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


2 thoughts on “Narrow gauge arrives at Jameston …

  1. It never rains but it pours! First just a thought or two about Nankiva and then the next thing you know the narrow gauge is installed at Jameston. Looking good, real good.
    (somewhere in the late 1950s….)

  2. Thanks Mark! Yes, the first fortnight of the holidays really saw some progress – I think because it had been on the cards for so long in the lead up. Now I just need to source some H0n3 SAR gear …

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