Stockyards at Tatiara Downs


One item not mentioned from the previous post regarding the latest operating session was the arrival of another actual industry on the Border District … the stockyards (both sheep and cattle) for Tatiara Downs. Again, I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to Don Bishop, and am very grateful that the Border District continues to benefit from his talents, skills and construction. As the images show, the stockyards are again such that superlatives are simply not enough (though the iPhone images don’t do them justice). The image above shows the sheep yards – with footboards! – looking west, while the image below is a “preliminary” one, with the stockyards having been test fitted, gates still to be correctly installed and oil unloading siding to be pruned back (right foreground) … TD_stockyards_1

The stockyards are the first of five “industries” intended for the eastern end of Tatiara Downs – this area is designed as somewhat of a shunting “Mecca” and takes some inspiration and cues from Rivertown on the Moping Branch Railway. The images above and below give some clues to the set out, with other industries being the local shire co-operative (next siding over from the stockyards), super/fertiliser depot (such a large traffic source in the south east), oil company distribution point and a grain siding serving the silo loading point. The addition of the actual stockyards, rather than a cardboard sign/placeholder (as used for the other industries), made shunting this area in the last operating session the most enjoyable experience yet … including ensuring placement of C and S vans by the loading ramps, as can be seen below … TD_stockyards_4

The stockyards will be finished with a perspex “shield” on the layout fascia to protect from possible damage caused by stray elbows and the like (in fact, there are five locations around the layout where this is solution to protect buildings or infrastructure will be employed). I’m also looking forward to extending scenery in this area – the Naracoorte/Mt Gambier “atmosphere” is already starting to come to the fore. As well as protecting the stockyards from operators on one side, I needed to ensure that they were protected from being bumped on the loading side – the image below shows “Big Mikado” 730 undertaking this task, given that the cylinders on this loco are the widest of any loco in the Border District fleet. As for the second image in this post, I have used another “preliminary” image of the stockyard placement, with final presentation not quite “there” – though the 720 is comfortably negotiating the concrete base of the cattle loading point … TD_stockyards_2

The impact when entering the layout room is now significant – completed stockyards at Tatiara Downs on one side; 15 ton coal stage, water tower and gangers’ shed at Jameston on the other – as evidenced by the reactions of operators last session. I look forward to continuing to add to these “impacts” – both myself and through the continued engagement of “Busy Bishop’s Building Services”. An interestingly organised structure is planned for the shire co-operative in the Tatiara Downs industrial area, with three very, very low relief structures intended for Jameston.


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