might be able to get it on interlibrary loan.

Regards,
RB
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria

Try and track down a copy of the book "Steam to Strezlecki" by Merilyn Ramsay, published by the ARHS in 1991. The only other book on the SE line I'm aware of is 'The Great Southern Railway' by Keith Bowden, published with the ARHS back in 1971.
"Robert_Boyle"

I have found a copy of the Keith Bowden book that im about to purchase but finding the "Steam to Strezlecki" book has proved much harder.

I believe the ARHS plan to reprint the Weston Langford series of trackplans books this year.

Where would I find information about the reprint?

I will bring along the notes to the next meeting.
"wongm"

That would be awesome!!  I am always keen to learn more!!

Im catching up with my cousin this weekend and hopefully getting a quote to get the shed sealed up.  Once this is done the ball will certainly get rolling!!
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I have found a copy of the Keith Bowden book that im about to purchase but finding the "Steam to Strezlecki" book has proved much harder.
"Zomer"

Sadly The Great Southern Railway has no track plans. The Weston Langford book on the Eastern and South Eastern District has a drawing of Koo Wee Rup as at April 1958 - the branch was open - showing the station to have five through roads. It was quite extensive indeed. Nyora only had four through roads at the same time.


I believe the ARHS plan to reprint the Weston Langford series of trackplans books this year.

Where would I find information about the reprint?

The reprints have been announced, or at least mentioned as a project, in the ARHS members newsletters. Their web site is http://www.arhsvic.org.au/ and you should be able to buy the book from them there when it hits the streets. Not certain when that might be.
  Robert_Boyle Train Controller

Location: In a 6d6 orbital, probably
I have found a copy of the Keith Bowden book that im about to purchase but finding the "Steam to Strezlecki" book has proved much harder.

Where would I find information about the reprint?
"Zomer"


Interesting, I just checked my usual online hunting grounds (ABE Books) and there are six copies of the Bowden book listed including one in the US, but no copies of the Ramsay book.   ???

The ARHS newsletter has mentioned the Wes Langford reprint is planned, but gave no other details.

The ARHS has one of their swapmeets on the 21/2.

http://www.arhsvic.org.au/swapmeet.html

Results are variable I find, but you never know what will turn up in the way of books. Mostly dross, but the occasional gem turns up like working timetables, Rules Books, General Appendix, etc. etc.

Regards,
RB
  GreatSouthern Junior Train Controller

I was in Kee-wee yeserday, so I took the opportunity to have a look along the line between Koo-Wee and Dalmore.
There's a short bridge over a drain beside Dalmore Rd, then a continuous embankment back in the directon of Koo-Wee until you get to the end of Railway Rd.  Fortunately a local farmer was agreeable to me going onto his property to access a series of seven bridges across Cardinia Creek and associated drainage channels.  All these bridges have timber piers and 11' openings, although a number have cast concrete slab decks.  Those with concrete decks have crossheads made from about 12" x 4" rolled steel channel, but timber piles.   Presumably the use of 11' openings and longtitudinal deck is to allow maximum headroom for floods.  Then it's continuous embankment parallel to the other section of Railway Rd (accessed from the Koo-Wee-Rup to Pakenham Rd) back to the series of bridges over the Bunyip River and the associated drains.  There was no sign of any low trestle as photographed by Lindsay Crow in the Train Hobby books.
I subsequently had a look on http://www.bikely.com , a Google-earth based site which I use for planning cycling trips, to see an aerial view.  By the look of things there is a low bridge about 100m long about 750m in the down direction from the level crossing at Koo-Wee, which I suspect is the bridge in  the Train Hobby photos.  I'll be back in the area next week, so I'll try and check it out, and go armed with a camera this time!  Embarassed
Given that a series of bridges like Cardinia Creek or Bunyip River is going to take a lot of room, I'd be inclined to suggest a low, 11' opening trestle with about 20 openings (that will make it about 420mm long in N scale) a couple of feet in the down direction from Koo-Wee.  That will leave a fair distance to the Lang-Lang river bridge to represent the flat area around Monomeith and Caldermeade.
Happy planning.
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
Gday guys!!

The layout plans have had a slight adjustment.  Both the shed the layout was going to be built in and my house were burnt down during the Gippsland fires.

Here is a pic of my place that was featured on page 9 on Tuesdays Age.



The remains of the building to the left of the tank is what is left of the model railway shed.  
I did manage to save my N scale rolling stock and some railway memoribilia.  Along with some photos from the house and my portable hard-drive.  The rest burnt to the ground.  I lost a lot of VR history.  I have had a little look throught the remains but little remains as the fire was sooooooooo hot.  Metal was turned to liquid and even flowed downhill!!!

Now I get to plan the layout in a brand new shed!!  I will keep you posted on this progress.

I personally am doing fine but my parents who live two doors down lost everything including the family home of almost 20 years.  They were lucky to have made it out alive and are struggling to cope with their loss.  I am just glad theyre alive.  If poeple were wathing Sunrise this morning (Thursday 12 Feb) would have heard Julia Gillard tell the story of my parents.

I will post up progress up again soon here and most likely on my N scale blog.

Take care

Adrian "ZOMER" Zomer
  sar602 Chief Train Controller

Location: With the Trumpenführer
you poor bastard hope all goes well with rebuilding mate!
  roy66 Junior Train Controller

Sorry for your loss. What a shame.

Steve
  Albert Chief Commissioner

Glad you made it out alive. Best of luck Adrian with rebuilding, to you and your Parents.
  Sarails Assistant Commissioner

Location: @ Work
Like many on here I'm just glad you & your parents are OK!

I'm also in awe of your spirit, especially for you to be contemplating the diagrams of your layout in the replacement shed already  Smile
  bluebird252 Assistant Commissioner

Sorry for your lost mate, all the best for the future. Glad to here both you and your parents are okay..

Take care
  sarail Chief Commissioner

Location: Redwood Park, Adelaide, South Australia
I am very sorry to read about your loss, but more than anything I am just glad that you and your relatives escaped unharmed.

I recently had a discussion regarding what I would take in the event of a fire - I think my portable HDD would be the only thing i'd take, as I dont think I could get my collection out in time.

My condolences and best wishes for the time ahead for the rebuilding process. Take care and good luck.

Cheers,
Pete
  GreatSouthern Junior Train Controller

I'm sorry to hear about the destruction of your home and train room, but glad that you and your parents can tell your stories.  I wish you all well as you pick up the pieces now and move on.  I'm sure you'll continue to make plans while in this enforced hiatus, and as you plan remember the first rule of train rooms:  Too much space is never enough, even in N scale.
For what it's worth I was travelling through koo-Wee last week and I'm now sure that the bridge that features in the Train Hobby book is about 800m in the down direction from Koo-Wee, but it has been replaced with concrete construction, presumably at some time in the '70s or '80s.  Given that this bridge is not too far from another couple of bridges over Yallock Creek and an associated drainage channel, it would seem quite appropriate to feature it on your plan, along with the Lang lang River bridge, between Koo-Wee and Nyora.

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