Narrow gauge arrives at Jameston …

Yes, I know … the title of this particular blog is all wrong. Everyone, myself included, knows that the narrow gauge was at Jameston long before the broad gauge arrived. Narrow gauge was initially laid in the south east of South Australia (being both cheaper and faster to open up new areas to rail), with broad gauge arriving in the 1950s.

In Border District “fiction”, the Jameston branch is somewhat like the Beachport branchline from Mount Gambier – with Jameston being akin to Millicent (in fact, the yard layout at Jameston takes many cues from Millicent … as well as Jamestown in the state’s north, but that is a story for another blog). Hence, it is assumed that the broad gauge conversion has made it from Border Junction to Jameston, but the narrow gauge has remained intact to allow for service beyond Jameston (as happened beyond Millicent to Beachport for a short period of time).

Truth be told, Jameston was originally conceived as a small, three road country station on a small branchline, owing more to Kingston than Millicent. However, the opportunities to include narrow gauge have proved too good to resist, as the following pictures show (earlier days though!) …

ImageAbove, “Big Mikado” 730 can be seen arriving at Jameston. As at Millicent during the gauge conversion project, the road closest to station building (foreground) is narrow gauge, the next road (on which 730 sits) is dual gauge and the other two roads are broad gauge – the furthest serving the goods shed. An industry track also runs behind the goods shed and serves a fertiliser depot and several smaller industries.

ImageAbove, Jameston yard as seen from the east, looking west. 730 can be seen arriving with her train in the distance – clearly this image was taken before the previous one. Two dual gauge points and a broad gauge points were constructed courtesy of Jim Wanless at (ironically!) Jamestown Trains in the US. Jim also constructed some narrow gauge points, but the geometry of Peco’s new H0n3 points allowed me to achieve more in the space I have. Of course, this means I still have some spare H0n3 points …. hmmmm?!

ImageA slightly more “helicopter” view of Jameston than the previous image, again looking west. Some may question the use of H0n3 for narrow gauge (3 feet 6 inches) – clearly under scale. However, many South Australian modellers use H0n3 as it makes the 16.5mm “standard gauge” track appear more like broad gauge, particularly in dual gauge trackage sections. Judge for yourself … I’ve already accepted the 16.5mm compromise for broad gauge, so going H0n3 was “easy” …

ImageJameston looking east – opposite view to the last two images. The narrow gauge to the right is the imagined continuation to points further east, while the industries behind the goods shed mentioned in the a previous image caption can clearly be seen to the left. The loco depot has been able to become mixed gauge, with thanks to the Peco H0n3 point geometry. I really, really like the above image …it is also one of the clearer snaps I’ve taken!

So, I can almost tick off another “to do” list item – I just need to power route a few frogs and add sleepers to Jim’s turnouts. I’ve also been mucking about with a few other “interests” these holidays – as keen observers may note by paying close attention to two of the above images …

While pondering that, I’ll leave you with another image of 730 and her train at the newly back-dated Jameston … enjoy!Image

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Nankiva changes completed … ahead of schedule!

The beginning of the second week of the holidays marked the completion of all planned changes at Nankiva … well ahead of the “end of January” deadline I had set myself! With a  picture said to speak a thousand words, we will spend a little time trackside to observe the changes …

S arrives NANS315 arrives at Nankiva from the east with the down afternoon passenger service from Melbourne. In the foreground, the silo road/livestock road can be seen with a few wagons in the distance, with the “lead” for the goods shed the next road across before the loop road. The S and train are on the main.

S stopped NANS315 is undertaking a short station stop at Nankiva – being December there are more travellers than usual. T357 is at the head of a short goods and sits in the loop road. The new single slip (very shiny!) can be seen in the foreground. A string of yellow GY wagons sit in the silo road, awaiting loading. The rusty track in the foreground is the “Pivot” fertiliser siding.

S departs NANStation stop complete and signal aspect displaying “clear normal speed”, S315 accelerates her train out of Nankiva. This view provides another look at the new single slip that has allowed the addition of another “industry” at Nankiva … and made shunting here a little more enjoyable/challenging.

S passes Veg GrowersThe new single slip provides access to the “Edenhope Valley Vegetable Growers” siding – currently two U louvre vans await loading. Just in front of S315 is the prototype “dwarf” signal built by Bill Dick – protecting the headshunt from the loop road.

Loco with 5 roadsThe track changes at Nankiva “freed up” a left hand medium radius point … that found a new home at the loco depot in the open staging area. This has allowed an additional two locomotives to be stored without being removed from the layout. The newly relocated point is already weathered and can be seen above providing accommodations for B67 and T335.

Truth be told, there is still plenty for me to do at Nankiva – painting all rails and sleepers, ballasting and some basic infrastructure – platform edging, etc. However, I’m giving myself a pat on the back for “finishing” at least one item on the “to do” list these holidays. On to the narrow gauge at Jameston …

Changes at Nankiva …

In my previous blog post (gee, a little longer ago than I thought … guess that sums up this time of year), I mentioned the desire to get “more” out of the VR station on my layout – Nankiva (the name coming from a composite of Nhill and Kaniva). With thanks to good friends and fellow VR modellers Keith and Mark, a few simple changes have had a significant impact.

The upcoming holidays will see the completion of this changes as the number one priority. I thought it would be interesting to record the progress through this blog – and it might keep me on the road to progress! So here is the current state of play before the serious work begins, in images …

Nankiva west endThe above image greets crews as they arrive at Nankiva from the west. The searchlight is from San Mateo Line – a big shout out again to Bill Dick for his work, truly awesome! The dwarf – a prototype also from Bill, protects the headshunt. Bill has recently sent me a second prototype dwarf with a base – very, very SAR and much needed to complete signalling for Tatiara Downs. To the right, the new “Edenhope Valley Vegetable Growers” siding can be seen, adding a source of traffic for Nankiva.

Nankiva vegetable loadingThree vans – a UB, U and BMX – sit in the “Edenhope Valley Vegetable Growers” siding awaiting loading. This siding replaces the former “Wimmera Livestock Co-op” industry here – and gives an excuse for more vans! Eventually, a roof will span both the track and the loading area here to protect from the elements. Entry to this siding requires a second single slip to be installed at Nankiva – already ordered.

Nankiva Pivot sidingThe “Pivot” siding has been moved from the east end to the west end of the yard – currently with a single HY open wagon in residence. Based on the facility at Sale, this siding will take a couple of 4 wheelers and include a corrugated iron shed and associated “white dust” everywhere! The UB van in vegie siding can just be seen to the far left.

Nankiva stationNankiva station … or at least, it will be! The standard VR 4 track yard arrangement has been employed. Road 1 is the platform road and mainline, Road 2 is the loop, Road 3 provides access to the vegie siding and the Pivot siding runs off Road 4.

Nankiva grainRoad 4 has seen the removal of the goods shed – replaced by grain loading. Five GYs (in need of some weathering!) await loading. I’m not sure if I wait for a manufacturer to do a “Geelong” style silo as “ready to place”, or use the Walthers steel grain bins here (similar to the Murphy” style bins from the 1950s). The “swapping” of the grain silo and goods shed locations has really helped open up Nankiva – thanks Keith!

Nankiva slipA view of the trackwork at the east end of Nankiva yard. Road 4, closest to the viewer, now extends into a livestock loading/unloading area (which will also be used for loaded grain wagons). A single slip helps sort Road 3 to either Road 2 or the goods shed lead. This track/points arrangement will be “mirrored” at the west end – it is both space saving and successful.

Nankiva livestockThree wagons – an L, M and KQ (with MC container) – sit at the end of the livestock siding. The new location of the goods shed can be seen in the distance.

Nankiva goodsTwo U vans sit at Nankiva’s large goods shed. The location of the shed sees a little departure from the prototype (often opposite the station), but the gentle curve added prior to the goods shed really “stretches” the location. Shunting Nankiva will be fun – and a  little challenging, as it should be!

Nankiva east endThe 80 foot goods shed and signal gantry that guards the east end of Nankiva are both significant features – here viewed from the east. Seasonal loadings to both this goods shed and the veggie siding will raise Nankiva’s profile in terms of operation – while the loop also plays an important part in allowing VR trains a location to cross or overtake.

So as can be seen, Nankiva’s changes have been “roughed in”, but a little track and wire is needed to finalise things before everything is operational – I’m giving myself until the end of January.