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

Monday, March 25, 2019

West Tamworth on my Main North.

Previously I wrote a Blog entry about Passenger Trains on my Main North and described that I swapped around the way Werris Creek worked, with the track from the rear Platform entering a 3 track North West Staging and the Front Platform track went onto West Tamworth instead of going to Gunnedah. This allowed a longer run of three of my "signature" Passenger trains, the DEB Set Northern Tablelands Express, the Brisbane Express via Wallangarra and the Glen Innes Mail.

For the Glen Innes Mail, I have included the 3 Coaches for the Barraba Mail that are removed from the Mail, at Tamworth. Secondly a 30T (3009) needs to be "light engined" from Werris Creek to Tamworth for the Barraba Mail.

I needed to upgrade my Tamworth particularly for the Barraba Mail "part" of the Glen Innes Mail.

Thirdly, the Mail with the ACS, CR and MHO, make the train heavier than the C36's load limit of 268 tons for the 1 in 40 grade. The 3616 hauled Glen Innes Mail will need to be double headed up the 1 in 40 climb from Murrurundi to Ardglen but on my layout, to Werris Creek.

Operating the DOWN Glen Innes Mail from Sydney now terminates "turned" in the Tamworth Sidings, has 5 engine "movements/changes" on it's run north. with a lot of "operation" centred around Tamworth and can take over 60 minutes to "run". See my latest Glen Innes Mail YouTube, below.

I needed to change the West Tamworth trackage (shown at right), to include easier operation/storage of the Barraba Mail etc.

Using a 1945 Track and Signal Diagram, courtesy of the ARHS DVD  shown below, there are many industries to model in West Tamworth.

The above 1945 show the following industries. A little research to find which ones were there in 1965. For starters I needed to model some of the following:
  • 250 foot long Platform with a Dock at each end.
  • Station Building that was from the diagram, about 150 feet long.
  • Goods Shed
  • 2 large Mills: West Tamworth Mills and Fielders Mill. 
  • Silo.
  • Stock Yard and Loading Banks. .
  • 2 Road Engine Shed
  • Small Coal Stage.
  • 60 Foot Turntable 
This section of the Main North Upper Deck is 15 feet/5 metres long and 3 feet wide. The photo shows my very compressed West Tamworth on the left and Werris Creek Cattle Pens/Loading Ramp and Mine (in the distant), on the right.

Good thing the 250 foot platform equals 3 feet in HO.

On the layout, the Station is on the "down" line closest to the aisle. Passing the Goods Shed, the line goes to the right for Armidale Staging and left to the Upper Deck Return Loop.
The Return Loop exits from behind the Mill connecting to the 3rd Loop, then "back onto" the mainline at the doorway.

Trains running from Werris Creek, Occupancy Detection on the Lift Up Bridge section, "sets" the Points so all trains go past the Station. With the Points selected for the Return Loop (not Armidale Staging), trains "turn" and appear on the 3rd Loop, passing the Silo, where a second Occupancy Detector operates the Points (opposite to that above), to bring the train back onto the single mainline. This provides automatic end of the layout, "turning" of trains so long as 3 "fixed" Points are set for their normal positions. Not prototypical but it provides the procedure I want. One day I'll add switches to these 3 Points for some form of warning. I could have used a Tony's AR PS One but I wanted to make something and I already had the Auto Reverser. 

I located the 6 Tamworth Sidings including a Fuel Depot and a Mill
at the northern end of Tamworth.

The Glen Innes Mail and the NTE are stabled in these Sidings, ready for their runs to Sydney.

The Tamworth Loco with a 60 foot Turntable and a single line Engine Shed is located between the fascia and the Sidings as shown,  Access can be gained from any of the 3 Loops.

The Centre Loop opposite the Station provides the "storage" of the the Barraba Mail's 3 Coaches and 3009 when the Glen Innes Mail is at Tamworth Sidings, ready to be connected to a UP Glen Innes Mail to Sydney.

I am still thinking of how to add track and a Return loop for the Barraba Line but this has to wait, so the Middle Road and shunting will have to do for running the Barraba Mail.

While remodelling Tamworth, I added the track crossing the mainline from Ardglen to Werris Creek, using a 90 degree Crossing, to the existing but not connected, Armidale Staging (6 tracks above Newcastle).

I wanted Armidale Staging to be as low as possible and I did not want a Bridge over the mainline.
I have changed how this Staging was to work, initially thinking I could add a further Return Loop (over Murrurundi) but it hasn't happened.

This "crossing" is "signalled and interlocked" (May 2019), using the Bracket Semaphore (shown at left) and a colour light Signal controlling the exit from Armidale Staging, so you cannot run out of Armidale Staging without first selecting the Point (shown at left) to Armidale and the Ardglen to Werris Creek "block" is NOT occupied. I used a colour light signal instead of a Semaphore as it does not need Servos or part of a Octopus III, making this a simple "signal" control of Staging.

I added scenery using my foam packaging method and added plenty of home grown Autumn Joy Sedums to hide the "90 degree crossing".

The Upper Deck of the Main North here at the aisle way from the Trainroom is 1570 mm from the floor. For Operators and especially the vertically challenged Marcus, I added a platform 300 mm above the floor to 3/4s of the Aisle way, making the height now a very comfortable, 1270 mm.

There are never enough Staging Tracks on a layout and with 30+ trains trains "staged" for an Operating Session, this new Armidale Staging shown below, helps a lot and is the new location for holding the Down Glen Innes Main and the Northern Tablelands Express, ready for their run to Sydney.

A March 2020 Glen Innes Mail 9 minute video is at YouTube: