10 April 2018
A .pdf that outlines the history to date of Operations on the Newcastle Fassifern
Railway has been added.
18 July 2017
Quite a bit has been added!
In terms of the new layout: over thirty photos taken in early July have been added
to the New Layout >> Photos page. Some of the photos, taken by my brother Tony,
are starting to really show some interesting details. I have updated the New Layout
tab with two of these.
I have also added a detailed Operations Manual for those wanting to take part in
the now regular operating sessions that are held every 6 weeks or so. The Manual
will be periodically updated. A link to the manual has also been placed on the Articles
tab, as well as in the blurb on the New Layout tab.
In terms of the Prototype, I have added a link to a wonderful Film Australia video
made in 1974 that is now on Youtube: “A Steam Train Passes. It is from the Film
Australia Collection and was directed by David Haythornthwaite. Generally regarded
as Australia's finest railway film and winner of many awards the world over, “A
Steam Train Passes” is a nostalgic, imaginative essay on one of the majestic but
now retired C38 class steam locomotives.
I have also added a link to another prototype Youtube video: “Steam on the Main North”.
Discover the NSW Hunter region’s history as a major transport network with this
new documentary, which features footage from the Hunter shot by transport enthusiast
and cinematographer Roger McKenzie, and his friend Bernie Kent in 1968. The film
features footage from three locations around Maitland: Fassifern, Hawkmount (between
Awaba and Dora Creek), and Thornton.
“Steam on the Main North” is from the Film Archives of Steam in the Newcastle and
Hunter Region in the 1960’s.
Both these video links can also be found on the Links & Contacts tab in the section
on Prototype, and I have also created a new Protoype >> Videos page with the links
there as well.
I have also updated the Prototype >> Track Plans page - with a link to First Layout
>> Track Plans, because I realised that the latter page includes some prototype track
plans as well.
21 April 2017
A detailed history of planning and operations on my Newcastle-Fassifern railway layout
- in the form of a two part .pdf file - has been added. It starts with my first
attempt in Sydney, and moves through to the current layout. You can see part 1 and
part 2 here. They are each around 9MB so may take a little while to download, depending
on your internet connection speed.
13 January 2017
There are two batches of new photos, which you can see on the New Layout>>Photos
- one is from an operating session on 15 December 2016, taken by Earl Rutz.
This had a goal of 9 operators and was a more relaxed affair. This was also the first
time the new Ingot Cars and other specialised Steelworks Rollingstock were in use.
- the second are some more detailed photos by Richard Batterley, taken in November
2016. This is a selection of experimental photos. They include some high level shots
of the layout, as well as some detailed shots of particular locos. Richard was experimenting
with black and white conversions, adding smoke and other special effects.
14 November 2016
Around sixty photos of Newcastle have been added to the Prototype->Photos page. Also
added are six photos of a recent operating session on 4th November 2016.
9 September 2016
As at September 2016, the baseboard and trackage for the steelworks and Port Waratah
modules are complete. Mock-up buildings at the steelworks, and the first mock-up
building on the Newcastle module (The Great Southern Hotel) have been added. You
can see the additions on the new layout photos page.
21 June 2016
More photos of an operating session of the new layout on 16 April 2016 have been
added. They were taken by Ruth Garbutt during a get together of the Sydney DCC Modellers
Group. About 20 people attended all up. Things were a bit chaotic at first, but
they certainly gave the layout a good workout!
18 February 2016
More photos of the new layout have been added, as well as a link to a Youtube video
of an operating session of the second layout (in the shed) - by John Bryan - during
a DCC Modellers’ meeting in August 2015. The video was taken shortly before the
layout was moved to the current address, to become the New Layout.
4 February 2016
First photos and information of the “new” layout! See New Layout tab.
19 July 2015
Photos by Richard Batterley from the first operational session of the current layout
on 21 June 2015 have been added. Stage 1 tracks are completed, including a temporary
connection from Kotara to Port Waratah to create a circuit. The session was attended
by Roger Tuck, Lachlan and Peter McGuire, Chris Day, John Briggs and Marcia Manning.
Although there were a dew derailments and some near collisions, mercifully there
were no serious injuries. Richard Batterley took and edited the photos in an attempt
to hide the lack of scenic detailing.
31 May 2015
Three new articles have been added on the Articles page: Modelling the Newcastle
Steelworks, Modelling Broadmeadow Depot, and Planning the Second Newcastle Fassifern
In addition, a number of photos of trains in operation at the Newcastle steelworks
have been generously made available by Leon Oberg in 300dpi high resolution. The
images available for viewing here are reduced resolution (for web viewing) from those
31 March 2015
Several new photos and 3rd Plan It 3D Views of the current layout have been added.
12 February 2015
Four new photos of the current layout under construction have been added. A new
“Articles” tab has been created and a new article added - “Looking forward to some
new mistakes”. This provides a comprehensive discussion of how the new Layout was
designed, and appears in the Layout Design Sig Journal.
28 October 2014
Six photos of the new layout have been added.
29 September 2014
Some track plan options for the Current Layout have been included; more detail has
been added to the Current Layout and Prototype pages, and the “Maps” link on all
pages has been removed until copyright free material is obtainable. The Home page
has been updated slightly, and the Home>>Photos page reorganised.
26 September 2014
Well, the web site is now officially launched, although some pages are still under
The Prototype page has some photos of the Newcastle - Fassifern area in steam days
and additional photos and other material will be added over time. The Current Layout
page includes some photos showing the start of construction of the new layout, and
more material on the designing, building and eventually operations will be added
The pages on my First layout are the most complete, including photos and videos to
I aim to add more material at a regular rate, so please check back in in a few weeks.