Above photo is my Gosford complete with the Overhead. Click on the photo to see the Main North Album at Flickr

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Murrurundi on the Main North

Adding "operations" like "banking" and "double heading" was one of the main reasons for choosing the "Main North" section of the NSWGR in the mid 60s. Murrurundi on the southern side of the Liverpool Ranges during the 60s, had a delapidated Loco Shed and a 60' Turntable. "Down" trains required assistance up the 1 in 40 climb to Ardglen at the summit of the Liverpool Ranges as these train headed north to Werris Creek and beyond. 

Discussion with one of my modeller mates Brian about Murrurundi and some photos being exchanged, prior to his visit to Sydney in March 2010, Brian provided me with a pleasant surprise when he turned up. He bought me a model of the dilapidated Engine Shed. Now I had to tidy up my Murrurundi that required some major re-building of the baseboard and pinching some of Newcastle (see layout plan) to fit in the re-located Turntable. 

For once in my life I bought something for my layout that actually got installed within a few days - a 60' motorised Turntable with 30 degree mechanical indexing. Just what I needed for Murrurundi now that the Shed was closest to the front facia, making the only location for the Turntable, behind the Shed. To turn the loco it takes 45 seconds. I'm impressed with the Frateschi $150 Turntable from Casula. I'll need another one at Willow Tree. 

The photo shows 3666 having a drink from the Parachute Water Crane. A second operator reversing 5259 out of the Shed, to perform one of it's "banker" duties for the day. A green 3635 is waiting it's turn in the Shed, while 3230 has been turned and is being serviced. A Coal Grab will be added here, soon.

With 5259 attached to the rear, both operators will "drive" the train up to Ardglen, some 40' on my layout up the grade, taking about 10 minutes at 10 MPHs. At Ardglen the "banker" (2nd operator), "disconnects and returns 5259 to Murrurundi. Depending on operational requirements, the banker may go through to Willow Tree, where banking is required for UP Goods trains. With Murrurundi Loco now operational, it is going to be busy here, as all trains including the Northern Tablelands Express (double headed), needed assistance going over the 'Range. 
Slow steam hauled Goods trains, due to the fumes and heat build up in the narrow small bore 500 metre Ardglen Tunnel, could not be double headed, they had to be banked from the rear. I'm glad as this "banking" as it creates extra fun for us, as we operate the Main North. 

Adding the above structures Muururundi has been partially sceniced but so much more to add, next a scratchbuilt Station. My excitement at having something looking a little bit like the real thing, needed me to share it with you. Thanks a lot Brian for getting me going with the Murrurundi Shed.


  1. Looking good Marcus. It's amazing how the addition of just a few pieces of scenery items changes the minds perception of what the eye sees.