Monday, May 10, 2010

A Video of the Bylong Main Line

Here is No 83 conditional empty wheat train as it traverses almost the full length of the main line on my Bylong layout. The first 20' of line through Kerrabee wasn't good enough to post (in and out of focus, I got too close).

This gadget seems to only be 4 x 3 format so here it is on YouTube:
16 x 9 video.
The video was taken in one go as the train climbed from the lower staging yard at Muswellbrook to the upper staging at Gulgong.
Some sections have been cut out due to too much camera movement as I tried to keep up with the train. Almost all of the main line is shown except for the Cox's Gap loop and signal box, way too much movement.
If I ever build another layout then I will be aiming to have a lot more vertical space between the decks as it is difficult to take photos and videos in the current 10" or so (250mm).
One thing I have learnt is that using a video camera is an interesting challenge and good lighting is essential. To this end, I added four more low wattage flourescent lights to the lower deck under Wollar on the climb up into Bylong.
After installing the lights my HD digital video camera decided it didn't want to turn on last weekend and is in being repaired at the moment, well I am waiting for a quote anyway. It will have to be repaired as it is only 26 months old and it cost about $1400, of course it is out of warranty.
This video was taken with a small hand held Sanyo HD digital video camera shaped like a pistol so I couldn't put it down on the layout. This camera is my daughters and I did this video to try out the camera and the lighting.


South Coast Rail said...

great footage. The first 30 seconds makes me think I'm in a car beside the line chasing the train.
Allows us all to see more of your great layout.
Looking forward to more in the future

IainS said...


I liked it as well, although it seems the weather at Bylong was a bit more overcast than the usual sunshine. Perhaps the drought is breaking.

The interesting thing about photographs is the different view they give of the layout. I noted that there is one building that is distinctly see through.

Is it just me or does the loco sound as if it is a steam engine? It is distinctly chuffing IMHO.

I really look forward to your pictures and videos.


Ray P said...


The lighting is far more critical with video as I am discovering, the first part is well lit as it is the lower deck and it has its own lighting (warm white) whereas the Bylong station area has room lighting (warm white but less overall). The climb beside the cliff also has its own lighting but it is cool white as the strip lights used there for clearance reasons only come as cool white. Then it is back to the warm white room lighting for the rest of the trip.

Still cameras seem to have a far greater latitude for lighting and of course it can be adjusted after. I do have a program for the video that I could have used to adjust the different sections of the video but as I just let the train run without stopping, I didn't bother. it was not meant to be a work of art just a quick experiment with my daughters new HD video camera.

The see-through building is a part built pub, it still has to have a peaked corrugated iron roof, second storey verandah with awning and of course a piece of black cardboard internally on the diagonal to stop the see through.

I am not one of those people who won't put something on the layout until it is finished, It's there to inspire me to finish it but it doesn't seem to be working.

The 44 sounds very strange on the video, nothing like reality. I don't think that the microphone in the camera is very good, probably need a separate good quality one to get the sound right. There may also be some conversion issue when it is uploaded to YouTube.

the 'cuffing' as you describe it is probably an underlying cycling of the sound file for the diesel engine that can be heard after the mor bass notes have been lost by the recording, who knows? This sort of issue is probably why some movies have a separate sound track that is put together after the filming.


Geoff said...

Ray, I really enjoyed the footage, but the devil in me has to ask... is there a video of you videoing the layout? He He, it would be almost as entertaining as the actual vid! Crouched down, chasing the train, well you know it must be my sense of humour!


Just great, As I am new to your blog, Like Bob said you get the feeling of standing lineside and chasing by car, it shows how well your overall scene has been put together. Excellent job and thankyou for sharing. Darren