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

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Bringing back the Wheat Terminal in Port Waratah.

Years ago I upgraded my Port Waratah to better handle my Newstan Coal trains that were operated regularly during my Operating Sessions by replacing the Wheat Terminal with the Newstan Coal Loader.

Adding the 48s to Werris Creek, I introduced the running of a 1,000 ton Wheat train from Werris Creek to Port Waratah comprising of 16 BWHs & Van hauled by double 48s to Willow Tree where the train needed to be rear end banked up the 1 in 40 grade to Ardglen by another 48 (in my case 4801), using a second Operator.  I did a YouTube video of operating this train through to Ardglen. The train Operator ran on to Port Waratah, click here to see the video

Arriving in Port Waratah the Wheat train had nowhere to be stored & blocked up the mainline track through Port Waratah while the Operator shunted the Van around & left the double 48s on the Newstan Sneak Path, inconveniencing the Operators of the Newstan Coal trains.  

I fixed this dilemma by repositioning the Coal Loader Sidings towards the backdrop a little, reducing the length of one of Empty Newstan BCH Sidings & extending the Siding allocated to the Vans, to now accommodate the BWH Wheat train to the doorway into the Crew Room. 

I added a 1.0 metre "lift up" section of track, stored under Port Waratah that when required for the Wheat train, is swung up, extending into the Crew Room.

This addition made this new Siding 2.7 metres long, just long enough to keep the Wheat train including the double 48s, out of the way of other trains running through Port Waratah. This was just a test set up that's now good enough to be in place permanently.

I re-installed the Walthers Concrete Silo Kit to the end of the shelf with the Unloading Shed hard up against the fascia. This kit is not very prototypical for us NSW modellers but better than having a pretend Wheat Terminal.

I made cutouts in the Silo so as it would fit over the 2 Newstan BCH Empty Sidings for the Empty Coal train (22 BCHs). I still have to replace my cardboard box Newstan Coal Loader. 

The Port Waratah trackage tapers down to provide the widest entry point at the doorway as shown below.

I laid a piece of track over the angled hinge point, temporarily securing it with track pins then cut the track with the Dremal, to test the hinge/track setup.

I added track  to the end of the lift up section.

To my amazement, the 48s & BWHs negotiated the hinge cut, without any  derailing, so this temporary setup is now permanent.

I added 3 pieces of 3 mm MDF for sides & the End of the "lift up" section. 

I added a Peco In Track Magnet allowing for easy remote uncoupling of the wagons when the 48s are hard up against the MDF End Stop.

The Operator runs the Wheat train into the new siding until the 48s hit the End Stop, that positions the appropriate couplers over the Magnet, ready for disconnecting the BWHs from the 48s for the return Empty Wheat to Werris Creek. 

This is the Operators view of the Wheat Terminal from inside the layout, with the two Main North Bridges, down. 

While the Operator shunts the Van into a Siding with 4803, the 16 BWHs are mysteriously unloaded & the Wheat train is ready to be run back to Werris Creek by the same Operator or someone else during the Session, maybe.

The empty Wheat train now weighs less than 400 tons so a single 48 is all that's necessary for 1 in 40 grades to Ardglen, leaving the double 48s at the end of the "Lift Up" track. Note: My Trainorama 48s cannot haul the Empty train up my Ardglen Bank while my latest Powerline 4803 can. Hence the necessity of having 4803 parked in Port Waratah, prior to running the Wheat train.

Retiring for a Cuppa etc, I open both the Main North Lift Up Bridges to their stowed UP position so it's an easier exit for all Operators, to the Crew Room. 

If the Wheat Train Lift Up track is UP & the Empty Wheat train is still there, I'll pull it off the Lift Up Track with 4803 & place the 2 48s by hand, into the Werris Creek Diesel Terminal. With nothing on the Lift Up Track, then I'll stow it back under Port Waratah. 


  1. Marcus, it's one of the interesting anomalies of the Main North. Prototypically, Down block freight trains were often empty requiring less motive power but our model locomotives sometimes don't quite have the grunt to pull a rake of empties. Might be time for a notional relocation engine and double head the empties. cheers Phil

  2. Hi Phil. All my trains are as prototypical as possible. My Trainorama 48s don't have the grunt to haul my 16 BWHs + Van up my grades back to Werris Creek, whereas my later later Powerline (in my case 4803), does, hence why it needs to be pre-positioned in Port Waratah so I can make this Wheat as prototypical as possible. Otherwise I'd have to use two 48s that was not like what happened for 16 BWHs + Van as it was only 386 tons. See you soon on the Main North running the Wheat train in both directions. Regards Marcus.