EMRC has now been in the old bowling club rooms generously provided by the Nillumbik Council, for some time now.
While there is not a huge amount of space I have whipped up an initial plan, after doodling on paper at work a few lunchtimes before going on holidays.
The plan was drawn on paper, photographed by a digital camera then “drawn” on to produce the rough plans you see here. EMRC members can see the scale plans on request to the author.
The basic plan is a double level layout made as a continuous run. There is a double ended staging yard. There are small branches off the mainline, which is a single track. I’d say the lower level will be separated by 600mm. Each level is not flat, and we are not expending too much effort to make tight grades, except for the line from “A” to “”B”, and both helix’s.
It is an ambitious plan. Plenty of grain silos, a mine,oil, factories etc. will keep the shunters busy. Two minor branches, a bigger single ended town, and a multi-station branch will allow different things for different people. This layout could keep more than 9 people busy, which would be good as the old club layout could only keep 6 operators busy.
Access was one real problem. The rear door needs to be usable. And I tried to avoid low level duck unders – there is a climb under for the lower level, and two true duck unders for the top level.
I have made use of the shower room and the outer shed for helixs. The smaller helix will be touch and at 29 inches, but we had a tighter curve out of Broughton. I haven’t decided if the other helix needs to be double tracked ir have a hidden passing loop, because helix’s do take time to travel through, and operationally hold up traffic. But all the helix’s have passing loops/stations at their entrances to minimise this.
No names yet, but every station/interlocking area has a letter.
Travelling Around The Line
Shall we have a closer look? Let’s do a trip around the system.
“A” is one end of the staging yard (the other being “V”). The staging yard has but 7 roads, one express, and six storage yards. There is a short 2 road siding off the main for rail motors. The passing loop “E” is scenic above the staging.
The mainline describes a circle to go over itself, but not before encountering a triangle junction “B” that leads to station “C”. I gather many trains will bypass this town but it will allow us to have a busy terminal station. “B” also sees a branch to a mine “D”.
After leaving “B”, we cross over the staging yards into “E”. A basic passing siding it will feature some scenery behind. It has to duck over the staging below because of the brickwork.
Here we head straight through a gap in the brickwork into a 3ft radius helix “F” in the shed. This helix will now takes us up to the upper level, and straight into Station “G”.This station sits over “C” below. Presentation is more mushroom like in that the operators of the lower level work on one side, and the operators work the upper level on the other. The station is on the nos under to allow people easier passage to the room.
The railway does a 180% turn then on another nod under the railway it forms a passing loop “H”. Barely containing any scenery, this part is on a shelf. Note how it goes out into the hallway to pass around the “T” brick support.
the train then passes over itself at where it comes out of the helix, and enters the small station of “i”. This station is a slightly bigger WIndana to me. The line then rounds the room again to pass by the passing loop “H” and leave that room.
We now head along the hall and passing loop “J”. This is against the rear wall and has to accommodate a opening section, either flaps up, sideways etc to allow the door to be opened. The track follows the wall and enters the second main room via the old “window”. The line then heads lower then the loco depot above to station “K”, a junction station, smallish except for the big industry at it’s back. That place may have a dedicated shunting loco there, which the mainline had to exchange locos.
The branch leaves “K” and ducks under the mainline to the small grian terminus of “L” this is a small station on this shelf.
Meanwhile the mainline rounds the room and heads into station “M” down the center of the room. Like station “G” & “C” in the other room, this station “M” sits above another (“P”), again mushroom style operated. This is the second biggest town,(“P” is the other below). This station has the major loco depot and a island platform. The old loco shed from Henty could be useful here. Lot of sidings, no silo at this town.
The line leaves “M” and heads right into the next spiral “N”. Back to the lower level the line First heads into the hall in a curved section before entering the second main room. As it enters the room it passes over a branch line we will meet soon. “O” is little more than a silo and a passing loop. Next is a trip over the old Pine Ridge bridge,We then head up the center into the station of “P”. “P” is a busy station with two platforms, showing it’s British heritage plainly. A smaller loco depot, This station has a longer branch line that leaves just out of town at “Q”.
The branch enters a tunnel, then opens to a small passing loop at “R”. It then plunges over several trestles into the small town of “S” – mainly the Silo is the sole reason for this station. The line then heads up to “T”, a small end station.
I think this branch would be code 55, and either run as a “tourist railway with main line operators working to “S” – depend on era !
Back to the mainline. The Track leaves the Junction “Q” heads under the helix “N” and into the hallway. We do not follow the walls, here going at a angle to the door, again a flap is needed. We then enter passing loop “U” that leads right through the wall into the first room and right into the staging yard at “V”.
That completes the trip around the railway. It has a long mainline, caters for 10ft trains, and many more smaller ones. There are plenty of stations as well as simple passing loops. Some station may have dedicated shunters, and some areas like the stations “O,K,P” may be operated all the time from that operating area.
Still hard to follow a train, but many operators can walk into all room to follow a train. With only the nod unders in the first room, operator flow will be interesting.
Note in both plans, not all walls, especially external wall shown at proper thickness, as they have no bearing on the plans.