The

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Layout - 26 Dec 2012

Points of Interest:


In addition to the density and variety of train services, and the highly curved and steeply graded main line (up to 2.5%), Newcastle boasted many model-genic 19th century buildings, such as the Customs House , T&G Insurance building, Station, and Post Office.  Of particular interest was the large locomotive depot at Broadmeadow, featuring two roundhouses and housing over 100 locomotives (mostly steam).


Access Tricks:


A key design goal was to avoid duck-unders so all track work would be accessible.

Accordingly, tracks were kept to within 30 inches of the baseboard edge

wherever possible. However the tracks at Newcastle were behind

both a loop and the proposed city centre, with access further

obstructed by tall buildings. These tracks were accessible by placing

the city centre (and part of the loop track under it) on a hinged baseboard.


Modules and Track Support System:


The layout was built in modules, sized to allow removal via an attic window!

In terms of construction, many layouts use ¾ inch plywood as a base for tracks, especially

in yards. I use a sandwich of 3 mm thick MDF (medium density fibreboard), 10mm thick foam

and 3mm cork. This is very light, dimensionally stable, absorbs sound well and allows track to be

easily pinned through the cork and into the foam below (a high density black foam is used which

although light is difficult to compress). This also allowed me to experiment with alternative

track layouts prior to gluing.

down the track. The track base is supported by 2” by 1” pine risers attached to the L-Girder baseboard.


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