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This website was last updated on 2 May 2018.
In designing the layout, equal consideration was given to modelling key scenes through LDE’s (layout design elements) and to potential operation. Fortunately most trains in the 1960’s in New South Wales were quite short – less than seven feet in HO scale, with the exception being certain coal and long distance freight trains which were up to 12 feet in length.
The major design elements comprised:
• Newcastle Station, City Centre and Port
• Broadmeadow Yard
• Adamstown Tunnel
• Sulphide Junction and Cardiff Railway Workshops, and
• Newstan Mine and Fassifern.
Consideration of the available space led to a design with Newcastle
along the right hand wall; Broadmeadow yard along the top wall,
with the loco.depot in the top left-hand corner; and the main line to
Fassifern winding around loops at B and C before returning to staging located under Broadmeadow. The main line to the north of Broadmeadow uses a loop D under Newcastle to run to the main staging under Broadmeadow.
A top-down plan of the first layout , showing trackage and design elements can be seen here.
If you are really feeling like a good read, the details of all my planning decisions are to be
found in this document: Planning the Newcastle-Fassifern Raliway.pdf
While the line between Newcastle and Fassifern was only about 17 miles long, squeezing the city of Newcastle, Broadmeadow Yard, the main line, coal mines and staging into a small 12 feet by 17 feet attic proved quite a design challenge!
Broadmeadow Yard included around 20 tracks with separate “up” and “down” sidings, plus a large locomotive depot with double roundhouses and over 80 tracks. This clearly required major compression! Only one roundhouse and a seven track yard could be fitted in.
Sulphide Junction was an important station, serving the Cardiff railway workshops and a major sulphide plant producing superphosphate. Special ore trains operated to this plant daily from mines at Broken Hill approximately 800 miles to the west. These were heavy but short trains, powered by AD60 Garrett locomotives, electric locomotives and diesels at different parts of their journey. Cardiff workshops not only repaired and built freight and passenger rolling stock but also many steam locomotives, including some of the C-38 class Pacific locomotives.
Unfortunately, space limitations meant major compression of the prototype, but some of the key features were able to be incorporated.
The prototype includes significant grades up to Adamstown tunnel from Broadmeadow, and down the other side, with 1.3% (1 in 80) gradients on each side. The southbound grade was the ruling grade for “up” trains between Newcastle and Gosford, where steam was swapped for electric power for the last 50 miles south into Sydney.
It was possible to model short grades on both sides of the tunnel as well as the intermediate stations of Kotara and Cardiff, and the third track up from Sulphide Junction to Adamstown tunnel. This “relief” track was used by the local coal trains to avoid delaying fast passenger and freight trains.
The track continues down the Fassifern bank from Sulphide Junction to Fassifern, with Newstan Mine squeezed in to the space between Fassifern and the aisle way.
Most of the prototype track work at Newcastle station and yard was able to be modelled, together with key buildings in the city centre and a port scene along the wall in the background.