Exhibition Layout

Ideas 1 to 6, Starting the Design Process

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

There are many elements in the Wodonga area, including:

  • Wodonga SG loop and Uncle Ben'sSmall scale map of the Wodonga/Bandiana/Albury rail lines
  • Wodonga Station & yard
  • Triangle, one side to Albury, the other to Bandiana/Cudgewa
  • Coal Sidings
  • smaller channel crossing between the coal sidings and the main bridge
  • Murray Bridge - this WILL be on the layout
  • Oil siding this side of Albury
  • Albury itself

To combine these elements, or some of them is not easy. There is lots there !

So I eliminated Albury and ruled out the Oil siding, though it could make an appearance. At the other end Wodonga and the SG loop have also been rules out of most plans. As has Bandiana & Cudgewa. Also the minor bridges between the Coal Siding & the main bridge also ruled out.

This left us with three key areas: The Triangle, The coal sidings, and the Murray Bridge itself.

For the end of the scenic portion North of the bridge is really just trees and a dirt crossing. You might get adventurous and put in the oil siding there. Or simulate the start of the Albury Yard with some od the staging starting "early".

The Murray Bridge was to be the whole reason for the layout. So it had to be in. and not in any short measure. For we want the full two main spans. On the north side there are 12 steel trestle spans, on the south one. I would skimp on the 122 and put in 3 or 4 one end. this will mean the module for this will be only for the bridge, and thus dictate a lot of the module placement.

Between the coal siding and the bridge there is a fair bit of rail. a smaller bridge, a level crossing all probably skipped in our rendition. With most ideas shown below, the broad curve is there to separate the coal sidings visually from the Bridge scene. How we scenic this areas will suit that goal. 

The Coal sidings have both SG & BG track. I'm looking at modelling it in a variety of eras. In fact the 1944 track arrangement I have used is the best for us as modellers as it easily allows off mainline shunting. I would have preferred a mix with the 1980-2000 arrangements where there were more factories on the Easter side, which were not there prior to 1979.

Scenically the coal sidings has an oil siding on the mainline, which depending on layout topology could have a back scene only representation with only the track and unloading hoes visible. There is the signal box, still standing I hope (it was a few years ago) - and the goods shed in the middle. A Road used to cross near the Level crossing, Huon St. By looking at the Googlemaps.com overview it indeed used to cross. a new level crossing at Osburn Street exists today. I do not think this level crossing would be made to be working, as it would be closed for 98% of the time anyhow !

the triangle will be interesting as we will have the full BG triangle and the New SG alignment through Wodonga represented, along with the SG to Bandiana. Depending on topology I see this area being treated easily. I also wish to introduce some temporal manipulations (changing history) to suit. I wish to surmise that there was a far seeing council in the 1950's-1960's who foresaw the bottleneck of High Street and the busy level crossing in the shopping area. I'm saying they decided and built a overpass at Hovell Street as a town bypass of sorts for the then Hume Highway. For us this means the train disappear under the overpass and out of the scenic area.

Bandiana branch will really depend. I see Bandiana as such never modelled, just the railway passing though some residential areas as all that is needed. The track will actually be gauntlet track, stopping any change of gauge, since the real track is 3 rail duel gauge. By using gauntlet track it makes that area more accurate in a operational sense - no point blades etc.

Now in terms of design there were some things I decided on:

  • 3ft radius curved minimum, for the kinks I would use 10M Radius, and then elsewhere use 4ft radius. The only place that 2.5ft may be used may be the triangle,the Wodonga to Bandiana leg
  • Each board will be a maximum 6ft long, so they can be put into a trailer laterally. The exception may be the module the bridge is on.
  • The bridge must be on it's own module with no joins. For this reason I also wanted this module to be the smallest in width,I think 2ft wise is more then enough for double track and bridge.
  • I'm going for 3ft width modules for the coal siding and staging yards.
  • Ideally we should use code 80 for mainline & 70 for yards
  • Where there are curves for back scenes, they too should be curved. This can be made to be free standing almost by making a two spline sandwich of ply/masonite.
  • I would put in curved edges for the outside. Spline fascia can handle this. While this makes nonstandard modules, the storage system can be designed to handle this.
  • I would keep the same height for the layout as Murranbilla.
  • Ensure the layout cannot be placed against another, to prevent viewing of the areas we want them to see.

These ideas are developed in a series of plans beginning at No:1 to 6.

(Editor: The ideas have been relabelled from 6 to 1 to 1 to 6, as there are more plans following. As a result the images no longer match.) 

Idea 1 Large Rectangle construct with a scenic peninsular for Bandiana

This is a bad design as it is too ambitious.It is really three layouts in one. It has everything, the SG loop south of Wodonga, the siding there, Wodonga right through to the Bridge. It also allows us to do something more with Bandiana - one could even have a shortened Cudgewa as well, which would add to the shunting and rolling stock use (for the VR stalwarts !).

The design could allow the branch to still take SG traffic, and BG stuff to Bandiana - via a hidden track that heads under Wodonga back to the staging yard. Hidden track is bad even on a permanent layout let alone a exhibition layout.

It would be a HUGE layout. Basically a huge rectangle in the main layout space. So much space operators could easily run the layout. But it does have the same disadvantages with it's size. It is just too big, imagine a train running around. It would take AGES.

 

Idea 2 A True Right Angle Triangle

This construct is not that large, as it is almost a true right angle triangle.

It's not that bad, but it is has an effect on a exhibition being a triangle - we are using up a lot of space with the angle, hard to put other layouts next to it.

Idea 3 Coal Siding Inside the Layout

This has a lot of complexities. It is the only construct that places the coal siding on the inside of the layout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This would allow easier shunting.

But the big trouble is the triangle. The orientation of the triangle to Wodonga is a troublesome area since it heads into the viewing area. The Bandiana branch heads into the back scene. My assumption is that the Wodonga leg heads into a non-scenic area trough out of sight and winds back to the staging.

This really limits the inclusion of the triangle. If this construct was considered I would remove all triangle parts from the layout. 

Idea 4 Getting Close

Now we are getting close. We have turned the curve between the Coal Siding and The Bridge back in the correct right turn as per the prototype.

The construct I call more of a boomerang shape.

The bend in the staging keeps the internal layout space tighter. It also allows the staging to be segmented to increase the number of staging track verses length of staging.

The main trouble is with the yard on the outside, and the fact the layout would be about three foot - makes reaching impossible. Shunting would be best on the outside - some may try this, other may prefer more electronic uncouplers.

The Bandiana Branch can have several possibilities as the next two constructs share. 

 

Idea 5 Getting Closer

Now we are getting closer. The curve between the Coal Siding and The Bridge heads in a left rather than the correct right turn as per the prototype.

The construct I call more of a boomerang shape.

The bend in the staging keeps the internal layout space tighter. It also allows the staging to be segmented to increase the number of staging track verses length of staging. This construct saves a lot of space compared to the next one.

The main trouble is with the yard on the outside, and the fact the layout would be about three foot - makes reaching impossible. Shunting would be best on the outside - some may try this, other may prefer more electronic uncouplers.

The Bandiana Branch can have several possibilities as stated in the next construct. 

 

Idea 6 The Last Construct

This construct is my most favoured so far, but probably unlikely it will be the last one. It is a good size outside and inside. It is large but it does allow us to do the area justice.

I have already done one paper drawing using this construct.

The basics is that the has the coal siding and the bridge on the same side, with a broad left curve separating them. Each end then curved to form a third leg, of a very shallow triangle. That curve will give a lot of room inside the layout, which will allow many operators some room.

The main trouble is with the yard on the outside, and the fact the layout would be about three foot - makes reaching impossible. Shunting would be best on the outside - some may try this, other may prefer more electronic uncouplers.

Staging has a lot of space. Both SG & BG are side by side. I have planned to have two "interchange track where you can "re gauge on the fly" - a lot easier to re stage a train (if suitable). The broad gauge trains will have in fact two staging areas with a bypass track to allow more trains, but shorter ones compared to the SG.SG will have longer roads buy stil have the same concept to allow long trains and a very short train compared ot the two almost equal length BG ones for the same length.

The Wodonga end will have some complications depending if the Bandiana Branch comes back into the layout.

Bandiana is shown only as the track heading in that direction. This could have variations, the main one is that it could be left behind for longer trips.

 

 

Further Ideas

 

 

 

Exhibitions