With thanks to Border District regular operator and stalwart Iain Kennedy, a large number of previously not before seen images captured at operating sessions have recently been made available. There are some cracker images that will provide inspiration for more than the usual “monthly operating session” blog updates … so watch out! To begin, this post showcases four slightly different views at the main station on the layout – Tatiara Downs. Heavily influenced by both Mount Gambier (primarily) and Serviceton (secondarily), the freelanced location and station is the interchange point between SAR and VR operations.
Above is a great image of the station building at Tatiara Downs – a replica of the station that still stands today at Bordertown in south eastern South Australia. The stone construction, arch windows, dutch gables and “pagoda-esque” styling are all quintessential South Australian Railways. I really like that Iain has ensured an “eye level view” of the platform here – exactly how I envisage the view – but it does show up the need to paint, ballast and weather the track! The station building is the work of the incredible talents and much missed Barry Le Maistre – I count myself very fortunate to have a few of his works on my layout.
Below is another image of the station at Tatiara Downs, but this time with the trains as the main focus. S315 sits at the head of a Melbourne bound passenger service, a second division “Overland” comprised of a combination of Victorian Railways, South Australian Railways and “Joint Stock” carriages. The S class has taken over from a SAR 930 Alco that hauled the train from Adelaide and into Tatiara Downs. In the dock/back platform road are more Victorian Railways carriages (heavily modified Powerline offerings – a big thank you to Richard Ross for his work) that will form the morning service back to Melbourne. This shot from Iain also captures the proportions of the six track yard nicely … though slightly less “full” than usual!
Above, Iain has captured C508 as it brings a west bound Jet goods into Tatiara Downs from Melbourne. The train will soon pass the home signal, displaying a “red over yellow” aspect, that gives entrance into the yard. Once the C (a beautifully modified and weathered Austrains’ model, courtesy of Keith Trueman) brings the Jet to stand, the loco will cut off, to be replaced by South Australian power for the journey on to Adelaide. In the background, the glass jars and cardboard will one day be replaced by a closer to scale model of a significant grain storage facility – again with Bordertown the likely inspiration. The track curving to the right, and to the right of the train – which then disappears behind the blue back scene – is the Edenhope to Nankiva mainline. Note to self – start to add some vegetation for better screening … as this line is supposedly miles away!
Below, the final shot for this post is a great one of Tatiara Down’s resident shunter – SAR 513 – and brake tender. Purists will again note that this loco has completely incorrect bogie sideframes – riding on US Alco “S1” style bogies. This is as a result of repowering the Strath Hobbies model’s original mechanism – work undertaken by Andrew Hunter. The Brake Tender is an awesome model and is on the “District” with thanks to Stuart Gamble. It is neither a surprise nor an accident that each of Iain’s images here include work from one or more modellers – many of whom are also friends – for without them there is no doubt the Border District would not be where it is today.