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

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Gosford Upgrade.

Gosford was always going to be a BIG job & I was always putting it off, shown at the right before the Upgrade.

With the Overhead across the Broadwater into Gosford (last Blog entry), I decided to get on with upgrading it.

Prior to ballasting, I fitted 4 x Rapido Un-couplers to appropriate locations on the Main & Loop with their operating Switch on the Control Panel for north of the Station Un-couplers. For the UP Main Un-coupler on Platform 1, the Switch is on the Fascia. More details on Rapido, see my Uncouplers Blog entry.

On the lower deck of my layout, I manually operate the Points for most locations, that included Gosford but  knew this would be difficult with the Overhead installed. Years ago I tried a Rod in a Tube connected to a Slide Switch for one of the Points & this worked okay. 
Gosford Yard has 10 Points that'll be under the Overhead & I intended using this method. I installed 15 more of the Rods/Tubes then added the Ballast, using Chuck's Martins Creek that's no longer available. adding the Slide Switches after the ballast dried (shown left). Note the "test" Peco Point motor is in the foreground. 

For years I've been using a curved Island platform salvaged from another modeller's layout.
Instead of building another one, I modified this one by adding a strip of tapered timber to the straight side (platform 2) & re-aligned  the curved "Back Road', (platform 3) track. 

I added Styrene Strips to the edges of both platforms & surfaced the tops with a white sand/black oxide, mixture.  

The tracks south of Gosford already had their Rods/Tubes/Switches installed & were operated with a small knob at the fascia, shown left.

I considered using this method on the Points in the Yard but the aisle at the northern end is very narrow & I could see Operators fouling the knobs, inadvertently operating a Point. This is why I was going to fit the Slide Switches in hole in the fascia.

The Overhead installation was completed. The 90 degree turn was quite fiddly. Catenary wires were trimmed/lengthened to enable having single Stanchions crossing 3/4/5 tracks in the Station & through the Yard.

The Turntable is located at the southern end of the Station, adjacent to Platform 3, due to lack of aisle width north of the Station. 

I added a Harmen Coal Stage until I build a Hodkinson Electric Crane that was at Gosford in 1965 & a Water Tank that's missing it's Water Treatment Shed, that I hope to build one day.

While waiting for the ballast to dry, I experimented with adding a Peco Point Motor to one of the Rod/Tubes arrangements directly to the baseboard without the Peco Mounting Bracket.
I warmed to this new method but to make this work, I'd have to make a Control Panel, a major job. 
I decided to go with Point Motors & a Control Panel. I added 10 Point Motors secured with a screw with the appropriate Capacitor for my Capacitor Discharge method (see previous Blog entry), at the edge of the baseboard.  

I made a Control Panel mounted at eye level on the fascia of the track going to Werris Ck, above North Gosford. I used my usual method of using Toggle Switches & illuminating the Green LEDs for the route selected - more details see my Control Panel Blog entry.

I made a foam Cover to hide the Point Motors, secured with 4 screws. I added Showground Rd at the edge, 4 houses & a Car Park, at the Footbridge. There was some spare land between these houses & the Garratt Siding, I added some trees initially with Sedum Trees. While operating a Point Switch on the Control Panel, I fouled a couple of the Sedum trees, breaking off some branches & plenty of leaves. I replaced the taller Sedum trees with not as tall, plastic Chinese trees that can take the abuse. 

I have 3 tracks, at the fascia, two of which are the Garratt Sidings for storing steam locos at the northern end of the Yard, 
I added a Water Tank, Water Jib & Shed.
I need to include Sand Bin (Boat Water Tank type). 
The Shed on the right, hides a Point Motor.

I modified my existing Station Footbridge by adding some Steps at the Car Park side & increased the height of the 3 Supports so the Footbridge cleared the Overhead, instead of building another one of my Stuart Walker Footbridges. 

Instead of painting the Stanchions Light Grey that I did in Hawkesbury River, I decided to "darken" them up using Tamiya Dark Iron (XF-84) & painted the Wires Gunmetal (XF-10) thinning it down 50/50 with Isopropyl Alcohol at Gary's (at MRRC), recommendation. I repainted the Hawkesbury River Stanchions.

I changed around some buildings near the Yard, painted a road & added fencing. My very compressed Gosford Yard has the Packing Shed, Sungold Produce Shed & a Goods Shed. 

On the Siding to the Packing Shed, I added an Antons Cattle Ramp with a small Pen, an over the track Crane & a small Siding to unload the Sandstone Blocks, loaded at the Gosford Quarries Sandstone Mine at Wondabyne, on the layout. 
The loading at Wondabyne Quarry & unloading at this Siding will be a Pick Up train running for the Operators. 

Colour photos of Gosford Station in Roundhouse July 87, 46 Class Remembered books & Facebook etc, the buildings were painted white during the introduction of the Overhead in 1959/60. I painted my 5 station buildings, white for my 1965 era, added Platform Lights with GOSFORD in Calibri font & size 11 & added some brick facing paper to the front of the platforms.

I added 3 Colour Light "Starting" Signals for the platforms. For Operators running UP trains from Platform 1, I added an Occupancy Detector, they'll see the Signal change to Red as they leave Gosford. The two Down Signals will have many combinations - too hard to add "occupancy", so for now they're just for show. 

The 46s along with an 8 Car Interurban set, are stored at the Electric Car Sidings in between the Station & the Broadwater, shown below.

For Operating Sessions, someone may offer to be the Gosford Yardmaster or maybe it'll be me.

While I kept putting off this challenge, I'm really glad I've done it & happy with the results. The "Catenary" Guru, Geoff S was here yesterday & gave my effort, the Thumbs Up. Isn't he a good Fella. An overall view of my upgraded Gosford below.