The bigger picture …

Last post, I made mention of a “spider diagram” for the Border District – basically a tool to place the locations on my layout within the greater scheme of the South Australian Railways and Victorian Railways. Behold below draft number two of the aforementioned. My sincere thanks go to Mark, who decided to rework my first draft (which, to be honest, did look more like a spider!), ensuring that the locations on the layout (bold) were orientated as they appear on the layout. Note that Edenhope (VR) and Kybybolyte (SAR) are next to each other – this also helps to represent the “through” staging yard. Comments and critique are welcomed:

Border District Spider V2

The last week hasn’t seen any great physical progress on the layout – but a visit from two good friends has really helped with the “tweaks” I talked about at both Nankiva and Border Junction. Over an evening, the adding of a little curve or angle to a track, removing or shortening a track, swapping industries/destinations over has all had a significant impact – even though they may look and sound like little things in isolation. My thanks again to Keith and Mark for both their time and input – the Border District is the better for it! I’ll share the changes through some photographs in a future post as work to turn the ideas into reality is still underway …



“Tweaks” before the next “trial” …

As well as receiving some informed and considered feedback from those operators at the October “pre-Ops” operating session, it has been great to receive some feedback via the blog and emails too – thanks everyone. I’ll also seek feedback from some learned and valued friends at a casual gathering shortly.

The “plan” then is to hold another “pre-Ops” session before Christmas, hopefully affording those who weren’t able to be at the afternoon held in October the opportunity to attend.

The redesigned signal panels and car card sorting stations won’t be available in time for this session (I don’t think), but will be added to the list of “high priority” jobs for the Christmas holiday period.

However, the “spider” diagram (locating the layout within the bigger scheme of the SAR and VR systems) will be distributed to all for comment and use. The Station Master (SM) role at Tatiara Downs will become that of the Yard Master (YM), with the Train Controller (TC) taking over the operation of the signals and points at Tatiara Downs.

Another suggestion likely to be employed is breaking the 2x 12 hour shifts into 3x 8 hour shifts (thanks Shelton), and increasing the amount of VR traffic in and around Nankiva. This will impact the overall timetable and sequence cards, but will be for the better. It should mean a less cluttered staging area … emphasis on the “should”!

In the interim though, there will be some more “tinkering” with traffic patterns, sidings and industries and the “big picture” timetable.

956 ready to depart TD

956 has completed shunting requirements at Tatiara Downs and is ready to head west with SAR 186 paper train. It is seen here waiting in Road 2 for SAR 731 Jet Goods to arrive from Adelaide. Shunting was done post the “pre-Ops” day and train 731 was one of three that we didn’t get to in the session.