Apcel Mill questions …

The addition of the Apcel Paper Mill at Jameston (based on the Apcel and Cellulose mills at Snuggery) introduced a whole range of operating possibilities to the Border District … and ensured Jameston’s transition towards a “Millicent” style location was cemented. In my initial planning, Jameston was to have a wheat silo and be a little more “Murraylands” like. However, given there are already two silos elsewhere on the layout, the desire for a different traffic source was pursued. The silo road then became a mill siding, which then grew to two tracks … as can be seen below (tracks furthest to the right):

Paper Mill from track

As I researched more about the actual mills at Snuggery though, I realised my simple two sidings at Jameston were probably not nearly enough … these were BUSY places in the 1970s! Both locations had 4 or more LONG tracks, and there was waste paper and pulp paper as inward products, toilet rolls and finished paper outwards – to both Adelaide AND Melbourne. Have a look at the image below – there are 4 bogie wagons (=8 four wheelers) worth of open wagons and 7 bogie vans for paper (=17 four wheelers) in the two sidings. This is less than what I’d like and the place is already “chock-a-block”:

Paper Mill overview

There really isn’t another location anywhere on the layout that would be suitable for the Paper Mill. So I started to play around with a few point templates and pieces of spare track to see what else could be added to the mill area to enhance capacity and increase operations potential. As always, good friend and fellow VR modeller Mark provided some “why not like this” input – much appreciated! Below is the image of the results thus far … the revised “Apcel Paper Mill” with some modifications, replicating the image above for comparison:

Proposed Mill overview

Two more tracks (and two more points) provide more than double the existing capacity of the mill’s sidings. The first positive gained – a small soda ash unloading facility could be provided for on one of the new tracks (see image below) – making for a nice little “scene” and bringing in an additional traffic – in those great looking OBfs, no less:

Proposed Mill Soda Ash

Next positive – the ability to add a track that wasn’t parallel to the others. In the triangular area between the two tracks, I’d see stacks of cardboard and waste paper and some small buildings associated with the mill – another great scene. This arrangement could also see the “open wagons” traffic split into two – pulp paper on one road (closest to camera – with the SAR SGMX in yellow and OX in grey) and waste paper on the other (furthest – with the SAR SGX and VR ELX). See below:

Proposed Mill waste paper

The third positive – more than doubling the amount of track space for vans. This is possibly the biggest factor – with WVXs, BLXs, VLXs and M vans all coming (soon), and plenty of vans already on the roster – there cannot (I repeat, CANNOT) be too much track for vans! Consider the image below, with 10 bogie vans (=24 four wheelers) stowed across two tracks – with space for more:

Proposed Mill closeup

With these three positives, you might wonder why the title of this blog post? Well, there are negatives too (of course) …

Negative 1 – the original mill set-out allowed for 10000mm of length and 75mm depth from track to backscene for a low relief structure/s, but the new arrangement means almost all this 75mm has been taken (the 1000mm length is still there!). How then to add buildings to this scene now … in complete low relief? Or do I simply “hide” the two van tracks inside a big shed? This would make shunting a REAL challenge …

Negative 2 – I’d like “space” between tracks for stacks of paper and loading/unloading – not possible with the current proposed arrangement. Should I remove the “middle” road from the above image – doing away with storage for 6+ bogie vans? Or keep it in and have it as a road for storing empty vans on, perhaps putting a roof over the furthest track only, trying to tie it in to the mill?

I’ve got no issue with the amount of track possibly at the mill in the revised proposal – this is necessary when operations are the aim of the game. I also think that the open wagon area and soda ash area would give plenty of context to the model. Feel free to share your thoughts via a comment as at this stage, as I’m not rushing out to buy two more points and a bit more flextrack … yet!


4 thoughts on “Apcel Mill questions …

  1. Hhhmmm, despite the fact it looks like a done deal that a more points and flextrack are heading your way here are a few positives.
    Positive 1. How about a combination of low relief and a big shed for the two van tracks. Vans will always be shunted in a rake so as long as you can see just one wagon number you should be ok(he says hopefully).
    Positive 2. Keep middle road and put a roof over track four as you don’t store paper (even waste paper) out in the open!
    As always, ignore, discard or return for refund as you see fit.

  2. Mark,
    … and as always, valuable and useful insights from your good self! Having another play with the space and tracks, I’m considering trimming the track closest to the backscene back from its end by 2-3 van lengths – this would then allow the “middle” track and the “open wagon” track parallel to the “middle” track to head into a large shed (with space either side for loading). With a skillion roof and being 2-3 van lengths long, this would also imply a greater structure continuing “beyond” what would be modelled. I would still have the “diagonal” open wagons track (3x bogie wagons easily accommodated) and the rear track … which could still serve the soda ash unloading location, as well as either: 1 another roofed loading area for more vans (for a different finished paper product?); 2 open wagon traffic now displaced with the new “shed” (pulp paper to one siding, recycled paper to the other?); 3 another paper mill required commodity – fly ash (something different!?).

    But yes, either way I think Apcel at Jameston is growing to 4 tracks …

  3. Anthony,
    Any chance than you could trim three inches off the branch line coming into the Jameston and move it out from the paper sidings towards the centre of the room by that distance. That might allow you to spread the tracks out in the mill slightly to have platforms between some of the sidings for a fork lift.

    • Craig,
      A great suggestion, but to do so would mean shortening the radius of the 900mm curve … a standard I would like to keep intact. As per my response to Mark, I think I have it sorted … will take a few pics and post soon.

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