Saturday, April 23, 2011

South West Main progress report

Rob asked me to report on progress on my home layout, so I decided to oblige. I had previously called the layout Bunbury, but Rob's suggestion of South West Main is probably more accurate as the layout starts off in Bunbury and runs to Picton Junction, where the south-west branches to Flinders Bay, Bridgetown and Boyup Brook diverge via a 3 1/2 turn helix to a 5-track staging yard.

The main line continues to Wokalup, interchange point for Millars timber line to Mornington Mills, then Harvey, then via a 2-turn helix to a separate 5-track staging yard. The staging yards are 300mm below Picton.

It is still very much a work in progress but here are some photos.

This view shows Bunbury yard. Mockup of the station building to the left. Entry to loco on the top right. All points are scratch-built with Railcraft code 70 rail, including one double compound and two three-way tandem points !! Track is Peco code 75, which will be ballasted above sleeper height so they won't show.

This view is looking across the yard from loco. G,P & X class locos in foreground, ASG and Wildflower in background.

Next we move out of Bunbury towards Picton Junction.

This view is of my Wildflower set (much-modified Railwest kit) crossing the Preston River bridge, constructed of side girders made in NZ, bought from Railwest Models. Cross-bracing is Plastruct sections top and bottom. Backscenes are my own photos along the SW Main, printed on my photo printer. Bridge piers carved from pine, water from Barnes clear resin.

Next to Picton Junction. I've just laid out the Up and Down platform roads and the turnouts into the yard. Track on the main is Micro-Engineering On30 track with the sleepers trimmed a bit in length so it becomes Sn3 1/2. I decided to use Peco medium radius points here, as the sleepers will be covered in ballast and the thought of scratch-building 25 turnouts was a bit daunting. The Peco medium radius are 36inches, which matches my miminum radius.

In the foreground, the curved turnouts are Shinohara, kindly donated by a friend as surplus to his requirements. They save a considerable amount of space. SW Main to the right, SW branches to the left. Crossing is a Shinohara 30 degree crossing also kindly donated !!

The south-west branches descend to South Staging yard via a 3-turn helix

and enter the South Staging yard. The photo shows the South staging on the left and the North staging on the right. The control panel for the South staging yard can also be seen.

The control panel face was built according to a recent article in Model Railroader. It was drawn in Corel Draw, printed onto adhesive label paper and stuck onto the aluminium front panel, clear laminating pouch plastic then spray glued on with dull side facing out, then holes drilled and swithed mounted.

The view on the left shows the inside of the panel. All connections are labelled. After the panel layout is drawn, it is copied and all electrical connections to panel swicthes and point motors are added. Connection points are labelled, then solder terminals added and labelled. It is then a matter of running jumpers from the panel to the various connections following the diagram.

Green LED's on the panel indicate which road is selected at each end and red LED's connected to NCE BD20 block detectors indicate which tracks are occupied. These are superior to any others I have seen advertised as they detect current drawn in that section by induction through a ferrite coil, and do not depend on a detector being covered or uncovered, like opto devices.

Trains entering the South staging yard run right through a vacant track, then around a return loop and back in ready to run out when required. The polarity of the return loop is automatically reversed by a Tony's Trains PSX-AR unit, which also automatically operates the entry/exit point !!

From Picton trains will run round the outside of the peninsular to Wokalup and Harvey, then round this two-turn helix to the North Staging.

The main line connecting the bridge to Picton can be seen at the top of this photo. Harvey is now taking shape in the foreground but I'll leave that to next time.

Benchwork is standard Linn Westcott L-Girder, with some minor variations. Control is NCE wireless DCC, with the layout divided into power sections using Tony's Train Exchange Powershields.
So, still much to do, but the basic infrastructure is progressing at a decent, now that I've got a couple of book projects out of the way !! What about all this time you are meant to have in retirement ??
Anyway, watch this space !!

1 comment:

  1. G'day Adrian :)
    You *have* made some progress since I last saw your layout! The bridge scene looks very good, looking forward to seeing the rest of the layout scenicked to that standard.Nice to see your magnificent WAGR models again :)