A small entry to note the end of regular Shelley Railways development. I started building rollingstock for Shelley Railways in 1996, with a test diorama in 1997 before major baseboard construction from 1998 and first stage completion in late 2001. Regular upgrades and extensions to the layout as detailed in the blog bring it to its' final stage for now. The concept has reached it's natural end and looking for a new challenge early last year I commenced modelling VR Broad Gauge in the 1920's/30's in Inner East Melbourne (you can follow progress of this here: http://victorianrailways.blogspot.com/). However the "Cudgewa" layout remains completely set-up and operational and I will occasionally run services through the winding path in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains and across grey trestles ageing gracefully in the beautiful North East Victorian bush.
Here's the next section. To build the curving 1 in 30 downgrade I drew it out on paper, cut it out and used this cut-out as a template for jigging it out of 9mm marine play. As 9mm ply is so strong (relative to the weight of the trains that will run over it), I have only placed supports every 30cm, as such each support is 1cm lower than the other which makes the 1 in 30 grade. The missing one in the photo above will be placed under the trestle once built. The track bed is only approx. 50mm wide - enough for the trackbed, allowing scenery to be built to any dimension either side of the per way. I have drawn out the approximate dimensions of the trestle and placed it in it's approximate position to test whether it fits the location. This trestle will be a close, but not exact copy, of the lower of the two Darbyshire trestles between Bullioh and Darbyshire. A photo I took some time ago of this trestle is below.
The first was a C15 as produced by GMH with the Australian only "Pie Cart" radio modification. This one was purchased by Jim Edwards who ran the postal contract out of Corryong up to Khancoban. Back in the pre-Snowy Scheme days, the rough and off-road capability of the Blitz would have been handy in this part of North East Victoria.
The third blitz was a C 60 conversion operating in the Snowy Mountains section of Cudgewa yard in the late 1950's/early 1960's in the role shown above - transferring the cement containers from the flat KCC wagons to trucks for onforwarding to the Snowy Scheme sites.
I have prepared an article for Australian Model Railway Magazine on these conversions.
Some light relief from scenery work - just completed a "Blitz" truck conversion from the Battlefront Miniatures model to make this piece of rural Australia - and will prepare a brief article for AMRM on the prototype and conversion.
The base layer for the new alignment was laid during the week - a mix of Woodland Scenics' materials and some grounded dirt/chips. Next layer will be the intermediate growth (fallen logs, bushes etc.) then the upper layer of trees. I have used D3a 665 to test the alignment as it's the most picky when it comes to trackwork - ie. if it works for the hardest case, it should work for all!
My new digs have allowed an increase in length to one side of the layout which I have used to extend the approach to Cudgewa yard, and provide the Snowy Scheme Oil Road. To direct the track onto the extension I have re-aligned the track at the Dn end of the Beetoomba baseboard (the red line shows the projected run in the "before" photo, the indoor photo is "after" - apologies for the dark indoor shot, we've had quite a bit of rain in Sydney lately!). The old formation is now a farm track with a rather solid bridge that looks suspiciously VR. Also included is a shot of the "non-beauty/honest/backscene" side of the new Wabba Ck trestle to show its' foundation and the scenery method employed (trackbed on marine ply with cedar risers, polystyrene scenery former, with plaster and scenic material on top) which I've found useful for small steep sections such as the river valley here.