Exhibition Layout

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As Murranbilla is aging momentum has been building to replace it with a new exhibition layout. This area contains articles covering the development of ideas and plans for the new layout.

Track Plans - The Coal Siding in HO scale

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

The layout in HO scale, fully sized is not that long, about 34ft in total. But the maximum width of 10.3ft makes baseboards a little tricky. Even with most of the yard being about 5ft in width, this shows making a layout to scale has implications. I think we will be compressing the width as much as possible, with little need to compress the length.

Standard Gauge train lengths can be 11ft long, whereas the BG cement siding is about 10ft. This is important as it can set the size of our trains. Up to now when drawing rough plans I have tried to include lengthy train capacity. With the scale dimensions this should assist.

The main dimensions of the coal siding, HO scale

Click for a larger image, press Shift to open in a new window.

New Layout Overview

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

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 lines, one Broad Gauge and one Standard Gauge between Wodonga and Albury. It is a busy bridge but it will be eventually be replaced or bypassed as the eventual need for double stacking of containers will be required in the future.

Area Features

The area is a interesting area as there are lots of sections. there is the Murray bridge itself, two long spans with a small girder span one side and many spans on the other side to clear the floodplain. Next is the Coal Sidings where Both gauges have a yard for transfer. Next is the triangle into Wodonga or off to Bandiana where here is more Broad and Standard gauge yards. The Broad gauge headed to Cudgewa. Meanwhile the Wodonga yard also boasts 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 wanted. For we had thought a lot about a new layout. On one hand we could do only the bridge, but that would be too boring with no yards to hunt, trains to cross. It would quickly become boring for operators. On the other hand a complex layout may be overwhelming for some.

Operation

The  very design the layout will be challenging to keep the operators busy and the public entertained. 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 a long time for one train to do a full circuit. This will have to be considered. The broad gauge is extra hard as there is only one way into the Coal yards. While the standard gauge has two allowing a crossing of sorts.

Design Goals

How to combat that is one of the goals. 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 train to follow each other. This could lead to some automation required to manage the railway.

Shunting/Yard Operations

Having a yard to shunt is also ideal - running a train around and around can get tedious ! We have three choices, the Coal sidings, Bandiana & Cudgewa. Of the three the coal sidings is the best chance as we can have both gauges shunting in there. Bandiana & Cudgewa are very optional extras to the core layout.

Track Plans - The Coal Siding over time

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

Disclaimer: This article contains initial thoughts by the author. They do not represent any official EMRC direction.

Stations layouts change over time, or disappear completely! When planning to build a layout after any real life location, the station's layout, track plan, buildings, access and purpose can change over time. Indeed the station may be ripped up or just a single track through. If there is a station and yard still there, it probably has grown, shrunk etc. as traffic needs change over time.

The Coals siding at Wodonga is no different, for it has changed much over time. After all it was named the coal siding for a reason! The area has altered over time. Originally a place to exchange coal from VR to NSW it also was a junction between Bandiana and Cudegwa, as one leg of a triangle with Wodonga another leg, and the line to Cudegwa the other.

This changed over time to have SG head further south into Wodonga itself. But not as it is today. The SG crossed over the BG before it reached High Street and went behind the Wodonga goods shed, then across the mainline into some cattle sidings.

Later on it was decided to take the SG to Bandiana for the Army. This was done by dual gauging the line from the triangle, and turning one leg into a SG line (thus making it a triangle no longer).

The Changes Through Time

1944

Coal Siding 1944

Some features to note on this layout includes:

  • The BG Triangle was still here in 1944.

  • The SG is shown as crossing the BG to head behind the Wodonga goods shed.

  • The SG is shown heading to Bandiana, no idea when this was done.

  • It shows the signal box on Houn Street.

  • The Houn Street is a level crossing (Osburn Street is NOT a level crossing).

  • The oil siding on the BG just past Huon Street exists.

  • The SG has 5 through roads in the yard.

  • The BG has 4 road yard with the double slip and head shunt, which was also the weighbridge siding, back towards the triangle.

  • The SG also has a head shunt with that feeds a exchange siding and something else.

  • 4 crossings from BG over SG.

 

1962

In 1962 we see some major changes to the Coal Sidings. Click to enlarge

  • The BG Triangle has been converted, with the SG and duel gauge now to Bandiana.

  • The SG now heads on what will be it's present alignment across High Street and around Wodonga station. The bay platform at Wodonga has gone as well. The cattle yards are still connected in Wodonga now to the new SG line heading to Melbourne.

  • It shows the signal box on Houn Street.

  • The Houn Street is a level crossing (Osburn Street is NOT a level crossing).

  • The oil siding on the BG just past Huon Street exists.

  • The SG lost one through road, and has only 4 through roads in the yard.

  • The BG has 4 road yard with the double slip and head shunt back towards the triangle. More roads added where theSG was in 1944.

  • The SG head shunt & BG crossover are gone.

  • Now 2 crossings from BG over SG.

1964

1964 we see minor changes to the Coal Sidings. Click to enlarge

  • It shows the signal box on Houn Street.

  • The Houn Street is a level crossing (Osburn Street is NOT a level crossing).

  • On the diagram it now shows the siding now known as Oil Coy's siding. The oil siding on the BG just past Huon Street exists.

  • The SG now has a exchange road on what was a BG track. The diagram shows it stopping about halfway up, wit hte rest of hte line being BG.

  • The BG has 1 of the 4 roads now a transfer siding to SG, with the 1st BG road now crossing the SG at the Albury end. There is now some sidings heading to the East.

  • The SG head shunt & BG crossover are gone.

  • We are back to 3 crossings from BG over SG.

1980 Click to enlarge

Been a while since the last plan, and the role of the coal sidings has indeed changed. Around this time, if not before the sidings were no longer used for their original purpose, that of coal transfer.

  • It shows the signal box on Houn Street.

  • The Houn Street is no longer a level crossing - it is an access road form the west side to the center area now .

  • The Osburn St is the new level crossing.

  • The oil siding on the BG just past Huon Street exists.

  • The SG basically unchanged.

  • The BG has more siding off the double slip area. And on the headshunt, which was the weighbridge siding as well, now just a stub ended siding, there is an new industry siding

1990-2007

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge

With no modern diagram, this is the most incomplete observation so far. Based on what the author noted over the last 4 year:

  • The BG line to Bandiana has been lifted. Only SG heads to Bandiana.

  • It shows the signal box on Houn Street.

  • The Houn Street is no longer a level crossing - it is an access road form the west side to the center area now .

  • The Osburn St is the new level crossing.

  • The oil siding on the BG just past Huon Street gone enturely including the associated piping/building/tanks etc.

  • The SG has lost the transfer siding.

  • The BG has more industrial track age in use for some chemical/build hopper plant. As stated the BG transfer siding has gone, as has the BG road in front of it which crossed the SG in the yard at the Albury end. There is a strip of space between BG & SG which these days is used for log and container transfer to/from road. The BG's siding off the double slip area. are overgrown and out of use.

 

 

Yard Type Choices

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

Here is a comparison of the type of yard we could deploy They do not show stub ended yards that could be used. For comparison, Murranbill is more of the "Classic Ladder" type.

Rail yard comparisons

What's in a name?

Written by David Head. Posted in New Exhibiton Layout

We have our locale, but what to call the layout ?
Here are some thoughts !
  • "Murray River"
  • "Murray River Crossing"
  • Find the Aboriginal for "River Crossing"
  • "Twin Town Crossing"
  • "Wodonga to Albury"
  • "Woodbury"
  • "Aldonga"
  • "Murray River Bridge"
  • "Murray Bridge"
  • Find the Latin for "River Crossing"
  • "Coal Bridge" - pun on Coal Sidings and Murray River Bridge....
  • "Murray Sidings" - pun on Coal Sidings and Murray River Bridge...
Extra suggestions sought!

Exhibitions