Welcome to Border Junction …

Border Junction is the smallest, but perhaps most important, of the four locations on the Border District. Firstly, Border Junction is the station whose title is closest to that of the layout’s name. Also, the “junction” is the means by which I’ve been able to include parts of both the South Australian Railways and Victorian Railways systems, particularly in terms of operation – the “mainline” for the VR and the “branchline” for the SAR (the SAR also has a little “mainline” into Tatiara Downs, but it isn’t really much more than a 3m curve out of the staging yard, with some of this buried in a tunnel!). Until recently, the facilities at Border Junction were little more than a small piece of unfinished MDF and a goodly dose of imagination. This morning though, that all changed …

Border Junction wideshot

The image above shows the facilities now in place at Border Junction. For this, a significantly large “thank you” needs to be given to Mr Don Bishop, of Border Downs Railway (BDR) fame, and the Moping Branch Railway (MBR) previous. Don is also very well known to those who attend the Modelling the Railways of South Australia Convention, or purchase the notes (with articles often also reprinted in AMRM). While I’ve been lucky enough to operate on the BDR twice (thanks Geoff!), Don has dodged me both times … he is clearly a man of good taste! Despite this, I’ve been conducting a long distance relationship with him to try to bring the layout to a more “finished” state.

Border Junction from east

Don is a prolific and talented modeller – as the above image of Border Junction’s facilities clearly shows! While I’m in awe of his work, I’m also in awe at the fact my little layout has – again – had input from a modeller whose efforts I’ve admired for a long time (the “Every Bloke Needs a Shed” article from the MRSAC notes helped me “lock in” the facilities for Tatiara Downs – though now I need to get cracking and finish things!). It truly is with thanks to several VR and SAR modellers – many of whom I am now fortunate enough to call friends – that the Border District is a reality, and a vision increasingly approaching realisation.

Border Junction from west

Border Junction’s facilities are located on the SAR branch from Tatiara Downs to Jameston, immediately after the branch has diverged from the mainline that continues to Nankiva (VR). There is also a siding serving “Southern Aggregates” to the west of the the station. Much discussion was had about “appropriateness” of facilities … not too much, but not too little. In the end, a small station (based on Callington in the Adelaide Hills, now restored at the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide) was chosen, along with a “Class 4” van goods shed. A ramp for goods is at one end of the platform, with stairs for passengers at the other. Signage, lighting and a pillbox (to call Control for access to the main to Tatiara Downs, or the Branch to Jameston) were also incorporated. the finished product exceeded expectations … and being placed high on the layout, means some of the details, like the exquisite platform seat, can be readily viewed.

Rx and water tower

But wait, that is not all … I’ve also been fortunate enough to convince Don to contribute to a few other areas of the Border District, as the above image shows. The loco facilities at Jameston – the SAR branch station and “break of gauge” from broad to narrow, are currently quite sparse. To be honest, they are nothing more than a Peco turntable needing “SAR-ising” and a few unballasted, unpainted tracks. However, Don has once again contributed and provided the location with a concrete water tower (also from an article in the MRSAC notes) – clearly evident to the left of the Rx in the above image.

If these first two installations courtesy of “Bishop’s Building Company” are anything to go by, Don may have a goodly amount of contract work coming out of the Border District for some time …

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