The EMRC has decided to build a new exhibition layout. Murranbilla has served us well, but there is a desire to build something bigger, better and different.
We have learned a lot from our first exhibition layout. We need to learn and ensure we do not repeat any mistakes.
The new layout will be based around the Albury Bridge over the Murray River. This iron lattice girder bridge of two spans carries two line, one Broad Gauge, One Standard Gauge between Wodonga and Albury. It is a busy bridge but will be eventually replaced or bypassed as the eventual need for double stacking of containers will be required in the future
The area is an interesting one as there are lots of sections. There is the Murray bridge itself consisting of two long spans with a small girder span one side. There are many spans on the other side to clear the floodplain. Next are the Coal Sidings where both gauges have a yard for transferring operations. There is also a triangle into Wodonga or to Bandiana where there are more broad (BG) and standard gauge (SG) yards. The broad gauge headed to Cudgewa. The Wodonga yard also features the SG loop just out of the station.
Almost any of these areas could be a layout in itself. The task is to combine the elements we want. On the one hand we could do only the bridge, but that would be too boring with no yards to shunt or trains to cross. On the contrary a complex layout may be overwhelming for some.
The design of the layout will be challenging to keep the operators busy and the public interested. This is because while it will look like a double track and allow two train to circulate without any intervention, the track will be a long one. It will take time for one train to do a full circuit and thsi needs to be considered. The broad gauge is more difficult, as there is only one way into the Coal yards. The standard gauge has two, allowing a crossing of sorts.
How to combat that is one of the challenges. One is to keep the length down as much as possible, but to do that you have to do a large reduction in size of trains and length of run. The next thing is allowance for two trains to follow each other. This could lead to some automation required to manage the railway.
Having a yard to shunt is also ideal - running a train around and around can get tedious!
We have three choices:
- the coal sidings
Of the three the coal sidings is the best choice as have both gauges can have shunting operations. Bandiana & Cudgewa are optional extras to the core layout.