Layout Plan - "The Great Southern Railway"

 
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
Gday All.

I have finally got around to uploading my draft digital copy of my 6x6metre (19.5x19.5 ft) layout to the internet.  
I have written a big speel about it on my Victorian N Scale blog. But if you just want to see the picture, go here:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_A0PGrQJPekw/SXaKxZAD6fI/AAAAAAAAAIY/N0zcnP7RKfU/s1600-h/GreatSouthernRailway-Pictures.jpg

This version has an assortment of pictures located from the internet, for those who are not aware, of the areas I hope to model.

I forgot to add the door into the room.  It is located in the bottom of the right hand wall.  Access into the room, past the layout, will be by hinged module on the lower right corner containing minimal scenery.

Any updates will be posted on the blog when I get a chance.  I also hope to upload a picture of the shed from the outside this evening.

Cheers

Zomer

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  jd4980 Chief Commissioner

Location: Grafton
Looks nice, i especially like the creative use of peninsulas for branchlines and industry.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Yes indeed, a nice spacious plan. Shows what can be done in N scale without filling the space with tracks.

Do you intend to have any staging? If you slid KooWeeRup a metre or two to the left and used that space for staging you could have trains running to and from Yarram and Melbourne, whilst retaining a continuous circuit for just watching the trains go round...
  scubs Chief Commissioner

Location: Geebung, Brisbane
I like that you've done your research with the photos.

I also like the ability to run continuous trains and work stations and yards at the same time

VVV good

scubs
  Shazam75 Chief Commissioner

wow thats fantastic!
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
Thankyou all for the great feedback!!  I have spend many many hours working on this design.  I originally only had the Wonthaggi 'peninsula' but really wanted to do include the Barry Beach branch as this is where the majority of freight came to and from during the 80s and 90s prior to the line being closed.  I had the idea for the second 'peninsula' in a dream, believe it or not!!
I wanted open running but also have space for shunting and breaking up and setting up freight trains.  I also wanted a layout that supported industries to create realistic running.  The design makes way for general mixed freight, super phosphate, livestock, coal, oil and of course passenger services.

Yes indeed, a nice spacious plan. Shows what can be done in N scale without filling the space with tracks.

Do you intend to have any staging? If you slid KooWeeRup a metre or two to the left and used that space for staging you could have trains running to and from Yarram and Melbourne, whilst retaining a continuous circuit for just watching the trains go round...
"duttonbay"


I was thinking of having staging at Koo Wee Rup.  Looking at pictures the yard had the main line plus 2 sidings.  In my original design I had Koo Wee Rup on the left hand side with the long low trestle (located Up of KooWeeRup) located to the right however this made for a short unrealistic run between there and Nyora.  I might put KooWee Rup closer to the middle.  I might even place some staging on the entry module.  Something I might have to put some more thought into.  Thankyou for bringing it up.  

I didnt get a chance to take a photo of the outside of the layout shed but I have a few on my computer.  I have uploaded them to the N scale blog.

Thankyou again.  Ill take some photos of the inside tomorrow.

ZomeR
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
It's also worth thinking about gradients over the section - for example, I'd personally put Nyora at X height, then have Bena Bank at X+Y and the Kilcunda Trestle at X-Y height. Then, continue X+Y height around the rest of the layout with a downgrade between KooWeeRup and the Lang Lang trestle. Using this method, you could have the Outtrim extension from Korrumburra run down into a tunnel, and have open staging underneath Barry Beach. (And, depending on the room, maybe make the junction underneath the Agnes Trestle a three-point junction, with the third track a headshunt for train reversal)
  bulldozed Deputy Commissioner

That looks great Zomer... wish I had that kind of real estate (and a few years' off work to go with it!).
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
I forgot to add the door into the room.
"Zomer"

Who needs a door, with a layout that big you could stay forever, you just need a hatch to import supplies, and someone on the outside to deliver them to you. Laughing
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Was any thought put In to add the much photogarphed Tarwin River West Branch and Black Spur Creek tressels Into the lay out.
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
It's also worth thinking about gradients over the section - for example, I'd personally put Nyora at X height, then have Bena Bank at X+Y and the Kilcunda Trestle at X-Y height. Then, continue X+Y height around the rest of the layout with a downgrade between KooWeeRup and the Lang Lang trestle. Using this method, you could have the Outtrim extension from Korrumburra run down into a tunnel, and have open staging underneath Barry Beach. (And, depending on the room, maybe make the junction underneath the Agnes Trestle a three-point junction, with the third track a headshunt for train reversal)
"SteamtoStay"


I have considered this however have not included this on the diagrams get.  I do want to start the layout low on the section near KooWeeRup then increasing height between Lang Lang trestle and Nyora (much like the real line) then continue through Bena bank to Korumburra.  The Wonthaggi branch will travel lower in front with the bena Bank line out of view from the Nyora section however will be able to be viewed looking accross the back wall from Korumburra.  It mean you have to walk around to Korumburra to see it go accross the bank but I dont want to see both a high Bena line and low Wonthaggi branch from the Nyora side.  And following Korumburra slowly winds downhill to Barry beach and start again.
With regards to hidden staging I really want to keep all the trains visible and run them from the yards.  Even if a few people are running trains, they can setup at different stations and go from there.  Running the Barry beach train may have to start from KooWeeRup.  I also havent been able to include Buffalo.  I was going to include it between Korumburra and Barry Beach junction but the distance between stations would have been unrealistic.  This station was where the super phosphate ELXs in the 80s and 90s were shunted off and the oil tankers continued to the marine terminal.  This shunting may have to occur at Korumburra.  

Was any thought put In to add the much photogarphed Tarwin River West Branch and Black Spur Creek tressels Into the lay out.
"Nightfire"


Absolutely!!  The Tarwin R. bridge was in my original plans located in between Agnes bridge and Korumburra.  Finding the original plans rather cramped I decided to do some gutting!!  Using the philosophy "less is more"  I opted to remove many scenes and icons to create some distance between the remaining icons.  Agnes trestle remained due to its close proximity to the Barry Beach junction.  I now have a high trestle (kilcunda), medium trestle (langlang) and a long low trestle (agnes).  I might also throw in some culverts around the place.

Who needs a door, with a layout that big you could stay forever, you just need a hatch to import supplies, and someone on the outside to deliver them to you.
"wongm"

Got that right!!!  Just add toilet couch and microwave!!  Game, Set and Match!!

Anyone want to donate to the "Zomer want a bigger shed for his train layout" fund???  Wink
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

With regards to hidden staging I really want to keep all the trains visible and run them from the yards.  Even if a few people are running trains, they can setup at different stations and go from there.  Running the Barry beach train may have to start from KooWeeRup.  
"Zomer"

So the daily Yarram pass will run from KooWeeRup, around the layout back to KooWeeRup, stand there all day, run around, and then run back? While I can understand that it's nice to keep things in the open (and the Dutton Bay has open staging) it's going to be really hard to convince people that a train from Melbourne starts and ends at KooWeeRup in both directions.

If you were modelling a self-contained line then you can get away without staging. But you are only modelling a small segment of a line, and wish to be able to operate in a realistic manner, then trains which start or end beyond the layout really should start and end beyond the scenic portion of the layout.

I would certainly keep KooWeeRup, but it's only a small station, and was not a terminating station (at least in the last fifty years) so keep it as a small town station. It makes a nice station at which you can cross trains without it being cluttered with terminating trains.

Open staging between KooWeeRup and the door could represent Melbourne and Yarram. Perhaps with a light scatter of ground cover so it doesn't stand out like a sore thumb in a nicely sceniced layout, but it will increase the operating potential of your layout enormously.

It's your layout, you can and should do what you want, but it's worth considering why almost every layout of similar scope to yours has staging. I've operated many layouts and except for a couple of narrow gauge self-contained tramways, every one has had off-scene staging.

But whatever you do, I would like an invite to an operating session one day... your plans look very good.
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria

So the daily Yarram pass will run from KooWeeRup, around the layout back to KooWeeRup, stand there all day, run around, and then run back? While I can understand that it's nice to keep things in the open (and the Dutton Bay has open staging) it's going to be really hard to convince people that a train from Melbourne starts and ends at KooWeeRup in both directions.

If you were modelling a self-contained line then you can get away without staging. But you are only modelling a small segment of a line, and wish to be able to operate in a realistic manner, then trains which start or end beyond the layout really should start and end beyond the scenic portion of the layout.

I would certainly keep KooWeeRup, but it's only a small station, and was not a terminating station (at least in the last fifty years) so keep it as a small town station. It makes a nice station at which you can cross trains without it being cluttered with terminating trains.

Open staging between KooWeeRup and the door could represent Melbourne and Yarram. Perhaps with a light scatter of ground cover so it doesn't stand out like a sore thumb in a nicely sceniced layout, but it will increase the operating potential of your layout enormously.

It's your layout, you can and should do what you want, but it's worth considering why almost every layout of similar scope to yours has staging. I've operated many layouts and except for a couple of narrow gauge self-contained tramways, every one has had off-scene staging.
"duttonbay"

Definantly something to consider.  One of the main reason for posting my plans on here was to get suggestions like these that I had not taken into consideration.  Perhaps if I slide KooWeeRup to the left a little and put the staging yard on the entrance module (going to be about a little over a metre from the bottom right corner up toward the Barry Beach Junction and as wide as the wall to the walkway, about 50cm).
I was going to have minimal scenery on this module as it will be hinged to enable access.
Do you think 1250x500mm will fit enough staging yard on it?
Does anyone here have any experience with hinged modules?

But whatever you do, I would like an invite to an operating session one day... your plans look very good.

Absolutely.  I think an operating session might be 'required' to test the layout!!  I certainly will throw an invite out there when the trackwork is done!!
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Definantly something to consider.  One of the main reason for posting my plans on here was to get suggestions like these that I had not taken into consideration.  Perhaps if I slide KooWeeRup to the left a little and put the staging yard on the entrance module (going to be about a little over a metre from the bottom right corner up toward the Barry Beach Junction and as wide as the wall to the walkway, about 50cm).
I was going to have minimal scenery on this module as it will be hinged to enable access.
Do you think 1250x500mm will fit enough staging yard on it?
Does anyone here have any experience with hinged modules?
"Zomer"

One problem with using that area for staging is that, well, trains tend to spend long periods of time standing around. Certainly on the Dutton Bay there are five trains standing there between sessions. It's going to be frustrating to have this staging if you have to move the trains away in order to lift the flap.

I can't help with the hinged module. It was on the plans for DBT, until work was overtaken by the move to On30. It's on the plans for the On30 layout too, but is long into the future, at my current rates of progress.
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria

One problem with using that area for staging is that, well, trains tend to spend long periods of time standing around. Certainly on the Dutton Bay there are five trains standing there between sessions. It's going to be frustrating to have this staging if you have to move the trains away in order to lift the flap.
"duttonbay"


I hope to have the layout at a decent minimal height.  Aiming at a around 1115mm.  I am 6ft6 tall and dont want to hurt my back looking at trains.  This leaves ample room to duck under should there be trains on this section.  If there are people there who may find it difficult "ducking under" perhaps we could add an extra timetable movement to move any trains out of the way prior to lifting the flap:-) .

When I get a chance to get onto Photoshop ill add a staging yard and the 'flap' module and let you know.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I hope to have the layout at a decent minimal height.  Aiming at a around 1115mm.  I am 6ft6 tall and dont want to hurt my back looking at trains.  This leaves ample room to duck under should there be trains on this section.  If there are people there who may find it difficult "ducking under" perhaps we could add an extra timetable movement to move any trains out of the way prior to lifting the flap:-) .

When I get a chance to get onto Photoshop ill add a staging yard and the 'flap' module and let you know.
"Zomer"

I don't quite understand what's decent about a height which is nearly 3' lower than you!  I would have thought somebody your height would have been looking at a foot higher than that, but perhaps dropping it back to 4'6" (54") for visitors.

I think you might come to regret having staging on a hinged section, but it will be very interesting to hear the outcome, and see how it all works in practice.
  HcoteJunct Junior Train Controller

Does anyone here have any experience with hinged modules?


Hi Zomer,

checkout the last three pics at http://photos-by-scott.fotodock.co.uk/.

Although it is not a full module, I think the basic principle could be adopted for your requirements.

I built the hinged bridge (inspiration from Model Railroader) which works really well. I made the joint firm, so that you have to lift the bridge slightly to secure it in the 'home' position. This way you don't need locking bolts.

I also connected up a window burgular alarm sensor (hidden in the bushes at the end of the bridge) that activates a siren and a strobe light if the bridge is open when track power is on. (I use DCC). The alarm works so well, that if the bridge is misaligned by 2mm or more it activates and hopefully would prevent a derailment.

The concept of watching all your stuff roll off the open bridge would be heart breaking.

Others have used some sort of interlock/isolating track power, but for me the alarm/strobe combination attracts my attention real fast.

I hope that helps

Cheers
Scott
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I also connected up a window burgular alarm sensor (hidden in the bushes at the end of the bridge) that activates a siren and a strobe light if the bridge is open when track power is on. (I use DCC). The alarm works so well, that if the bridge is misaligned by 2mm or more it activates and hopefully would prevent a derailment.

The concept of watching all your stuff roll off the open bridge would be heart breaking.

Others have used some sort of interlock/isolating track power, but for me the alarm/strobe combination attracts my attention real fast.
"HcoteJunct"

That's a good idea! I was planning the interlock, dead section approach, but a bright flashing light and loud noise is likely to be just as effective, and much easier to implement.
  HcoteJunct Junior Train Controller

That's a good idea! I was planning the interlock, dead section approach, but a bright flashing light and loud noise is likely to be just as effective, and much easier to implement.


The hardware cost me only about $10 at Jaycar.

I take power from the DCC track bus and run it through a bridge rectifier as all the components were 12-20 volt DC, then wired up the circuit exactly as you would for the burgular alarm. That makes it fool proof, whenever the track circuit is on the alarm will work. If you take power of the accesory bus you risk inadvertantly having that bus off-line and the alarm not working.

Another good thing is that it is impossible to leave the train room (unless you crawl under the bridge) with the power accidentally left on.

Cheers
Scott
  Shazam75 Chief Commissioner

I hope to have the layout at a decent minimal height.  Aiming at a around 1115mm.  I am 6ft6 tall and dont want to hurt my back looking at trains.  This leaves ample room to duck under should there be trains on this section.  If there are people there who may find it difficult "ducking under" perhaps we could add an extra timetable movement to move any trains out of the way prior to lifting the flap:-) .

When I get a chance to get onto Photoshop ill add a staging yard and the 'flap' module and let you know.
"Zomer"

I don't quite understand what's decent about a height which is nearly 3' lower than you!  I would have thought somebody your height would have been looking at a foot higher than that, but perhaps dropping it back to 4'6" (54") for visitors.

I think you might come to regret having staging on a hinged section, but it will be very interesting to hear the outcome, and see how it all works in practice.
"duttonbay"


I agree with John, i too had to consider the height of my round the walls layout which is in the planning stages - go with 54inches at least for your height!  Initially it seems too high but set a table up this high for a week and see what you think - I think you will double think about going lower after you experience it -

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

cheers
Shelton.
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria

I built the hinged bridge (inspiration from Model Railroader) which works really well. I made the joint firm, so that you have to lift the bridge slightly to secure it in the 'home' position. This way you don't need locking bolts.

I also connected up a window burgular alarm sensor (hidden in the bushes at the end of the bridge) that activates a siren and a strobe light if the bridge is open when track power is on. (I use DCC). The alarm works so well, that if the bridge is misaligned by 2mm or more it activates and hopefully would prevent a derailment.

The concept of watching all your stuff roll off the open bridge would be heart breaking.

Cheers
Scott
"HcoteJunct"


An amazing concept!  The alarm is a great idea and could be adopted to suit a flap as well.  I certainly would not like to see all my rolling stock go flying off the module......however my children would love it!!!!  Smile

I agree with John, i too had to consider the height of my round the walls layout which is in the planning stages - go with 54inches at least for your height! Initially it seems too high but set a table up this high for a week and see what you think - I think you will double think about going lower after you experience it -
"Shazam75"


I was at a friends place who has a large layout in his shed.  His minimum height would have been around 45cm high.  It was a comfortable height for both myself (6ft6) and those shorter than me.  I will email him in a mionute and ask him what his minimum and maximum heights are.  The only parts on the layout that would be at minimal height would be from halfway down the right side wall till just after KooWeeRup where the line ascends through forest to Nyora.  Maximum height wikll be at Bena Bank
(top left).  There will be plenty of stools around for my children and the vertically disadvantaged.  I however might setup a couple of benches at different heights to test out different setups.  
I might do an elevation diagram to show you what I have in mind.

I have also updated the layout plan to include the staging yard on the entrance module and moved KooWeeRup to the left.  It looks like it will work quite well.  I think this yard should only be used as a temporary point (Cranbourne or Yarram) and not a point to store locomotives.  There will be plenty of space up at Nyora or Korumburra for that.
I will upload this as soon as possible.

Cheers

ZomeR
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
I have found some pictures of the layout I was referring to in my previous post.  
http://www.aust-n-rail.com.au/webcontent17.htm
Bit hard to tell the height.  When I get a reponse from the owner I will let you know.

ZomeR
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
I have uploaded an updated diagram to the N scale blog or if you just want to look at the pic. Hertisdalink!!  

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_A0PGrQJPekw/SXzzJPiEZRI/AAAAAAAAAJA/_huUtwVLxvM/s1600-h/Great+Southern+Railway.jpg
ZomeR
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I was at a friends place who has a large layout in his shed.  His minimum height would have been around 45cm high.  It was a comfortable height for both myself (6ft6) and those shorter than me.  
"Zomer"

45cm isn't even as high as my knees. Do you mean 45" perhaps?
  Zomer Train Controller

Location: Latrobe Valley, Victoria
I was at a friends place who has a large layout in his shed.  His minimum height would have been around 45cm high.  It was a comfortable height for both myself (6ft6) and those shorter than me.  
"Zomer"

45cm isn't even as high as my knees. Do you mean 45" perhaps?
"duttonbay"


cough............um......er......whooops  Embarassed

Yer I did mean 45".  No reply from friend with layout.  When I find out ill let you know.

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