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 …
The 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.
Three 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.
The “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 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.
Road 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!
A 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.
Two 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!
The 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.