My modelling friend Jim in his 2nd December update captured well the challenges and compromises of building a layout based on a real location and my own experience has been the same.
The track design for my layout evolved as a full size paper mockup in mid 2016 while doing some contract work in Sydney. The layout was around 6-7m long and 3-3.5 m wide. The focus was on Camden and Narellan with full size models of the milk factory, Nepean River Bridge and coal loader which were the key features of the area. We have a 10.5 m x 6m shed on our property and the plan was to split it longitudinally, this was not the most efficient use of the shed space and in the end a room was built across the back of the shed in real terms 5.8m x 3.2m internal space, leaving roughly 7m x 6m area to park trailers, ride ons and store gear.
The reduced size required some alterations to the existing plan. The Camden terminus to Elderslie has worked out well with the yard and Nepean River Bridge I think being pretty close to a 1/87 replica including the bend into the terminus though there is some compression between the milk factory and the bridge.
The main obstacle is Narellan originally designed with a 180 degree curve to the right heading towards Campbelltown (it veered right in the prototype) then up past Curran's Hill which was behind the coal loader on the layout to a fiddle yard. Between reasonable radius curves and sufficient aisle clearance - this being a walk around layout, the tracks to Curran's and Kenny Hill were hard up against the wall leaving no access other than to duck under the layout modules to get to these locations - not an option.
I now have had to redesign the layout at this very late stage and the 180 degree curve now veers to the left out of Narellan - creating issues with level crossing with wigwam signals and various roads. As a consequence the Narellan yard has been shortened again having a domino affect with placement of coal loader and station. The coal loader is huge and I was not prepared to compromise by reducing its size or make a low relief model. I had allowed 5 BCH wagon lengths either side of the loading chute however this places the loading chute in the wrong position in relation to the station buildings - so at the moment I am shuffling the approach curve into Narellan and placement of points - possibly opting for a curved point to give a bit more length into the yard. I have laid a mockup track layout although a lot more experimentation and rejigging will be required to get the right fit.
A few progress shots below - A happy Christmas and all the best for 2019 to all the blog readers
|Mock up of Narellan 4103 heads up a string of empty coal trucks while assist engine 4101 waits in the loop|
|the Camden end of Cowpasture bridge - rail bridge now painted and transoms added when|
the banks of the river are completed scenic wise and piers repainted Woodland Scenics water
will be poured
|The Narellan end of Cowpasture Bridge showing the road approach span|