Sunday, June 24, 2012

Layout proposal Spencer Junction SA and Whyalla SA

Hi All

Below is another layout proposal, this is one I have been thinking about since I started modelling AN.

DL38 stands at the west end of Spencer Junction, with a CL and GM, on AP5, typical of the era.  At this time , Spencer junction as the point where a Relay van would be added, either at the lead or at the end of the train.

However modelling Spencer Junction is not a task to be taken lightly, Spencer Junction is a lot of real estate, and what is the key to this yard as it is today, is traffic from Whyalla, Whyalla provided products that needed to be distributed all over Australia.

Finished steel products for use at all corners of Australia, from the then BHP long products division.
Billet steel, for WA, VIC and NSW.
Rail products for use all over Australia, both rail and sleepers.
LP Gas for use West and North to Alice Springs.
Coking Coal, for use in Adelaide.
Containerised traffic.
During the Reign of AN, a Roadrailer service to and from Adelaide, for connection to points such as Port Lincoln.
A passenger Railcar service, the Iron Triangle.
Morrison Knudsen Australia MKA had a plant in Whyalla, which had rail access.
As it does now there are two trains a day, this is generally to service Whyalla's steel plant.
Thus lots of traffic.

All of this has to be distributed to various trains, thus lots and lots of work shunting empty wagons out and loaded wagons into various trains, heading east or west, north or south.
Through trains include.
PS2 SP3 #260, steel trains.
#305 Port Pirie to Port Augusta fuel train. This fuel would be distributed north and west as required
#405 Tea and Sugar slow mixed goods would also be marshalled here.
As would the Telford mixed.
#347 and #166 Alice Springs goods.
Perth - Adelaide Roadrailer service.
AP5 PA6 Westliner - Eastliner services.
SP5 PS6 express goods services.
Its worth noting that at the time AN worked on a horsepower per tonne ratio on express goods, thus at Spencer Junction, locomotive consist were regularly changed to reflect this horsepower per tonne policy, plus relay vans were added and removed at Spencer Junction.

This does not include any extras, such as:
Work trains going west, and east with ballast and concrete sleepers from Stirling North.

So this is all the good news, also Spencer Junction and Whyalla has not changed that much from the AN era. Thus would meet Glen's wish for ultra Modern capability.
Steel trains still operate to Whyalla, but under the guise of PN.
Along with PN services, there is also the other operators.
SCT, most of there services don't even stop at Spencer Junction, with the exception of their GP PG, XG services, and their shunt service operated by GWA, from Adelaide to Port Augusta.
QR National AP1 PA1.
GWA Intermodal and ore services, the intermodal services still stop to pick up and drop off LP Gas tankers, and RKDY's loaded with steel.

But this is all academic, as I had not figured out how to squeeze either Spencer Junction nor Whyalla into the space available for a Layout.

However my constant doddling finally paid off, and I figured out how to bend it around a corner.

Using the Fiddle yard from Barcoola, around the edges, then slot Spencer Junction against the side of the fiddle yard. Both ends of the fiddle yard are accessible thanks to a sneaky design which enables access to the thicker parts of the yard.

Inside the middle of the room, I manage to squeeze in, Whyalla, both the steel plant and a representation of the Yard. There is enough work in this yard to keep a couple of operators very busy.

both ends of the fiddle yard are visible by operators without the need to get out of the operating pit.

The yard can swallow trains of 26ft length plus. The fiddle yard is also 26ft minimum length per road. this sort of length is a good representation of a AN train.

The other thing that bugs me about layouts on the exhibition scene, is the 2 dimensionality approach, This design when folded out, will enable spectators walk right into the layout to look 180 degrees around. Literally immerse the spectator into the layout, experience all of the angles available by this design.

An now the down side:

This layout will swallow more rolling stock than Barcoola does now. If this got off the drawing board, I think I would have to sell a car!

With all the operational work required, I think this layout would easily need at least four operators to even get though one day shift. Not that that's a bad thing, just a point.

I would need to introduce as card system for proper operations.

Each set of trains would need to be correctly staged, before an operational session.

Its more work than Alice Springs!

Anyway, if you have the space and the rollingstock, I would Highly recommend modelling this operational example.

Two GMs split the sticks at the west end of Spencer Junction, with a empty ballast train for Whyalla.  The hut to the left, would be where staff would take and repeat train orders for trains within Spencer Junction.  This use was intermittent at this time, and not long after the hut was removed.  These signals are now controlled by ARTC in Adelaide, with LED filaments, one day they will work properly!  blink Blink...

Two GMs haul the first train of the day from Whyalla, into Spencer Junction.  At this point in the yard it splits and spreads out to accommodate additional service roads, for relay vans, service stock and rail loading areas etc.
The train is typical of the era, note the stack of AOOXs with a few VLCX's, and the big AHJL "big John" coke hoppers.
The yard bypass track is in the foreground.

A DL sneeks from Port Augusta to cross over Tassie Street, and into Spencer Junction.  The cross overs once installed here have been recently removed, thus a victim of this operation is one of the AN "no trespassing" sign.

A single GM on another up Whyalla goods, note the two WOAX's behind the locomotive, the the two AOOX's which seem to be loaded with pipes.

Mainline looking south towards Stirling North, the road bridge is national Highway 1.

From Lake Knockout, looking west.  The Pichi Richi trackage now occupies  the right side of the mainline.

An AL class working light back out of Spencer Juction, towards Pert Augusta Station.  The tracks to the left are heading towards Tassie Street yard.  In the background to the left is a standard consist of the era.  To the right is a work train, and ballast hoppers.  A DL and two GMs on a east bound goods, and to the right of that is disused signal cabin.

Lake knockout on a still day, CLP12 leads a EL, on a south bound Ghan.  Given that the plan has allocated 20ft for the Lake, a decent representation can be made.

A DL and CL transverse Lake Knockout, in the early morning, with a goods from Adelaide.  This train will consolidate with SP3 at Spencer Junction, for the trip west.  Note the ABFX the first waon on the train.  Also included is a AQYY, half loaded with Boxcar containers.

I had been raking my brain trying to shoe horn a version of Port August and Whyalla into the train room and this is how I did it.
Here is a link to the current ARTC track diagram of Spencer junction:

The BHP Standard gauge shunter, DH6, I think a GE 44 tonner would be a great start to built one of these shunters.

A typical #171 heading to Whyalla, lots of open wagons.

Whyalla yard, looking north.

Google earth of Spencer Junction.

CLF2 at MKA's plant in Whyalla

EL and GM marshalled and ready to depart for Spencer Junction, at Whyalla, note the crane to the right, looks very similar to the one at Alice Springs.

A google earth view of Whyalla yard.

Enjoy this food for thought.



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