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

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Know Your Loads for more Fun.

As it’s too cold to do anything on the layout, I’m spending my time at the Main North Nerve Centre Bench with a heater at my feet, until it warms up a bit, that’s more conducive to working on the layout. Plenty of “bench” type of work to do – installing decoders into my 46s, helping others with DCC, spending/wasting time on the computer etc. I really should be building some structures.

The 3 spans of the Hawkesbury River Bridge have been completed by Allan. I painted the track and roadbed then temporarily installed them, so we can still play trains. Finishing the scene with adding catenary, scenery and making massive expanses of water will have wait until it warms up somewhat. I don’t know about you, but I am feeling the cold more than ever before, must be something about getting older.

After looking at plenty of Youtubes about making water for Hawkesbury River and Mullet Creek, I have decided to attempt making water as Dave Frary shows at:

I spent about $150 on Students Acrylic paints, Brushes and Mod Podge (sealer) from Art Scene at West Ryde NSW. A fantastic supplier of all artist products etc. Hopefully I’ll get it something like what Dave has done, only time will tell if the money was well spent.

Instead of this Blog entry being about my Hawkesbury River Bridge as suggested in my last Blog entry, I thought I’d post an entry about “Know Your Loads” mentioned in my “Operating Cards for the Main North in 1965” Blog entry. I did a Presentation at the SCMRA Epping Seminar last year (2015) about this topic. See below for the Dropbox link.

The length of a train (load) is determined by the type of loco pulling the train and the grade of trackage the train was operated on in the real thing (prototype) – the Ruling Grade. For example the Ruling Grade for a single C36 hauled DOWN train from Broadmeadow to Werris Creek in 1965, was the 1 in 50 at Muralla, limiting the load to 385 Tons.

There is 13 km 1 in 40 climb from Murrurundi to Ardglen with a 500 m Tunnel at the summit of the climb, what happened then as the maximum load for the 1 in 40 was 255 tons? In the steam era the NSWGR practice was to add a loco when “steeper” grades needed to be negotiated instead of double heading for the whole distance.

Operating your trains using the prototypical loads/grades restrictions will add another dimension of modelling to your model railway, just like adding sound to your locos, adding scenery etc. Operating as close to as what the prototype did, is lots of fun. 

The details on using Load Tables, Working Timetables, Gradient Diagrams, Load Calculators (Wagon Weights) etc, see my Know Your Loads PowerPoint Presentation at Dropbox 

If your locos don't haul the prototypical load up your grades look at reducing the weight of the rolling stock, adding weight (lead) to the loco but not the Tender and "eyeball" your grades to see if they have "ups and downs" and measuring the actual grade. Many modeller's grades are more than they actually think they are.

If you want to view my Banking from Murrurundi to Ardglen YouTube video, click below:


  1. Well done to you Marcus and your cast of characters!

  2. Hi Nemesis. Operating trains is just a part of this fantastic hobby. Researching the prototype building a layout and running trains just like they were in the era is fun. Most of all, meeting like minded people that are just as mad as me is, well not quite, is the best aspect of the hobby. Regards Marcus.