Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Trainorama GM class first pre production images

Hi All

Here are some images from Trainorama of the pre production GM class models, you can still see the quality.  For the full story check out the link and go down to "GM Class Monday 17th December 2012" .

We await the final examples, and will be a welcome addition to Barcoola and Alice Springs, suitably faded of course!



Monday, December 24, 2012

Barcoola Season Greetings

Hi All

I would like to wish all a Merry Christmas and Season Greeting on behalf of the Barcoola crew.

This year has brought a lot of changes, and re focusing of priorities.
On the plus side I actually have managed to wangle annual leave over the Chirstmas - new year period, so there will be a big push for getting Alice Springs to a presentable stage, and enable operations to start.

I have also been taking stock of what I really want to achieve with building layouts.  A number of layouts have been scratched off the list for now.
This includes:
A Layout based on AN's southline.
A layout based on Broken Hill.
A layout based on BCRail.
A layout based on the Lincoln Division.

Most of this equipment has ended up on Ebay, so if you are interested check out Jason's ebay listings you never know, you might bag a bargain, anyway enough of the self promotion.

The refocusing has illustrated to me, the need to get things done in a certain way.  Lance Mindhiem has a lot of info on his site explaining how doing more with less can work, for example the industrial area of Alice Springs was up and running in about 6 months, amongst heavy work commitments, thus getting a small section of the layout up and running early keeps the will power going.  I expect phase II of Alice Springs to be operational real soon now, thus in little over a year. Doing the same on Barcoola using older building techniques took about three years.

So if I was giving tips on Layout project management, here is what I would be looking at.

  • What are you really passionate about? What would you really like to model?  Then take it down to 80 to 60% and you are probably there.
  • Assess your available space, complicated arrangement's just to get millimetres of space are just not worth it.
  • look at 30 inch aisle access for a one person operation 3 feet or more with pinch points for more than one operator.  I learn this the hard way with the Alice Springs industrial area, I have built this down to 24 inches, and I wish I had calculated in an extra 6 inches just for comfort.  Check out the link on Lance's site, in regard to design and space.
  • Available time and passion for what you want to do, taking a smaller bite of the pie, and doing it well is alot more satisfying, again check out a reference to lance's site regarding this.
  • The more real estate you have the more you need to detail it, On Alice Springs some sections are down to 300mm, if I had kept it all at 600mm wide then I would have twice the scenery work to do, thus would take twice a long to finish.
  • DCC makes wiring easy, and thus save time.  If you have not used DCC before, have a look at NCE, simply for user friendly functions, plus its available in wireless, thus you can get away without control panels.  If you are running a layout which trains are run by one locomotive, have a look at a complete wireless system, and the locomotives working batteries only.  I would definitely look at this type of operation for WA S scale.
  • Enjoy the planning stage, paper is cheep, but keep in mind the following, space between tracks for your fingers. in HO leave 300mm of 1 ft for each point.  Try not to go under 30 inch radi for HO mainline for layouts with modern rollingstock.

What's in store in 2013:
Alice Springs.
For the new year we will be completing Phase II.
Starting and experimenting with operations, train orders, TC12's TIMS printouts, shunting lists.
I will be looking at three eras for Alice Springs.
  • AN Transition Era (ALs BLs CLs DL's and GMs 1987-1988 still some locomotives in ANR and CR), 
  • AN 1993 (AN, CLF, CLP DL, ELs GMs, roadrailers and double stacks) 
  • GWI ultra modern - now (CLFs, CLPs GWIs, GWUs, GMs ANs and NRs) and no Glen I will not be removing the signals at the south end of the yard!
Jon is intending to build a layout, which is currently in the design stage.
Maybe even a Pilbara layout, on the small scale.

Anyway enjoy your time off with family and friends.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Barcoola modeling links updated

Hi All

I have updated the modeling links to include:
A great site for Lincoln Division Prototype info, includes rolling stock histories.
Minnipa was featured in the October 2012 AMRM, an example of taking a manageable slice of the prototype, and a great design technique to increase the distance between stations.
Some great scenery techniques, at the Model Railway Hobbyist e magazine
Although highly focused, some great examples of modeling SA can be found at this site and CR and even AN modeling is tolerated.
A handy link to an update Pilbara railway map.
Toad's Pilbara Railways site, the only on I know of that is dedicated to the WA's North West.



Monday, December 10, 2012

Barcoola's scratchbuilt AN class

Hi All

I thought I would display some of the more detailed models working on Barcoola.
Here is some pictures of my scratch built AN6, lots of work. I have fitted it with sound looks and sounds the part.

The builders plate is a Cashula models, same with the air horns
The bars in front of the ditch and strobe lights was a little fiddly , I wonder how Ausicion will tackle this.



Sunday, December 9, 2012

Some northern AN "transition" era shots

Hi All

I have recently added Johnny's pages to the site links, there is some great stuff on the "transition" era of AN.

Here's the sub menu link Northern region AN in the late 1980's

The best I can describe this is the time where the GM's AL's and CL's give the mantle to the DL EL and AN's on the front of Northern Region services.  But also included the ANR and CR liveries, and bright new AN liveries with yellow bogies.

So feel free to check out the link, there is a great night shot of train number 347 down Alice goods at Dry Creek and you can see two AHGX in the consist.

A green CL and GM on 166 up Alice goods with Cattle up front.

Two 930's on containerised cement no doubt to go to Alice Springs.



Saturday, December 1, 2012

Proposed Pilbara Layout BHP and Hamersley Iron 2 in one.

I know what you are thinking, how am I going to get a slice of the Pilbara into 26ft by 14ft.  Well after a bit of head scratching I think I have something.

The start of the BHP empire, CM40-8M, CM40-8ML and CM39-8, in as intended BHP blue

Like any project there is research, here is some of the books I fingered  through.

The original Tom Price and Paraburdoo yards.

Wombat Junction and Ballast Quarry.

Here is the plan, basically I am looking at a layout in which I can model two operators, using the one layout.
With a change of locomotives and stock we can go from BHP to Hamersley Iron.

To further understand where I am coming from, I should explain the concept, the plan takes sections from both BHP Newman and Hamersley Iron, takes sections from Paraburdoo and Wombat Junction.

In the BHP mode, I am looking a modeling Newman, and out to Ore Body 18.  Operations that are very modelable include:
BHP then and still run trains with mid train remotes.  Some trains arrive a Newman and then are split and the B portion runs to Ore body 18, loads then returns to Newman, where the train is re assembled.  An departs to Hedland.
In the model I have included Newman and Ore Body 18.
Supply trains add to the mix, these trains are very short and introduce more operational aspects, this includes, supplying Newman and Ore Body 18 Slightly beefed up, including a "fines" loading area, and stores.
There is also a Quarry, thus another work train can be added to the mix.
Trains would be fairly respectable 45 cars, not great but not bad.
You will also note that there is a lot of locations for end loading, to deliver or receive machinery, dumpers etc.

The Hamersley Iron mode, its all about the banking, like the prototype banking can be done from Paraburdoo up and over and then un couple on the move a Wombat Junction.

Mt Nameless can be the satelite mine near Wombat Junction, which also has a servicing area.
The board as outlined in the plan can be exchanged for Spring Creek Bridge.
There is also a Quarry, for work trains and two mine servicing areas.

Here is some random Pilbara shots.

Two SD70Ace's in "Camouflage" heading towards Hesta.

SD70Ace basking in the sun near the "provisioning" centre, west side of Nelson point yard.

CM39-8 in "Camouflage" livery, give me Blue any day.

AC6000CW with a broken pinon.

AC6000CW at Nelson Point

To HI Dash-9's banking out of HI Yandi.

Two Pilbara Rail Dash-9s at Dugite

AC6000CW on MAC work train service