Progress at Jameston …

JAM west

So far, the Christmas/New Year period has provided the time to bring a few “little” projects to completion on the Border District. One of the “big ticket” items that needed some time and planning was the SAR 15 ton wooden coal stage, another awesome piece of modelling by the prolific Don Bishop that I’ve ben fortunate enough to acquire. Originally constructed for a presentation at the “Modelling the Railways of South Australia” Convention, Don spruced the coal stage up for Jameston, as seen above and in two images below …

JAM loco


JAM coal stage

While the coal stage construction was all Don, there was the need to make a few modifications to the baseboards at Jameston to accept the model. A large drill bit (in a less than reliable drill), a file and a coping saw, along with a good amount of “umm” and “arr” and a few hours toil, resulted in the unit at last being placed to serve both broad and narrow gauge steamers on the Border District. Now I just need a narrow gauge steamer …

JAM station

Don has also recently completed two other structures for me to help round out the scene at Jameston … a gangers’ shed (able to be seen in the first image on this post) and a classic SAR ground level weatherboard station, as seen in the image above. This station has replaced the lasercut ply offering previously at this location and is a much, MUCH improved rendition of the prototype. Again, thanks Don!

JAM east


As can be seen Jameston is, slowly, looking a little more complete. The narrow gauge is far more resolved and will be used to haul “Beachport sand” for transfer to Victorian Railways JSF sand hoppers for forwarding to Pilkington Glass in Victoria. I’m still in two minds as to whether this will be an “SAR Eyre Peninsula” style operation/prototype (with narrow gauge 830s, etc.), or something more freelanced – like a narrow gauge version of the Coffin Bay railway, also from the Eyre Peninsula. The transfer point for the sand will be based on the gypsum loader at Tantanoola in SA. I’ve also had a “play” with a couple of NAR “NH” hoppers from Marbelup Models to further explore the possibilities. Below, the sand transfer siding/facility can be seen on the opposite side of the yard to the Apcel Paper Mill at Jameston.

JAM sand


The embankment for the narrow gauge track at the transfer point is the next project – a friend offering some Woodlands Scenics “risers” to try – thanks Andrew! The holidays have seen some time pursuing other modelling jobs and interests, including tinkering with locos, decoders, decalling and weathering … as well as a visit away from the Border District to Craig Mackie’s “Cassino” empire last weekend for a very enjoyable operating session … he was even crazy enough to let me have a try at North Coast Train Control!


There was movement at the station …

… for the word has passed around, that the blog for Border District hadn’t been updated in nearly three months!

The lack of updates reflects the lack of progress, with the planned tackling of ballasting and scenery remaining a far off wish and dream … hopefully to be realised over the Christmas and New Year period. Since the last post, there have been a few additional items of motive power and rollingstock making their way onto the Border District. Below, two such “newer” arrivals can be seen … Victorian Railways’ 280HP Walkers railcar, 91RM and South Australian Railways’ 900 class English Electric diesel electric, 909. The Walkers will work VR passenger Train Number (TN) 36 to Hamilton, while the grubby looking 909 is on “Stonie” duties and will shortly head to Border Junction to shunt some HS hoppers.

956 shunts TN547

In another view, taken at the same time but from a different angle, a better view of the expanse that is Tatiara Downs can be seen. Alco 956 is at the head of SAR goods TN547 and has just shunted loading for Tatiara Downs to the yard. 956 will then couple back to her train, which can be seen in the distance on the loop road, before heading towards Border Junction and Jameston.

TD helicopter view

At the eastern end of Tatiara Downs is a small industrial district. Seen below, from left to right, is the Tatiara Downs fuel distributors’ siding (allowing tank cars form a variety of companies to be unloaded), then the stock sidings (both cattle and sheep), the local farmers’ co-operative siding, the “Top Brand Fertilisers” unloading siding and the grain loading siding, which curves around the corner, parallel to the main line. The “Bunge” VR FJ flour hopper sits on the mill siding to the extreme right – this siding accessed from behind the station’s dock platform.

TD industries

Above, a SAR 500 class diesel shunter can be seen on the stock siding. Below is another view of the industrial sidings, but with the shunter the main topic of the photo. 513 is a Strath Hobbies body on a Hollywood Foundry mechanism and is a long awaited arrival for Tatiara Downs, which was formerly shunted by a VR Y class diesel. My thanks to Don Moyses for his assistance in bringing a SAR diesel shunter to the ‘District! 513 is positioning a SAR S bogie sheep van (scratchbuilt) for loading … the actual stockyards a possibility for a 2015 arrival, with sincere thanks to Don Bishop!

513 shunts TD1

A closer view of Tatiara Downs yard can be seen below, with the re-positioned goods shed close to the layout fascia. Long time friend and VR modeller, Mark Hourigan, has offered to construct the goods shed (all 120 feet of it, based on Mount Gambier) as a building that will end “mid-structure” at the layout’s edge – quite the engineering challenge! However, if anyone can, Mark can …

TD goods shed

Further west, a number of VR and SAR locos can be seen “on shed” below at Tatiara Downs “loco”, with a blue and gold VR B class diesel in original paint scheme and condition standing front and centre. A few “tweaks” have been had in this area too, moving the coal loading plant further away from the signal gantry and creating a greater feel of “distance” here. Further to the left and out of shot is the turntable and additional locomotive storage roads.

TD loco

As if things weren’t busy enough at “TD”, SAR 907 has arrived on an early running passenger service, TN541, with additional loading for the increased holiday traffic. Both 907 and 909 are the work of a joint effort between Peter Carter (bodies and chassis machining) and Dwayne Norris (assembly, painting and weathering). The mechanisms are from Proto 1000 Erie-builts, obtained with thanks from John Hansford, and they run very well. A big nod of thanks too for Geoff Mathias, who ran “point” on coordinating the 900 project. To all involved … thanks men, much appreciated!

907 arrives TN541

Below, 907 has brought TN541 to a stand at the platform. The consist includes a Centenary Baggage, a Centenary carriage, a 700 steel car, a 750 steel car, another Centenary car, a “Long Tom” 20 ton brake (a Strath Hobbies offering, assembled and painted by Denis Kahl) and a CGP brake bringing up the rear. The usual consist for TN541 is about half this size! The early arrival of TN541 will add a complication for the crew of TN547 and loco 956, as the “pass” will be given priority to head down to Jameston first.

TD yard is full

A different view of TN541, TN547 and the yard at Tatiara Downs can be seen below. Before too long, TN541 will have departed for Border Junction and Jameston, bringing a goodly amount of holiday makers to the south east. At Jameston, 907 will be turned and, after TN547 goods arrives, lead TN542 passenger back to Adelaide, with an equal or greater number of people travelling to the “big smoke” for the festive season …

TD from the west

… and with that, a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year to everyone!