Recently I "fine tuned" and "electrified" the Points at Gunnedah's Black Jack Coal Mine located opposite Gunnedah and on a shelf 80 mm above the track, south of Werris Creek Yard. With the Gunnedah Abattoir and the Mine it provided some great train operations.
I had made some changes at Werris Creek to improve operations that included repositioning the Roundhouse and Turntable, adding the Shunting Neck and adding a second line into the Yard for the "main line", providing a more direct path to the Station. This eliminated a Crossover that was giving me some grief (Shinohara Double Curves - what a pain in the proverbial).
I wanted to add a Stock Yard and Loading Bank for additional operations around Werris Creek but there was no room to do it unless I removed Gunnedah's Black Jack Coal Mine. A monumental decision had to be made as Gunnedah was an important part of my layout.
Due to the "people traffic" in the Aisle between Sulphide Junction and Broadmeadow, I had removed the 300 mm high Platform that was necessary to operate Gunnedah so there was not much happening at the Black Jack Coal Mine so Gunnedah had become a "through" station as North West trains used the Return Loop to turn around trains.
Layouts "evolve", so I removed the Mine and the associated track along with the Abattoirs and now I had room for the Loading Bank and Stock Yards. These could be operated from the Train Room, see below. I have included the Werris Creek Mine (seen in the background of the above photo), so LCH Coal Trains will be running from/to Werris Creek.
With these above changes the 3 "signature" Main North Passenger Trains - the Brisbane Express via Wallangarra, the Glen Innes Mail and the 4 Car DEB Set Northern Tablelands Express that I've now got all the correct rolling stock for (mentioned last post), would STILL be terminated at Armidale Staging, 3 feet away from Werris Creek Station.
The "importance" of Gunnedah without the Mine and Abattoir was drastically reduced. To provide a 25 foot longer "Main North"and the Return Loop for these 3 Passenger Trains etc, I've swapped around the two sections of track "north" of Werris Creek, see the Track Plan below.
Gunnedah Station/Yard with the Mill and Silo will now be my "close enough" combined West Tamworth/Tamworth and the previous Armidale Staging (3 feet from Werris Creek) will now be the North West Staging. A new Armidale Staging above Newcastle (Middle Deck), will be added later.
Shown above is one of the signature Passenger Trains of the Main North, the 3616 hauled Glen Innes Mail, double headed to "light engine" 3390 to West Tamworth for the Barraba Passenger. Operating Trains on the Main North and the The Glen Innes Mail, are the topic for my next Blog entry.