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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Neil M Posted - 12/02/2019 : 04:53:21 AM

A couple of years ago I started building a small On30 layout in Sydney. I had picked up lots of inspiration from the excellent narrow gauge modellers I met when I lived down in Victoria and here but I hadn't had a space to build a layout until then. I had previously modelled HO standard gauge but wanted to try a narrow gauge shortline for a change of pace.

Originally I wanted to build a model or something local but I kept finding that my interests in lush scenery and seashores were pulling me away from Australia, and I ended up in Jamaica, Hispaniola, the Danish West Indies (now the U.S. Virgin Islands), or something like it, in the late 1930s to 1940s. Jamaica was the world's largest producer bauxite, aluminium ore, until the middle of the 20th century, and the mines started around Ocho Rios on the north coast but spread inland from there. Most seem to have been served by road, the standard gauge railways in Jamaica, and by sea but I reckon that a narrow gauge line could have been built in the early 20th century.

I modified a plan that caught my imagination from Carl Arendt's website but probably added too many extra sidings and lost the open and simple track plan that first caught my attention in the pursuit of more interesting shunting opportunities. Oh well \_(#12484;)_/ The idea is to represent the harbour/export end of a line from one of the mines to the rest of the world.

Track plan and sketch https://www.flickr.com/photos/7912936@N04/ on Flickr

I built the frame in two sections from 6mm marine plywood. It is 1300mm long and 500mm deep. The dropped area at the front is for the sea.

Early days https://www.flickr.com/photos/7912936@N04/ on Flickr

The turntable is crucial to making the plan work since it forms one end of the runaround loop. I built a 125mm turntable from Kitwood Hill Models and I have been very happy with it.

Early days https://www.flickr.com/photos/7912936@N04/ on Flickr
9   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Neil M Posted - 12/08/2019 : 06:14:13 AM
Thanks for taking an interest everyone.

Mike, you make a good point about too many sidings. Since taking the photos above (probably a year ago) I have shortened the siding on the quayside dramatically. This is my first O scale layout and although it is narrow gauge the scenery takes up a lot more space that I was used to with my HO layouts in the past!

[/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/2hWrw6D]Layout overhead view[/url]

I envisage the scenery taking precedence over the trains at each end of the layout with the trains centre stage in the middle. I might have been a bit too generous with the area set aside for the sea but I love layouts with a good sized boat tied up so I am looking forward to building a coaster at the quay.
Philip Posted - 12/04/2019 : 6:03:03 PM
Nice start Neil!


Tyson Rayles Posted - 12/03/2019 : 07:52:12 AM
Nice modeling but are you going to have enough room with all those sidings to have the lush tropical scenery that you said you were drawn to?
Rick Posted - 12/03/2019 : 03:24:59 AM
Very nice.
Good design and what you have built so far looks very good.
ironflyer Posted - 12/02/2019 : 9:21:37 PM
It is pretty interesting, and its looking good!
Like the turntable pit stonework, and those V bottom dumps too,
Hopeless Posted - 12/02/2019 : 8:42:06 PM
You are off to a wonderful start. Hope to see more pictures.

BigLars Posted - 12/02/2019 : 11:56:23 AM
Great concept and start!
Michael Hohn Posted - 12/02/2019 : 10:23:39 AM
Interesting concept you have there, well executed.
Neil M Posted - 12/02/2019 : 05:01:21 AM
The track is Peco OO scale code 75 track with 1 in 3-4 sleepers removed. Power is DC. Turnout control is wire-in-tube from Modratec with frog polarity switching on the back of the wire-in-tube.

The timber warehouse was one I built about 7 years ago when I lived in Victoria, and I wanted to fit the track plan around it to an extent.

Turntable in https://www.flickr.com/photos/7912936@N04/ on Flickr

To keep it visually interesting, try and make the layout look larger, and to keep the style that the brilliant reference photos that had been shared in the Caribbean Photo Archive on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/caribbeanphotoarchive/), I made the scenery behind the track quite steep and rocky.

Early days https://www.flickr.com/photos/7912936@N04/ on Flickr

And I used plaster rocks, sifted dirt, and Mini-Natur static grass to start the ground cover.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/7912936@N04/ on Flickr

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